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What is Hypertrophy?

What is it?
Hypertrophy training is used to increase muscle size.

This involves a focus on the time that the muscle is under tension.  This is where the muscles can be pushed to their maximum potential and where muscle growth occurs. The types of exercises that achieve this include those which challenge the muscles and include focusing on the correct form. 

Who should be doing it?

Anyone who wants to increase their muscle size! This can include many athletes such as football or rugby players, body builders or wrestlers.

Why?

More muscle growth = stronger! 

Increased anaerobic endurance and power potential.

Increased resting caloric expenditure from greater lean muscle mass.

Improved muscle definition.

Supports the health of joints, tendons, and ligaments.

Injury prevention through thickened tendons.

Insulin sensitivity increased through production of nutrient storage areas in muscle reducing the amount of insulin needing to be produced.

Prevention of age-related muscle loss. 

How?

A greater number of reps with a lighter weight are key aspects of a hypertrophy workout. Workouts are typically 3 sets and can vary between 6-15 reps, and 30-90s rests.  Ensuring correct form and increasing time under tension requires the weight to be light enough though still challenging for you. This amount should take into consideration your previous lifting and fitness experience.

It is important to also ensure your nutrition is in-check for optimal muscle growth and results from hypertrophy training. This means eating adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrate, vegetables and reaching your increased energy needs. Packing in lean protein sources is essential for muscle growth. Some examples include chicken, fish, plant-based protein powders and bars, and eggs.

When?

This depends on your weight-lifting experience, fitness levels and availability.

Heavy weightlifting 3 days per week can allow recovery and rest days in between or alternating between a focus on upper body muscles and lower body muscles on each day could allow for this recovery time also.

Hypertrophy training is essentially getting the most bang for your buck from your workout, so what are you waiting for?

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