Training

Hypertrophy: The Difference Between Myofibril and Sarcoplasmic

Building muscle is at the top of the list for every male client I’ve spoken with and only some female clients. What many people may not understand or may not be aware of is that building muscle involves more than just picking up a set of dumbbells. If you want to pack on muscle, the next question is why? Are you doing it for aesthetic purposes? Do you want to get stronger? Are you trying to dramatically boost your power? These may seem like the same questions but they involve vastly different training styles. Let’s take a look at the two types of muscular hypertrophy and how they relate to your goals.

What is Hypertrophy?

During a weight training session, you are effectively tearing down muscle tissue with the intention of building it back up bigger and/or stronger than before via nutrition and rest. This process of tearing down and building up is known as muscular hypertrophy. Hypertrophy can be broken down into the following types: sarcoplasmic and myofibril.

 

What is Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy?Photo 11-04-2015 16 04 46

The idea behind sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is that during weight training, the sarcoplasmic fluid in your muscle fibers increases in primarily volume. There is very little to no improvement in overall strength. Therefore, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is the preferred method of bodybuilders since their goal is strictly aesthetic muscle. The recommended  variables to achieve sacroplasmic hypertrophy are as follows:

 Number of Exercises:

  • 2 to 4 exercises per major muscle group

Sets:

  • 2 to 4 sets of each exercise

Repetitions:

  • 8 to 12 repetitions for each set

Tempo:

During each repetition, perform the tempo as follows:

  • 2 seconds should be spent lifting the weight
  • 0 seconds pausing at the top of the movement
  • 3 seconds lowering the weight

Resistance load:

  • 65% to 85% of your one-repetition maximum

Rest Period:

  • 60 to 120 seconds

 What is Myofibril Hypertrophy?Photo 11-04-2015 16 05 16

Myofibril hypertrophy, on the other hand, is when the focus is on increasing strength and power. Muscle mass may increase as a result but the muscle will be much more dense than with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This happens as a result of the increase in actin and myosin proteins in the muscle fiber. With that said, this type of hypertrophy is the preferred method for powerlifters, boxers, and performance athletes. The recommended variables to achieve myofibril hypertrophy are as follows:

Number of Exercises:

  • 1 to 3 exercises per major muscle group

Sets:

  • 4 to 10 sets of each exercise

Repetitions:

  • 1 to 5 repetitions for each set

Tempo: (as fast as you can safely move the weight)

During each repetition, perform the tempo as follows:

  • 1 seconds should be spent lifting the weight
  • 0 seconds pausing at the top of the movement
  • 2 seconds lowering the weight

Resistance load:

  • 85% to 100% of your one-repetition maximum

Rest Period:

  • 2 to 4 minutes

Photo 11-04-2015 14 59 53

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Nikos Saklabanakis

Nikos Saklabanakis

Being passionate about health and fitness enables me to achieve my all time goal of guiding and supporting people through achieving their personal fitness dreams and being a significant part of dramatically changing their lives for the better.

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