Calling all fitness gurus!
Surprisingly, The mantra, “no pain, no gain” is much more literal than you may think. Whether you workout once a month, once a week, or every single day, there is one thing we all have in common–the physical process of how our bodies build muscle.
Do you ever feel sore for a few days after a hard workout? This pain can be attributed to the tears in your muscle fibers that occur during your pilates class, lifting session, cross-fit, yoga hour, or 5-mile run.
Muscles are made up of a variety of fibers within one another. First there are fascicles–bundles of fiber-like strands towards the outer layer of the muscle, but not necessarily on the surface. Next, there are strands inside those bundles known as muscle fibers. And lastly, myofibrils, which is the smallest structure of any muscle.
When you are exerting your muscles and pushing them past what they are used to, tiny tears occur in the smallest component of the muscle–the myofibrils–which explains the soreness you feel the day or two after you workout.
So what exactly makes the muscles bigger? Well, if you brought along your whey protein powder for your post-workout fix, you’ve got the right idea. The immune system kicks in and sends cytokines (protein) to the torn muscle fibers and begins the repair process. Protein cells called satellite cells (muscle stem cells) begin to multiply and fuse with the muscle fibers to repair the muscle, fully regenerating them. This time, however, stronger and capable of exerting more activity.
To put it simply, when you challenge your muscles, you cause little tears in your muscle fibers. Then protein comes along to save the day and helps repair the fibers, ultimately making them stronger than they were before.
If you’re one who’s looking to hack your health and maximize gains, then grab your Blender Bottles, Quest Bars, and raw eggs, because those torn muscle fibers are going to need it!