Here’s to the bodybuilders, to the powerlifters, and the people focused on getting stronger. Perhaps you’ve heard the term ‘hypertrophy’ before, and you’ve wondered, “what is hypertrophy?” Hypertrophy is a biological process that plays an extremely important role in your body’s ability to build muscle. In this article, we’ll explain what hypertrophy is and its benefits.
What Is Hypertrophy
There’s a lot we could say about hypertrophy, but for now, let’s keep it simple.
Hypertrophy is a biological process where your muscles grow in size and strength. There are two requirements for hypertrophy. The first is stimulation, and the second is recovery and repair.
Your muscle cells can be stimulated by a number of different factors. The two most common stimulants are trophic hormones and increased functional demand. Tropic hormones include growth hormone, prolactin, thyrotropin, adrenocorticotropin hormone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone. Bodybuilders and athletes are specifically interested in growth hormone. That’s the tropic hormone that’s most involved with muscle growth and strength.
Increased functional demand is a fancy way of saying “used more.” All of the muscles in your body are used to doing a certain amount of work through the day. If you exercise more than normal or do some sort of strenuous physical activity that you don’t normally do, you’ll likely feel sore afterward. This soreness is because some muscle group in your body did more work than it’s used to doing. This causes small, microscopic tears in your muscle. These tears will trigger hypertrophy just like hormones.
In both cases, your muscle sends signals to your brain saying that it needs to heal and grow bigger and stronger. Your brain then finds the necessary amino acids and sends them to that muscle for repair. Your muscle fibers will repair the tears and grow slightly thicker and stronger than they were before. The difference between your muscles before and after the repair phrase is almost nonexistent. But, over the course of weeks, months, and years, you’ll notice a lot of growth and added strength.
Hypertrophy doesn’t just happen as simply as breathing. It must be triggered by a physiological need. Meaning, the body has to be stressed enough that the muscle needs to grow. Lots of exercise, high impact workouts, you name it.
As your muscles go through hypertrophy, you’ll have to exert more and more stress to get them to the point where they’ll need healing. You’ll also have to provide them with more and more raw materials like amino acids and protein so they can repair themselves and get stronger.
But, in the end, the benefits are worth it.
Benefits of Hypertrophy
The process of hypertrophy is the same for everyone, but the results can be vastly different. That being said, the benefits of hypertrophy are pretty straight-forward. But we’ll mention three of them just in case.
Some people work out to improve their athletic performance, but most work out to look good. Getting your muscles to enter hypertrophy is great because larger muscles generally lend themselves to a healthier-looking frame.
Your added muscle will also burn excess calories which will help lower or maintain your fat stores. All in all, muscle hypertrophy is a great way to improve your general physique.
Not only that but, when you look good, you feel good. The increased muscle will help you feel more confident and can act as a general mood booster. This is, of course, helpful for many reasons. Everybody needs a reason to feel good after all.
For those who exercise for performance, another benefit of hypertrophy is the simple fact that you get stronger by stressing your muscles. The more you stress them (within reason) the stronger they’ll become. This means they’ll be able to do more which will improve your overall athletic performance.
You’ll be able to lift more, run more, and push yourself harder than you did before.
If you’re looking to turn your old personal best into a routine workout, muscle hypertrophy is the way to do it.
Less likely to get injured
Along with bigger, stronger muscles, hypertrophy makes you less likely to get injured. With your body’s growing ability to do more and more, it’s less likely to get injured when strained. Someone who’s more sedentary cannot take the same physical stresses as someone who works out.
So if you’re ever helping someone move or doing some heavy lifting in the yard, you’re much less likely to throw out your back than someone who isn’t actively getting stronger.
Even if you’re content with your looks and you’re not looking to improve your athletic performance, this alone should be enough to get you interested in working out. With improved recovery time we can all agree that the fewer backaches there are the better.
Feed Your Muscles What They Need When In Hypertrophy
Most people focus on working out to get big but recovery, rest, and nutrition are just as important.
In fact, they might be more important.
You need to feed your body so it can repair itself after strenuous exercise. Without this repairing process, your workouts will suffer and so will your body.
Luckily for you, there’s 1st Phorm.
1st Phorm provides a fantastic line if quality protein supplements and amino acid supplements. We can give your body exactly what it needs to repair itself after a long, hard workout.
Come check out our different protein supplements and see which one best fits your needs today!
*This post was written by Will Grumke. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer