Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hypertrophy and Muscle Cells

Getting larger and stronger muscles is arguably the most important goal in bodybuilding. The technical term for this is "hypertrophy." Muscular hypertrophy is an anabolic process, meaning tissue is being built up. It requires protein, positive calorie balance, and the right training stimuli.

The protein in our protoplasm makes up about 10-20% of our cellular mass. This is then used for the structure (maintaining the actual form of the cell) and for enzymes which control the chemical reactions within cells. Essentially when you eat meat you are kind of "recycling" the animal's tissue and using it to repair and build your own body.

Each cell has within it your unique genetic code--your DNA--and it uses this as a guide for sending the amino acids where they are needed in the body.

This is why a supply of high quality protein is so important for the body and in particular for aiding recovery and growth after lifting weights.

Muscle fibers cannot reproduce via mitosis (by splitting in half) as they have multiple nuclei. This means that in order for your muscles to grow, the existing fibers need to become thicker. For this to happen the muscle fibers must add more myofibrils" (the small strands which make up muscle fibers and that are themselves composed of even smaller sarcomeres) which it does by splitting them along their longitudinal axis. This action, however, requires lots of Myosin, Actin, and other proteins (and who much protein a muscle fiber can use is limited by the number of nuclei in each one).

This is just a short summary of some of the factors involved in muscular growth. You can invest in a program like Hypertrophy Max if you'd like an advanced bodybuilding program. You can read this program review for more information.  You may also be interested in a program that is a little less expensive, like Mass Intentions Extreme 2.0 (MI40X).

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