In this article I want to shortly tell you about one of the two types of muscle development or growth: Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy (the other being Myofibrillar Hypertrophy). It’s important that you come to know these two types of muscle growth as the way you train will determine which of these will dominate your development.
What is Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy? This is the kind of muscle development that leads to vast and quick increases in muscle size. Sounds good, right? Who doesn’t want to have bigger muscles?
But wait, this kind of muscle growth can be misleading. The reason is that this type of muscle growth is made up more of fluid than of real growth in muscle fibers. You see, when you train in a certain way, which I’ll get to in this article, you’re incresing the amount of sarcoplasm withing your muscle tissue. The sarcoplasm is a fluid which is found within your muscle cells. When you have more of this fluid, your muscles get bigger, simply because they’re now fuller.
However, Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy doesn’t equate to greater strength or physical ability. As your strength is dependant on the amount and density of the actual muscle fibers within your tissue, adding more and more muscle fluids simply doesn’t help you to get any stronger. It can help you look bigger, but your physical abilities will not improve. In fact, if you judge your ability by bodyweight exercise criteria, it may even get worse. Try doing pull-ups with all this added Sarcoplasm and you’ll see what I mean.
Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is achieved mostly as a result of higher rep type training. Bodybuilders who mostly train in the 10 – 15 rep range do so because they know that this kind of training will lead to quick and massive increases in size. As these bodybuilders are judged by look and not by physical ability, this is what they want to achieve.
The question is, do you?
There is even a risk that too much Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy will give you the kind of look you may not want to have. Have you ever seen guys who look puffed up but have a softer and rounded look? They’re not defined, or chiseled, or hard. They have big muscles but it doesn’t look all that good. This is the result of too much high rep training, a focus on muscle size at the expense of muscular density and actual ability.
An interesting muscle building program called Visual Impact Muscle Building, actually teaches you how to combine this type of muscle growth along with the strength oriented Myofibrillar Hypertrophy to create the kind of body Hollywood stars have: not too bloated, not scrawny either, but a well defined and sculpted muscular look. You see, Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy, has it’s place as you do need to add muscle size to look fit. However, it needs to be done in a smart way to avoid overdoing it and getting oversized muscles which many women hardly find appealing and which make you look worse, instead of better. You can read more about how to avoid this here: Visual Impact Muscle Building Review.