Muscle building means growth of the musculature, caused by an increased load, such as during physical work, sports or special muscle training.

In today's developed world, muscle gain is usually wanted, as reflected in the many gyms and sports facilities. While moderate muscle gain is not pathological, there are numerous muscle reduction disorders.

What is the muscle building?

Muscle building means growth of the musculature, caused by an increased load, such as during physical work, sports or special muscle training.

Muscle growth or muscle growth refers to the increase in volume of musculature of the musculoskeletal system, the striated skeletal muscle. Your muscle tissue consists of fine fibers, which ensure the contracting of the muscles. Up to 50 of these fibers form a muscle fiber bundle.

Within a muscle fiber are longitudinal structures, the myofibrils. At the molecular level, there are myofilaments. They consist of the protein molecules actin, myosin and tropomyosin. The regular arrangement of the molecules produces the typical transverse striation of the skeletal muscles.

The structure or increase in volume of a muscle can basically be done in two different ways. Today, it is scientifically understandable that hypertrophy is the enlargement of the muscle cross-section due to an increase in the thickness of the individual muscle fibers. Animal experiments and observations on bodybuilders have shown, however, that a new formation of muscle fibers, the hyperplasia, may be responsible for the growth of a muscle.

Hypertrophy is caused by a burden that exceeds normal levels for the individual. The increased activity exerts a stimulus at the molecular level. It produces more protein, which in turn leads to an increase in the volume of the cells and thus of the cross section of the muscle fiber.

Muscle building can also be stimulated by protein-rich diet or the intake of growth hormones, anabolic steroids. Growth in this case is due only to hypertrophy.

Function & Task

Both types of muscle growth serve the body as a protective function against muscle overload. By increasing the cross-section of the fibers of a muscle or the number of fibers, the stress is distributed over a larger cell mass. The single muscle fiber is relieved.

At the same time, the strength of the muscle increases as it increases in proportion to the cross section of the muscle fiber. This also relieves the individual fiber. The onset of muscle atrophy warns against early further use of the affected muscle.

However, other components also play a role in the power development of a muscle. Even small people can have great muscle power. Among other things, it is also dependent on intramuscular coordination and biomechanical principles such as the leverage laws. A well developed and proportioned musculature is therefore a prerequisite for the effortless and damage-free operation of the musculoskeletal system.

In addition to building muscle, sports disciplines such as yoga or tai-chi promote a functionally trained musculature. By deliberately and consciously controlling bodily movements, they promote intramuscular coordination.

The skeletal muscle takes on different tasks in the human body. It not only allows the movement of the skeleton through the ability to contract and relax. Because it constantly receives light impulses from the central nervous system, which constantly sets the musculature in a basic tension, the muscle tone, it also guarantees the effortless maintenance of the body.

Another function of skeletal muscle is its involvement in the energy balance of the body. Only the fundamental tone already generates 25% of the energy turnover and thus body heat. When moving, this value increases considerably. Although some of the energy in the moving muscles is consumed, they release extra heat as a side effect.

Diseases & complaints

The increase of musculoskeletal muscles is usually desirable and not pathological. A testimony to this is the high number of visitors to bodybuilding studios and recreational athletes. In contrast, a decrease in the muscles of mild discomfort leads to serious illnesses.

Muscles build up and down in a constant process, depending on whether the person uses the respective muscle more or less, in relation to the normal load for him.

If muscles are not stressed within a longer time, the volume is reduced clearly visible, tissue or muscle atrophy, atrophy occurs. This reduces the diameter of the individual muscle fibers.

This already falls within the experience of today's average person. Especially those who are lacking in physical activity in their professional life and everyday life complain of complaints about the musculoskeletal system.

Muscles lack a consistent, coordinated load. The less stressed muscles regress and become slack, other muscles cramp to allow for restraint. In the long term, this leads to complex serious secondary damage throughout the body. This can be prevented by balance sport or specific muscle training.

Muscular atrophy due to lack of activity, the so-called inactivity atrophy can be clearly seen in a plaster cast immobilization. Through targeted training, however, the affected muscles are easy to rebuild. Serious inactivity atrophy is present in complete paralysis. The conduction of impulses from the motor nerve cells to the musculature is interrupted. Space travelers experience atrophy due to lack of gravity.

Among other things, malnutrition, metabolic disorders, alcoholism or hormonal changes can trigger muscle wasting. Other severe forms of muscular atrophy, muscular dystrophies, are hereditary. Due to mutations in the genetic material there is a deficiency or a defect of the muscle-building protein dystrophies. This leads to degeneration of the muscles with progressive muscle weakness and muscle atrophy.

Also, various diseases of the nervous system can lead to a decrease in muscle mass. Particular mention should be made of neural and spinal muscular atrophies.

On the other hand, exaggerated muscle growth can lead to serious illnesses. Extreme sports or bodybuilding, in which individual muscle groups extremely enlarged, but others are neglected, can cause, among other things, postural damage.

The use of anabolic steroids (doping), which supports muscle growth, in any case leads to serious consequential damage if used for long periods. It is always observed a far-reaching organ damage, especially of the cardiovascular system, the liver and the genital organs. Studies also show a four to five times higher mortality rate.

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