Over the past few decades, strength training has become increasingly important. But what should be considered during regular weight training, so that the desired training results set? And what is actually going on in our muscles?
Strength training: Relevant in almost all sports
Only a few years ago, the development of strength training focused almost exclusively on competitive sports, especially on typical strength sports. Today, strength training has a rapid development behind it and is part of almost all sports areas. In various sports games now targeted muscle groups are trained to achieve an improvement in the stability of the athlete. Even with injured athletes, the strengthening of the appropriate muscles plays the crucial role during the rehab. To achieve the training goal of gaining strength, some aspects must be considered during the workout.
Repetition rate between 8 and 12 per set
From a physiological point of view, the force can be defined in a relatively simple way: It describes the ability of the muscle to contract and thereby develop changes in length or tensile stresses.
Every movement and every sportive achievement requires a certain amount and a certain kind of strength. No matter which individual goal is behind a strength training, that is, no matter which sport-specific movement sequences are to be improved, the beginning is always the increase in muscle cross-section and the associated increase in maximum force.
It is advisable to start with moderate familiarization training. This is followed by a 6-8 week training block to build muscle in which the intensities should be submaximal between 70 and 80%. The repetition number should be between 8 and 12.
In addition to anthropometric-biomechanical conditions, the strength of an athlete on the one hand by factors of the muscle and tendon system on the other hand, but also determined by neuronal factors. The following describes the physiological effects that occur during hypertrophy training (increase in muscle mass) within the organism.
Hypertrophy training – that happens in the organism
Your muscles are made up of different types of muscle fibers. Since one type of fiber twitches fibers slower than the other in an artificially induced single twitch (twitch), they are used in slow-twitch (ST) fibers (type I fibers) and almost twitch (FT) fibers (type IIa and type IIx Fibers).
Both fiber types have different content of myoglobin (muscle dye). The red/dark ST fibers / Type I fibers are smaller, have a lower contraction rate than the other fiber type, and can exhibit less maximum force.
The white/light FT fibers are bigger and develop more power. If they are type IIx they contract about ten times faster than the slow ST fibers (type I). The Type IIa fibers are still three to five times faster than the sluggish Fastertype.
ST fibers are particularly active in endurance training and less fatigued than FT fibers, which, when present to a high degree, have a positive effect on maximum and high-speed performance.
Increase in strength and muscle surface
The ratio of ST to FT fibers in humans is usually 50:50 and is thought to be genetically determined. Nevertheless, the distribution of fibers seems to vary considerably from birth in individual cases and thus determine the athletic performance.
In the “born” type of sprinter, the high-speed FT fibers would predominate, while the “born” type of endurance would outnumber the perennial slow ST fibers. The proportion of fiber types in the muscle cross-sectional area can be changed by specific training methods.
Although muscle fibers are unable to multiply through cell division, they can gain mass when the existing fibers thicken. With the same irritation, FT fibers respond with increased growth adaptation, ie with an increase in the fiber cross-section and an associated increase in the muscle fiber surface and force, such as ST fibers. But even ST fibers can increase their cross-section and thus their strength, albeit to a lesser extent. These processes are referred to as hypertrophy.
Muscle building through additional myofibrils
Hypertrophy occurs predominantly through the production of additional myofibrils. Stimulated by physical exertion or by a so-called hypertrophy training, signal proteins activate different genes, which cause the increased formation of contractile proteins.
Of course, a rapidly increasing cell volume also requires more cell nuclei to maintain the ratio. Since the cell nuclei can not divide themselves, the organism resorts to so-called satellite cells. If necessary, the cells that attach themselves to the muscle cells merge with their large neighbors and thus support their growth in thickness through “donation”.
One theory is that intensive muscle training produces micro-lesions in the muscle. The satellite cells are said to migrate from these lesions to the injured region and participate in the repair and regeneration of muscle fibers.