ergo-log.com

Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us

/

contact

/

08.01.2018


MRI scans prove it: developing lower body muscles is more difficult than developing upper body muscles

Most men who have been working out with weight for some time already know what Japanese sports scientist discovered 15 years ago using MRI scans: the muscles in the upper body grow faster than those in the lower body.

Study
The researchers, who were associated with the Tokyo Metropolitan University, had three young men work out with weights for 16 weeks. The subjects trained 3 times a week, and then did work with 5 basal exercises - the squat, leg-extension, leg-curl, bench press and lat-pulldown - the most important muscle groups of the body. The subjects did three sets of each exercise, and trained with a load with which 8-12 reps were possible.

Before and after the 16 weeks training period, the researchers determined the body composition of the men using MRI.

Results
After the training period the men were 2.3 kilos heavier, but according to the MRI scans the men won no less than 4.2 kilos of muscle mass.

If strength training newbies want to know how many muscles they have gained recently, they obviously can not rely on the good old scale. It underestimates the number of kilos of freshly acquired muscle mass.


MRI scans prove it: developing lower body muscles is more difficult than developing upper body muscles


MRI scans prove it: developing lower body muscles is more difficult than developing upper body muscles


The MRI also indicated which muscles had grown considerably, and which less. The greatest growth had occurred in the muscles of the upper body. The large muscles in the lower body - the glutes and the quads - came in second place. That is remarkable, because 3 of the 5 exercises that the men had done, stimulated the muscles of the lower body.

Conclusion
"If changes in muscle hypertrophy were constant across every muscle, then a single anatomical cross sectional area would reflect changes in skeletal muscle mass", the researchers wrote. "However, our data show that muscle hypertrophy did not occur uniformly throughout each individual muscle or region - for example, trunk, arm, and leg - of the body."

Source:
Br J Sports Med. 2003 Dec;37(6):543-5.

More:
Study: your age determines the effect strength training has on your body 07.12.2017
Endurance training reduces strength training gains in muscle mass and strength 19.01.2014
Strength training keeps women in better shape than HRT 15.01.2010

Archives:
Strength Training


Women's muscle strength reacts better to weight training than men's does
Men are stronger than women, but women react better to strength training than men do. Proportionally, their muscular strength increases more than men's does.

Strength training results in more muscle growth when combined with heat treatment
Strength training may result in more muscle mass if athletes also expose their muscle three times a week to a heat source that raises the temperature of their muscles by 4 degrees Celsius.

DHEA boosts muscle build-up from strength training
The over-65s – both men and women – build up more muscle mass and strength if they take 50 mg DHEA in combination with strength training.