HYPERTROPHY: Are you doing the correct training for athletic development?
We recently supplied Kinetica product to Rob Palmer Strength and Conditioning coach at London Irish and Internationally ranked GB Power Lifter – he is in a unique position to explain how different types of muscle profile are relevant for different sports….
“In all sports it is imperative to achieve your optimal body mass for success, there is a common theme through all sports, top sprinters will weigh around 80-85kg . Look at the last crop of world record holders over 100m, Ben Johnson (81kg), Donovan Bailey (82kg), Maurice Greene (82kg), Asafa Powell (85kg). (Usain Bolt at 6’5” is the odd one out at 93kg).
In rugby looking through the positions there is a general trend through the elite, Props (120kg), Hookers (110kg), Locks (115kg), Back Row (110-115kg), Half Backs (75-90kg), Centres (100kg), Back 3 (85-95kg).
Optimal body mass is not the only answer to being an elite performer but it does play a role, and before anyone gets carried away with the workouts from traditional bodybuilding magazines to achieve their optimal body mass it is important to understand that there are different types of hypertrophy. One can give you the desired figure in a short space of time but is essentially useless for athletic performance, the other will take longer but will improve performance by targeting actual muscle tissue thus improving power-weight ratios and relative strength.
The two types of hypertrophy as defined by Zatziorsky are;
Sorcoplasmic – hypertrophy of muscle fibers is characterized by the growth of the sarcoplasm (fluid within the muscle cell) and non-contractile proteins that do not directly contribute to the production of force.
It is the bodybuilders dream hypertrophy, you will get a decrease in the density of the muscle filament but a corresponding increase in cross sectional area of the muscle fibres.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy on the other hand is an enlargement of the muscle fibre as it gains more myofibrils and correspondingly more actin and myosin filaments. Also contractile proteins are synthesized and filament density increases leading to an increase in muscular strength and force production.
As stated earlier in the article it is easier to obtain sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, the type of training is less mentally demanding, you would have to work in the 8-15 rep range with short rest periods and it is also affected more acutely by diet and supplementation. The use of a high carbohydrate diet will ultimately cause more glycogen storage and draw water into the muscle cell as will the use of creatine, giving the impression of increased muscle density but in essence it is artificial and useless for athletic performance.
Myofibrillar hypertrophy will take longer to achieve, as it will require an adaptation response from the body to grow and restructure muscle tissue. Instead of weeks it will more likely be months before you achieve your optimal body mass.
Below is a sample program that will help stimulate the right kind of hypertrophy for athletic performance.”
|BACK SQUAT||3||5-8||3-5 MINS|
|BENCH PRESS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|WEIGHTED PULLUPS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|BB SPLIT SQUATS||2||5-8 EL||2-3 MINS|
|POWER CLEAN||3||2-3||5 MINS|
|INCLINE PRESS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|SA DB ROW||3||5-8 EA||2-3 MINS|
|LEG PRESS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|MILITARY PRESS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|WEIGHTED CHINS||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|GLUTE HAM RAISES||3||5-8||2-3 MINS|
|EZ CURLS||2||5-8||2 MINS|
|DB SKULL CRUSHERS||2||5-8||2 MINS|