When it comes to the gym, should you be lifting heavier or lighter? The science explains…
Scroll down to the video for the full explanation.
What is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy refers to an increase in the size of cells, tissues, or organs due to an increase in the size of individual cells or an increase in the number of cells. In the context of biology and medicine, hypertrophy is most commonly used to describe an increase in the size of muscles or the heart.
In the case of muscle hypertrophy, it refers to the increase in the size of muscle fibers in response to resistance training or other forms of exercise. This occurs when the muscle fibers are subjected to repetitive stress or tension, causing the muscle cells to adapt and grow in size.
In the case of cardiac hypertrophy, it refers to the enlargement of the heart muscle, typically as a response to chronic high blood pressure or other factors that increase the workload on the heart. While hypertrophy can be beneficial in some cases, it can also be a sign of underlying medical conditions and may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease if left untreated.
Max Posternak is a fitness coach and the founder of Gravity Transformation, a popular fitness YouTube channel. The channel was launched in 2015 and has since grown to over 5.46 million subscribers, making it one of the most popular fitness channels on YouTube.
Gravity Transformation focuses on providing workout routines, nutrition advice, and weight loss tips
Video – The Science Behind Light vs Heavy Weights for Muscle Growth
Why is Protein Important for Muscle Growth?
Protein is essential for muscle growth because it provides the building blocks that the body needs to repair and build new muscle tissue. When you engage in physical activity, such as resistance training or weightlifting, it creates tiny tears in your muscle fibres. In order for these fibres to repair and grow, the body needs to synthesize new muscle protein.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the individual components that are used to build new muscle tissue. When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into its component amino acids and uses them to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. This is known as muscle protein synthesis.
Protein also plays a role in preserving muscle mass, particularly during times of calorie restriction or weight loss. When you are in a calorie deficit, the body may start to break down muscle tissue for energy. Consuming adequate amounts of protein can help prevent this from happening by providing the amino acids needed to maintain muscle mass.
Overall, protein is important for muscle growth because it provides the building blocks needed to repair and build new muscle tissue, and helps prevent muscle breakdown during periods of calorie restriction or weight loss. It is recommended that individuals engaging in regular exercise and strength training consume a diet that provides adequate protein to support muscle growth and repair.
Why is Sleep Vital for Muscle Growth?
Sleep is vital for muscle growth because it is during sleep that the body repairs and regenerates damaged muscle tissue. When you engage in physical activity, such as strength training or endurance exercise, it creates micro-tears in your muscle fibres. During sleep, the body releases hormones like growth hormone and testosterone, which help to repair these micro-tears and promote muscle growth.
In addition, sleep is important for overall recovery and energy levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not have enough time to fully recover from your workouts, which can lead to decreased performance and increased risk of injury. Lack of sleep can also lead to fatigue and decreased motivation, making it harder to stick to your workout routine and achieve your fitness goals.
Research has shown that the optimal amount of sleep for most adults is between 7-9 hours per night. Getting enough sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding screens before bed and creating a relaxing sleep environment, can help support muscle growth and overall fitness goals.