Myofibrillar Hypertrophy is a type of muscle development (the other being Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy). With Myofibrillar Hypertrophy, you’re enhancing the actual size of the muscle fiber as more and more myofibrils are added to the tissue. This is actual muscle fibers, unlike Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy in which fluid is added inside the muscle cells.
These myofibrils are able to contract during exertion. The more you have of them, the more power your muscles can summon when they need to actually perform work: lift weights, push something away or pull toward you. This is pure added physical ability, which is why Myofibrillar Hypertrophy is the type of muscle growth powerlifters are aiming for.
This all sounds great and you may be wondering how to train to achieve this (I’ll get to this in a moment) but first you should know that there is also a downside to this type of muscle growth, the fact that this is a sort of undercover growth, in a way.
You see, adding more and more fibers makes your muscles denser but not noticeably bigger. A faster visual muscle growth occurs with the other type of muscle builing, Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. If your main goal is to get bigger muscles as fast as you can, then you need to train for this, not for Myofibrillar Hypertrophy.
However, focusing simply on muscle growth will not just leave you weaker but may also result in an unattractive muscle growth, the bloated and rounded type. Unlike the man in the picture above, working just for rapid growth does not lead to a well defined and sculpted figure. It just makes you bigger, a look that is not as liked by many women.
This is why, once you have enough muscle mass, you want to work to sculpt your muscles, to make them denser and more angular. This is done by focusing on Myofibrillar Hypertrophy.
The type of workouts you need to do to achieve this kind of Hypertrophy are low rep, high weight ones. You can either do sets in the 1 – 3 rep range, using massive weights to build strength, or, if you do want just a little muscle growth, do 3 – 6 reps each set, using small weights of course. You will also need to give yourself a long rest time between sets to allow your muscles to recover as you will be putting a lot of strain on them.
If you’re working for strength alone, this is the type of workouts you want to do. However, if you’re looking for added size, you will need to combine low rep and high rep sets and alternate between them according to your current growth.
So, the next time you see an undersized guy do a low rep sets with a huge weight realize that he isn’t working to become huge. What he is focused on is Myofibrillar Hypertrophy and what he’s accomplishing is an increase in strength and ability, something you should pay attention to as well.
A great workout method which uses Myofibrillar Hypertrophy to help you get tight, toned, and strong muscle is the Visual Impact workout plan. You can learn more about it here: Visual Impact Muscle Building review.