What is Muscle Maturity? UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide
As we age, our bodies go through significant changes. The most dramatic is puberty, which starts from ages 11-12 and lasts for years beyond that.
But we’re complex creatures, and in actuality, our body is constantly going through many processes of change at different stages of our lives.
Muscle maturity is yet another of these processes. It’s also a lot different from any natural body process…so what is muscle maturity? This guide will outline and explain muscle maturity and give you a full explanation of the concept, meaning, and timeline.
Muscle Maturity – A Complete Guide
The concept of muscle maturity is different from what you may expect. When you think of your body becoming mature, you probably associate that with finishing puberty. This is the point where you are technically ‘mature’, and a full adult.
Muscle maturity happens much later than this. It’s seen as a goal for people to aspire to and is a state of the body that’s as desirable as a specific figure aesthetic.
At a certain point in your life, your muscles will become mature – this means that the fibers become thicker, they can contract more intensely, and they’re overall stronger and more defined. The catch is it doesn’t happen overnight.
Your muscles mature based on your commitment to working out. Muscle maturity is like a reward for years of sustained effort and grind. After a point of bodybuilding for so long, something clicks with your muscles.
After years, maybe decades, of being torn up, repairing, rebuilding, just to be torn up again…they become hardened. Muscle maturity can be considered the peak final form for your body.
Muscle Maturity Meaning
Still confused? Muscle maturity is a concept that’s hard to understand – as everything you’ve learned and researched points towards muscle strength being a gradual process. It’s obvious that 10 years after you started lifting, your muscles are going to be drastically different.
But after that long, for your muscles to kind of ‘flip’ and just decide to level themselves up, it’s not super believable. We get it.
It helps to stop thinking of muscle maturity as your muscles mature. They’re not cheese or wine. Your muscles are mature from when you hit adulthood. They’re mature…but they’re young.
It is more accurate to think of this process as your muscles aging. From a young, clueless 18-year-old who’s built like a cheese puff to a veteran who has seen it all.
What is Muscle Maturity?
In simple terms, what is muscle maturity? A similar term process to this is muscle density, and understanding this will help us to understand muscle maturity.
Muscle density refers to the percentage of your body that is lean muscle tissue versus the percentage that is fat. People who have a high muscle density are those that are built, have defined muscles, and have a low body fat percentage.
This is different from muscle mass. Muscle mass talks about how big your muscles are. Muscle density is about how strong your muscles are. Quality over quantity and muscle density is all about the quality of your muscles.
The key to muscle density is in the muscle fibers. Dense muscles have stronger fibers. You should know that breaking the fibers and rebuilding them stronger is how you build muscle in the first place. So denser muscles will be at a higher stage of this process.
Muscle density is obtained through a process of hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Myofibrillar means “muscle fiber”, so this hypertrophy process focuses specifically on inducing hypertrophy in the muscle fibers.
What does this have to do with muscle maturity? Think of it as the final form of muscle density building. After years of this sustained process, your muscles reach a point where they can’t get any denser. So, they change, and this is when they mature.
Muscle Maturity Age
The age for muscle maturity is more of a range than a definitive age. Even if you’re only just now hearing of the concept, the key to muscle maturity age has always been there. The key? Strength standards.
Strength standard charts are an essential tool that you need to be taking advantage of. They provide you with 3 things: a baseline, a test, and a goal.
Strength standards are a calculated catalog of the minimum performance expected for an exercise by people of a certain age or weight category.
But how do strength standards help in determining the age at which muscles mature? Let’s take a look at the deadlift strength standards. We’re looking at the age chart specifically.
There are 5 categories to this chart. Beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, and expert. The intermediate category refers to the top 50% of lifters, so it’s the closest measurement to a true average that exists on the chart.
Take a look and find the highest number you can on this chart. This is the highest weight that an intermediate should be able to lift. This shows on the chart as 334 lb. Now, look at the age that can first lift this weight.
The deadlift strength standards chart tells us that the peak age for muscle performance is between 25-40 years old. If you look at strength standards charts for other exercises, then this age bracket roughly tracks.
When does Muscle Maturity Happen?
So, knowing the peak age of muscle maturity, you’re good to go. You can put down your dumbbells, cancel your gym membership, and sit back and relax until age 40 when your muscles will mature overnight.
Muscle maturity doesn’t happen overnight, so when does muscle maturity happen? While we have a rough age guideline, it’s going to depend on variable factors. The age range of 25-40 assumes that you’ve been training since around 15 years old.
In this case, it can be seen that muscle maturity will happen around 10 years after you’ve begun training.
Muscle Maturity – Closing Thoughts
To bring it all together, muscle maturity is like the victory lap for your muscles. They’ve served you well all these years, and they reward you by taking you to their peak performance.
The key to achieving muscle maturity is not to rush – stay consistent, stay motivated, and you’ll hit your goals.