Why Normal-Sized Muscles Are Better than Pumped-Up Muscles
If you're going for quantity over quality, go lift some weights.
Bodybuilders have poor “muscle quality,” according to a recent study. Gram for gram, the muscles of a non-lifter out-powers any bodybuilder's.
Lead scientist professor Hans Degens, from Manchester Metropolitan University, confirms it's true — although the results may seem questionable. He admits he, too, was surprised when their studies revealed “that a gram of muscle from bodybuilders produced less force than that from non-bodybuilders, and it thus seems that the 'muscle quality' is less in bodybuilders.”
''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,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph.
Studies revealed “that a gram of muscle from bodybuilders produced less force than that from non-bodybuilders, and it thus seems that the 'muscle quality' is less in bodybuilders.”
What makes hulking bodybuilders so strong, Degens explained, is their mass. They have so much of it that it helps compensate for the gram-for-gram weakness. This explains why they can pick big things up and put them down.
However, in testing, his team found that power athletes, such as sprinters who did not lift weights, had more power in each gram of muscle when compared to bodybuilders.
Degens said: ''It would be interesting to see what aspect in the training of bodybuilders causes this decrease in muscle quality.'' One obvious suggestion is it may come down to how these people are training. But researchers won't know for sure until more studies are done.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Photo Credit: Phil Walter / Getty Staff
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.