The notion of hypertrophy comes from the scientific Latin hypertrophia and refers to the excessive growth of something . The concept is often used in the field of medicine and biology to refer to the exaggerated increase in the size of an organ .
The muscular hypertrophy , in this context, is increasing the size of the muscles . It may be a transient hypertrophy (generated when, after a workout, the muscle swells for a short period) or chronic hypertrophy (that extends over time).
In bodybuilding , muscle hypertrophy is one of the goals that the athlete pursues. The bodybuilder uses various series of exercises and techniques to make his muscle tissue grow.
In this context, it is said that there are many factors that must be combined to give rise to muscle hypertrophy; Among them are the following: intracellular fluid, inflammatory processes, fibers of various types, hormones, genes, reproduction of satellite cells, myostatin. Although the way to achieve this phenomenon is not publicly known, apart from the many unknowns there are also well-defined concepts. Summarizing all the information to its minimum exponent, we arrive at the two fundamental points of muscular hypertrophy:
* mechanical tension : the only way to strengthen a muscle is to force it to overcome a resistance through the application of a force, and this is called mechanical tension ;
* metabolic stress : in order to make this force effective, a certain amount of cellular stress is also necessary . Certain factors can help regulate hypertrophy partially; among them we find the lack of oxygen (which is called hypoxia ), myokines, lactate accumulation, free radicals or inflammation. For this reason, some techniques such as occlusion training serve to reduce the amount of mechanical strain necessary for the same degree of hypertrophy.
Although experts have managed to define these two fundamental concepts for muscle hypertrophy, their application in practice is very complex, because it is not so easy to determine the relationship between them. On the one hand, it is correct to say that it is direct, since without mechanical tension it is not possible to generate metabolic stress. However, it can also seem to be the opposite since an excess of mechanical tension (which approaches the maximum level of the individual) can considerably reduce the number of repetitions per session and, consequently, the degree of metabolic stress.
Training the force produces new myofibrils (the contractile units) and widens the old ones, giving rise to a muscle of greater proportions and resistance. This is known as myofibrillar hypertrophy , and serves to understand the development of muscles in greater depth. This type of exercise also expands the sarcoplasm, a liquid that is found inside the muscle fibers, and that is why we can talk about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy to focus on the specific phenomena that include it.
It is important to note that muscle hypertrophy involves muscle cells growing but not dividing. The hyperplasia , however, an increase of the size of a tissue or organ by an increase in the number of cells, caused in turn by a process of cell division.
The ventricular hypertrophy , moreover, is a disorder characterized by the growth of the thickness of the myocardium wall forming the right or left ventricle. This condition can be caused by valve failure, hypertrophic heart disease, or high blood pressure , among other ills.
The virginal hypertrophy of the breast or juvenile gigantomastia , finally, is an infrequent imbalance that causes excessive and even disabling enlargement of the breasts at puberty. The only possible treatment to reverse this hypertrophy is surgical intervention (mammoplasty).