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  1. #1
    Registered User welsh_gainer's Avatar
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    Wondering about hypertrophy program.

    Hi guys,
    I was just reading an article on the 2 different types of hypertrophy : myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic.

    I read that:
    sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is an increase in volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell with no accompanying increase in muscular strength.

    Myofibrillar hypertrophy is the myofibrils, comprised of the actin and myosin contractile proteins, increase in number and add to muscular strength as well as a small increase in the size of the muscle.

    I read that myofibrillar hypertrophy comes from strength training in the 2-6 rep range whilst sarcoplasmic hypertrophy comes with higher rep training 8 - 12.

    My question is do you have to split these up in workouts or can you combine them?
    For example is it better to perform an entire strength program where all reps are low and heavy weights.
    Or is it possible to employ both. By begining the workout with a large compund excersise for your target muscle group and perform 4-5 sets of low reps with very heavy weight an then following it up with excersises of a 8-12 rep weight.

    Is it possible to gain both types of hypertrophy in one program, or do you need two different types of programs altogether?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Theworm826's Avatar
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    I think at your weight lifting stats, you should do something like the 5x5. It would be optimal for strength gains.
    My Journal: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=147445531

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  3. #3
    Registered User Kelei's Avatar
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    Basically strength gains are the result of challenging the nervous system with progressively heavier loads while hypertrophy is the physiological response to muscle damage occured through volume of work.

    Lets take a look at some different styles of training and factor in what I just stated, firstly pure strength training aka powerlifting incorporates very heavy loads, as a result you see primarily strength gains, but because powerlifters use a low overall volume in thier workouts hypertophy is minimal in comparison to strength gains.

    On the other hand you have bodybuilders who train the opposite, they use lighter loads but higher overall volume, obviously the above example will be reversed and hypertrophy will become the dominant adaption with strength gains minimal.

    Knowing this we can create a routine for our needs, have you ever wondered why programs such as 10 sets of 3 reps work so well? I'll tell you why, because you use heavy loads (3 reps) and you also use high volume (10 sets).
    In regards to both forms of hypertrophy, both are primarily created through volume in 2 ways, sarcomere hypertrophy occurs due to the volume of work causing damage to the actual muscle tissue (myofibrllar), sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is also caused by volume but it is in response to the depletion of muscle glycogen (fuel) caused by the volume of work.

    Basically if you train in a manner that forces your muscles to perform a high workload it will result in both forms of hypertrophy due to the extensive damage being caused to the muscles and also because your muscles will store more glycogen in an attempt to adapt to exposure to such long duration work. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is NOT a response to fatigue, it is simply a response to a large amount of work begin required in the same way you put more fuel in your car for longer trips. Fatigue does play a minor role in hypertrophy but usually represents around 2 or 3% of total hypertrophy at most. The reason why people assume high rep training 8-12 reps causes hypertrophy is not because of the extra fatigue but because of the extra workload, eg, 5 sets of 5 with 200 punds = 5000 total pounds of work, where as 5 sets of 12 with 150 pounds = 9000 pounds total work, it's simply a matter of total tonnage, but of course the weight still needs to be kept heavy enough to create enough muscle damage, doing 500 000 pounds of work with 2 kgs wouldnt result in much simply because the load is too light to cause damage no matter how much work you perform.

    I guess I should cut it short here, I don't wanna rave on for 30 pages about this stuff, I tried to simplify my wording as much as possible to make an easier read for those not fimiliar with a lot of words and terms.

    The bottom line.........you need to incorporate both forms of progression in your workouts, you need to progress with heavier loads (weight), and you also need to progress with volume (more total work).
    Last edited by Kelei; 04-04-2008 at 06:09 AM.
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  4. #4
    n e w s c h o o l ferbie's Avatar
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    x2

