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Should I Care About Different Types of Hypertrophy?


Well? Should I?

What I mean is, I train in a fairly similar way to Wendler's 5/3/1: I basically ramp up heavy sets of low reps on my compounds, and go for a 5RM one week, 3RM the next and a 1rm (or 2RM or slightly heavier 3RM depending on how I feel) the week after, with a deload week on the 4th week.

Thing is the heavy compounds cause me the common problem of not adding mass in the places I necessarilly want it. Presses do NOTHING for my arms and squats do NOTHING for my quads. The majority of my strength comes from compounds, but the majority of my GROWTH comes from high rep isolation stuff, most notably curls/extensions, flies and leteral raises.

But should I care about the whole sarcoplasmic vs. myofibrillar (sp?) thing? The reason I ask is because how i understand it is that sarc. hypertrophy is just an increase in fluid in the muscle, and you can actually lose the size quite easily (read that on DeFranco's site i think). The myo. hypertrophy is all about getting stronger, but if I increase my 10RM, haven't I just got stronger despite it being in the sarc. rep range? Personally if I was to try and get bigger using just low reps it'd be a hundred years before I added 10lbs, but I don't want to think I can lose the size I worked so hard for in a matter of seconds...

All thoughts/opinions are appreciated


I was corrected on this recently by mr popular. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy cannot be produced independently. Strength and size are not entirely separate. That being said, doing just heavy rows won't give you Arnold's biceps, you will need to curl. If you find the squats =/= quads for you, maybe try a different variation/volume scheme or leg presses (seem to work for taller guys).


thank you for the reply, pretty much confirmed what i already thought. What do you reckon to the idea that sarc. hyp. would atrophy faster than myo. hyp.?

Not that I plan to stop lifting weights long enough to atrophy, but you know, just brainstorming...


Why worry about this then?


Use the search function. No one will post in these threads because these questions have been answered in 5+ page threads a half dozen times already


just because I don't plan it doesn't mean it won't happen. Who knows what tomorrow brings eh?

It's really just a topic that interests me though. I don't like the idea of basically just being a human waterbed, but I don't really buy into the idea that the two types are all that different.


you're not wrong about that, I actually found a whole host of stuff that basically confirmed what i thought. And some feel VERY strongly on the subject.

I wonder why so many coaches make such a big deal about it


Why wouldn't they?

For one thing, it sells their ideas.

For another, it can quench the jealousy that is so often rampant in both coaches and novices if they have justification in thinking all those guys that look better than them are just bloated sacks of sarcoplasm.

It's only a slightly more sophisticated version of the old myth that big guys are automatically dumb.


As far as training for hypertrophy goes, this article does a good job of explaining my attitude on the subject:


This is as "complicated" as I think it ever has to get. Force yourself to become stronger in a moderate rep range. That's really it.


Interesting article, thanks for that