The Science of Hypertrophy - aka Muscle Growth - Cube Dweller Fitness

The Science of Hypertrophy – aka Muscle Growth

Scient of HypertrophyPeople who fail to grow their muscles in the gym often do so for one simple reason – they don’t really know what they’re doing. Sure, maybe they’ve read an article or two online about how they can go about improving their muscle mass, and what exercises they need to do to accomplish this, but if they don’t really understand the actual science behind what’s happening when they do, then they are putting themselves at a distinct disadvantage – they won’t be able to make their own decisions regarding what might work and what won’t, and they won’t be able to make the most of the advice that they do read. You need then to not only know what to do when you train, but also why you should be doing it and how it is working. That’s what we will look at here.

Muscle Fibers

Basically you first of all need to know that your muscles are made up of lots of tiny little connected cells called muscle fibers. It is when these muscle fibers move in unison that you get macroscopic (AKA visible) movement in your arm, leg or wherever else.

Now in order for your muscles to get bigger, it makes sense that you either need those muscle fibers to become bigger or more numerous. Sadly, unlike other cells in your body, your muscle fibers can’t duplicate using mitosis which means you’re stuck with the number you’ve got (the reason for this is that they have two nuclei rather than the standard one). However it is possible to make these muscle fibers thicker and stronger, and the way to achieve this is to cause tiny tears in them and then to allow the body to heal them. This works because the body heals the muscle fibers in a way that’s a little like scar tissue – so that it comes back thicker and stronger than it actually was to begin with. If this then happens enough times the increased strength across all of the muscle fibers and increased thickness then becomes enough to improve the size and strength of the muscles visibly.


However that’s not the whole story when it comes to muscle growth – you see in order for this to work you will also need to provide the body with the building blocks that it uses to build and repair tissue – in other words you will need to supply the body with protein which in turn is made up of the amino acids that make up your muscles.

Essentially then, when you eat meat from another animal, this meat is moved and recycled in such a way that it is taken from the animal and then used to build more of your muscle. If you don’t get the amino acids then you won’t be able to repair those microtears and your muscles will just shrink away afterward.

Take Home Message

So now you know what’s going on, what does this mean? Well first of all it means that you should ensure that you work out enough that you feel pain in your muscles. This is paramount because without that pain in your muscles there won’t be any microtears, and without the microtears your muscles won’t grow because the body won’t have to repair them.

Furthermore this also means that you need to make sure that you get your protein in order to allow the muscles to be rebuilt – and for this to work it’s best you need to ensure that you get all the amino acids in the right format and that you eat them at the right time when your body is in an anabolic state. There’s a lot more to learn here, so use this as a starting point and a spring board and look into the rest of the science of muscle growth to see some real improvement.

About the Author:Pauly has an expertise on health and fitness related topics and likes to provide elliptical reviews with the help of his blog.

Want to discuss? Join the conversation CubeDwellerFitness's Facebook Page.