How Does Muscle Hypertrophy Occur?

Muscle hypertrophy often occurs when single specific physical exercises such as weight lifting are taken to extremes. Muscle hypertrophy is a term used to describe a larger than normal increase in the size of muscle cells. The most common cause of hypertrophy is strenuous physical exercise that is intended to increase muscle size.

When an individual begins to exercise a specific muscle group, there will initially be an increase in nerve impulses, which cause muscle contractions. This will result in strength gains, but there will be no noticeable change in the actual size of the muscles for some time. As an individual continues with these exercises, a complex interaction takes place between various responses from the nervous system. Over time, this results in increased protein synthesis, and this causes muscle cells to begin to grow stronger and larger.

Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy is associated with a decrease in the thickness of subcutaneous fat pads and an increase in muscle size in people with normal muscle strength. Myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy diagnoses can only be confirmed by clinical investigation. Clinical manifestations will depend on the levels of myostatin proteins present in the muscles. Findings can include MSTN mutations that are identified by molecular genetic tests.