T Nation

Bone Growth?

Would ones bone grow if they needed to support more muscle?

With heavy resistance training and proper nutrition, you’re constantly stimulating new bone growth and strengthening dem bones.

As far as growing, I see no need for them to grow. Your tendons and ligaments are what you should be concerned with, in terms of parallelling size and strength gains with muscle.

That is, if muscle continues to grow unchecked, while connective tissue (i.e. ligaments, tendons, etc.) do not, you will run into injury predisposition and dilemmas.

How old are you?

your bones won’t grow in the convention sense because when long bones (humerus, femur, radius, ulna, tibia) they grow through metaphyseal growth plates. This is regulated through genes and the overal health in one’s environment during years of growth. Once a person has hit adulthood, the metaphyses chage and no longer ‘grow’ (except in rare meatblic disorders). They do, however, continue to regenerate.

Having said that, though, the loading of bone will increase through resistance training. Just like any onther body tissue, bones will respond to stress to better cope with it in the future. As a result, your bones will develope greater DENSITY.

my bone has grown quite a bit since i started weight training.

great progression… Keep up the good work.

OK, what about if someone went from really skinny (say like Timbo’s old pic :)) and put on MASSIVE amounts of weight (through seroids, etc.) to someone like Ronnie Coleman’s size?

Whould’t his frame have to be bigger?

Does bone density and size have something to do with your genetic limit on the mass you can carry?

A7, if one went from really skinny to huge, your done density, and bone-loading capacity would increase. That is, the red and white bone marrow of the medulla would modify the formation of matrix which is, at the cellular level, the equivalent of muscle tissue, but in bone. Bone is connective tissue, and CT’s are made of of diffent types of fibers(Collagen, keratin etc…)In response to resistance type of stresses, and provided that the applicable nutrition (for bones)is taken in it will ‘grow’ more dense. But it won’t really get ‘thicker’ or ‘wider’

I read an article once where a dude really out on steroids developed his muscle so strong it actually outpaced his bones and broke his femur while doing leg extensions b/c the muscle contraction was too strong! Don’t know if that was total truth ,but that would sure be something if it was!

RS, that’s a good question. It would make sense that if a person’s frame was stronger (skeleton) that the muscles would have stronger support.

I work as a tech in Radiology, and It’s quite interesting to see certain things. For ex. a really big, and I mean naturally husky guy, will have big bones (especially vertebral bodies)-which would seem natural to carry a big frame - but if a guy comes who is really huge but only through massive muscle hypertrophy - the bones are just normal size. Same thing for normal sized indiviuals (especially women)who gain tons of blubber around the hips, backside and stomach and thighs - they get hugely fat, but their bones stay tiny-birdlike.

So for all the t-men and t-vixens out there - there is another reason not to get fat. It’s one we don’t often talk about, but I see every day! I’M TALKING ABOUT ARTHRITIS! People who are fat put excess wear on their joints and ground them down until the bone grinds on bone. Then you have to get an knee or hips replacement! and they aren’t fun!

Take care t-peeps…

A7, thanks for the nice reference there:-)

Bobo the Clown, why don’t you cut and paste that PM I sent you about bone density and resistance training?

Timbo: Sorry bruh, I couldn’t resist! :slight_smile:

Mayfield: Great explaination.

So let me get this straight, the bone doesn’t actually grow in size - longer or thicker? but just denser?

yup. There may be negligible thickening just as a result of denser cortical (outer layer)bone being laid down, but that amount would be so minute you probably couldn’t measure it.

So that brings up another question: what are some good foods for bone density and I not talking just calcium rich foods.

I’ve read that nuts and seeds contain a nutrient called strontium that is essential within the bone matrix.

You also need to eat plenty of alkalining fruits and veggies because your body needs to keep a balanced pH, and if it gets too acidic, bone will be resorbed and taken into the bloodstream where Ca+ and Phosphorus can buffer the acidic condition. Over time this ‘resorption’ can outpace osteogenesis and weaker bones will result. If alkaline foods are eaten, they can buffer and reduce the bone resorption.

Anybody know of any others?

The bones do become more dense through weight training but I’m not sure they grow longer in the conventional sense although I’m sure they can become thicker. When a bone is subjected to a stress which brings it within x% (can’t remember the #) it will thicken. I know I’ve thickened my wrist measurement just by doing front squats in the conventional manner over time.

Kelly, like I said the bone may thicken in response to stress, but so minimally that you wouldn’t be able to measure the difference. when you say you’re wrist measurment got bigger, are you referring to the distal end of the forearm (as in, any point between the elbow and the bump (ulnar styloid) jump before you get to your hand? that would consitute forearm muscle, ligament, and tendon developement not bone ‘thickness’. You wrist is made of 8 carpals that sit in the impression just after the ulnar styloid and the start of the hand. Those bones will NOT gain size. Again, ligament, muscle, tendon development, not bone.

And there is also the issue of swelling and inflammation that will cause a measurement of just about any body part in response to excercise…