Can Muscle Growth lead to a loss in Muscle Endurance?
Fitness has generated a lot of hype in recent times. More and more people have started to grow aware of the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise. And more specifically, people have begun to find the idea of a bigger muscular structure, a lot more attractive. This in general is a very positive attitude as it can greatly improve your health, but that being said, there are certain things that one must take note of to fully understand the concept of muscle building.
It is a known fact that your muscles react in different ways depending on the type of training you subject them to. For instance, when you perform more resistance type workouts by overloading weights, your muscles tend to grow bigger and stronger. Moreover recent studies conducted at the University of Basel has shown that trigger a compound called BDNF in the brain. BDNF is nothing but myokine brain derived neurotrophic factor. This is mainly responsible for improving the strength of your muscle fibers.
But apart from causing strength gains, this compound which is produced in the muscles itself also stimulates a number of neurological changes. It remodels the neuromuscular synapses by modifying the neural junctions between the motor neurons and the muscles. As mentioned before, strength gain is one positive side effect of such changes but studies have also shown that these changes can cause the endurance of our muscle fibers to decline.
It is also important to note that when we talk about the strength and endurance attributes of our muscle fibers we are actually referring to two separate types of muscle fibers: fast twitch and slow twitch. Slow twitch muscle fibers are more prominent in endurance athletes such as marathon runners while fast twitch muscle fibers are the more dominant type of fibers amongst athletes who require the production of power in bursts. Powerlifters and sprinters are examples of athletes who have highly developed fast twitch muscle fibers.
When BDNF is activated, strength gains occur at the cost of endurance i.e.. Fast twitch muscle fibers grow by replacing slow twitch fibers. This is why when athletes train for high performance sports, they take these factors into consideration so as to prime their muscles to produce the type of output they require. It is also interesting to note that muscles that have lower concentrations of BDNF do not deteriorate as fast over time when compared to muscles that had higher concentrations of BDNF.
Muscle building has a lot of science behind it. The inner workings of our body can vary dramatically depending upon various factors.This is why it is crucial for you to be clear with your goals. Envision your end result in mind, come up with a diet and workout plan that is backed by science, and work towards it! Be it fast twitch or slow twitch, consistency will always reap benefits.