Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy: They are both terms that refer to muscle growth, but they are not the same. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy refers to increases in muscle size that occurs as a result of increased growth hormone (GH) levels. This is usually achieved by ingesting anabolic steroids. Myofibrillar hypertrophy refers to increases in muscle size that occurs as a result of increases in the number of myofibrils within the muscle sarcomere.

You’ve likely heard the terms gained vs. lost weight but what do they really mean? To understand how your body forms muscle, you must first understand how muscle is built. Muscle cells are created in the body by two different processes: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is when muscle cells are made larger than they were before. Myofibrillar hypertrophy is when muscle cells are made the same size as they were before.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy , also known as “fast muscle fiber” or “fast twitch muscle” is a form of hypertrophy that occurs when you use relatively short, low-intensity exercises; whereas, Myofibrillar Hypertrophy is one that takes place when you use high-intensity or longer, low-intensity exercises, while resting.

In the world of bodybuilding, appearances can be deceiving. I’m sure you’ve experienced a similar scenario: One day you’re training and you see a huge guy who hasn’t even trained yet. When he switches to the squat, you can’t wait for him to lift astronomical weights, but you notice that he seems to have trouble with lighter weights. The next day you go to the gym and you see a guy who looks chubby, and you don’t really think about his potential strength, but then you notice that he squats almost twice as heavy as the pumped-up guy you saw in the gym earlier. How is this possible? In this article, we’ll look at how the above scenario is possible, explore how our muscles respond to stress, what the difference is between myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and how you can apply this to achieve your training goals.

Why powerlifters can lift more than bodybuilders

We often see the same scenario when it comes to bodybuilders and powerlifters. Powerlifters tend to be much smaller, they have much less muscle than bodybuilders, but they can lift much more weight. Why? word-image-16854 One reason is that some people have better mechanical advantages, such as. B. the length of the limbs and the attachment, than others. Other reasons could be the speed of contraction of fast muscle fibers and neural efficiency. The last reason is the difference in training (sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy) and how this affects strength. That is what we will focus on in this article.

What is muscle hypertrophy?

For muscles to increase in size, muscle hypertrophy must occur, which simply means that individual muscle fibers increase in diameter. Thus, by training and overloading the muscles, the muscle cells become larger and thus undergo hypertrophy.

Functional and non-functional strength

I often hear about functional and non-functional strength in bodybuilding and I would like to clarify what this really means. When we talk about functional hypertrophy, we mean an increase in muscle size that leads to an improvement in muscle strength production. Non-functional hypertrophy refers to an increase in muscle size that does not result in an increase in force production. Bodybuilding would be a lot easier if it was as simple as many people would have you believe, but unfortunately that is not the case. Despite the many benefits of strength training for sport, no training program is perfect, and no training program can be applied directly to sport.

What is the difference between sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy?

To understand the different types of hypertrophy, it is important to know muscle physiology. The individual protein filaments are called myofibrils and are surrounded by a fluid called sarcoplasm. Thus, one speaks of myofibrillar hypertrophy, when myofibrils increase in size, and of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, when sarcoplasmic growth occurs. Functional hypertrophy training refers to myofibrillar hypertrophy and non-functional hypertrophy refers to sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Myofibrillar hypertrophy is associated with heavy training with few repetitions, while sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is associated with training with more repetitions and lower weights.

How does sarcoplasmic hypertrophy work?

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy works by increasing the number of mitochondria in the cell (the structures in the cell responsible for energy production). Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is thought to be responsible for non-functional hypertrophy because sarcoplasm is composed of non-contractile fluid and therefore can increase in size without increasing strength. The pump you feel during your workout is the result of sarcoplasmic expansion. It is believed that training for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy creates large muscles that are not functional, or muscles that are just for looks. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy has some benefits that have nothing to do with the ego growth of bros bending over to get a good pump in the gym. Two of them are:

  1. Increased stamina through mitochondrial hypertrophy
  2. Increased growth of connective tissue


How does myofibrillar hypertrophy work?

Training for myofibril hypertrophy, on the other hand, works by increasing the number of actin/myosin filaments in the cell. This leads to an increase in the strength and size of the cell’s contractile apparatus, producing more force. This is often called functional muscle because of the increase in force production. (Aka, you can collect more).

Why glycogen stores are important

A major reason for the increase in size resulting from sarcoplasmic hypertrophy training is the increase in glycogen reserves. Glycogen stores are simply stored energy that you need in large quantities to exercise. When a person trains regularly with more repetitions, the body responds by storing more glycogen. For every gram of stored glycogen, there is 3 grams of water. This extra supply of glycogen and water can lead to a significant increase in size and allow you to lift weights longer due to the increased energy. However, this does not lead to an increase in strength or power. For example, an average man can store about 350 to 500 grams of total glycogen in his body’s muscles. If this person starts training at a higher volume, he or she can reach almost 1000 grams of glycogen reserve, which would be equivalent to 1500 grams of extra water (an increase of 500 grams of glycogen multiplied by 3). This can result in an increase of almost 1.5 kg of what looks like solid muscle mass, when in reality it is just a store of energy and water. Five pounds of muscle may not seem like much, but it can make a big difference in your appearance. If you take someone who trains constantly at a low volume, their energy reserves will not be very high. If you then put him through high intensity training, you will see an increase in his arm size as his body adapts to the greater amount of work and stores more energy. A greater number of repetitions increases the strength of the myofibrils, but is not as effective in generating force. Although the different pension systems promote different growth, they cannot be completely separated from each other. Even if you perform series of repetitions aimed at sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, you will still cause some myofibrillar hypertrophy and vice versa. Indeed, the size of the sarcoplasm is limited by the size of the myofibrils it contains. Many studies have attempted to show that myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occur independently, but have all failed. Studies have shown that it is not possible to increase the growth of the sarcoplasm without simultaneous growth of the myofibrils.

