The conquest of bigger and leaner muscles has led people to look for the best way to build muscle and train muscle mass.
The research results return things like high intensity resistance training, low load, high volume training , and an assortment of many other popular strength and conditioning programs aimed at promoting muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy is simply muscle growth.
At the cellular level, the mechanisms of skeletal muscle hypertrophy involve a combination of muscle fiber repair and signaling of cellular hypertrophic pathways, which ultimately contribute to greater muscle size [2,3]. An often overlooked modality that may be essential for optimizing muscle hypertrophy is electrical muscle stimulation.
Using Intelligent Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), Gymtech has optimized electrical muscle stimulation technology to promote additional gains in muscle hypertrophy.Interestingly, muscle hypertrophy is not part of muscular fitness. Muscular form includes three factors: endurance, strength and power . Muscular endurance is the muscle's ability to withstand repeated contractions over a period of time . Muscle strength is the ability of the muscle to contract powerfully and quickly . Finally, muscle power is simply the generation of force by the skeletal muscle . Although not part of muscle fitness, it is generally accepted that larger muscles are generally stronger muscles , making muscle size an important part of muscle quality. Muscle quality quantifies the relationship between skeletal muscle strength and muscle mass .
A decrease in muscle size can lead to an even greater decrease in muscle strength, resulting in poor muscle quality, resulting in decreased physical function and premature death .
Gymtech's NMES technology may be the key to maximizing muscle hypertrophy. Through technological advances, Gymtech's ingenuity has revolutionized the previously archaic modality apparatus of electrical muscle stimulation. What used to be clunky machines, tangled wires, and unknown program settings are now controlled via bluetooth via an app on a phone or tablet with several scientifically designed preset programs. Gymtech's innovation delivers the highest standards of performance.
Muscle stimulation devices have been ignored when it comes to promoting muscle hypertrophy. These devices are generally seen for recovery or perhaps to increase strength. Electrical stimulation is arguably the most important piece of technology when it comes to promoting muscle hypertrophy. Electrical muscle stimulation regulates the major signaling pathways for anabolic hypertrophy and, by stimulating both types of muscle fibers (Type I and Type II), maximizes hypertrophic adaptations more than other strength and conditioning protocols alone [8,9 ]. If the goal is to promote muscle hypertrophy, Gymtech technology is essential and should be implemented in all training programs.
Physiological mechanisms of muscle hypertrophyMuscle is a post-mitotic tissue. This means that skeletal muscle fibers (muscle cells) do not undergo mitosis (cell division) after fetal development is complete . Mitosis is the process of cell division and cell replication. Essentially replacing old worn out cells with new and improved cells. However, muscle cells do not undergo mitosis (thus post-mitotic), so having an effective way to repair muscle cells is essential to prevent muscle cell death. This helps maintain and/or increase skeletal muscle mass .
Resistance training for hypertrophy can lead to muscle damage that ultimately requires repair of damaged muscle tissue. Although the results suggest that hypertrophy may be possible without muscle damage , exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) may be the most effective way to increase skeletal muscle hypertrophy. As mentioned earlier, a combination of muscle fiber repair and activation of cellular hypertrophic signaling pathways consequently leads to muscle growth. In EIMD, muscle hypertrophy is increased due to a progressive accumulation of muscle protein through the upregulation of the IGF-1 system, the release of inflammatory agents and the activation of satellite cells .
During and after exercise, IGF-1 levels increase as growth hormones are released. IGF-1 is a hormone that is upregulated with skeletal muscle contraction and stimulates myogenic hypertrophy signaling pathways (i.e. PI3K/mTOR and MAPK) that promote muscle protein synthesis . Protein synthesis is the process of making proteins... and it is these proteins that perform the functions of the cell. When this happens, the body makes more skeletal muscle protein, and the more protein there is in the cell, the bigger the muscle cell becomes. Now, with cellular stress, such as mechanical stress applied to the muscle during exercise, the PI3K/mTOR and MAPK pathways will activate downstream agents that increase muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle cell growth and differentiation. . By increasing the size of each cell, the entire muscle as a whole will show an increase in cross-sectional area.
