People lift weight for different reasons. Some do so to burn fat; others do it for aesthetic benefits, while a few do it for sporting reasons or a combination of all three. Today, there are different training regimens, and one of the methods gaining popularity is a phenomenon called hypertrophy. Hypertrophy for powerlifting is becoming widely used by many, but what is it all about? Is it as effective as fitness coaches claim, or is it just hype? Let’s take a look.
What is hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the growth and increase of muscle cells through exercise. For example, when a powerlifter works out consistently, they increase muscle tone and mass, and powerlifting has been pinpointed as one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass quickly.
There are two main ways to build muscles; they are myofibrillar training and sarcoplasmic training.
Myofibrillar training: This training method focuses on strength and speed. Lifters who use this method simply want to build their strength, and the stronger they are, the faster they can lift heavy weights.
Sarcoplasmic training: This method focuses on muscle growth for endurance and sustained energy. This is the type of hypertrophic training used by athletes.
So, in essence, myofibrillar leads to the increase in the size of muscle contraction parts while sarcoplasmic training increases glycogen storage.
Hypertrophy increases muscle cells
One common misconception of many is that hypertrophy creates new cells, but this is not the case. The process of increasing the number of muscle cells is called hyperplasia. What hypertrophy does is increase the size of cells already present in your muscles.
The practical science behind Hypertrophy for Powerlifting
If you have not been using this technique in your sessions, you are surely missing a lot, to be honest, because the science behind Hypertrophy is quite practical. Why so?
Simply because you don’t necessarily need to carry a very heavy weight to develop muscle tone. With a lighter weight, you can tone your muscles. However, you will need to lift the lightweight repetitively for much longer to get the desired tone. With a heavier weight, a few lifts will stimulate your muscle fiber to grow quickly, so powerlifts using the hypertrophic method is more efficient.
The human body has adaptive potential. When exposed to stress, the cells stimulate muscle growth, especially if the muscular stress is repetitive. As the muscles and veins experience repeated payloads, they expand to accommodate more load up till the point of exhaustion.
Hypertrophy does not occur in isolation but has to be triggered physiologically. For example, when you lift weights repeatedly, the act thickens your muscle fibers, and as you do so, it sends a signal which triggers muscular growth. The reaction is simple science, really; your body knows that it requires more muscles to accommodate the weight, so this triggers muscle expansion as the cells increase in size.
Use Hypertrophy to increase your tolerance levels and to build muscle
Dormant cells exist between cell membranes, and they are mostly inactive until they are stimulated by trauma, injury, or damage. So as you powerlift, your repeated action triggers a kind of inflammation which is a natural response. The reaction is cellular and a hormonal response leading to the growth of cortisol and testosterone. And as you know, both hormones regulate cell activity. So as your muscle mass increases, your tolerance levels increase as well.
What are the benefits of Hypertrophy for Powerlifting?
There is so much to gain from hypertrophy. Regardless of your goals, you can build larger muscles with hypertrophic training. Here are some of the benefits of hypertrophy and why you should consider it over hyperplasia.
Weights loss: Did you know that hypertrophy can lead to weight loss? Cutting down on calorie intake will not be as effective if your weight gain is triggered by several other factors. When hypertrophy is activated, you build muscle mass, and one of the consequences of this is weight loss.
Increased symmetry: Many people who work out regularly complain about muscular imbalance, which can pour cold water on all your hard work. If you want perfectly toned muscles, hypertrophy is certainly the way to go, especially if you do powerlifting.
Improve aesthetics: Hypertrophy gives you a sculpted look that power training will not give you in isolation. Experts will tell you that training your muscles to trigger hypertrophy doesn’t only help build muscles but shape them as well. If you want the look of a model, this is the perfect training method for you is an hypertrophic training method.
Endurance: Hypertrophy is an effective way to build anaerobic endurance. This is especially true if you get tired very easily. Avoid lifting too much weight too early. Instead, take your time by adopting hypertrophic techniques, and build your muscle mass gradually. Rather than force growth, trigger your cells to stimulate the muscular reaction that you want.
Power potential: Whether you powerlift for sports, burn fat, or improve appearance, you need strength to be successful. Through hypertrophy, you can generate enough strength to achieve your goals. It triggers your power potential and maximizes power output.
Prevents injury: injuries are common, especially when powerlifters try to do so much, so soon. If the tendons are fragile, injuries may occur. Fortunately for you, hypertrophy prevents this by causing the tendons to thicken. A thickened tendon reduces the risk of injuries. Also, the growth of your muscles allows your system to handle the immense weight and pressure you give it when you lift heavy weights.
Improve insulin supply: This mode of training improves Insulin supply and storage through different pathways. As you build more muscles, know that these muscles act as supply centers for insulin and other nutrients to aid your training. So, if you want to always be in peak condition, and you want your tissues to repair themselves after each training session, you need an abundance of insulin which can be triggered by hypertrophy.
Hypertrophy for powerlifting allows you to gain more with less. Spending time lifting weights will not do your muscles much good if you are not working out the right way. However, with hypertrophic training, you can build muscle mass in less time and increase your strength and endurance levels.