Fitness Q & A: What Is Hypertrophy?

phpthumb_generated_thumbnailWhether you’re studying to become a personal trainer, or you just want to have safe, effective workouts, there are many fitness related terms you need to be aware of. One of those terms is hypertrophy.

An easy way to remember the meaning of hypertrophy is to think of the meaning of atrophy. An atrophied muscle is one that has become smaller through lack of use. Hypertrophy refers to the process of making muscles larger through resistance training.

Of course, your muscles don’t always become larger when you lift weights. It all depends on the number of repetitions you do. A range of 7 to 12 repetitions is great for building muscle mass. Doing sets of 13 or more repetitions is ideal for increasing muscle endurance. Those who want to focus on increasing muscle strength need to use 6 or fewer repetitions.

Do Hypertrophied Muscles Lack Strength and Endurance?

Hypertrophied muscles have more strength and better endurance than muscles that aren’t used. A workout that uses a lower number of reps will yield the most strength but little endurance. A higher number of reps will yield less strength but more endurance. A medium rep range will yield a moderate amount of both. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve and design your workouts accordingly.

Do Women Need to Worry About Hypertrophy?

Women who want to work out without becoming too large have little to worry about. Even in the 7 to 12 rep range, women cannot gain as much mass as men. The female bodybuilders you see on television would not be as muscular as they are if they didn’t use steroids. It’s simply not possible. There’s no need to avoid the gym. Muscle takes up less room than fat, so you will not get bigger from weightlifting. An increase in body size and weight comes from consuming more calories than you burn, not lifting weights.

With enough rest and nutrition, almost anyone can benefit from resistance training. As with any other endeavor, your level of success will depend on your effort and the consistency with which you apply it. Whether you use a high, medium or low rep range to pursue your goals is up to you.


Related Articles By Cathe:

Muscle Hypertrophy: 3 Ways in Which Muscles Grow

Strength Training: 5 Rules for Training to Failure

Does Stretching Boost Muscle Hypertrophy?

What Role Does Hydration Play in Boosting Muscle Hypertrophy?

Can Ibuprofen and Other NSAID Interfere with Muscle Growth?

Do You Have to Lift to Failure to Build Lean Body Mass?

Can Pre-Fatiguing a Muscle Help It Grow?

Lack of Exercise Is Even More Harmful to Your Muscles as You Get Older


Related Cathe Friedrich Workout DVDs:

STS Strength 90 Day Workout Program

All of Cathe’s Strength & Toning Workout DVDs
Total Body Workouts
Lower Body Workouts
Upper Body Workouts

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