The consequences of a grueling training session result in damage to the skeletal muscles (EIMD). As a result of the damage, the cell has to repair itself, and any repair process begins with inflammation. The first at the site of damage are macrophages and neutrophils. Both are phagolytic cells that clean up cell debris in the damaged area. Macrophages release cytokines (proteins involved in cell signaling) which contribute significantly to the hypertrophic response [11,12]. Neutrophils can enhance the hypertrophic effect through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS usually have negative connotations, but ROS can promote hypertrophic effects by increasing MAPK activation through enhanced IGF-1 signaling [13,14].
Finally, muscle hypertrophy is thought to be mediated by the activity of satellite cells. Satellite cells are myogenic stem cells that reside in skeletal muscle and remain inactive until sufficient stress is applied to the skeletal muscle ... such as during intense muscle contractions [15,16,17]. Once activated, satellite cells fuse with existing damaged muscle cells and repair damaged tissue . It is also important to note that satellite cells also express several myogenic regulatory factors , and it is this combination that aids in muscle repair, regeneration and growth.
Exercise-induced muscle hypertrophy
When designing a strength and conditioning program, or muscle growth training plan, it is important to keep three things in mind: training sequence, load / intensity, and volume. The training sequence, focused on the correct sequence of muscle training groups, is important because not only are there physiological benefits, but there is also a safety component. Exercise intensity and volume are hot topics and it is believed that high intensity resistance training is needed to optimize hypertrophy. However, new research suggests that low-intensity or low-impact training can stimulate similar or even greater hypertrophic results . While this low impact workout may be ideal for maximizing hypertrophy while reducing stress on the joints, a greater volume of training may be required. The order, intensity, and volume of exercises are fundamental to developing a quality resistance training program.
The goals of a training program will affect the intensity and volume of the training period. Remember, higher intensity = high weight, high volume = high reps. Interestingly, the results indicate that both high-intensity and low-intensity high-volume resistance training causes a similar and significant increase in muscle hypertrophy . This shows that volume may be the main driver of muscle growth . This goes back to the sequence of exercises, as doing the barbell back squat first in a training session allowed you to complete more total reps (eg. more volume) .
However, it may be possible to lift even lighter (low intensity) with fewer repetitions (lower volume) and still produce significant improvements in muscle hypertrophy. Restriction of blood flow training (BFR) is a form of low-load resistance training that involves closing the arteries to restrict blood flow to the skeletal muscle. This is generally performed at a maximum intensity of around 30% and the training volume remains the same . The use of lower loads reduces the amount of stress placed on the joints of the body, stimulating hypertrophic adaptations and muscle growth comparable to high intensity training . Gymtech Smart NMES optimizes muscle growth
While exercise order, intensity, and volume are important in maximizing muscle hypertrophy, Gymtech NMES technology has the ability to further amplify hypertrophic effects through training. The NMES is generally used to focus on strength gains.
By stimulating one leg with the NMES for 6 weeks of training and using the other leg as a control, the researchers showed that the leg receiving the NMES increased in strength by 24% and the control leg by only 10% . . Electrical muscle stimulation has also been shown to increase an elite lifter's front squat by 20 kg in one week . Most remarkable about this case study, however, was that NMES resulted in an increase in muscle fiber size (i.e. muscle hypertrophy) .
NMES takes a “non-selective approach” and activates both types of fibers simultaneously  and there are several ways to use Gymtech Smart NMES technology to increase muscle mass. Although there is a dose-response relationship between NMES intensity and hypertrophy, even low-intensity NMES has been shown to increase muscle fiber cross-sectional area . By implementing NMES, researchers have demonstrated an increase in muscle cross-section of up to 11% . The cause of increased muscle size and strength may be due to both low and high frequency NMES upregulating the important hypertrophic anabolic signaling pathways mentioned earlier . This becomes clear when NMES is used in conjunction with BFR training. Low-intensity NMES-BFR induced greater muscle hypertrophy compared to NMES and BFR alone through upregulation of mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways [28,29].
Gymtech now makes it easier than ever to build muscle at home with any home workout. Typical NMES resistance exercises are performed under isometric conditions, which is a recommended starting point. Thus, when using a hypertrophy protocol, the user must "tense" the muscles on which the pads are placed with any electrical stimulus. Over time, during the eccentric / concentric phases of an exercise, users can switch to using electrical stimulation and possibly switch to both eccentric / concentric phases. Adding NMES as a separate session in combination with other resistance training programs adds extra volume and optimizes hypertrophic gains. Try the Gymtech S1 and get the most out of your workout.
90-day at-home trial. 100% refundable.