Gram for gram, the muscles of a non-lifter out-powers any bodybuilder's.Source: Big Think
Lead scientist professor Hans Degens, from Manchester Metropolitan University, confirms it's true — although the results may seem questionable. He admits he, too, was surprised when their studies revealed “that a gram of muscle from bodybuilders produced less force than that from non-bodybuilders, and it thus seems that the 'muscle quality' is less in bodybuilders.”
''It appears that excessive muscle growth may have detrimental effects on the quality of the muscle, and one may well be better off with normal-sized muscles than with metabolically expensive large muscles,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph.
What makes hulking bodybuilders so strong, Degens explained, is their mass. They have so much of it that it helps compensate for the gram-for-gram weakness. This explains why they can pick big things up and put them down.
However, in testing, his team found that power athletes, such as sprinters who did not lift weights, had more power in each gram of muscle when compared to bodybuilders.
Degens said: ''It would be interesting to see what aspect in the training of bodybuilders causes this decrease in muscle quality.'' One obvious suggestion is it may come down to how these people are training. But researchers won't know for sure until more studies are done.
My name is Sam Yang. I'm a martial artist, entrepreneur, fitness nerd, information geek, and productivity nut. For more useful information, join my newsletter. You can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter. For more philosophical posts, check out Must Triumph