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Building Muscle With Hypertrophy
March 30, 2021

Building Muscle With Hypertrophy

As women, you might feel the need to constantly shrink yourself. You’ll convince yourself that shedding another 10-15 pounds will make you happier; that buying clothes 2-3 sizes too small will keep you motivated. But when did being, “fit,” become synonymous with being, “small?” Have we tricked ourselves into believing being fit only comes in one shape or size?


Hypertrophy based training consists of moderate repetitions between 6-12 reps. Similar to strength training, you want to lift as heavy as possible without sacrificing your form. For example, if you’re completing 3 sets of 12, you want to work with a weight heavy enough that you cannot exceed 12 reps, but not so heavy that you cannot complete 12 reps.


The short answer is—stress. Hypertrophy training is about increasing stress and tension on your muscles to promote overall growth in lean muscle mass. With this training you might experience more soreness than usual—that’s because hypertrophy training is the act of creating microtears in your muscles to increase the size of the individual muscle fibers. The result is increased muscle mass and a toned appearance. And the beauty of hypertrophy? It’s known for its high caloric expenditure so you can build bigger muscles while losing weight at the same time. That’s a win-win in our book!


The idea that strength training of any kind will make you, “too bulky,” may scare a lot of women. The truth is, building that kind of muscle takes a long time, and a lot of calories, too. Lifting heavier weights can help you build strength and lean muscle mass but you’re not going to suddenly wake up one day looking like a bodybuilder after starting a hypertrophy program. Weight lifting is part of a well rounded fitness regimen that will actually help you burn more calories than you would just hopping on the treadmill 5 times a week.


The rest in between sets is critical to truly getting the hypertrophy response. We recommend slowing down your movements and increasing the time under tension during your sets. Think about counting to 3 each time you are, "lowering a weight," and focus on your mind to muscle contraction. Rest for 60-90 seconds before starting the next set to give your body time to recover and prepare. Too little rest between sets will result in increased muscular endurance but will fatigue your muscles and prevent you from lifting that challenging weight.


Looking to get started with hypertrophy based training? Regardless of your current fitness level, Sesh challenges will meet you where you are and push you even further than you could ever imagine. Stay tuned for details on the next Sesh challenge.