Why do some people look weak for their size?

There can be many reasons for this. First, those who consistently lift more reps will not lift maximum weights often and therefore will not be qualified enough to lift maximum weights. And yes, raising the maximum is a skill. But it goes both ways. While a bodybuilder who regularly trains with high reps will likely have trouble competing against a powerlifter in maximum sets of low reps, a powerlifter may also have a hard time competing against a bodybuilder in multiple sets of high reps.

Should we focus on myofibrillar hypertrophy or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy?

As we mentioned earlier, when lifting, you are always working in two directions. It depends on what you want to put forward, which depends on your objectives. If you want to increase your strength and lift maximum weights and/or improve your performance in a sport that benefits from increased strength, stick with myofibrillar hypertrophy. If you are not interested in gaining strength, but want to get as big as possible and your goal is purely cosmetic, then sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is your best option. And of course, you can always incorporate both into your training program to get different effects on your muscles and avoid plateaus.

What are the recovery ranges for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy?

To focus more on myofibrillar hypertrophy, concentrate on a range of 3 to 8 reps. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy strengthening series in the range of 8-15 are ideal. References:

  1. Muscle adaptations in response to three different types of resistance training: Specificity of training ranges with maximum repetition.Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002 Nov;88(1-2):50-60. Epub 2002 Aug 15.
  2. The rate of protein synthesis in human muscle: neither anatomical location nor fiber composition are important determinants. J Physiol. 2005 Feb 15;563(Pt 1):203-11. Epub 2004 Dec 20.
  3. Starr, Robert L. What Makes Muscles Grow? Bodybuilding.
  4. Butt, Casey. Muscle Growth Part I : Why and how do muscles grow and get stronger? Weight Trainer. 2007.
  5. Hernandez, Richard Jay and Len Kravitz. The secret of skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy vs Myofibrillar Hypertrophy: What You Need to Know: [Dieting] Cause: There are a few possible causes for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, but the most common is simply an imbalance of amino acid levels in the muscles. The body starts to break down muscle tissue to get the amino acids needed to repair and build new muscle fibers. This causes a condition known as catabolism, which means “muscle breakdown.”. Read more about sarcoplasmic vs myofibrillar hypertrophy reddit and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Myofibrillar hypertrophy make you bigger?

Myofibrillar hypertrophy is another name for the muscle building process of gaining mass. In simple terms, it involves the increased amount of muscle fibres connecting one muscle to another. In the human body, this is usually done by dividing existing muscle fibres by adding new ones. This is the process of hypertrophy. However, when it comes to gaining mass, some people will experience myofibrillar hypertrophy. This is usually only seen when you train your muscles to increase their size and/or increase work. It is the process that goes on in conjunction with hypertrophy. This text is sensitive. Try generating new copy.

How do I target Myofibrillar hypertrophy?

Though they appear identical, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy are two different types of muscle growth. Muscle contraction causes contractile proteins such as actin and myosin to bind together into filaments, called myofibrils. This protein structure is needed to create force, which is what makes muscle contract and move. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy occurs when the muscle’s myofibrils are greater than 40% larger than they should be, since they have been stimulated by a high volume of training and fast-twitch fiber recruitment. Myofibrillar hypertrophy occurs when the myofibrils are smaller than can reasonably be created by fast-twitch muscle fiber recruitment. If you use this site, you’ve already seen the Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy vs Myofibrillar Hypertrophy article. However, I thought I’d write a follow up post for the people that don’t. Basically, what I’m doing here is examining the differences between the two forms and explaining what they are good for and what they are bad for.

Does sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increase strength?

I have been a strength coach for years and I have gotten asked this question more than any other… Basically, the biggest myth going around in the strength world is that you must do the exact same workouts and exercises in order to gain strength. In the past, I have always told my athletes that if they do not see strength gains after six months, then the program is not working. I have always assumed that it was because of their genetics and/or lack of natural ability. However, I have been realizing that maybe I am not being as honest as I should be. The Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy vs Myofibrillar Hypertrophy controversy has been debated on the internet for years. Some say that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases strength, some say it doesn’t. However, the amount of time these two theories have been debated is too small to be considered significant. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is a muscle adaptation that occurs when you train your muscles for too long. Myofibrillar hypertrophy occurs when you train the muscles for too long. The only way to know if sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases strength is to do a study and do the research.

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