So far in this series we have seen that time under tension and fatigue are likely the two most important factors to consider in order to illicit an adaptive response that favors hypertrophy. When trying to delve deeper into what it is that makes muscles grow bigger I began dissecting this review article in an attempt to see if there were other conditions at work that needed to be considered.
The last time we got together we looked at the suggested effect that mechanical tension has on a muscle. This to me is another way of wording time under tension. Or specifically, tension. Without the muscle being placed under significant tension through a full range of motion and for a long enough time, there will not be a strong enough message sent to stress that muscle growth needs to occur. The second thing I said, a full range of motion is what has been added up to this point in the conversation. Essentially, time under tension is mechanical tension that is placed on the muscle for a period of time. The greater the tension and time that the muscle is under the greater the adaptive response. Add to that the muscle must be under enough tension for long enough and through a full range of motion and I feel like we are getting somewhere in truly defining adaptive muscular hypertrophy.
As I stated in the first part of this series, the desire to grow muscle is insatiable and the sharing of ideas and hypotheses is also never-ending. What I am trying to do is to piece together the best bits of information that I have come across and see what, if anything, can be added to what we already know.
Originally I was going to elaborate on metabolic stress, but I feel that is better left until next time we meet. Up to this point I feel it was necessary to summarize our progress to date and believe that by adding a full range of motion to the equation of time under tension and enough mechanical tension during that time and we have a very solid foundation for building muscle mass. Remember that the next time you are in the gym. Choose a weight that is heavy enough to stress your muscles, but not so heavy that you can’t do the exercise through its full range for a long enough time to totally fatigue the muscles being worked. Until next time my friends,