Hyperplasia V Hypertrophy.

Hperplasia; Increase in number of cells or fibres.

Hypertrophy: an increase in the size of cell/fibres.

Some suggest that it is not possible to increase the amount of fibres, though many suggest there is enough evidence to support this idea;


I will assume hyperplasia is possible and for the so called “hardgainer” maybe neccesary. If they have allready taxed there adaptive abilities with the fibres they have then why not create new ones.
If new fast twitch fibres could be created then this must surely be good news for the not so genetically gifted (but still testosterone producing, ambitious types.)

what do others think?

Haven’t all other mammals shown that hyperplasia occurs quite frequently?

What we need to do is take identicle twins, give one an excercise programme for 2 years or so, give the other an x-box, big screen tv and surround sound, slaughter the pair of them at the end of 2 years and note the differences. Voila

A study was recently conducted comparing
low weight-high rep, medium weight-medium
rep and high weight-low rep weight training.
They found that ONLY the high weight-low rep
weight training caused hyperplasia.
So, lift heavy if you want hyperplasia.
Many elite sprinters are now using
high weight-low rep weight training programs
including Kelli White and Dwain Chambers.

716, be good if you could let us know some details of the study or the actual reference for it…


Never let a good topic go to waste.

Sorry to bump an old thread… but I’d like some more info on the study. Most importantly the relative volumes and frequencies of the three groups.

LOL!!! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

from what i’ve heard hyperplasia occurs when a muscles is put under severe stress…ie- from accidents or eccentrics.

actually there is a study, I saw it on pub med but I don’t have the reference with me where a 10% weight increase in a limb would, after a certain period of time produce muscle cell hyperplasia, the study was however performed in birds and an increase of 149% I think was recorded… I’ll look up the ref. and post it as soon as I can

I found a bunch of studies on this done by Antonio and Gonyea, it is a very interesting topic:
One study by these dudes published in Med. and Sci. in Sports and Ex. says"the mechanisms for fiber hyperplasia are likely the result of two processes: satellie cell proliferation and longitudinal fiber splitting." In case you don’t know what satellite cells do, among many things they mainly " give rise to new myoblastic cells." Which I think help “skeletal muscle regeneration.” As for the Longitudinal fiber splitting, if you read CT’s book Quasi Isometrics by Tony Schwartz, they talk about Gonyea and Antonio’s studies and how the Eccentric quasi isometrics may develop strength due to this theory ( I THINK??? :confused: MAYBE TONY CAN HELP WITH THIS IF HE READS THIS) I was wondering if people feel this occurs and under what conditions (ie:Hypertrophy, extrem streched…ect.)!

It’s impossible without the correct research to say what causes hyperplasia if it does occur at all. But based on the animal studies I lean more towards the belief that it does; most likely under extreme eccentric stress.

Just reading this thread, the post on regarding Dwain Chambers and Kelli White seemed interesting. Is there any more information regarding their weight training? Exercises, sets and reps?

thaks Tony good stuff! That is kind what I got out of GOnyea’s article, If someone could prove this and find the training method that produces it the most efficient way, that would be “totally sweet and awsome!” :stuck_out_tongue: By doing is the EQI’s with weight you are really stressing the crap out of the eccentric so is this a linear stretching of the muscles that might cause Hyperplasia?

Correct, but you don’t necessarily need to add weight to get this effect.

I believe Hyperplasia and Hypertrophy occur in extremely stressed situations. I believe hypertrophy occurs first and if this is not enough to adapt the body to its new environment then hyperplasia occurs; then, hypertrophy occurs again if adaption is to occur and then hyperplasia again. This leads to a neverending cycle of hypertrophy then hyperplasia; however, if the athlete no longer introduces is body to new stimuluses then the cycle is stopped. This is by no means a fact, just my personal theory!

BTW, there have been numerous studies on hyperplasia but they have all been done on animals! One interesting thing about hyperplasia is that Fred Hatfield in his book, “Power A Scientific Approach” mentions is that “Laboratory animal studies, together with research on champion swimmers, suggest that high-speed/high-tension exercise is the only way to promote hyperplasia. While high-tension/slow-speed movements make the muscles bigger, they also tend to make it slower in contraction speed. Hyperplasia does not occur in laboratory animals engaged in high-tension/slow-speed training…To derive the benefits of potential hyperplasia, you should incoporate both traditional muscle building exercises as well as compensatory acceleration training, which requires explosive movements against heavy resistance.” (pg 49).

Can anyone say Jay Shroeder, Plyo bench press, Mel Siff?

"Champion swimmers’ deltoids were scrutinized by electron microscopy, and the findings of that study stand to this day as the most compelling argument for the occurrence of hyperplasia in humans. While the swimmers’ total muscle size was obviously greater than the average person’s, the individual cells comprising their deltoids were smaller and more numerous.

The empirical conclusion that can be drawn from this startling fact is that hyperplasia took place in the deltoid muscles, giving them greater overall size and strength.

Why the split cells did not achieve the level of hyperplasia possible is unsplit cells remains, for the moment, an intriguing mystery. Some results from each cell having only half the number of nuclei it had before splitting. The cells’ nuclei regulate virtually all their many functions, including their potential for growth."

“What Can We Learn From Animal Research?”

Cats, rats, and other animals are different from humans in some very important ways. For example, have you ever seen a heavily muscled rat? With few exceptions, lower animals are incapable of developing the kind of muscle hypertrophy that humans can. It seems quite possible that compensatory cell splitting is the animals’ unique way of adapting to the stress of overload training.

Forget size for a moment and consider speed of muscle contraction. Rarely will you see a slow cat! Animals that display capabilities of muscle hyperplasia are generally faster afoot and in reaction time than humans, a fact that can be explained by comparing differences in the anatomy and the chemical makeup of cells between the respective species.

Rats, for example, have 11 different kinds of muscles cells, as opposed to four in humans. On the basis of cell variety alone, the possibilities of speed of movement and contraction, reaction time, endurance, and other muscle functions are probably much greater in such animals than in humans.

These differences notwithstanding, the swimmers’ deltoid study comes out more intriguing than ever! Is is possible to get those split cells to grow larger? If so, has that muscle’s size potential increased in proportion to the increased cell count? And what about the strength factor? Judging form the increased performance capabilities of the swimmers, hyperplasia seems to account for increases in all threee areas of muscle contraction!" (pg 48)

SVS that was a very good post on the subject! Very informative yet easy to understand, thanks man! I think studies seem to show that it can occur in humans but the big question (I think) is how to make it happen (IE: what training methods) Some stuff says high-speed loads and other stuff (Gonyea) seems to think extreme, prolonged stretching will do the trick…not sure , gonna try to read some more stuff on it. Cool stuff though! :cool: