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Monday, November 19, 2007

Hypertrophy And Weight Training


Muscle hypertrophy can be simply defined as growth in the size of skeletal muscle due to increased cell size. Biological reasons of muscle hypertrophy include age and nutrition. However, one can also increase the size of muscles through strength training, high intensity anaerobic exercises and through anabolic steroids. There are primarily two different types of muscle hypertrophy that include myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Myofibrillar hypertrophy involves increase in number of myofibrils in the muscle adding to muscle strength and increase muscle size. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy involves increased volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle tissue.

The best way to grow and strengthen muscles is to force them to operate beyond their intensity using weights, an approach known as weight training. There are different types of weight training exercises that aid in overall muscle development of the body. Some of these include bench press, chest pres! s, back squats, power snatch, power clean, jerk, lower back extension, tricep press, leg curls, leg extension and leg-press. Each of these exercises is useful in improving the strength of a particular muscle type. While decline dumbbell bench press improves Pectoralis major, seated leg extensions strengthen Rectus femoris.

Amount of weight a person should use is calculated based on the percentage of the maximum amount of weight a person can lift in one single time, a factor also referred to as one repetition maximum (1 RM). Intensity of the exercise is a reflection of the maximum number of repetitions. Inexperienced persons can start with low weights. However, a typical strength training program requires one set of 4-6 RM performed 3 days a week. The weight can be gradually increased to 12-20 RM. It is also important to take rest between sets so as to recover. Recovery period replenishes the levels of ATP and CP levels inside the body.

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