Muscular hypertrophy is an increase in muscle mass/size due to increase in the volume and cross-sectional area (CSA) of individual muscle cells. The increase in cross-sectional area can be attributed to an an increase in contractile proteins and structural elements (myofibrillar hypertophy), as well as an increase in glycogen storage and elements related to metabolism (sarcoplasmic hypertophy). Hypertrophy is an adaptation of both cardiac and skeletal muscle fibers in response to progressive increases in workload.
  • Note: Hypertrophy is not hyperplasia. Hyperplasia is an increase in muscle size due to an adaptive increase in the number of muscle fibers/cells per muscle. This type of adaptation does not occur in human muscle tissue.

Related Terms

  • Strength training
  • Resistance training
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Muscle fiber types


  • Muscle growth
  • Muscle hypertrophy
  • Muscular enlargement
  • hypertrophied
  • Hypertophy
  • muscle growth
  • hypertrophic