We all want to work out and get that perfect body. We lift weights, go for a run, and diet at times. But how do muscles actually get bigger?
Any activity that the body performs physically requires a muscle. Lifting weights requires multiple muscles throughout the body regarding the exercise you are doing. If a certain dumbbell is too much for your biceps to lift, the rest of your body’s muscles work to lift it such as your abdomen, thighs, triceps, shoulders, etc.
As pressure is put on muscles, the fibers in muscles, (which is thoroughly explained in a past post on the muscular system), get damaged at the cellular level. Yes, that does sound like exactly the opposite of gaining muscle, but that is what you want!
Damaged muscle cells release cytokines that stimulate the immune system to repair the muscle cell damage due to the workout. As the immune system repairs the muscles, they build extra muscle. As you work out and damage muscle, it is repaired and reinforced which is how we grow our muscles.
As we increase weights and stress on our muscles there is more damage and therefore more repair and building. But working out too much also has its disadvantages.
As you exercise you also strain your tendons and ligaments which can risk getting a bone fracture. Also you could damage your muscles enough that your immune system cannot repair it as well or at all and this reduces your muscle mass.
Excessive working out can also weaken your immune system, which makes you susceptible to diseases due to the immune system working at keeping your body and energy going due to the over-the-top work outs rather than protecting your body by killing bacteria or viruses.
Written By: Neil 7/1/2019