Which muscles respond better to high repetitions

Hypertrophy: How Muscle Building Really Works

Big muscles and lots of power: Hypertrophy is the goal of most strength athletes. Hypertrophy training promotes muscle building by enlarging the muscle fibers - provided that you train properly.

What is muscle hypertrophy?

To get started, let's first create a solid foundation - before we start with the practical implementation, a definition of hypertrophy: This generally means an excessive growth of tissues and organs due to the enlargement of the cells, especially as a result of increased stress.

You can think of hypertrophy as Growth in thickness Imagine individual muscle fibers: their cross-section increases without the body forming new muscle cells. The prerequisite is that the muscles are used beyond their normal performance level. For you this means: Quietly leave your comfort zone during training, whereby the safe execution and technique of course still have priority.

What happens with hypertrophy?

Without Training stimuli there is no growth - this is especially true for athletes who want to increase their strength. Means: Your muscles must always be slightly overtaxed during training so that they gain volume.

What exactly happens in the body after a set of squats, biceps curls and the like? The overloaded muscle becomes fatigued and small injuries to the muscle fibers, so-called microtraumas, occur. The good thing: Our bodies are extremely forward-looking and efficient.

During the post-workout recovery period, the muscle fibers become through the Storage of new proteins - the building material of the muscles - repairs.

The damage is not simply patched up, but the fibers are additionally strengthened so that the muscles are prepared for new loads of this kind. The body adapts to the training stimuli and muscle growth occurs.

It is crucial that hypertrophy takes place during breaks in training. The regeneration is therefore the be-all and end-all for you. Ours Recovery Aminos with L-glutamine and high-quality BCAAs support you in the best possible way and help you to give full throttle again for your next workout.

Discover our Recovery Aminos

How long does muscle growth take?

Through hypertrophy training, the body first learns to use more muscle fibers than usual. In addition, the so-called iintramuscular coordination, i.e. the interaction of the individual muscle fibers. For example, as soon as you do a push-up, as the training progresses, more and more parts of your biceps and triceps are active at the same time.

The result: The muscle cross-section increases. Of course, this doesn't happen after just one training session. Depending on your previous sporting experience, it takes several weeks for your body to master the exercise techniques and movement patterns and to adapt. So be patient and don't give up. Continuity is a crucial success factor in muscle building training.

As soon as the “learning phase” is over, the desired muscle growth begins. After a few workouts, usually eight to twelve, you will eventually find that you are making less progress. Your muscle building stagnates. Don't worry, this is completely normal.

Once your muscles have got used to a training period, there is no longer any reason for the body to adjust. Now you can, for example, work with more volume, increase your repetitions or vary the pace of the exercises to set new stimuli. In the next step, a new training plan will provide variety and new success.

The greatest influencing factors of hypertrophy

The biggest levers for hypertrophy are exercise and your diet.

In addition to growth stimuli through training and a corresponding high protein and carbohydrate diet there are other factors that influence muscle growth:

Genetics: The composition of muscle fibers

Everyone has two different types muscle fibers, the distribution of which in the body is genetically determined: The red ones (type I) are fatigue-resistant, so they work persistently, but slowly. For example, they are addressed in cadio sports and in endurance training with higher repetitions.

White muscle fibers (type II), on the other hand, are fast and strong. You are challenged when lifting heavy weights or when quick strength is required, for example during sprints or jumping exercises. Those who have more of these type II fibers can more easily build muscle through hypertrophy.

The hormonal balance

When muscles are supposed to grow, they are different Hormones in the game. The hormonal balance depends on age and gender, but also on individual diet and lifestyle.

The male sex hormone testosterone has a strongly anabolic, i.e. muscle-building effect. Because of their higher testosterone levels, adolescents and men can build more muscle faster, easier and more than women.

insulin is a metabolic enzyme that makes cell walls permeable to important macro and micronutrients. These include, for example, essential amino acids that help you get everything out of your training.

Our tip: Ours Energy aminos are the ideal pre-workout drink to give you extra muscle growth.

Your extra booster


Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is an insulin-like hormone. The messenger substance promotes tissue growth in the body and at the same time suppresses muscle breakdown - a win-win situation for hypertrophy.

