Strength • 13.12.2015 • Runtastic Team

Total Body Training: How Muscle Growth Works

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and training is no exception. Besides the proper training stimulus, your muscles and other body parts require time to adapt. You won’t start to feel stronger or notice any physical changes right away. This blog post provides you with an introduction to muscle building and what you have to keep in mind.

Ein Mann mit nacktem Oberkörper macht einen Push up im Wohnzimmer

How muscles grow stronger

If you want to understand how muscle building works, a good place to start is with their anatomy. Every single muscle in your body consists of many fibers, like ropes made out of different materials. When these ropes work together better as a team, your strength increases without causing any visible physical changes. Or in other words, the coordination between the fibers improves through the repetition of exercises. If you continue to train, your muscle cells will increase in size (hypertrophy) and your muscle fibers will get thicker and stronger. It is at this point that you will slowly start to see your biceps grow bigger and the beginning of a six pack develop. Yippee! 🙂
Proteins stored in the muscle cells are responsible for this growth. During strength training, your body thinks to itself: “This workout was hard. I’ve got to find a way to make it easier next time.” Your body thus repairs micro-injuries to the muscles caused by the workout, and at the same time adds a little more tissue for future training sessions. If you regularly increase your training performance and keep pushing yourself, your body has to continue adapting to the new stimuli. You could almost say that your muscles grow after training just to be on the safe side, so they are ready for anything the next time. The other important thing you need to know is that the number of muscle fibers in your body was determined at birth. Thus, training does not increase the number of fibers, but instead their thickness and shape.

Muscles need time

Some people need only see the dumbbells for muscles to start sprouting up everywhere. But for most people, it’s not quite that easy. Your training should stimulate your muscles, but not every workout will immediately cause your muscles to grow. Only after weeks and months of regular training will you start to see your muscles develop and your biceps get thicker. If you want to get the most out of your strength training, then you need to follow a couple of principles. The only way to stress your muscles is through regular and varied training. Muscles disappear as fast as they appeared if you don’t keep pushing them. Finding a fitness routine that you enjoy makes it easier to stick with your training. After a certain period of time, your muscles will get used to this stimulus. If you continue to use the same routine, eventually you will plateau and no longer make progress. That is why it is important to continually increase your training performance. But don’t forget to schedule enough time for recovery. Remember that it is not only your muscles that are changing through exercise. Tendons, ligaments and bones also have to adapt to the new physical demands.

Woman planking

Strong muscles, big advantages

Training with your own body weight not only improves your physical appearance. It also produces other positive effects like giving you tighter skin, better posture and reducing stress. Stronger muscles also help stabilize your joints and support your tendons and ligaments. Are you also interested in losing fat? Great, then your newly developed muscles will help you burn more fat while you are resting because they require more energy than fat. People who work out a lot also benefit from another effect – the afterburn effect. This refers to the fact that your body continues to burn calories after you finish exercising because your metabolism remains at a slightly elevated level. Your mind also profits from strength training. Stronger muscles also build self-confidence.

Don’t be afraid of muscles

Particularly in the first two or three months of training with Runtastic Results, a lot of physical changes occur and you may get the feeling that you’ve got muscles popping out everywhere. When you start with the training, you make rapid gains in strength due to the improved intermuscular coordination. At this point in the program, women, in particular, sometimes feel uneasy about the great mounds of muscle, which do not necessarily correspond with society’s ideal of feminine beauty. But don’t let that scare you! Due to their lower testosterone levels, women do not put on the same amount of muscle mass as men do. Plus, muscle growth in women takes longer as it is slowed down by their own bodies.

Have we motivated you to start with total body training? Or have you already achieved your fitness goals? Let us share in your success.

Runtastic Results. Time for a transformation!
#RuntasticResults


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Runtastic Team

Are you looking to lose some weight, get more active or improve your sleep? The Runtastic Team gives you useful tips and inspiration to reach your personal goals.


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  • Coalface Coach

    Hey runtastic team, good article, but can you please provide evidence of any data from research into increasing amount of muscle fibre in humans (hyperplasia). Thank you 😀