Would Wolverine Be the Ultimate Body Builder? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

Would Wolverine Be the Ultimate Body Builder? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)


– Wolverine wouldn’t look like Wolverine without his signature claws. They’re real, snikt! But he wouldn’t have
these without his original mutant ability, a superhuman
(groans) healing factor that allowed him to survive
an incredibly invasive adamantium graft job. But Wolverine also wouldn’t
look like Wolverine unless he was totally jacked, bro! So if his power is to repair
cells and make new ones in response to damage,
wouldn’t any exercise routine quickly turn Wolverine into
the ultimate bodybuilder? (energetic music) Yeah, come on! Today’s question comes from
LukeHaas22 on Instagram, and I love it because it
plays into our assumptions about fitness and how our bodies work. You’ve probably heard
from someone who eats kale that getting bigger muscles means damaging those muscles more, like lifting weights
to tear muscle tissue, which then grows back bigger and stronger. But if repairing damage
is what makes big muscles, wouldn’t Wolverine put on
muscle faster and easier than any human? First you have three different
kinds of muscle tissue in your body: cardiac, which
you can find in your heart; smooth, which you can find
in the hollow visceral organs of your body, like your
stomach; and skeletal muscle. Now. that is the muscle that
we can workout and make bigger, and your body has around
640 of those muscles, the biggest of which is the
old gluty max back here, and the smallest of which
is the stapedius muscle, which is as long as
these blades are thick, just a millimeter, and its right here, right here in your inner … Oh, I’m tang– (moaning) No matter how big or how
small skeletal muscle is, it gets its strength from its structure. Inside of a skeletal muscle
are bundles of muscle cells. And inside each muscle cell is a bundle of so-called myofibrils. And inside of those bundles of myofibrils are bundles of myofilaments. Now, when the body wants a muscle to move, a neuron signals it to through a lot of complicated chemistry, and these long protein
chains of myofilaments move past each other and contract, which contracts the myofibrils, which contracts the muscle cells, which contracts the muscle as a whole. Now, by bundling like this, skeletal muscle can
generate a lot of force in not a lot of cross-sectional area, which is good for Wolverine because, canonically, he’s just 5’3″. (growling) Okay, calm down, dude. You’re short, all right,
stay in your panel. (screaming) Wolverine’s healing factor is more or less the ability to repair and replace tissue. But getting yoked, bro, is not about creating more muscle cells. Shortly after you are born,
your muscles cells mature and become post-miotic,
meaning that they no longer undergo mitosis, they no longer divide. So, for example, if I was
to take a muscle biopsy from someone like me, (groans) and from an expert bodybuilder — oh, yeah, come on (groans) — you would find the same
number of muscle cells, proportionally speaking. Cells don’t divide to make muscles bigger. Instead, the number of
muscle cells stays the same, and the cell size gets bigger. (metal clanking) That doesn’t sound like
snikt at all, does it? (metal scraping) I mean, kind … Misleading onomatopoeia! (metal scraping) The biological mechanism through which one becomes a brolossus is
called muscle hypertrophy. Very generally speaking,
muscle hypertrophy — getting bigger muscle cells — occurs when your muscles
are adding more protein to themselves than they are removing. This is the process of adding
more of those protein chains, which increases the diameter
of the cells themselves, thereby increasing the size of the muscle. Oh, yeah, come on! That’s good! Keep it going! Come on, one more! Two more! Nice! Let’s go get coffee! We haven’t yet established what makes muscle hypertrophy happen — the body is really complicated — but we know it has to be
some combination of hormones, of the immune system, of growth factors, of genetics, and of exercise, and exercise is what is popularly
associated with tissue damage. Now, when we workout … (groans) Oh, it’s over
a thousand kilograms! When we workout, there is
tiny, microscopic damage done to our muscle fibers. And when muscle fibers are
damaged, the body activates a legion of dormant satellite cells, and these satellite cells move
