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What you need to know about muscle fibers and hypertrophy

02

It´s not new that every year trends come out and the one I´ve been hearing more for the last months at least here is hybrid training and the way people is talking about is related to rep ranges but they don´t really know or understand how this works.

What got m attention is that some of them talk about as something new (as always…) but it´s not new… there´s nothing new, almost all training techniques or tools have been used before people only make little adjustments and change the name, the same thing happens with diets.

To talk about muscle fibers there are 2 points that we need to understand; muscle fibers and hypertrophy.

We have two types of muscle fibers which are type 1 and type 2, both types of muscle fibers are highly important for muscle growth, knowing how this two types of fiber works and how you can hit them or target them is key to creating workout programs that will lead you to your goals.

Type 1 muscle fibers or slow twitch muscle fibers are target with light weights , high reps and short rest periods around the 12 to 15 reps.

Type 2 muscle fibers or fast twitch muscle fibers are target with heavy weights , low reps and long rest periods  around the 5 to 8 reps.

There are 2 types of hypertrophy which are  sarcoplasmic and myofibryllar. The 2 of them are related to the muscle fibers because depending of the rep range you are working is how you target each of them.

In sarcoplasmic hypertrophy the muscle increase in size because more fluid gets into the cell, you target slow twitch muscle fibers which are type 1, working around the 12 to 15 reps per set or more. If you want to get “the pump” this is where you need to focus on, this is also the most common rep range and the one you´ll see a lot more on gyms.

Since you are lifting light weights for high reps you can use the 3 types of exercises; bodyweight, compound and isolation (I´m writing a post for each).

This type of hypertrophy makes you a slave to the gym, you need to be training to hit the muscle otherwise you lose it. Is easier and faster to gain muscle and to look big with this one but if you take some time off the gym you lose that muscle.

In myofibryllar hypertrophy the muscle cell increase in number, you target fast twitch muscle fibers which are type 2, working around the 5 to 8 reps per set. If you want to build lean dense muscle this is where you need to focus on.

Since you are lifting heavy weights for low reps you can use bodyweight and compound exercises which are the ones you can lift heavy weight, with isolation you can´t lift heavy you can get injured.

This type of hypertrophy takes more time to build and to get big but it´s there to last,  you can take some time off the gym and it will take longer until you lose that muscle. What you need to consider is that here you are working your central nervous system and it takes more to recover.

Both types of fibers and hypertrophy have their benefits and hitting both of them gives you amazing results. You can use type 2 for compound movements and type 1 for isolation movements this way you focus on getting stronger and adding some more workout to weaker muscles.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam