Muscle hypertrophy, it sounds like an avoidable disorder, but it’s exactly what you want to achieve when you implement resistance training into your workouts. Hypertrophy is the increase in mass and girth of your existing muscle cells. It is a complex process activated by catalysts including: resistance of force, intensity, duration and frequency of workouts and the recovery period after workouts. During and after training sessions your muscles undergo the beginnings of growth but must also have time for recuperation, otherwise you experience muscle weakening from overuse.
Growth prompting changes to your muscle tissue is triggered during your workout within two to four hours and continues for up to 24 hours. The length of time muscle growth sustains depends on the training session intensity, duration and trauma caused to the muscle cells.
Essentially, during your workout the muscle cell organelles are subject to slight tears, which activate surrounding muscle cells outside of the muscle fiber. The satellite cells begin to proliferate, or grow and divide, to repair the injury site. Muscle fibers fuse as part of the healing process and then form new myofibrils, or threads of the muscle fiber. Myofibrils increase in density and permit the initially injured muscle fiber to allow in more protein for building muscle mass. This process is called muscle protein synthesis.
Muscle protein synthesis plays a crucial part in completing the growth process of muscles from a singular workout session. Specifically, muscle growth only occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis exceeds the rate of muscle protein breakdown. At the most basic level, this means your workout has to cause efficient muscle tearing through resistance and force to allow existing muscle cell protein to breakdown rapidly. However, muscles can only repair and grow if new protein is introduced to the body during a sufficient window occurring in this cellular process.
A single intense set of high-weight repetitions can prompt muscle growth but you might never see the results if you do not continue engaging in consistent training. As important as the intensity and frequency of your workouts are, equally is the importance of recovery or recuperation time between workouts. Within two hours of your training session, consume a protein-filled snack to prompt muscle protein synthesis. You should also avoid working the same muscle group two days in a row. A day of rest in between muscle groups is adequate for prompting those biceps to grow from pebbles in to big old rocks.
Skeletal muscle such as that you are trying to bulk is extremely resilient and adaptive but this can lead to mass gaining plateaus. Hitting the muscle bulking slump is easily overcome by traumatizing your muscles in a new and different way. Simply boost your weight but lower your reps or change up your routine. Avoid ceasing your training sessions altogether because this can delay the progress from the efforts you have put in and force you to over-train the next time you attempt to replenish your workout.
If you are new to muscle bulking you will likely see relatively rapid muscle growth results. Keep in mind that proper form, consistent training and nutrition are important components of a comprehensive workout. With time persistent efforts lend to quality gains and increased muscular strength.