If we consider the growth of muscles from the point of view of chemistry, then it is the production of protein compounds in muscle tissues. It can be said more specifically, muscle growth is possible in those cases when the speed of production of proteins exceeds their decay. It is important to remember that muscle growth involves the creation of new fibers and the breakdown of old ones.

Within a day, any person renews about 2 percent of muscle tissue. If you do not exercise, the catabolic and anabolic background are equal and the muscle mass does not increase. Thanks to strength training, this balance shifts towards the production of proteins.
when muscles grow in bodybuilding

However, in the body of bodybuilders the rate of synthesis of protein compounds does not always exceed the decay. At certain times, muscle growth is more pronounced, and sometimes the balance between synthesis and decay is maintained. Now we will talk about when muscles grow in bodybuilding, or, to put it another way, the balance shifts towards the production of protein compounds.

Muscular tissue is recognized as the dominant tissue of the human body, the specific weight of which in the total weight of a person is up to 45% in men and up to 30% in women. Musculature includes a variety of muscles. Muscle types number more than six hundred names.

The importance of muscles in the body

Muscles play an extremely important role in any living organism. With their help, the locomotor system is set in motion. Thanks to the work of muscles, a person, like other living organisms, can not only walk, stand, run, perform any movement, but also breathe, chew and process food, and even the most important organ – the heart – also consists of muscle tissue.

How is the work of the muscles?

Excitability is the process of activation, manifested in the form of a response to the stimulus (as a rule, it is an external factor). The property manifests itself in the form of a change in metabolism in the muscle and its membrane. Conductivity is a property that indicates the ability of the muscle tissue to transmit a nerve impulse, formed as a result of supercompensationthe stimulus, from the muscular organ to the spinal cord and brain, and also in the opposite direction. Reducibility is the final action of the musculature in response to the stimulating factor, manifests itself in the form of shortening of the muscle fiber, and also changes muscle tone, that is, the degree of their tension. In this case, the rate of contraction and the maximum intensity of the musculature can be different as a result of the different effects of the stimulus.

It should be noted that the work of muscles is possible due to the alternation of the properties described above, most often in the following order: excitability-conductivity-contractility. In the case of arbitrary operation of the musculature and the impulse comes from the central nervous system, the algorithm will have the form of conductivity-excitability-contractility.

Scientific view on muscle growth

Scientists have discovered the following patterns:

  • Production of protein compounds is accelerated immediately after the completion of the training.
  • Approximately four hours after the occupation of proteins is 50 percent more compared to the pre-training period.
  • The maximum synthesis rate is observed one day after the training and is maintained for 36 hours.
  • This information was obtained during a study in which the subjects trained a bicep with a number of sets equal to 12 at 6-10 repetitions in each.

There is also another experiment that showed that already three hours after the end of the session, the rate of protein synthesis increases to 110 percent and is maintained for two days. In the study, athletes trained their leg muscles in eight sets with a similar number of repetitions in each. Weight weighed 80 percent of the maximum.

As you can see, there are some inconsistencies in the results of these studies. This fact was noted by scientists who say that the results were influenced by the training system and the type of muscles. Also, do not forget about such parameters as nutrition, the features of the hormonal system, genetics, etc. It is also worth mentioning that along with the acceleration of the synthesis of proteins, the rate of their breakdown also increased.


It is generally accepted that muscular growth consists of several phases:

  • Stage rapid recovery (replenished glycogen reserves, ATP, creatine phosphate) – the duration is a day or slightly more.
  • The stage of slow recovery (the rate of protein synthesis rises to normal level).
  • The stage of supercompensation (the synthesis of proteins exceeds normal) occurs 2-4 days after the session and lasts for several days.

Here one can find another contradiction with the results of the studies cited above, which say that the synthesis of protein compounds is accelerated almost immediately after the training.

Food program

Now actively discusses the need to consume carbohydrates immediately after the end of the session. As you should have noticed, during the rapid recovery phase, the body aspires to make up its energy reserves as quickly as possible. This explains the recommendations for taking carbohydrates after the training. Scientists suggest that for this reason the “carbohydrate window” is open immediately after the training, and “protein” appears only after a couple of days.

body of bodybuilders

But research suggests that the speed of protein production increases almost immediately and at this point it is necessary to use products containing protein compounds with a complete amino acid profile. Opening of the “carbohydrate window” today also does not cause doubts, which was confirmed by a number of experiments. After the training, subjects used food containing protein compounds and carbohydrates, which promoted the acceleration of proteins in muscle tissues. Moreover, this process was more active in comparison with the use of carbohydrates alone.

Frequency of training

According to the research, the maximum production speed of protein compounds is reached within the first 24 hours after training, after which it begins to decrease. This can mean that you can train every muscle group more than once a week. Based on practical experience, we can say that in this case it makes sense to alternate the load of different intensity.

To put it another way, you should conduct a heavy and easy training for each muscle group within a week. As a result, it turns out that between the heavy training will pass the stage of supercompensation of muscles, as well as the super-recovery of all the systems of the body that experienced during stress.

Why muscles can grow badly?

We have already said that the speed of all processes of muscle growth is an individual indicator and you do not need to rely on the results of research. At one athlete after training, the speed of production of proteins can be one hundred or even more percent, muscle growthand the other will reach a mark of only 50 percent. Similarly, the situation is the same with the length of the period of rapid production of protein compounds.

This is the reason for the different speed of progress of athletes who train on the same program. Probably, you have a question – what are the reasons for these differences? It’s very simple, because everyone has a unique anabolic background. It depends on several factors, for example, the work of the endocrine system, nutrition and exercise.

It’s time to sum up some of the results of today’s conversation. First of all, you must remember that muscle growth accelerates immediately after the training and its peak falls on the first day after the session. The duration of the stage of active muscle growth is from 36 to 48 hours and the intensity, as well as the duration of this phase is individual.