What is the limit of muscular hypertrophy?

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    What is the limit of muscular hypertrophy?


    So I was wondering, how large can a cell get before it can no longer get any bigger? Does it have a limit? Or can it just keep getting bigger?

    When you break down muscle tissues while working out, it repairs by forming more amino acids within the cell, correct? And when someone increases their testosterone synthetically, does it just basically allow for the hypertrophy to take place at an accelerated rate? Or does it also signal the cells size to increase its threshold? Also, how much hyperplasia takes place with the use of testosterone?

    Thank you

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    There is a genetic limit. Skeletal muscle hypertrophy occurs from resistive exercise causing a cascade of events leading to gene expression particularly those of the myosin heavy chain and light chain proteins, actin protein and other structural and regulatory proteins. This creates the addition of myofilaments leading to an increase in cross-sectional area. Protein synthesis is also directly proportional to the rate of amino acid uptake. Testosterone directly influences protein synthesis. There is limited evidence to suggest hyperplasia occurs in humans.
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    Russy, can you give both sides to the story as to whether hyperplasia occurs or not? I'm coming from a standpoint of curiosity and not challenging anything in your last post.
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    It simply means that most studies relating to skeletal muscle hyperplasia (from injury, disease, training, etc) were conducted with animals (rats, cats, dogs, etc) and not very many using human subjects. A strong conclusion can't be assessed from a limited number.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    It simply means that most studies relating to skeletal muscle hyperplasia (from injury, disease, training, etc) were conducted with animals (rats, cats, dogs, etc) and not very many using human subjects. A strong conclusion can't be assessed from a limited number.
    Right on. I was sort of thinking maybe you had a study that suggested that hyperplasia doesn't occur in humans. So, it's just more a lack of evidence that it does occur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Right on. I was sort of thinking maybe you had a study that suggested that hyperplasia doesn't occur in humans. So, it's just more a lack of evidence that it does occur.
    Correct. A lack of evidence to suggest it occurs in a wide enough sample which would be indicative of a bigger population in healthy individuals. And, there are also the confounds such as age, gender, race, environment, training adaptations, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by castro10 View Post
    Well done Russy_russ! Adaptations as mentioned in one of my Exercise Physiology Course from resistance training occurs when there is an increase in the quantity of contractile proteins (more cross bridges). The process in which a muscle in broken down into comes from a muscle to fascicles to muscle fiber then to myofiber to myofilaments which breaks down into actin and myosin (types of proteins). This process has the z lines and titin split which creates more room for contractile protein. Force is often referred by velocity relationship of faster muscle; adaptations include increase in speed of contractions= stronger more cross bridges and nervous system & faster-faster cross bridge kinetics. Thanks for helping freshen up on my physiology Russy_russ!
    Semi-correct, just clarifying a few key points:

    Z-Disks do not split during skeletal muscle hypertrophy-they enlarge in diameter as well. The Z-Disks contain many proteins such as desmin, synemin, vimentin, and a-actinin which function to keep the myofilaments in correct spatial agreement. Titin holds myosin in correct spatial agreement during contraction. Spectrin and Dystrophin function to reinforce the sarcolemma. Force is required for velocity-velocity does not increase force. Sarcomeres arranged in a series produce a faster shortening (time to peak tension-TPT). Also, the myosin-ATPase concentration plays a major role in the rate of muscle shortening and force development. Myosin-ATPase activity varies between MHC isoforms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    Correct. A lack of evidence to suggest it occurs in a wide enough sample which would be indicative of a bigger population in healthy individuals. And, there are also the confounds such as age, gender, race, environment, training adaptations, etc.
    Another problem is that it's usually unclear if the the participants are working to PURPOSELY break down muscle fibers the way we do in the gym. And it would probably be almost unreasonable, maybe requiring muscle biopsy

    I also have the same problem (concerning growth as a goal) with studies that tell us how much protein to eat... they typically focus on some sort of functional performance, which isn't our primary focus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by celc5 View Post
    Another problem is that it's usually unclear if the the participants are working to PURPOSELY break down muscle fibers the way we do in the gym. And it would probably be almost unreasonable, maybe requiring muscle biopsy

    I also have the same problem (concerning growth as a goal) with studies that tell us how much protein to eat... they typically focus on some sort of functional performance, which isn't our primary focus.
    The research article should concisely define all variables, methods, participant-demography, etc. If you cannot find such research, it may be because it has been yet to be researched, difficulty in research techniques for that topic, or of not much interest.
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    Well, I understand that yes there is a limit to muscular hypertrophy, but I still haven't gotten the answer as to what the generalized limit is based on experience.

    Hyperplasia is determined by genetics indeed, but hypertrophy unlike hyperplasia can be induced.

    But is there a guide? Like for example, lets say you eat, absorb, and use the required protein for amino acid uptake during protein synthesis of repairing muscle tissue after proper weight resistance exercise everyday for five years. Will you have reached a limit of muscle cell size in say 1 year, and simply have been maintaining for the 4 years after? Like is there a generalized or assumed guide, not by science, but by experienced bodybuilders who have collectively peaked in muscle mass without anabolics and told each other about it?

    Thanks so far
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    I dont have an answer to your question but I CAN tell you that it gets harder to put on muscle as time goes by. If your looking to build muscle strictly naturally, I would say that it takes a GREAT deal of manipulation to your diet and routine as you advance. You would have to have some freak genetics to build a world class physique naturally. I dont know about any such guide to answer your question. Hope this helps some.
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    Great info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarterMalone View Post
    Well, I understand that yes there is a limit to muscular hypertrophy, but I still haven't gotten the answer as to what the generalized limit is based on experience.

    Hyperplasia is determined by genetics indeed, but hypertrophy unlike hyperplasia can be induced.

    But is there a guide? Like for example, lets say you eat, absorb, and use the required protein for amino acid uptake during protein synthesis of repairing muscle tissue after proper weight resistance exercise everyday for five years. Will you have reached a limit of muscle cell size in say 1 year, and simply have been maintaining for the 4 years after? Like is there a generalized or assumed guide, not by science, but by experienced bodybuilders who have collectively peaked in muscle mass without anabolics and told each other about it?

    Thanks so far
    Building muscle both naturally and with with the typical mild anabolics that are discussed on forums like AM, I seem to hit a lean mass limit where I can tell more aggressive compounds and longer cycles would take me to the next level.

    You can really get "in tune" with where you are in terms of lean mass if you take skin folds regularly. You'll see that overall calories play a role where lean mass goes up in the offseason. Then if I stay lean for a long enough period, I rarely can hold onto that offseason lean mass without anabolics.

    That's totally subjective and addresses your question in a broad sense... but certainly does NOT answer your question either
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