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Muscle Nerve. 2016 Dec;54(6):1012-1014. doi: 10.1002/mus.25420. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

The problem Of muscle hypertrophy: Revisited.

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Kevser Ermin Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, 231 Turner Center, University, Mississippi, 38677, USA.


In this paper we revisit a topic originally discussed in 1955, namely the lack of direct evidence that muscle hypertrophy from exercise plays an important role in increasing strength. To this day, long-term adaptations in strength are thought to be primarily contingent on changes in muscle size. Given this assumption, there has been considerable attention placed on programs designed to allow for maximization of both muscle size and strength. However, the conclusion that a change in muscle size affects a change in strength is surprisingly based on little evidence. We suggest that these changes may be completely separate phenomena based on: (1) the weak correlation between the change in muscle size and the change in muscle strength after training; (2) the loss of muscle mass with detraining, yet a maintenance of muscle strength; and (3) the similar muscle growth between low-load and high-load resistance training, yet divergent results in strength. Muscle Nerve 54: 1012-1014, 2016.


adaptation; dissociation; muscle growth; resistance training; strength

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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