Increased muscle mass is the result of muscle training. This training is also called hypertrophy training. Hypertrophy is the enlargement of tissue (e.g. muscles) by cell enlargement. Hypertrophy is initiated by an increased strain (e.g. strength training).
Whether the muscle has grown, is not always visible at first glance. To make an objective statement, there are various tests such as the DEXA scan, the bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA), the BODPOD and the hydrostatic method. All these tests determine the composition of your body and can therefore make a statement about your muscle mass.
Tests must be carried out regularly to document your development. In the long run, this can be very expensive and time-consuming. If you only want to evaluate the change, it is enough to measure your body circumference and weight.
Figure 1 shows which body circumferences should increase during hypertrophy training. No. 1 is measured with arms hanging down loosely and provides information about the shoulder width. No. 2 is measured at the level of the nipples (men). For women, the tape measure runs under the arms, along the armpits. The circumference of the No. 3 is determined with a completely angled arm. The middle of the thigh is the measuring position for No. 4, in the upper third, at the thickest part of the calf muscles the No. 5 is measured. It is important that measurements are always made at the same point in order to be able to provide a valid statement about the development process.
A healthy and naturally pronounced musculature does not only look good and results in an increased performance, but also keeps healthy. The musculature is an endocrine organ. This means that the muscles produce hormones and pass them directly into the bloodstream. These hormones have anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, well-trained muscles improve insulin sensitivity in the liver, muscle and fatty tissue. Insulin sensitivity determines the efficiency of the absorption of energy into the target organ.
Imagine you have a light sleep and wake up at the first soft alarm ring, then you react very sensitively to the ringing. But if you sleep soundly, the alarm clock has to work very hard to wake you up. Good insulin sensitivity enables the optimal supply of energy (in the form of glucose) to the muscles even with small amounts of insulin in the organism. However, insulin also supports fat storage.
Health is the most valuable thing you can possess and is not self-evident. We have to make more and more conscious efforts to stay healthy. An active and sporty everyday life is an important and necessary basis for your health.
If you still have questions, write them in the comments. I will try to answer them as soon as possible.
Tsatsoulis , A., Mantzaris, M., Bellou, S., & Andrikoula, M. (2013). Insulin resistance: an adaptive mechanism becomes maladaptive in the current environment – an evolutionary perspective. Metabolism, 62, 622 – 633.