What does “Building Muscle” Mean?

Most men want bigger muscles…it’s the reason most of us go to the gym, it’s the reason men continue to experiment with new workout protocols, new supplements and even drugs…bigger muscles.

Eugen Sandow vs Schwarzenegger

How did Schwarzenegger get so much bigger than Sandow?

A quick glance around any gym will reveal men with vastly different sizes of muscles. So what makes one guy that much different than the other in a given group?

The factors that contribute to the muscle size of any given person you might come across include:


# of years weight training

Type of program followed

Intensity of training

The age you started weight training



Money – how much supplements or drugs you can afford

Time – The amount of time you can spend working out

Stress – How much stress you are under in the other areas of your life

All of these factors contribute to the amount of muscle any given person has, and this is also why you can’t really compare yourself to anyone else.

This is all part of understanding muscle growth and what to expect.

At this point you might have noticed that I haven’t said anything about ‘building muscle’ but only muscle ‘growth’. That is because it’s incorrect to use the word ‘build’ to refer to muscle.

Or at the very least, the word ‘build’ makes us think of muscle growth in the wrong terms, and as long as we think in terms of muscle ‘building’ we will always be susceptible to marketing scams about muscle growth.

The first step to really understanding how to create bigger muscles is to first start thinking about muscle growth as it truly is, and that is hypertrophy, not ‘building’.

DEFINITION: Hypertrophy is the increase in the volume of an organ or tissue due to the enlargement of its component cells.

The definition of the word “build” can mean many things, but none of it’s meanings are the same as the word ‘hypertrophy’.

Hypertrophy can most closely be related to the concept of filling up a water balloon and perhaps making a slightly bigger balloon to fill.

Making this distinction in the way you think of muscle growth is a key step to developing the body you want and namely, bigger muscles.

In todays podcast we discuss how to correctly think about muscle growth and how this fundamental shift in the way you think and speak about muscle growth will change the way you view working out for both muscle size and definition.



About Allen Elliott

Allen is the Editor-In Chief of the Adonis Index Blog, bringing you weekly articles on contest prep, transformation testimonials' and much more!

Additionally he is a published Fitness Personality, Certified Personal Trainer, and National Competitor in the NPC Men's Physique Division.

Last but not least, as an Adonis/Venus Index Transformation Coach, he works to provide guided solutions for people who sincerely strive to meet their fitness goals.

Being a fitness model and competitor gives him a lot of valuable insights that nobody else talks about. Among other things, he will teach you how to prepare for a live show or a fitness photoshoot yourself.

Click here to get more from him.