Strength traning physiology

  • Creator
  • #80429
    Bruno Schull

    Hi. I have some general question about physiological adaptations to strength training.

    I’m looking over my notes from years ago, and I’m wondering if knowledge has changed, or improved. What I’m curious about are the specific adaptations that occur during the general, max strength, and ME periods of strength traning.

    Some specific questions:

    -There used to be a debate about whether strength training lead to more muscle cells, larger muscle cells, some combination of the two, or other more subtle changes. What is our corrent understanding?
    -During what periods are adaptations mostly neuromuscular (fibers firing together) and during what periods do adaptations of other kinds occur (enzymes and so on).
    -Do we have any idea how connective tissue changes, for example, collagen in tendons and ligaments, and so on.

    Any imnput appreciated, from gewneral to specific.

  • Participant
    Dada on #80575

    Strength training can cause hypertrophy and better intramuscular coordination. Hypertrophy is caused through growth of the muscle cell. This happens mainly sarcoplasmic or myofibrillar.

    Just for clarification: this has barely anything to do with mitochondria. FT fibers barely have any mitochondria (that’s why they generate lactate when used).


    Bruno Schull on #80865

    I thought I’d jump back in here and add to my own questiom.

    I’ve done some research, read some papers, etc. and what I can say is that early in a strength training program (or early in the traning life of an athlete) strength training adaptations seem to be mostly 1) neuromuscular, and 2) involve shifts in muscle fiber type (for example from more “fast twitch” oriented to more “endurance” oriented.” The clear gains in strength early in training can not be attributed to what little hypertrophy or hyperplasia has occcured.

    Now that’s interesting from the perspective of climbers. Unless we are talking about finger strength specifically (and that’s not my goal here) the aim is usually to increase strength as much as possible while increasing mass a little as possible. So whatever changes we can promote that do not involve hypertrophy are positive. As far as I can tell, that mainly involves not lifting to failure–maintaining strict form, no shaking, no complete inability to do one more rep, and so on, just as promoted by UA. That might prevent the most absolute gains in strength, but it will also limit hypertrophy. The way forward for Uphill Athletes?

    As to targeting more “endurance” or more “strength” by biasing the strength traning protocols one way or the other (higher weight/low reps vs low weight/high reps)…I’m just not sure.

    On one hand, it makes sense to tailor a strength program to the specific force, duration, speed, joint angle, requirements of one’s sport.

    On the other hand, I wonder if it’s not more effecient to do endurance training (like uphill hiking or running) for endurance, and do stength training (like squats or pulls ups) for strength.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting ongoing discussion.

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