What is hypertrophy training

Hypertrophy training is training with the aim of increasing the volume of the muscles. In humans, such an increase cannot be achieved by increasing the number of cells (hyperplasia), but only by increasing the size of the individual cells (hypertrophy).

How does hypertrophy of the muscle come about?

Like other cells, muscle cells need an incentive to grow. This can, for example, be a growth messenger (e.g. testosterone) or increased stress.
Muscle training leads to hypertrophy in two ways: on the one hand, high stress consumes more energy than can be supplied by the cell's metabolism.
There is a lack of energy and an increase in metabolic products that are formed under stress, for example lactate.
These substances trigger a signaling pathway that primarily expands the elements responsible for providing energy and enables the cell to burn more oxygen.
This mainly increases the endurance performance of the muscles, less the maximum strength and the muscle cross-section.

The direct mechanical load plays a greater role in increasing the muscle cross-section.
Muscle fibers are connected to one another by adhesive elements to prevent the muscle from tearing apart. If these adhesive elements are heavily used or even injured (microtraumas), a signal path is triggered that leads to increased protein production.
Other cells (satellite cells) in the vicinity of the muscle are also integrated into the muscle fibers in order to enable higher protein production. The principle of hypertrophy training is based on using these mechanisms.
First, a training stimulus is set that exceeds the load capacity of the muscles. Degeneration occurs, i.e. an injury to the muscles, followed by regeneration, in which the injured structures are repaired.
The mechanical stimulus leads to supercompensation. In this phase, a training stimulus can restart the process.

Also read: Muscle building - strength training for muscle growth

Prostate hypertrophy

The man's prostate is a gland underneath the urinary bladder that produces some of the sperm fluid. Not only the vas deferens run through the prostate, but also the initial part of the urethra. The prostate is also contained in a tight capsule. If the organ increases in size, the urethra is compressed, making urination more difficult. The increase in size of the prostate occurs in almost all men of older age. The cells of the prostate become both larger (hypertrophy) and more numerous (hyperplasia). The increase in size of the prostate is usually referred to in technical jargon as benign prostatic hyperplasia (benign means that it is a harmless increase in cells - in contrast to prostate cancer).

Symptoms of prostate hypertrophy are delayed urination, weakened urine stream, residual urine sensation and constant urge to urinate without being able to urinate properly. At an advanced stage, the bladder is incompletely emptied with the risk of inflammation and, even later, urine accumulates in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure. (Read more about the Prostate enlargement symptoms)
Prostatic hypertrophy can be treated with two different groups of drugs. Alpha-receptor blockers such as tamsulosin relax the internal bladder sphincter and improve symptoms. 5α-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride prevent the processing of the hormone testosterone and thus weaken the growth stimulus that the hormone exerts on the prostate. At an advanced stage, the prostate can be reduced in size through the urethra mechanically or by means of a laser. Another possible therapy method is the surgical removal of the prostate.

Click here for the article Therapy of prostate enlargement.

Causes of Hypertrophy

Hypertrophy can arise through different mechanisms. Messenger substances (hormones) can trigger hypertrophy. There are a number of growth factors such as "growth hormone" that are released during childhood growth phases and lead to the growth of bones, muscles and other organs. Sex hormones not only lead to the development and growth of primary and secondary sexual characteristics, but also to muscle growth in the case of male sex hormones. The long-term effects of sex hormones lead to prostatic hyperplasia, which is very common among older men.

However, hypertrophy can also result from metabolic and mechanical stimuli. Increased mechanical stress with damage to the cells leads to hypertrophy of the muscles, while endurance exercise leads to hypertrophy of the heart. However, hypertrophy can also be pathological. Some heart diseases are accompanied by hypertrophy as compensation and excessive hypertrophy of the heart due to exercise can lead to a pathological change in the heart. Another example is the hypertrophy of the thyroid gland in Graves' disease, in which the thyroid gland is strongly stimulated and hypertrophied by a malfunction of the immune system.