The stress hormone Cortisol In contrast to testosterone, it is a catabolic, i.e. muscle-breaking hormone. It removes proteins from the muscles and converts them into glucose. What ensured survival thousands of years ago is now inhibiting our muscle building. So try to avoid too much stress if you want to support hypertrophy.

What is the difference between hypertrophy and hyperplasia?

Hypertrophy means that the cross-section of the muscle fibers increases. They gain in volume without the formation of new cells. Hyperplasia, in turn, means that the number of muscle fibers increases. However, this process in muscle building is controversial.

Hyperplasia describes a process in the body in which organs and tissues enlarge due to the multiplication of cells. In strength training, this may occur as soon as the hypertrophic muscles become too large and their cells can no longer be supplied with sufficient oxygen. It would therefore come to Cell division. However, this phenomenon has not yet been proven in humans. When it comes to muscle growth, the majority of experts and sports scientists refer to hypertrophy.

Which training is optimal for building muscle?

Your goal is hypertrophy? Then there is no path to one well structured training plan past.

In general, it makes sense if your plan is based on the seven training principles of exercise control based: Your training load should be strenuous and you should increase yourself at regular intervals. Change the training method every now and then, integrate new exercises into your training and allow yourself enough breaks for regeneration. Plus: Train regularly and continuously.

To support your muscle building, you can also three strategies Use for you: metabolic stress, mechanical tension and muscle damage.

All three mechanisms can be combined in training or you can concentrate on one of them. How? We explain that to you:

Metabolic stress

Have you ever been to the point where your strength just isn't enough for one last push-up? That your muscles burn a lot during training or even after? This is a sign of metabolic stress.

The more repetitions and sets you do, the more your muscles will swell. The blood vessels shrink and less oxygen reaches the muscle fibers. The result: the body produces metabolic by-products such as lactate and creatine - we perceive this as a burning sensation.

Fortunately, the torture is not in vain, because metabolic stress has been shown to have a positive effect on muscle building.

Practical tip: Train with high repetitions (15-20 reps per exercise) at an intensity of 60 to 70 percent of your maximum strength ability.

Mechanical tension

Mechanical tension describes the Resistance by weights. You need to use force to hold the barbell or kettlebell. This in turn irritates the muscle and forces it to adapt.

Practical tip: We recommend low repetitions (8-12 reps per exercise) with a higher intensity of 60 to 80 percent of your maximum strength. Increase the volume of training every time so that you can just manage eight repetitions in the last set.

Muscle damage

Damaging the muscle sounds unhealthy at first. Muscle damage is absolutely in our favor if we want to build muscles. If you lift heavy weights during training or if your muscles are under tension for a long time, microscopic cracks appear in the muscle fibers.

The exciting thing about it: While you regenerate, the body repairs this damage and your muscles grow. The greater the damage, the longer this healing process takes - and the more uncomfortable climbing stairs the next morning becomes.

Practical tip: Train with a lot of volume and low repetitions (6-8 reps per exercise) at an intensity of 65 to 85 percent of your maximum strength. Also, lengthen the eccentric phase, i.e. the pace of lowering the weights.

The greatest possible effect is obtained if you use all of the mechanisms mentioned and integrate them into your training plan.

As soon as the muscles get used to the training stimuli, muscle growth stagnates. It is therefore advisable to adjust your training plan every two to three months - for example with new exercises, more volume and different set, repetition and break patterns.


  • Hypertrophy or muscle hypertrophy is understood to mean the growth in thickness of muscle fibers, i.e. muscle building.
  • The prerequisite for hypertrophy is that the muscles are challenged beyond their usual level of performance during training - e.g. B. by the intensity of the load, the repetitions and the speed of the movements.
  • A well-structured training plan and regular performance increases are the basis for building muscle. Orient yourself to the seven training principles.
  • There are three mechanisms that athletes can harness for hypertrophy: metabolic stress, mechanical tension, and muscle damage.
  • Hypertrophy takes place during breaks in training. Sufficient regeneration is therefore essential if you want to build muscle.
  • Athletes can support muscle hypertrophy by eating a balanced diet rich in protein and carbohydrates, avoiding stress.
At foodspring, we only use high-quality sources and scientific studies that support our statements in articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn how we check facts so that our articles are always correct, reliable and trustworthy.