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December 29, 2022 3 min read

Muscle hypertrophy is increased muscle size, commonly due to physical exercises, such as weightlifting. Learn more about muscle hypertrophy and how to maximize your gains during your strength training.

HOW DO MUSCLES GROW THROUGH WEIGHTLIFTING?

When you lift weights, nerve impulses are transmitted across the muscle fibre and cause muscle contraction, resulting in increased strength but no noticeable changes in muscle size. But with repeated contraction, a complex nervous system responds, increasing protein synthesis, and the muscles begin to grow larger and stronger.

SPECIFICALLY, MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY INVOLVES A THREE-STEP PROCESS:

Muscle Destruction or Breakdown

  • A repeated contraction through resistance training induces muscle tension to the muscles and causes muscle damage. This triggers an inflammatory response to promote repair and recovery, as well as an increase in the release of hormones associated with muscle growth, such as human growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, and testosterone.

Repair and Regeneration

  • With low levels of muscle damage, muscle repair occurs by retaining the muscle structures, removing the damaged parts, and replacing them with new muscle proteins. However, with high levels of damage, such as in partial tears, when muscles can die and become necrotic, muscle regeneration occurs when damaged fibres are replaced with entirely new muscle fibres. These processes happen more particularly after a workout during rest.

Peripheral Fatigue

  • Peripheral fatigue refers to reductions in the ability of the muscle to produce force, and it occurs when you are unable to complete exercises, usually due to exhaustion following an intense or prolonged physical exercise. When individual muscles are tired, other muscle fibres are activated to produce more force. More muscles are recruited and trained, and so the more significant hypertrophy.

THE IMPORTANCE OF REST AND RECOVERY

Contrary to common belief, a rest day does not include lying on the couch. Instead, the beneficial effects of physical activity take place during this time. Rest, in particular, is necessary for muscular growth.

Microtears form in your muscle tissue as a result of exercise. During rest, however, cells known as fibroblasts rebuild it. This promotes tissue healing and growth, which results in stronger muscles.

In addition, your muscles store carbs as glycogen. During the activity, your body breaks down glycogen to provide energy. Rest allows your body to recover its energy reserves before the following workout.

WHAT TO DO DURING REST DAYS

Active recovery is when you engage in low-intensity activity with little to no stress on your body. The body tries to restore soft tissue during this period of healing . Active recovery promotes blood circulation, which aids in the clearance of waste products produced by muscle breakdown as a result of exercise. Then, fresh blood can enter, bringing nutrients that aid in muscle repair and rebuilding. Examples of active recovery exercises include walking, stretching, and yoga.

Massage guns can aid in active recovery by keeping your muscles moving during the healing process. In addition, they provide relief for achy muscles by lowering stiffness and soreness.

Sleep is also essential. Get lots of rest, especially if you're working out hard. Even one or two nights of insufficient sleep can reduce performance during sustained bouts of activity, but not peak performance. Consistently poor sleep, on the other hand, can cause hormonal alterations, notably those connected to stress, stress hormones, muscle repair, muscle development, and, worst of all, performance.

 



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