By GI Team Generation Iron


Muscle quality vs muscle mass.


When you endeavor to build a strong and powerful physique you’re essentially going on a journey to to improve yourself until the point that you deem your physical form, in your eyes, to be perfect. It can be a tough and long road or a pretty natural and simple experience. No matter the difficulty, you’re going to have to put some serious work in when hitting the gym in order to see some serious gains.


While building all that powerful muscle you’d think you were doing your body a great service. Well if this new study is correct then that may not be the case at all. You may have seen the title for this article and wondered if you seeing things. We wouldn’t be surprised if you immediately call “bullsh*t” right here and now. Well I’m here to put your mind at ease and say nope, you read the title right. There is actually a chance, albeit small, that all the hard work you’re putting into lifting can end up having the opposite effect than what you’d expect.


The study claims that those who lift consistently can actually be breaking down their muscle fibers to the point that their muscle is actually weaker than those who do moderate lifting. That means, in theory, that a non-lifter has better muscle quality than an experience bodybuilder. At least that’s what Professor Hans Degens study claims. Below is the Professor’s explanation behind this phenomenon.


It appears that excessive muscle growth may have detrimental effects on the quality of the muscle, and one may well be better off with normal-sized muscles than with metabolically expensive large muscles. We had no indication that the proteins generating force – muscle motor proteins – work less in bodybuilders, but it could be that they have fewer motor proteins per gram muscle. It would be interesting to see what aspect in the training of bodybuilders causes this decrease in muscle quality.


Another tidbit from the study explains that the reason bodybuilders can lift so much more weight is because the body mass that they’ve built allows them to make up for the weaker muscle fibers. It sounds pretty far fetched, particularly because building muscle mass is the whole point in the first place. Does this whole “muscle quality” aspect really matter? Or is this another knit picking study trying to flip the script on what most people generally perceive?


So what do you think? Are you buying into this study?





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