Understanding how muscle grow and is important when designing a workout plan. The thing people don’t understand is that there are two main types of muscle growth. The first type of growth is called Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. The second type of muscle growth is called Myofibrillar Hypertrophy.
So What is Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy?
Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is muscle growth caused by an increase of fluid within a muscle cell. Think of each individual muscle cell as a water balloon. As more fluid (sarcoplasm) gets added into each individual muscle cell, the muscle increases in size. For the fastest increase in muscle size, a person should focus on sarcoplasmic muscle growth. We will talk about how to achieve this later.
What is Myofibrillar Hypertrophy?
Myofibrillar growth is caused by an actual increase in muscle tissue. This type of muscle growth is a slower way to increase the size of a muscle, but increases the strength and density of a muscle. If this were a water balloon, think of increasing the thickness of the actual balloon.
Here is How to Increase Sarcoplasm (or fluid) Within the Muscle
Lift in the 6-15 rep range. Higher reps tend to increase the fluid within the muscle cells much better than lower reps. Also, you should lift in a way that fatigues the muscle. Keep the rest short in between sets and reps. Each set should be progressively harder as you work through your workout.
Here is How to Increase Muscle Fibers When Training
Myofibrillar growth happen when you keep reps low and generate maximum tension in the muscle. You are not aiming to fatigue the muscle. Rest longer in between sets to insure that you can lift the maximum amount of weight from set to set. You are not aiming for maximum fatigue, you are aiming for maximum tension.
Some Common Mistakes With Muscle Growth
Most people focus on too many rep ranges during the same workout period. A common practice is to pyramid the weight, going from 15 reps all the way down to 2-3 reps in the same workout. The problem with this approach is that your body doesn’t really develop to its full potential using this technique. A better approach would be to spend 2-3 month focusing in the 6-15 range and 2-3 months focusing in the 2-5 rep range.
5 Reps Seems to Give You the Best of Both Worlds
If you want to gain a bit of sarcoplasmic growth and muscle fiber growth simultaneously, then training in the 5 rep range can do the trick. It isn’t necessarily the fastest route to muscle growth, but it will build full dense muscles without having to think too much.