If you have ever trained specifically to increase the amount of muscle that you carry on your body then you will know very well all about the big three. That is squats, deadlifts and bench-press it is these big three compound movements that will get you muscle on your body. Muscle gain by means of Myofibrillar Hypertrophy and Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy.
But the problem with too much concentration on the big three lifts can lead an over bulky muscular look that may not be desired. This of course depends on your own specific genetics but more than likely this will be the effect when you get the gains you are seeking.
Even if you have a large muscle gain you may be disappointed with the resulting look if you do not add the muscle to the right areas. If you are performing the same lifts over and over you may end up with a more round or curved instead of sharp, chiseled body.
The simple way to solve this problem is to learn the differences of myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic training methods.
The term myofibrillar hypertrophy is defined as growth of the muscle fibers. It is the strengthening factor that affects the muscle contractions. On the other hand sarcoplasmic growth is what gives your muscles their volume. So to simplify sarcoplasmic growth makes your muscles larger and round and myofibrillar hypertrophy is what makes them lean and angular.
So it can be argued that too high of an emphasis will create smaller more dense looking muscles. Without a balance of both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic growth or you could end up with an oversized or undersized physique.
The secret is to find the correct mix of these two different types of training. When you train heavy and use reps less that 5 or 3 to reach your max then you are myofibrillar training for muscle density. On the plus side you will be getting density and angular muscles from this type of training.
On the negative side you will get a slow increase in the actual size of the muscle and the muscle could be flat and not stand out. So it is a very good idea to include training for size which pumps the muscle full of nutrients and gets you that “pump” effect.
This is Sarcoplasmic training and is done in a rep range of between 6 to 15 reps to get the quickest increase in size. One the plus side you will be getting a fast increase in muscle size and see the difference. But on the negative side you could get that soft rounded “puffy” look when concentrating too much on rep range.
The point is that you need to select a combination of these factors in order to get the best of both these very effective ways of training your muscles. It goes without saying that everyone has a different genetic starting point so you need to judge and adjust these two different