How Do Muscles Work: 6 Important Tips

How do muscles work

How Do Muscles Work

How do muscles work

Your body is a clever old thing, and the process of muscle growth is basically your body’s answer to the stress of weight training by thinking, “that was hard. I should do something about it so it will not be as difficult next time”.

That’s because when you perform resistance exercises, you create microscopic tears in your muscles.

Your body then responds to this microtrauma of the muscle cells by overcompensating, which means that the damaged tissue is fixed and more is added, so your muscles become bigger and stronger. The risk of future damage is minimized.

This also means that you need to progressively boost the weight you work with because your muscles rapidly adapt to deal with the stress.

It is thought that this damage to your muscle fibers is the reason for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

The symptoms of which are muscle soreness and stiffness in the period after a tough workout.

That’s why you should have at least 48 hours between sessions that mark the same muscle group.

Suppose you start training again before your muscles have been repaired. You won’t be as strong and risk injury and overtraining.

Few key stages in the process break down muscle fibers before they can be rebuilt.

The Warm-up

An Increased heart rate pumps blood to your muscles, warming them up and allowing them to extend fully. It also supplies muscle fibers with oxygen.

Loading the Muscle

At the start of the rep, your muscles are under load and stretched. As a result, the heart pumps more blood into the protective sheaths surrounding the muscle fibers, supplying oxygen and nutrients to these fibers.

Sparking your nervous system

When you lift the weight, your central nervous system relays this to the nerves contained in the sheaths protecting the muscle fibers. This tells the muscle fibers to contract to lift the weight.

If you’re doing the exercise correctly, your muscles activate in a particular sequence, and your central nervous system adapts to this.

As you repeat the workout over time. Your nerves become more efficient, allowing you to do more reps or lift more weight. This is the first adaptation caused by weightlifting.

Chemical reactions

Adenosine triphosphate(ATP) is the immediate energy source for muscle contraction.

It is broken down within the body’s cells to release energy. The cell’s creatine, phosphate and glycogen reserves are also converted into ATP.

This process creates lactic acid as an unfortunate by-product

Successful Failure

As You reach failure on your fast-twitch muscle fibers become completely fatigued. Microscopic tears {microtears) are created in the myofilaments, the smallest fiber bundles in your muscles.

Repair and growth

Your body repairs the microtears by adding amino actin and myosin to the myofilaments. Which also causes them to grow in size.

The body cannot grow additional muscle cells, so growth is limited by the number of cells you have.

Another effect of intense workouts is that your muscles adapt to store more glycogen to be more energy on hand for the next workout.

This will also cause the muscles to increase in size slightly.


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