to the location of the injury and then donate their own genetic material to the muscle cells. These muscle cells then use that material to synthesize more protein
to repair the injury and make the muscle
cells themselves bigger and more able to handle
the stress of working out. In theory, Wolverine
would be better at this. However, because skeletal
muscle cells don’t divide, there is a limit on how
much they can regenerate. When a muscle cell is
damaged enough to die, other muscle cells don’t
divide to replace it like Wolverine’s skin cells would do if he got a really bad cut. No, instead, that muscle tissue is just replaced with scar tissue, which does not function as well, which is why, in a
really bad muscle injury, there is permanent loss
of muscle strength. Ow. So the relationship between muscle damage and muscle hypertrophy is complicated. Damage, and Wolverine’s superhuman ability to recover from it, may not even matter. I already cut myself with these things, right in between … I punctured in between my knuckles. It hurt … every time, which was once, but it hurt. Because growing more muscle cells isn’t how swole works, to
become the ultimate bodybuilder Wolverine would want there
to be a direct relationship between muscle growth and muscle damage. That is to say, the more
you damage the muscles, the more they regenerate, and the bigger and stronger muscles that you get. But we already know this isn’t true. Think about it. Who has the biggest
muscles among athletes, the humans who are really
good at putting on muscle? Well, it’s bodybuilders who
use resistance training, like Arnold. (garbled speech) And who has the smallest
muscles among athletes? Well, it’s endurance trainers,
like marathon runners. Now, which kind of training do you think causes more muscle damage? Well, you may be surprised to learn that it is in fact endurance training. Running many, many kilometers is a lot more damaging to your muscles than lifting a couple of
kilograms a few times a week. That changes this relationship from one that is potentially direct
to one that is inverse, meaning that more muscle damage is actually related to less muscle growth. Now, we don’t know why
this is the case exactly, but one explanation could
be that there’s not enough body resources to grow the muscle — they’re all being spent on repairing it. What this all means for Wolverine is that, even if he could repair
a lot of muscle damage, even very rapidly, that
wouldn’t necessarily lead to him becoming a huge, jacked man. Some studies have even shown that if you eliminate the satellite cells, the cells that actually
do the regenerating, the cells that Wolverine would
be really good at producing, your muscles can still get bigger. (paper shredding) Okay, all right. Okay, okay. Yeah! So, because of his healing factor, could Wolverine become
the ultimate bodybuilder? Well, I don’t think so. Despite what you may have heard at a gym or on the internet, more muscle damage does not directly lead
to more muscle mass, even though we know it
has to play some role. And muscle cells don’t
divide like skin cells do, and so Wolverine main ability
to repair and replace cells after a grievous wounding wouldn’t lead to crazy swoleness. Although, Wolverine probably would be more naturally jacked
than you or me because he has to carry around a very
heavy adamantium skeleton … his entire life. Because science! (dynamic electronic music) There is no greater source of
health nonsense than a gym. You walk into a gym, some guy’s like, “You know what you gotta do? “It’s three reps for two
minutes, resting for 30 seconds, “and then you ingest some
bull shark testosterone “and some whey protein, organic,
and that’s the way you …” Shut up. There’s so few studies that
establish anything specific about what is the best
approach to be healthy. If anything, it’s very generic. It’s don’t eat a lot of meat, or a lot of sugar, or a lot of fat. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetable. Don’t smoke. Exercise. Everyone else is trying
to sell you something. Speaking of which, if
you want to get jacked, you can check out … Thank you so much for watching, Frida. Make sure to like and subscribe
if you liked this video. And follow me on social media where I post a bunch
of cool science stuff. And you can checkout me
and Dan Casey on Muskwatch. Or you can get this show
two days earlier on Alpha. Subscribe to ProjectAlpha.com and you get a free 30-day
trial and me soon-er. (jangly electronic music)

