Let's talk the basics of building muscles.
During exercise, your muscles endure microscopic damage. When you rest up after your session, your body starts to repair the damaged tissue by fusing the damaged muscle fibers together. The result? Stronger, thicker, and more plentiful muscle fibers – AKA hypertrophy (a fancy word for muscle growth).
The thing is, your body adapts to exercise quickly, which is why progressive overload is essential for making continuous gains.
And what is progressive overload? Simply put, progressive overload is upping the intensity of your training so that your body is forced to adapt and get stronger.
The most common way to achieve progressive overload in strength training is to increase the weight you lift.
Men and women build muscles differently. That’s because testosterone plays a big role in muscle development. While both sexes have testosterone in their bodies, men have more of this hormone. However, studies have shown that both men and women have similar responses to strength training.
Muscle growth is also affected by:
Overall, more noticeable changes in muscle mass tend to happen for people of either sex who have more muscle mass to begin with.
Worried about "bulky" muscles?
Well here is what you would need to do get bulky muscles:
👉Eat a HUGE amount of calories (an extra 500 calories)
👉Eat A LOT of protein (25-30g per meal)
👉Decrease rest between sets
👉Lift weights that are REALLY challenging
Let's think about this...people work insanely hard to build bulky muscles. Think of all those body builders out there. They are constantly at the gym, lifting huge amounts of weights that they can do only 1-5 reps of, and loading up on protein and other supplements. It's difficult.
YOU are not doing that. YOU will not get bulky muscles unless you really try to.
The takeaway, don't be afraid of getting bulky muscles. You want to be strong right? You want to have lean muscles right? You need to challenge your body but not to the point where you can only get 1-5 reps in before your muscle gives out.