Muscle memory (strength training)Anabolic steroids muscle nuclei Two Types of Gains Everybody talks about hypertrophy training. It's what bodybuilders do to build muscle. But what about hyperplasia? Is it possible to increase your gains with hyperplasia training, as many training programs claim? This has been a hotly debated topic among muscle geeks, and there's been some interesting research.
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The Two Types of Gains Everybody talks about hypertrophy training. It's what bodybuilders do to build muscle. But what about hyperplasia? Is it possible to increase your gains with hyperplasia training, as many training programs claim? This has been a hotly debated topic among muscle geeks, and there's been some interesting research.
According to the research, here's the best way to hypertrophy a muscle:. So far so good, right? So how should we train to increase hyperplasia the actual number of muscle fibers , because that sounds awesome too.
Is it really possible? Well, hyperplasia probably occurs with resistance training, but it's not necessary to design your training routine specifically to target muscle hyperplasia. Let's dig into the science. Increasing the number of muscle fibers can and does happen. The connection between resistance training and hyperplasia was heavily researched in animals. One researcher did his first experiment on cats.
He trained 20 cats to lift weights. The 20 cats were divided into groups. One group "lifted weights" heavier than 1 kg while the other group lifted weights lighter than 1 kg. An additional 16 cats were used as the control group. The goal was to compare the differences in the right flexor carpi radialis — basically, kitty forearms —between the cats that lifted weights and the cats that didn't.
After 34 weeks, the cats who lifted weights heavier than 1 kg to get a food reward experienced a The cats that lifted weights lower than 1 kg didn't achieve a significant increase in muscle fiber number. Because of this, they were chosen last in kickball and were teased mercilessly by the jacked cats.
So now we know what to do if you want a buff cat. Give him weights heavier than 1 kg and get him pumping. In a follow-up study, the cats lifted weights only with the right paw. The study lasted for weeks. You've got to admire the researcher's incredible efforts. To keep things fair between the species, another study used rats who lifted weights for 8 weeks. Researchers found that meathead rats significantly increased the number of fibers per unit cross-sectional area, unlike the control group who claimed they "didn't have time" to go to the gym.
Besides cat and rats, hyperplasia was also found in quails. The load kept the wing stretched for 30 days, which really sucked for the poor quails who said they'd rather do CrossFit. The researchers found an increase by Incredible changes in only one month. In a follow-up study, researchers included a few changes in the protocol. Also, they included a few days of total rest with no loading on the wings.
The load was on the right wing while the left was used for the control. This protocol lasted for 38 days. The quails were examined after 12, 16, 20, 24 and 28 days of loaded stretching not including rest days.
In short, researchers found that resistance training increased the total amount of muscle fibers in animals. One group of researchers compared a control group comprised of people who only had six months of experience in resistance training and an experienced group comprised of two elite powerlifters and five bodybuilders. Researchers compared the muscle fibers of both groups and found that the powerlifters and bodybuilders had a much higher number of muscle fibers hyperplasia than the control group.
This data points to the possibility of achieving muscle hyperplasia with long-term resistance training. Well, hold your horses. The researchers found the same number of muscle fibers even though the bodybuilders had substantial more muscle mass. This means the bodybuilders had more muscle mass due to hypertrophy, not hyperplasia.
The current research on human hyperplasia is measly. So why not replicate the animal studies and see what we would find in people? Doing human studies with the same methods as what was done on animals just isn't ethical or reasonable. The animals are killed after the protocol. Then whole muscles are removed from the bodies to examine changes in muscle fibers. Plus it would be hard to find the people willing to count all of the dead bodybuilders' muscle fibers under a microscope.
The biceps brachii alone has around , muscle fibers. Changes in muscle hypertrophy are therefore measured with ultrasound, but measuring hyperplasia isn't as easy.
Needle biopsy techniques are used to harvest a small sample of muscle tissue, which is then examined in cross section.
A prediction of hyperplasia is made indirectly from extrapolation math. Some researchers believe hyperplasia can occur when a muscle fiber reaches its upper limit of hypertrophy. In that case, hyperplasia would occur through muscle fiber splitting.
It's most likely that an upper limit of hypertrophy may occur only in athletes using anabolic steroids and other growth agents. One study compared the differences in muscle mass between anabolic-steroid using powerlifters and natural powerlifters. Results showed that steroid-using powerlifters who had stopped training had more muscle nuclei than those that didn't use steroids.
A higher number of muscle nuclei is an important prerequisite for hypertrophy. This may be the main reason why former steroid users regain muscle mass very fast upon returning to training "muscle memory".
This statement holds true even more when we know that testosterone can increase the number of muscle nuclei. So, should you adopt a training program that promises not only hypertrophy but also hyperplasia? It's just not necessary. If you want a bigger muscle, focus your efforts on training for hypertrophy. If it happens it happens.
At least now you can separate the broscience from the actual science. Certain muscles respond much better to specific rep schemes. Here's how many reps to do for back, quads, chest, shoulders, and more.
It's an ugly blend of the two. And it needs to go away. Finish off your back day with this unique variation for complete back development.
You should be able to pass these tests before you hit the bench, squat, do direct arm work, or add more ab exercises. For 20 years, this coach has tested just about every muscle-building method out there. Here are his top five tips for gains. This exercise will boost your deadlift and build your flat butt Too many bodybuilders ruin their waistlines by turning themselves into human fireplugs.
T Nation coaches show you how to do it right. And it delivers, every time. Ketogenic diets work for some people, at least for a while. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid. Looks odd, but it'll hit your shoulders in a way that other delt exercises can't. Some say that the leg press is worthless compared to the squat. Bodybuilding is full of programs used by "enhanced" lifters, but most people don't take drugs and can't get good results.
This effective program is for them. This training method works great for short-armed lifters who struggle with the deadlift. Ready to get lean but not ready to count every calorie? Here are three things you can start doing today. A simple yet highly effective 3-day-a-week program that cuts out all the B. Can you pass this test? If you can't, make sure you're foam rolling and stretching your lats regularly. Then stop training like someone who is. Here's how to milk your training for all its worth when taking the natural route.
Want a bigger bench? Want a bigger chest? Here's what you need to know. The tried and true workout program that builds muscle, burns fat, and busts plateaus. Unique exercises and workouts to help you build a great sets of delts.