Benefits of Strength & Hypertrophy Training – Andy Galpin

Far from being reserved for athletes or the pursuit of larger muscles, strength training emerges as a vital component of holistic health and well-being, accessible and beneficial to all.

Dr. Andy Galpin dispels the myths that have long segregated exercise into narrow categories, shedding light on the broader, often overlooked advantages that range from enhanced mood and cognitive function to improved immune response and longevity.

Benefits of Strength & Hypertrophy Training

Dr. Galpin starts by saying that strength training is not just for athletes or those who want to grow bigger muscles, but that it is beneficial for everyone.

He mentions that one of the major disservices that has been done in the field is convincing people that things like strength training are only for athletes or for growing bigger muscles, and that cardiovascular training is only for things like fat loss and heart health.

This leads to a lot of false assumptions and poor actions.

He then goes on to say that there are many other benefits of exercise that people may not be aware of, such as mood and focus, cognitive tasks, better immune function, and mortality.

He also mentions that resistance exercise and strength training is the number one tool to combat neuromuscular aging, and that it is the only way to preserve or fight the loss of aging.

Strength & Hypertrophy Training for Aesthetics

There are three main reasons why people exercise: to look good, feel good, and play good.

When it comes to aesthetics, one of the major benefits of strength training is the fast responses. With consistent training, you can see noticeable changes in muscle size within a month or even six weeks.

This is a powerful motivator for people who are not as dedicated to exercising, as it provides quick wins and a sense of progress.

In contrast, fat loss tends to be a longer journey that is more reliant on other factors, such as nutrition.

Exercise adherence is a key predictor of the effectiveness of any training program. When you get immediate feedback and see results in your appearance, it drives adherence and keeps you motivated to continue working out.

So, if you’re looking to change your aesthetics, strength and hypertrophy training are good options.

Protective Effects of Strength Training on Reducing Injury

Connective tissue is not as vascular as skeletal muscle and its plasticity is significantly lower. Skeletal muscle is one of the most responsive and adjustable organs in the body.

When we talk about muscle being an organ, it is not just referring to its size, but also its function.

Muscle is both listening and talking, controlling the immune system, blood glucose regulation, and being the central depot for amino acids.

Connective tissue, on the other hand, does not have the same level of communication and adaptation.

Despite the difficulty in measuring connective tissue adaptations, it is known that strength training reduces injury risk.

This is likely due to the adaptations that occur in connective tissue, making it more tolerant to load.

This is particularly important for individuals who have not exercised in a long time and are looking to jump back into a routine.

If the connective tissue has not been prepared for the load, it can lead to sprains, tears, and other injuries.

Dr. Galpin, during his doctoral studies, used patella tendon biopsies to study connective tissue adaptations.

He has performed over a thousand biopsies on himself and others, and has found that there is no loss of function or scar tissue as a result.

He emphasizes that while it is difficult to assess connective tissue adaptations, strength training plays a crucial role in injury reduction.

Building Stronger Bones Through Resistance Training

Can bones grow and get stronger?

One of Dr. Huberman’s favorite results comes from the lab of Eric Kandel at Columbia University. Kandel won the Nobel Prize for learning and memory, and his lab has studied the effects of exercise on both learning and memory.

They found that load-bearing exercise stimulates the bones to release a hormone called osteocalcin, which then travels to the brain and enhances neuron health, thereby improving memory.

This result led Dr. Huberman to wonder whether bones themselves can get stronger through resistance training.

Dr. Galpin, confirms that this is clearly demonstrated and has been known for decades. However, he notes that the ability to enhance bone mineral density diminishes with age, and that the best time to start resistance training for bone health is in the teenage years and 20s.

He also explains that axial loading, or up and down, vertical loading, is particularly effective for enhancing bone strength.

Dr. Galpin also notes that resistance training alone may not be enough for women to improve bone health, particularly if there are underlying issues with hormonal imbalances or nutrition deficiencies.

He suggests that women should work with a qualified physician and consider getting blood chemistry tests, as well as nutrition supplementation.

He also notes that birth control can affect bone health, and that it is a complex issue that requires specialized knowledge.

More From this Episode


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Articles Mentioned

  • Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy in Skeletal Muscle: A Scientific “Unicorn” or Resistance Training Adaptation?: https://bit.ly/3j4sXxq
  • Towards an improved understanding of proximity-to-failure in resistance training and its influence on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, neuromuscular fatigue, muscle damage, and perceived discomfort: A scoping review: https://bit.ly/3Dd9MIy

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