100 Replies to “Would Wolverine Be the Ultimate Body Builder? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)”

  1. The "Kyle is wrong!" FAQ

    1. I am looking into whether or not regeneration itself leads to bigger muscles, and therefore whether or not Wolverine could benefit from that. The research I found indicates that not only is regeneration (via satellite cells) not always necessary for hypertrophy, making new/more muscle cells is not how muscles get bigger. HOWEVER, I do see the argument that Wolverine would be able to recover from hard workouts faster. This could make a better body builder sure, but that also assumes he'd be working out all the time to take advantage of the shortened recovery period, and that's not really what I was getting at. But fair enough.

    (UPDATING) — KH

  2. What about lactic acid? You covered wolverine not being immune to poison in another episode and my understanding is long distance runners deal with this by getting massages to break down the crystalline (?) lactic acid that inhibits the repair of the muscles. The problem with this is it's poison so doing this can make you very very sick.

    P.S. I wish I had found these videos sooner I have so many questions when I watch them months later. -.-

  3. I know I'm waaay late to the party, buy I just wanted to say, thank you for helping me inderstand why my left arm (full of scar tissue from a car accident) is significantly weaker than my right arm (no scars).

    Awesome channel by the way.

  4. See a better question is if u had a healing factor like wolverine could u lift like 2 tons or an anchor on a day to day basis? if u do a vid on this then I might be a happy person

  5. Hmm, this was actually REALLY informative.

    It explains why body builders recommend less reps and more sets and higher weight. The higher weight is supposed to make sure that the muscle fiber is damaged in the first place, but to avoid that the damage is too much the body builder recommends that you do less repetitions as to not overdamage the muscle. Then you let it rest for a moment and heal before you start another set.

  6. I expected this video to be all about living with a metal-coated skeleton. Dude has to lift like 300 pounds just getting out of bed in the morning.

  7. Have you ever seen a scar on Wolverine? What does that mean to his muscle growth if he is either literally or practically invulnerable to scarring? If his muscles can form scar tissue because of his healing factor, wouldn't severe muscle trauma be a moot point?

  8. How would the heavy skeleton help Wolverine? Didn't you do an episode on Goku's weighted clothes and how it doesn't really help much? Wouldn't the heavier skeleton be about the same thing?

  9. Muscles get bigger after work load damage them they repair and build stronger . So would his healing factor cause him not gain strength as his healing would heal him before his muscles cell were damaged enough to cause body rebuild stronger. If his muscles heal bullet wounds in seconds the damage did from workout would heal as it happened. No muscle damage no growth 5 foot 3 inch weakling who heals fast might need change name to jellyfish .

  10. Cover nuclei overload😄I found your channel a month ago and fell in love with the content, I have increased my ability to increase my bicep by almost 1 1/2 this ties to theory of the body of people who do heavy work, like when have you ever seen a small lumberjack with tiny arms. The repeated stress that is controlled will be pain painful and you won’t front the 1st month, your ability to handle lactic acid is increased due to a mix of heavy weight and light weight to failure. If you could cover this subject it would be great.

  11. You failed to include Type I vs Type II, so I’m afraid the argument is flawed. Wolverine would be the ultimate body builder, you know it, I know it. The dude is jacked to the fucking nines.

  12. Wolverine does have enhanced strength to be able to swing a tree trunk like a baseball bat which is why he moves so well even carrying around a heavy adamantium skeleton

  13. This is old, but come to think of it, why can wolverine get jacked, at all? Let's say Wolvy loses an arm. Does it come back as a new, anti-jacked arm, or does it come back in it's previous state. If it's the former, the any damage to the muscle tissue should reset it back to the normal nega-jacked form. If it's the latter, well you start working out you're pretty much non-jacked. So if his ability says "Ok let's go back to the state we were last at. We've got damage, boys.", shouldn't it go back to that void-of-jack state? If anything, it seems like he should be the WORST body builder in the world.

  14. Wolverine would be the ultimate bodybuilder simply because he could take as many different stacks of androgens but any side effects would instantly heal. Even his androgen receptors might continue to revert to their original virgin state (rather than get burnt out) so he could experience the "first steroid cycle" incredible growth spurt that one gets.
    His BP, heart health, liver function and endocrine system would completely heal instantly as would his muscles after a workout.
    But he could safely use 1Gram of testosterone daily so his muscles could grow even more efficiently.

    The problem is the bigger he gets the more oxygen is required tofuel the muscles and he's going to gas out in a long fight, even with a healing factor. So he would have to slow down with the superhero thing.

    Actually if you look at Wolverine in the 1990s, drawn by certain artists, he's freaking huge!

  15. Is conditioning actually effective, or is hitting a part of your body or your muscle make it harder or perhaps stronger?

  16. “Don’t eat a lot of meat, or a lot of sugar, or a lot of fat, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, don’t smoke, exercise”

    This is the point

  17. What haapens to his hair…i always had this doubt…he should have very lengthy hair cause if you cut them,they should re-grow right?

  18. Even if your correct about the body building, which I have reservations about. Wolverine would be the ultimate stamina freak, with how crazy his regeneration is then wouldn’t he be able to run basically forever, as he regenerates muscular damage as it happens. His only limit would be if he were killed by something, like Thanos or blood poisoning by his Adimantium

  19. You also have to keep in mind wolverine is around 200 years old. Could easily have gotten that strong through 200 years of living

  20. Obviously, Logan muscle cells are not in post miotic state.

    Wolverine can take an amount of muscle tissue damage that should make a regular human invalid for life, and regenerate it in hours.

    So, is possible to him make brand new muscle fibers.

