Science behind muscle growth

science behind muscle growth

What if you know how your body gains muscle and size. How it recovers from stress and training and grows. If you know the science behind muscle growth your results will be much faster. Read this post to understand the science behind muscle growth

Science behind muscle growth- How to Build Muscle Faster

Who doesn’t love a guy with a masculine body or a lady with well-balanced firm and strong body? We all do, don’t we? For instance, ladies love men with healthy looking physic since they believe they can provide security. This article will focus on the relationship between weight lifting and formation of muscles. The article will also explain the science behind muscle growth. We are going to understand how lifting weights causes inflated muscles and healthy body physique.

We have a broad range of body muscles, but for this article, we are going to focus on skeletal muscle which is composed of sarcomeres and thread like myofibrils which make up the muscle fiber. The skeletal muscles are the most affected by weight lifts because of their expansion and contraction capabilities.


Muscle Tension

To build muscles, one has to apply stress load that is greater than what the body is used to. The only way of doing these is by progressive weight lifting. Every additional load of weight causes muscle tension which changes the chemistry of the tissue and then leads to the growth factor of satellite cells, responsible for the strength of the body. During this process of weight lifting, some fibers get destroyed and suppress to one corner. What the body does is, during your resting time it repairs and replaces the damaged fibers to form new myofibrils. When you get back to lifting the new fibers contract and gather together with the previous damaged ones to build a huge muscle that gives the muscle an inflated look. The body continues with the process of repairing damaged and replacing of fibers as the workout continues. That is why muscles build daily given the needed lifting procedures.

Damage to muscles

Have you ever felt pain after your first workout?  It is a sign of damaged muscles fibers and as said before, damaged fibers path a way for new fiber creation. What one should know is that there is need to increase the amount of load that one lifts progressively since the muscles come back stronger than the first time. For a muscle to grow more load stress is required, or else the body will remain in a stagnant position.


Lifting weights generate a stimulus in the CNS (central nervous system) which then sends nerve impulses to the muscle fibers causing them to contract or shorten. This process is possible due to the supply of stored carbohydrates known as glycogen which the fibers used as energy. In the processes of lifting weights, your muscle fibers change chemical energy to mechanical energy making them shorter. As people continue lifting weights the muscles inflate and look pumped. Which is every guy desire, to have increased muscles and pumped up veins, but who doesn’t love a well pumped up body.

The veins seem pumped because of the blood passing through them under high pressure. The blood then goes into the muscles through blood capillaries making the muscle inflate. The blood is equipped with oxygen and nutrients that help with the repair and growth of damaged fibers. Every lift causes suppression to the tissue which leads to damage and contraction. These explain the reason why bodybuilders require a special diet and sufficient water to provide the necessary nutrients needed for the body to sustain the muscles and do repairs.

There two types of body weightlifters, one who works out on a daily basis and never gains any muscle and the other who does irregular exercises and still looks like a giant. Does this mean that the first individual isn’t working out enough or does it mean that they aren’t lifting enough heavyweights? The reason behind such results is genetics, yes; genetics decides the fate of your muscle capacity building. But if you’re in this category don’t despair. Keep in mind that everyone can build muscles regardless of your gender or body size.

What triggers muscle growth?

Resistance training is the primary factor behind muscle growth. When we exercise it creates
micro tears in our muscle fibres. Our body then starts repairing these muscles and makes us bigger
and stronger.

What is the real science behind muscle growth?

Muscle growth is dependent on complex mechanical, metabolic and hormonal processes. When we lift weights we create mechanical tension in our muscles. This tension causes micro tears in our muscle fibers. After workout our body goes in a process called MPS or muscle protein synthesis. It uses amino acids for muscle growth.

What triggers muscle growth?

Resistance training is the primary factor behind muscle growth. When we exercise it creates

micro tears in our muscle fibers. Our body then starts repairing these muscles and makes us bigger and stronger.

What actually helps muscle growth?

There are several factors that help muscle growth. 1. Resistance training, 2. Increasing weights over time, 3. Caloric surplus 4. Sufficient protein intake, 5. Proper rest and recovery

What speeds up muscle growth?

Muscle growth is a slow process. But few things can speed up. 

  1. Optimal resistance training, which means avoiding undertraining and overtraining.
  2. Diet rich in protein 
  3. Eating in caloric surplus, it’s not easy to gain muscle when you eat in maintenance.
  4. Having good fats and sufficient micronutrients in diet to optimize hormones

How does a skinny guy gain muscle?

Being skinny means you have a higher metabolism. For a skinny guy to gain muscle you need to be in surplus. Aim to eat 500 to 1000 calories above your maintenance level. Keep protein intake high. Keep your training duration for 45 mins to an hour. Don’t workout for longer hours as it may cause you to burn higher calories.

What controls muscle growth?

  1. Mtor – (mammalian target of rapamycin) acts like a regulator. It controls protein synthesis and cellular functions.
  2. Hormones like testosterone and IGF-1 control protein synthesis and muscle repair.
  3. Myostatin – (growth differentiation factor 8, GDF8) – myostatin affects mtor, particularly mtorc1 thus reducing protein synthesis and muscle growth

Do muscles grow on rest days?

Rest days are the best days for muscle growth. After resistance training your body needs time to recover. With a proper diet, adequate rest, your body grows bigger and stronger.

Why am I getting stronger but not bigger?

If you are getting stronger but not bigger, it has got something to do with both your diet and exercise. 

In exercise if you train heavy with low reps, you will build more strength. You have to ensure that you are getting enough reps at least 6 to 8 to induce muscle gain.

In diet, you have to ensure that you are getting a sufficient amount of protein intake. A diet high in carbs will build strength, but you need high protein intake to build muscle

Do I need to lift heavy to gain muscle?

Absolutely. You may not have to lift the heaviest dumbbell in the gym, but you should consistently push your limits and try to lift heavier. This is called progressive overloading and is the fundamental of muscle gain.

Why am I stronger than I look?

This has got to do with your diet and exercise. If you focus on lifting heavier weights you are going to improve strength. But to look bigger you need to gain muscle mass and for that you have to train in a moderate weight range and eat a diet rich in protein.


In conclusion, weights help in the growth of muscles as they cause stress not experienced before by the body which leads to contracted fibers. The more the contracted fibers, the stronger one becomes. Weightlifting is the way to go for bodybuilders, but enough rest is required for the synthesis of new fibers to occur. The body is like a machine when you overwork it the results may not be pleasant. Good rest and diet are paramount for muscle building.


Haff, G. G., & Triplett, N. T. (Eds.). (2015). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 4th Edition. Human kinetics.

Hoier, B., & Hellsten, Y. (2014). Exercise‐Induced Capillary Growth in Human Skeletal Muscle and the Dynamics of VEGF. Microcirculation, 21(4), 301-314.

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