We all know about hitting the gym, lifting some weights and gaining some muscle. Throw in some progressive overload and you’re golden. But what actually causes hypertrophy (muscle growth)? Well, to answer this question, we first need to know, what is mechanical tension for hypertrophy?
What Is It?
We know that when we lift weight, our muscles face a certain amount of resistance. This resistance is being moved by individual muscle fibres within a specific muscle group. The forces that these muscle fibres must produce to move the resistance we are facing them against, is what creates mechanical tension on the muscle.
This mechanical tension is actually being placed on the individual muscle fibres. When these muscle fibres are fatigued to a certain extent, they signal for an increase in muscle protein synthesis through different signalling pathways.
It is the tension that our muscle fibres place on themselves (done by moving a resistance) that is the stimulus and primary driver for muscle growth. The muscle growth comes from increasing the size of our muscle fibres through a greater protein content within them. This greater protein content comes from an increased rate of muscle protein synthesis when we consistently train.
What To Gather?
This article will be a lot shorter than I anticipated, haha. The thing to take away is that mechanical tension is the tension that our muscle fibres place on themselves from the force they must produce to move the resistance we place on them.
This tension then signals for an increase in muscle protein synthesis through different signalling pathways. This increase in muscle protein synthesis through consistent training is what allows us to retain and grow muscle!
Welp… that’s the article everyone! I hope you have enjoyed it and it has been able to answer your question of, what is mechanical tension for hypertrophy?
Chris Beardsley has a ton of great information on this topic and he is where I learned about this. You can check him out on Instagram @chrisbeardsley or medium.com by clicking here: Chris Beardsley
If you’ve got any questions, leave them below where I will be sure to respond! Thanks for reading everyone and take care!
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Until Next Time,
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