If you’ve done ANY weight lifting you’ve probably spent countless hours flexing your muscles in the gym mirrors admiring your work.
So, you’re probably wondering- does all that time we spend flexing build muscle?
Well, yes! All that flexing actually does build muscle. That flexing forces tons of blood into the muscle and still strains the muscle. While you won’t gain a ton of muscle by any means, it still does grow muscle a tiny bit, and can make a noticeable impact on your progress in the gym over time.
Let’s cover this a bit more in-depth, and really explain how flexing grows muscle.
Flexing Forces Tons of Blood and Nutrients into Your Muscle
As we’ve covered hundreds of times, your bloodstream is like the ‘highway’ of your body. And on this highway, your body carries the ingredients like protein, energy, and vitamins/minerals needed to build your muscles.
What’s interesting is that flexing actually forces more nutrients and blood into your muscles, giving them more tools to repair muscle with.
Rich Piana Scientifically Proved This Builds Muscle With His Feeder Workouts
A long time ago, a legend in the bodybuilding world known as Rich Piana entered the scene and had this wild idea of muscle growth.
He said basically, “It isn’t about the weight, it’s about how hard that muscle is working”. So, he invented these things called feeder workouts, and turns out- it can put inches on your arms in muscle in just months.
Basically, he would take a super light weight, say 5-10 lbs, and do 100 reps continuously. Most people would think this doesn’t grow muscle, but it actually grew A LOT of muscle.
Here’s why: when Rich Piana was out there doing these reps, he was flooding his muscles with a ton of blood, nutrients, and just forcing that “pump” in his muscles. That pump ended up growing LOTS of muscle and revealed to everyone in the bodybuilding community that it isn’t just about the weight of the actual dumbbells/barbells.
So yeah, turns out your muscles will actually grow when they are stressed and overloaded- regardless of the weight put on it. That means even just flexing it works.
Flexing is Still a Type of Muscle Overload
Flexing is still a type of muscle overload! Now that we understand that we can grow muscles without needing big weights, we need to understand that flexing can cause muscle growth too.
Here’s the thing, when you are flexing a muscle, you are contracting it, and often times holding it in that spot for a long period of time. That means you are forcing a muscle to overload over and over, and hold that contraction. Often times when we workout, we release that contraction, but when we flex we keep it.
This is a different type of overload that also gives muscle growth. Flexing in itself is quite literally working out the muscles.
Flexing Routines Can Be INTENSE, Especially For a Bodybuilder
Now, for someone that just flexes for a few seconds every week or so, you may not see the same results as everyone else.
But for people that regularly end up flexing for minutes at a time, or daily, you may see way better results from it.
Bodybuilders generally have some of the most intense posing routines, often to intense songs.
A typical bodybuilding routine can be 3 minutes long of CONSTANT flexing across the body. It’s quite intense to watch actually.
For a bodybuilder that is practicing their routine multiple times a day, or even just someone practicing some poses at the end of their workout, you may see much bigger results from it.
Rich Piana only spent 5-10 minutes with those feeder workouts and saw intense results. Spending a few minutes in the gym after every shift hitting those flexes can result in muscle growth.
The Muscle Growth Certainly Isn’t Significant, But It’s There
While flexing certainly builds muscle, the muscle growth is not significant.
However, it is there. And after many years of bodybuilding, that really does add up.
As we all know bodybuilding is a sport that takes a long time. You don’t go into the gym and become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight- it takes years of consistent hard work.
When you do regular flexing, as most of us do anyways, it does add up for the muscle growth.
Always Flex in Moderation
This shouldn’t have to be said, but don’t go out there just flexing your muscles for 8 hours straight in class.
Not only is that not going to grow any muscle, but it can put you at risk of other health issues like heightened blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, et cetera.
Just doing some simple flexing and posing after a workout here and there is all you really need to make a difference. Don’t over practice flexing routines or anything, do everything in moderation- that’s kind of the key to life, right?
But, flexing for 2 hours instead of going to the gym for 2 hours is absolutely not a replacement and will absolutely only hurt you. So please, be smart about it.
Conclusion of Does Flexing Build Muscle?
The truth is, flexing does build muscle. While it isn’t anything significant, it’s there- and it adds up over time.
Just do it in moderation, don’t sit there and flex in class for hours or anything, just do some poses and flex to see your hard work after your workout, and rest assured knowing you’ll see some muscle growth from it in the long run.