Max taught me a big word today “Hypertrophy”

29 Jul

I have been doing some research on strength, muscles, atrophy (when your muscles lose strenght) and hypertrophy (when your muscles increase in volume). Mario was talking to me the other day and he mentioned something about muscle atrophy and since I didn’t know much about it I decided to google it, which led me to hypertrophy. Today I was talking to Coach about training and he said he wanted to work on hypertrophy with me because I am light in my weight class and he wants to build some lean muscle. Now am I going to look like the guy above? No, there is a relationship between size and height. I’m not tall so I have a limit to how big I want to be and still be useful. I found this article that really breaks down some of the misconceptions of my sport and building muscle. It also has a lot of good info on hypertrophy and training. Check it out on Here is a portion of it:

Tate Talks Hypertrophy, Part I
An Interview with Dave Tate
by Chris Shugart

“There’s no doubt that Dave Tate knows strength. He’s squatted 935, benched 610, and pulled 740 pounds off the floor. There’s also no doubt that Dave knows how to get big and manipulate his body comp. He’s obtained elite status in four different powerlifting weight classes and he even competed in bodybuilding back in college.

The problem is, no one ever talks to Dave about hypertrophy and bodybuilding. Let’s end that right now. T-Nation sat down recently with him to discuss hypertrophy, bodybuilding, hardcore warehouse gyms, and much more.
Testosterone Nation: Dave, when I first started watching EliteFTS powerlifting videos, I was surprised by how often the term hypertrophy came up. Why is hypertrophy important from a powerlifting point of view?

Dave Tate: Well, you can’t flex bone. When a person wants to get into powerlifting training, a lot of the times hypertrophy is going to be a side effect of the training. A powerlifter needs that mass for several reasons.

There’s always a height to weight ratio when it comes to strength. Regardless of what anyone says, if you’re 6′ 2″ and weigh 165 pounds, you might pull okay but you’re not going to squat worth a shit. You don’t have the thickness or the torso. I’m not saying you have to have a fat torso, but a light lifter like that won’t have the torso support for leverage.

So in that case you need to take that lifter and build him up, and you’re not necessarily going to build anyone up doing dynamic work or max effort work. It still comes down to the three ways to induce muscle tension: the repetition method, the max effort method, and the dynamic method.

Where the miscommunication comes in is when the beginners place all their focus on the max effort and the dynamic methods. They don’t understand the application of the repetition method. From a powerlifter’s standpoint, a bigger muscle is going to be a stronger muscle. While that’s not always the case, it is part of the equation.

It has to be useable mass or relative mass. You don’t want to send somebody into a weight class heavier if they’re just going to be weaker and have bigger muscles. It’s just going to be counterproductive.”

Read Full Article here.

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