¿Qué es la hipertrofia?: Aprende a ganar músculo de manera efectiva

What is hypertrophy?: Learn how to gain muscle effectively

The search for the ideal body and efficient muscle development are the most common objectives among those of us in the world of fitness. Hypertrophy is presented as a key element in this process, but do we really understand what it is and why it occurs? In this article, we will thoroughly explore muscle hypertrophy, its types and answer the crucial question: How many repetitions are necessary to gain muscle mass?

What is hypertrophy and why does it occur?

Muscle hypertrophy is the process of increasing the size of muscle cells in response to the mechanical stress that muscles experience during resistance training. When we subject our muscles to an intense load, micro-injuries are generated in the muscle fibers and during the recovery and repair process, the muscle cells regenerate, increasing their size and leading to hypertrophy .

Hypertrophy is not only dependent on exercise, but several factors, such as your genes, what you eat and how often you train, influence this process. Additionally, hormones such as growth hormone and testosterone play an important role in stimulating muscle growth.

A proper balance of macronutrients , especially protein, is essential for muscle protein synthesis and effective post-workout recovery. Make sure you maintain a nutrient-dense diet to support your efforts in the gym.

In short, hypertrophy is the result of challenging your muscles, allowing them to repair, and supporting that process with good nutrition and consistency in training.


What types of hypertrophy exist?

Hypertrophy can be classified into two main categories: sarcoplasmic , focused on the number of repetitions, and myofibrillar , focused on weight or intensity.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is a type of muscle growth that focuses on increasing the volume of muscle cells by retaining more fluid and glycogen inside them.

During resistance training with higher repetitions and lower load, your muscles experience an increase in intracellular fluid and store more glycogen. This process leads to an increase in muscle cell size , but not necessarily a significant increase in strength .

This improves muscular resistance and results in a more rounded and fuller appearance of the muscles, which makes this type of hypertrophy ideal if what you are looking for is a specific muscular aesthetic , with a fuller and more voluminous appearance and that muscles are more resistant to sustained efforts during high repetition activities.

To achieve sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, opt for workouts with repetitions in the range of 12 to 15 or more , using a load that allows you to maintain proper technique and maintain shorter rest periods between sets to maintain a constant flow of work and promote accumulation of metabolites.

Myofibrillar hypertrophy

Myofibrillar hypertrophy, on the other hand, focuses on making the internal parts of muscle cells stronger , specifically in the structures responsible for muscle contraction, called myofibrils. So, instead of simply filling muscle cells with fluid and glycogen (as occurs in sarcoplasmic hypertrophy), myofibrillar hypertrophy focuses on strengthening the parts that actually generate force within the muscle.

During intense workouts with heavy loads and fewer repetitions, myofibrils within muscle fibers experience an increase in both their number and size. Unlike sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, this type of growth results in denser and stronger muscles, favoring improved strength.

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is especially beneficial for athletes focused on performance and improving functional capacity who are looking for more compact and resistant muscles while increasing their strength and muscle density. This focus on myofibrils increases overall muscle strength , allowing heavy loads to be lifted more effectively.

If what you are looking for is myofibrillar hypertrophy, opt for training with repetitions in the range of 6 to 8 , using loads that challenge your maximum strength and allow yourself longer rest periods between sets to recover adequately and maintain the quality of the effort.

How many repetitions to do to gain muscle mass?

How many sets and repetitions to perform to increase muscle mass is a fundamental question in planning any training routine since the amount we do will play a crucial role in achieving muscle hypertrophy.

Although it is generally said that the optimal range for muscle gain is generally between 8 and 12 repetitions per set , here we will delve into some of these aspects to provide a more complete understanding.

Optimal Repetition Range:

As we have already mentioned, the repetition range that is considered optimal for gaining muscle mass ranges from 8 to 12 repetitions per set. This interval balances mechanical and metabolic stress on the muscles, thereby promoting muscle growth and hypertrophy.

Training Intensity:

Intensity plays a fundamental role in muscle development. For hypertrophy, it is suggested to work with loads that allow you to perform between 8 and 12 repetitions before reaching muscle failure. Maintaining an appropriate level of intensity ensures sufficient stimulation for muscle growth without compromising technique.

Number of Series:

The question of how many sets to perform varies from person to person, but a common approach is to perform at least 3 sets per exercise . This provides enough training volume to trigger adaptations in the muscle, thus encouraging growth.

Rest Between Series:

Rest time between sets is essential. Maintaining proper balance allows you to optimize stress on your muscles without sacrificing form. In general, resting 1 to 2 minutes between sets is common to preserve the intensity and effectiveness of the workout.

Training Variation:

Introducing variations into your routine is crucial to avoid adaptation . Changing exercises, training sequence, repetitions and loads keeps the body challenged and promotes continued stimulation of muscle hypertrophy.

Importance of Hypertrophy Training:

A specific focus on hypertrophy training is essential to maximize muscle development. Incorporating both compound and isolated exercises into your routine ensures complete muscle stimulation , addressing different angles and ranges of motion.

For those looking to take their training to the next level, incorporating advanced techniques can make all the difference. Strategies such as drop sets, supersets, and pump training can provide an additional stimulus for hypertrophy.

Achieving muscle hypertrophy effectively requires understanding the underlying mechanisms and applying appropriate training strategies. From choosing the type of hypertrophy to determining the optimal number of repetitions, every detail counts on the path to desired muscle development.

At Sportech Fitness, we understand the importance of providing the correct information to boost your results. Discover our range of machines and accessories designed to boost your hypertrophy training and achieve your fitness goals!

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