International Baccalareaute Extended Essay: Sports Science: Muscular Hypertrophy

Hey guys,

Im currently doing a high school programme called the IB, basically doing Uni work in years 12 and 13 and i decided to do my extended essay in Sports science which the topic consists of Myofibrilar hypertrophy vs sarcoplasmic hypertrophy however i have two choices which i want to do but dont know which one would be best to write 3500 words for and get a good grade.

1)Is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy most beneficial to a rugby player looking to increase muscular strength to enhance performance rather than myofibrilar hypertrophy?

2)Is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy most benefical to high performance athletes looking to increase their maximal strength in compound exercises rather than myofibrilar hypertrophy

1)main argument: That its not more beneficial, same arugment basically as number 2 and that the compound exercises are more relatable to actual rugby actions such as squat and deadlifts transfer onto the pitch musch better.
counter argument: that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy allows better performance as rugby players need to build alot of muscle to protect themselve and get stronger and outsize opponents because if their was a 180 pound who can bench over 300 pounds vs a 275 pounder that benches 225 the 275 pounder will most likely win the contact situation.

  1. main argument: consists that ofc myofibirlar hypertrophy is best way to increase maximal hypertrophy as to stimulate it you have to lift heavy and between reps 1-6.
    counter argument: that sarcoplasmic allows an increase in muscle mass meaning theirs more potential for the muscle to grow in strength which can then lead to increase maximal strength and that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy can strengthen smaller muscles such as forearms (wrist curls) cause you wouldnt go very heavy on those movements.

If you have any ideas or criticisms please dont hesistate to say as this is really important to me and my final grade and university!

thank you

Is training in a variety of rep ranges not an option for this hypothetical athlete?

Are you and your instructor aware that the adaptations you must choose between do not take place independently of each other?

I don’t mean to be rude, but your writing is not very good. Not even by internet forum standards. I would strongly encourage you to work on developing your written communication skills. It will surely help you achieve better grades and it will serve you well in many areas of your life.

Good luck to you on your assignment and your academic pursuits!

Thank you for your reply! Means a lot.

I am not actually conductiing any experiments. I am just using articles and primary evidence from interviewing rugby players (only for the rugby question) and articles and studies for both.

That’s not rude, dont worry. Its an opinion and I appreciate it. I understand my writting might not be the best, im not the most academically gifted person so i am sorry for that.

It would probably be good to talk with some team s&c coaches to get an understanding of their training philosophies and applications.

Could also be good for future field experience if you make a good impression.

on this forum? or where? Ive tried to contact many but they just dont seem to really care…

In real life. At a local college or what ever your equivalent to a high school is. Start with the coaches at your school. If they can’t help you, ask if they know someone who can.

Brad Schoenfeld’s (might not be how you spell it) writings would probably be of interest to you if you’ve not seen them already

How scientifically rigorous is your argument expected to be? Does it have to be an argumentative essay?

I ask because as far as I have read, science does NOT support this idea that training in the 1-6 rep range causes mostly myofibrillar hypertrophy and and training in the 6-12 rep range causes mostly sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. When hypertrophy occurs it affects both structures within the muscle simultaneously

If you can’t reference literature that clearly concludes that low reps = myofibrillar hypertrophy and high reps = sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, your argument will fall apart

my college doesnt really have a sports programme and neither do any of other local colleges we dont have any coaches.

I will have a look thank you very much

its just an essay really. From the IB its mandatory to do an extended essay of 4000 words, if you dont do one you fail. of course i will show have a counterargument. but my main focus of my essay is that “is sarcoplasmic hypertrophy most beneficial to a rugby player looking to increase muscular strength to enhance performance rather than myofibrilar hypertrophy?” so i will be looking at which is more beneficial for muscular strength for a rugby player.

You’re fucking kidding me.

You want to do a report using the internet and you want us to source it for you.

1 Like

No, my sources consist of books from the library articles on the internet. not asking anyone anything. main thing i was asking for was jsut their insight on the questions above

It really pisses me off when I see people posting stuff online asking for “what report should I do” or “what should my project be”. God damn Im 26 and I think kids today are so dependent and dumb. Is it really that hard to just pick something you find interesting and do your best job?

That’s how we almost got Bernie Sanders :pokerface:

Im only asking for their views so it broadens mine. I am very interested in the two topics, and I currently am doing my best job at it. Thank you

You know what the doctor said in group therapy: visualize a peaceful place in your mind and let the anger drift away.

Hi Peter,

I happen to be an IB biology teacher and I think I can give you some direction for you extended essay.

First off, I commend you on reaching out for help developing your question and the way you handled the negative comments left by other users on this thread. There is no shame in soliciting help, especially when you are in the early phases of research.

To all those who left negative or belittling comments, good job! You attempted to internet shame a teenager seeking more (general) information on a topic that they are genuinely curious about. Nothing like a group shame to demolish any shred of intellectualism that managed to survive our educational system.

As to you Peter, no one is born as a gifted academic person. It is true that some academic pursuits come easier to some than others, but in order to excel at anything one must put time and practice. The more you write (and solicit feedback on effective writing), the better a writer you will become. I am sure once you complete your extended essay, you will be a better writer and researcher than when you began.

Anyways, on to your extended essay! In terms of the two question you put forth, the second one offers a more clear link to how most research is currently done and offers fewer compounding variables (performance in rugby is a very amorphous term). However, it’s important to keep in mind that part of the EE marking scheme is personal interest, so make sure you are able to make that connection with whichever question you choose.

The other posters were correct in that there is little to no peer reviewed research (that I have seen) to suggest that you can train for one type of hypertrophy versus the other. Your question(s) require some revising in order for you to make an effective argument supported by research based evidence.

I think you should dive a little deeper into the research on this topic before you settle on comparing the two types of hypertrophy in this manner. I admit to being unfamiliar with this topic, however a quick glance at the wikipedia page yields a suspicious lack on citations around your questions. (To the forum bandits, no I am not advocating using wikipedia as a source, however it is an excellent place to find links to primary sources and research or lack thereof.)

As I see it you have two options:

  1. Change your focus and do a research review on the very idea of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy versus myofibrilar hypertrophy. IE: To what extent can an athlete train for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy versus myofibrilar hypertrophy?

  2. Change your focus to some other aspect of training to improve performance in rugby or compound lifts. It seems like you might have been thinking about training in different rep ranges and their effect of athletic performance. There is a plethora or research on this topic, so if you choose this route, make sure you have a very focused and specific question.

My number one piece of advice is make sure you do your homework when it comes to research. A paper such as the extended essay should not just be summarizing and regurgitating a bunch of existing research. It should be a synthesis of a wide variety of research that comes to a novel conclusion answering your initial research question.

You seem to be off to a good start and I once again commend you for choosing a complex and interesting topic. Feel free to send me any more questions you have or if you want me to look at any of your drafts.

For other forum readers who want to share the insight: The extended essay is a capstone or thesis essay that is supposed to be a college level research paper. It should feature a polished, specific research question and use a wide variety of peer reviewed sources.

It cracks me up that we now have 26 year olds essentially saying “The kids these days…”

Many thanks for your response! I have taken into account everything you have mentioned and have followed it. I have found over 40 sources and my EE supervisor seems to be fine with my work so far, however I will discuss with her about the point you mentioned about the two possible questions. Thank you so much for your insight into my question and for your amazing feedback!

Have a great day!