If I lift weights, will I get bigger muscles? In most cases the answer to this common question is, No. We all know that person in our lives that is trying to gain muscle, he or she is doing all the workouts, working with weights, and drinking protein shakes etc. But when we look at them we just don’t really see much difference right? Well, that’s because it takes a long time to build new muscle tissue and even longer time for that tissue to become stronger and larger.
Weight training – the benefits
If you lift weights you will get stronger yes, but how much stronger you get is up to you and how much you challenge yourself. That, in turn, will define the size of the muscles you gain if you gain much at all. Most of us will actually just activate the muscle we already have that was for the lack of a better word ‘asleep’.
Whether or not you will get bigger muscles (hypertrophy) depends on three basic factors: genetics, gender, and training intensity. Genetics is mostly a muscle fiber type; people with predominantly fast-twitch fibers acquire larger muscles more easily than people with predominantly slow-twitch fibers. In relation to gender, males acquire larger muscles than females do, because males have greater amounts of testosterone and other sex hormones that influence protein metabolism. Thus, females experience less muscle hypertrophy with strength improvement than males do. One my assume your training intensity may be the only factor you can control.
Hypertrophy results from an increase in the number of contractile proteins (actin and myosin, produced by the body in response to training), which in turn increases the size of the muscle fibers. It can be stimulated any time the training intensity is high enough to overload the muscle if that’s the goal.
Your body type (there are 7) will already predetermine what you can physically look like when weight training. It is common sense to assume the taller person or athlete will never look like a power lifter or a front row rugby player. No gymnast will ever look like a catwalk model either, there are just some spectrums you will never get close too; one many assume. Just be smart, be careful, and know what your doing if your not under supervision of a fitness professional. Overall weight training can change your life and improve your health if done correctly.