How do people actually build muscle (without adding fat)?

Maybe you have been to the gym and seen those people who just seem to be made out of muscle. They are giant, lifting what seems like the weight of a Boeing 747. How do they do it? How do they get their muscles so big? Well, as it turns out, there is a method to the madness, and it has to do with the body’s natural processes as well as what your genetics says, along with your gender and how your body is built.

So what’s happening?

Basically what happens any time you work out by lifting weights or run or do anything physical, you are creating tiny little rips and tears in your muscles. These little rips and tears are then re-built and reinforced by your body naturally in the form of more muscle mass, which, in the process, makes you stronger.

Man doing weight lifting in gym on black background.

For instance, have you ever felt sore after a workout? Well the reason you feel that way is because your muscles are literally ripped apart, and your body needs to rebuild that muscle. So that mild soreness is just your muscles re-building.

Don’t overdo it

However, it is VERY important when doing any type of weight lifting or exercise to remember not to overdo it. Muscle tears are very real, and they are not the same as the tiny little microscopic tears which occur when you are building muscle.


A real muscle tear can cause you to lose the ability to effectively move a limb, or worse. It is always a good idea when first starting to train not only to use smaller weights and slowly work your way up, but to get yourself a trainer for the first couple of times to make sure that you know what you are doing.

Genetics and gender

Yet a major factor in how much muscle you can grow naturally lies in your genes. If you are genetically predisposed to be smaller and leaner, it does not matter how long or how much you put on the barbell, your muscles just may not grow. They may become stronger yes, but they may not show, turning into lean muscle. Or, your muscles may grow at a high rate and be very visible, but you may not be able to lift as much as the next person.

hot girl lift

Finally, another huge factor in muscle mass gain is gender. Men and women are very different physiologically, and therefore will grow their muscles differently. For instance, due to the fact that testosterone is very important for muscle growth, and since women typically have less testosterone than men, women typically will not be able to get as ripped and beefy as men.

For instance, the average man’s leg muscle will always be bigger and stronger than a woman’s, just because of physiological makeup of the two genders.

Additionally, due to the different physiologies in the two genders and the different organs and vaguely different arrangements, different exercises work differently for women than for men.


While weight training is a great way to get fit and look amazing, it is most important to do it safely, and slowly work your way up. Men and womens’ bodies are built differently, and no matter what you do, it will take several weeks before you start to see results. So keep at it, get in the gym, and start pumping today.