The prospect of larger and stronger muscles can motivate many people into starting a workout regimen. However, there are those who may not know exactly what's occurring within their bodies to allow their muscles to grow and improve in strength. The process that gives us the ability to adapt to the stress put upon our bodies each day is called muscle growth and repair. It's during this time that your body rebuilds itself from the damaged inflicted by working out, or even what you face every day on the job site.
Muscle Growth and Repair
Muscle growth and repair occurs when our bodies rebuild damaged muscle fibers, which gives our muscles larger size and improved strength. Throughout the day, we place our bodies under various forms of stress that causes damage to muscle cells. These activities can range from the intense, such as weight training programs, to moving boxes for relocation. Either way, that damage must be repaired during rest periods. This is when the body creates new cells to fix the muscle fibers that have been affected. This process is essential for our bodies to deal with the injuries it faces each day.
Activities That Stimulate Growth and Repair
Various activities can cause the body to grow and repair itself. Age can affect how well the body reacts to stimuli and how it grows accordingly. For example, a teenager going through puberty may reap better rewards from weight training than a man who is into his 50 or 60s. Still, if functioning normally the body will repair those cells that have been torn down. Muscle cells aren't any different.
Muscle cells become damaged when they're forced to take on stress beyond their normal level. This can come from anything to daily weightlifting programs to daily objectives on your job site. Any sustained activity that causes the muscles to work harder than they're used to will damage the cells, which will need to be repaired. This process is what leads to the appearance of larger muscles and can develop strength as well.
What Happens During Muscle Growth and Repair?
During muscle growth, the body is repairing damage that occurred to the muscle fibers. When trauma begins to tear down portions of the muscle, it must be repaired before growth can occur and to avoid further injury.
In order to repair muscle fibers, the body utilizes satellite cells. These cells move in and fuse with the ends of the damaged fibers. Repeated trauma to the same areas of the body lead to continued repair. As this process repeats itself, more and more satellite cells are used, causing those muscles to grow. This growth also begins to affect the strength of those muscles as well. With new cells present to repair the broken-down fibers, it now takes stronger trauma and stimulus to occur in order to cause the same level of damage. This is why people begin to see progress with their weightlifting programs, although some see that progress faster than others.
It's important to know that muscle repair occurs during rest, and that over-training your muscles causes more damage than help. Taking one day between working muscle groups is recommended to give your body ample time to recuperate from training. Be sure to get ample sleep each night as well. Eight hours of sleep is the recommended amount for each evening. Muscle repair occurs during these deep periods of sleep--which is why it's very important to include this as a part of your workout plan.
Benefits of Growing Muscles
Working to improve the size of your muscles can have a strong impact on your health and physical appearance. Athletes use training programs with the understanding that becoming stronger will help them gain a strength edge over opponents. At the same time, having stronger muscles helps in avoiding some injuries. When those injuries occur, rehabbing the muscles is an important step in the recovery process. This involves rebuilding those muscles to prior strength levels, which requires growth and repair.
For others, bigger and better-looking muscles may be a motivating factor to work out. Weight training affects the body by forcing it to have to repair itself after intense workouts. This repair leads to a larger chest, arms, shoulders or legs. Although bigger muscles don't always equate to equal levels of strength, continued muscle growth and repair allowed them to become larger.
Importance of Muscle Growth and Repair
Muscle growth and repair are meant to keep the muscle cells throughout the body healthy. Without it, damaged muscles wouldn't be useful once affected by stress. We need our muscles for more than just showing off on the beach, but to allow our bodies to complete daily functions such as walking or carrying a backpack. This process allows us to work on our physiques to mold them as close to the image we want. Those who are looking for strength gains also must rely on muscle growth and repair; without it, they wouldn't be able to improve from their current levels. Growth and repair does more than add strength to our bodies. It allows it to stay functioning as we put it through the rigors of daily life.
- Basic Growth and Repair Cycle of Hair
- How Long Does It Take a Torn Muscle to Heal?
How Long Does It Take to Build Muscle?
The Student Nutrition Action Committee, a health advisory committee at UCLA, says you need 3,500 extra calories a week to gain half...
- How to Heal a Muscle Tear
How to Reduce Muscle Soreness After a Workout
If pain and discomfort show up 24 to 48 hours after a strenuous workout, it is likely due to delayed onset muscle...
- How to Reverse Nerve Damage
- How to Repair Scar Tissue
- The Best Protein for Muscle Growth