Muscle hypertrophy in bodybuilders

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1982;49(3):301-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00441291.


Muscle biopsy samples were obtained from m. vastus lateralis and m. deltoideus of three high caliber bodybuilders. Tissue specimens were analysed with respect to relative distribution of fast twitch (FT) and slow twitch (ST) fiber types and different indices of fiber area. In comparison to a reference group of competitive power/weight-lifters the following tendencies were observed: the percentage of FT fibers was less, mean fiber area was smaller and selective FT fiber hypertrophy was not evident. Values for fiber type composition and fiber size were more similar to values reported for physical education students and non-strength trained individuals. The results suggest that weight training induced muscle hypertrophy may be regulated by different mechanisms depending upon the volume and intensity of exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Muscles / pathology*
  • Muscles / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Sports*
  • Weight Lifting*