  21. Wolverine's healing factor does make it so he doesn't get tired as fast or at all, with enhanced reflexes and senses. Seems like he would be more lean and a better marathon runner than a body builder.

  22. Wolverine's healing factor is regeneration, not technically the same thing as human's healing factor since we don't 'regenerate'. Meaning he would gain muscle at generally the same way or less than a normal human's rate due to his regeneration abilities.

  23. Shoddycast kinda touched on it, but I'm wondering if using a Fallout style stimpack would be safely possible. Is there any way to get the nutrient and chemical density needed packed into a pressurized syringe that WON'T blow your arm off?

  24. Regardless of everything… Wolverine's healing factor would make him stronger. It would just require him to consume enough calories, micro and macro nutrients and protein to keep it going. If those insane conditions are met then he would hypothetically be the most swoll character ever. But we all know that Wolverine's healing factor has a limit because of movies…

  25. One thing I wanted to point out at 6:44
    With long distance running, you're not damaging the muscles the same way. With hypertrophy training, your damaging more type 2 muscle fibers. And it's not just a couple of reps either, you're training with large amounts of volume throughout your workout, several times a week at least. With long distance running, you're using more type 1 muscle fibers which can withstand long bouts of use and take longer to fatigue (the bioenergetic principles change as well). With other factors in place, sarcoplasmic/myofibular (spl) Hypertrophy is directly related to muscle gains in size and strength. What you discribed (lifting a few kg a couple time a week) is NOT "hypertrophy" training. Muscles grow in response to a need to grow, principle of adaption. The more resistance stress put on the muscle, the bigger/strong it'll get its response to that stress overtime.

    Otherwise, I still live your vids, keep em comin 🔥

  26. I'd like to know how Superman built up his muscles.Apparently there's nothing heavy enough to cause resistance training.

  27. how is it possible for wolverine to stand? There’s no insertion between muscle fibers and metal surfaces…

    it's a comic book character, you may say, but still… because science.

  28. Producing muscle mass has everything to do with Diet! Eat those proteins, and drink those chocolate shakes!

  29. Maybe Wolvies skills involve hyperplasia and he has some super human myostatin imbalance so he's be kinna like a Belgian blue cow. He would have super low fat and he would really wouldn't have to work out at all.

  30. Fast twitch muscle fibers are for brief, intense activity, like lifting weight and sprinting (hence why sprinters are more jacked than endurance runners). They get bigger because their main method of ATP generation is glycolysis, which is way faster than oxidative phosphorylation, but way less efficient, so they need to be able to store a lot more glycogen (branched glucose) in their cytosplasm to adapt to progressive overload.

    Slow twitch muscle fibers are for sustained, long period of low to moderate activity like endurance running, endurance swimming, walking etc. and they generate their ATP from oxidative phosphorylation, much slower and more efficient than glycolysis. These muscle fibers don't get that much bigger, because their way to adapt to progressive overload is through increasing their mitochondria count. Also because oxidative phosphorylation is more efficient than glycolysis they don't need to generate that much more mitochondria.

  31. WHAT ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE IN SARCOPLASMIC AND MYOFIBRIL HYPERTROPHY ??? AKA BODYBUILDING AND STRENGTH TRAINING?

  32. I don't know if you plan shows based on youtube questions but I want to know.. Why is Superman built?? I propose he would be the skinniest guy on the planet due to lack of strain on his muscles.

  33. There are two genetic exceptions to his conclusion. Myostatin is the protein compound that regulates muscle size. It does not allow muscles to rejuvenate themselves (cell splitting) but it restricts muscle growth (probably the size of Muscle Fibers or Fibrils). Individuals or lack either both copies of the gene or lack the recepters for the protein have up to 50% larger muscle mass. IGF-1, on the other hand, allows the body to build more muscle fibers, just not with cell splitting. If I remember correctly from an article I read over a decade ago, it allows the body to make muscle fibers outside of the muscles and "import" them into the muscles.

  34. Snikt isn’t the sound of his claws rubbing together, it’s the sound of them punching through his skin as they extend out

  35. I know this is an old video, but because of Wolverine could recover so quickly, he could train much more, meaning he would indeed be an amazing body builder. All with no testosterone boost needed.

  36. 5:38 did you know that there is a medical procedure that utilizes pig bladder tissue to help you grow back tissue that you wouldn't normally be able to regenerate, and it works really well. One guy grew back part of his finger which stopped at the last knuckle before his fingernail!

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