What Is Muscular Density?

A quality that all bodybuilders in the post-Dorian Yates world aspire to is dense grainy muscle. However, there's been a lot of confusion as to what density means in this context. A dense physique is one that consists of relatively smaller proportion of sarcoplasmic (fluid filled, in the most basic terms) hypertrophy and instead consists of much more thickly woven torn and repaired muscle fibers, formed only as a product of lifting very heavy weights. To put it simply; you can build the fullest, most bubbly muscle bellies using low weight, intensity, and medium rest times, but the thick, hard "I can walk through a brick wall" look comes only from myofibrillar hypertrophy, which is to say muscle fibers or increased size on the fibrous myofibril level, as a product of lifting heavy and with high intensity. 

    Contrary to the cloud of "who knows" floating around the internet. Muscular density is real, and it is a product of the physiological mechanisms described above? Consequently, aspiring to build a "dense" physique is a very worthwhile goal for a bodybuilder and demonstrates the nuances that separate a good physique from a great physique. Namely, the quality of the muscle itself, not just its size. So if you want to look like you can bend steel pipe and break concrete with your bare hands, then heavy, high intensity training as Mr Olympia champions Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman were known for is the way to go to produce not just a larger "inflated" looking muscle, but a hard solid physique that is not only striking visually, but almost always produces bodybuilders that are as strong as oxes as well.  

Nick TrigiliComment