    and i think we weaker beings should concentrate on strength and don't **** around with light reps. so srew the 8-12 stuff.
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  5. #5
    Registered User welsh_gainer's Avatar
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    Hey thanks for such a detailed reply so fast. I just wanted to ask about incorporating both. Would you split a workout into 2 so that for certain excersises you try and up the weight as often as possible, but keep the reps the same, and for other excersises you don't concentrate on the weight as much, but instead increase the reps. Or would you say to dually try and consistently increase weight and reps in all excersises of a workout.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Kelei's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by welsh_gainer View Post
    Hey thanks for such a detailed reply so fast. I just wanted to ask about incorporating both. Would you split a workout into 2 so that for certain excersises you try and up the weight as often as possible, but keep the reps the same, and for other excersises you don't concentrate on the weight as much, but instead increase the reps. Or would you say to dually try and consistently increase weight and reps in all excersises of a workout.
    Lets use Squats as an example exercise, lets say you decide to use a rep range of 8-12 and you start with 200 pounds. Once you can perform 12 reps with 200 pounds you need to add more weight to bring the reps back down to around 8 then you work your way back up to being able to do 12 reps with this new weight, rinse and repeat. The amount of sets used should SLOWLY progress as training experience increases, so you might start with 2 sets of squats for 12 weeks, then for the next 6 months you use 3 sets, after 12 months you might use 4 sets, after 2 years perhaps 5 or 6 sets, you get the idea.

    All numbers used are just for examples sake, they dont really mean anything.
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  7. #7
    Registered User welsh_gainer's Avatar
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    Like would something like this be effective? I've written my deltoid program as an example.

    Military Press - one warm up set and then 3 sets of 5 reps
    Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Front Raise - 3 sets of 10

    Would this sort of thing bring the volume needed for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy but having some very heavy sets to cause the muscle damage required for myofibrillar strength hypertrophy?
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  8. #8
    Registered User Kelei's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ferbie View Post
    x2

    and i think we weaker beings should concentrate on strength and don't **** around with light reps. so srew the 8-12 stuff.
    Yeah that's right, focusing on strength training during yor first 12 months of training will enable recruitment of higher threshold motor units that can later be hypertrophied when using standard hypertrophy training.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Kelei's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by welsh_gainer View Post
    Like would something like this be effective? I've written my deltoid program as an example.

    Military Press - one warm up set and then 3 sets of 5 reps
    Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Front Raise - 3 sets of 10

    Would this sort of thing bring the volume needed for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy but having some very heavy sets to cause the muscle damage required for myofibrillar strength hypertrophy?
    If you are a beginner than yes it's plenty of volume, after a few months you could start using 4 sets for each exercise, then months later start using 5 sets etc etc. As long as you are progressing in load or/and volume you will grow.

    For example, with your lateral raises, for the first 3 months you could use 3 sets of 8-12, this means once you can perform 12 reps you need to add more weight next time around to bring the reps back down and then build up to being able to do 12 reps with the new weight. After 3 months you still do the same thing but you use 4 sets to add more work etc.
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  10. #10
    Registered User welsh_gainer's Avatar
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    ok great. Thanks mate. you've really cleared that up for me. Thanks for the quick replies. repped
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  11. #11
    n e w s c h o o l ferbie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by welsh_gainer View Post
    Like would something like this be effective? I've written my deltoid program as an example.

    Military Press - one warm up set and then 3 sets of 5 reps
    Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets of 10
    Front Raise - 3 sets of 10

    Would this sort of thing bring the volume needed for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy but having some very heavy sets to cause the muscle damage required for myofibrillar strength hypertrophy?
    when i started this sport, and guys that's some years back, i had this same mindset, but it just didn't deliver. when you are "weak", it makes no sense to fiddle round with small weights at isolation exercises. it just don't mean enough stress to the body. you always get your pump, but that's it. after a couple of days, it's gone, you go again, get your pump again, after a while you're pump addicted but you're left with no structural change of your body.

    nowadays, my MAIN exercises for shoulders are...drumroll... squats and deadlifts. and that's not because of some bogus pathos, it's because of biomechanics. analyze what's going on in a 1.5x BW+ squat/deadlift and you realize that you're shoulders MUST work damn hard. and IF i decide to do more specific shoulder work, i may do bb overhead presses or olympic lifts. that's as specific and isolated as i go for shoulders. i think the whole idea of isolation is useless until you have developed a solid base of strength and real (myofibrillar) muscle mass.
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