Have you ever wondered why, even though you are working out just as hard as the person next to you but you just aren’t seeing the results, or “gains” as that person. You may even be following the same training program, performing the same exercises but still, not the same results. Before you let it get you down and convince yourself that you must be doing something wrong you should realize there are many factors that affect a person’s ability to increase muscular size and strength. Factors that affect all of us.
Type of Muscle Fibers
This is by one of the most important factors when it comes to your ability to increase muscle size and strength. We al of two types of muscle fibers, what’s known as “Slow Twitch” and “Fast Twitch” muscle fibers. Slow twitch muscle fibers are best used during cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise. This muscle fiber produces small levels of force for a long period of time – think of a marathon runners. Fast twitch muscle fibers are best used for anaerobic exercise and produce a great amount of force for shorter periods of time – think, weightlifter or strongman.
While most of us have an equal combination of slow and fast twitch muscle fibers, some people a have a higher percentage of either one. People with a greater percentage of slow twitch muscle fiber would find an enhanced ability for endurance activities such as marathon running. Those with a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers would find an enhanced ability for powerful more explosive activities such as sprinting. While both muscle fiber types respond favourably to strength training it’s the people with more fast twitch muscle fibers that will see the quickest gains in muscle strength and size.
Age is another factor. One we unfortunately cannot control. People of all ages can increase muscle size and strength by following an effective strength training program, but as we age the muscle rebuilding process becomes slower. It’s important to remember that you are never too old for proper exercise.
It’s true, your gender does affect your body’s ability to increase muscle strength and size. While both men and women’s muscle is characteristically identical, men tend to have more muscle tissue because of the presence of testosterone. The larger the muscle – the more strength a person has.
The strength of your muscle is also influenced by the point of insertion of the tendon. If your bicep tendon attaches further away from the elbow joint you would have an advantage in the amount of weight you can lift in such exercises as the bicep curl.
These are just a few of the factors that affect our ability to increase muscle strength and size. The most important factor is to remember when lifting, to use slow controlled movements and lifting to the point of muscle fatigue.
Lifting with a well balanced and effetive strength training programming, a good diet and allowing your muscles to have the proper rest between training sessions. In addition, do not forget to change the program every so often to avoid plateau.
Strength training through weightlifting provides many important benefits that cannot be achieved by any other exercise or activity. Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include an increase in muscle size and tone, increased muscle strength, and increases in tendon, bone, and ligament strength. Strength-training has also been shown to improve psychological health as well, by increasing self-esteem, confidence and self-worth. If you understand and accept your body, you will be able to work with it, not against it. Everyone can improve their strength, appearance, and performance level by consistently implementing an effective strength training program.