This one is for the veterans:
We have all seen the bodybuilding shows where each the competitors are nothing but a stage full of jumbled mass, and very few of them have any type of real symetry to speak of.
Do(can) exercises such as pilates or yoga give that polished finished look,
similiar to Frank Zane or Bob Paris in their heyday. Think about gymnasts and ballet (dance professional). Their bodyfat is low, and you can see a musculature that if developed to competition levels would wipe out the average bodybuilder.
Is this level of developement what might be termed muscle maturity?
I don't know what your asking in regards to muscle maturity, but here's my take on those types of athletes. I agree with the gymnastics/dancers looking big and ripped. I can see that it's due to training their muscles with a very high frequency; maybe 5-6 days per week. Their volume is moderate, but since they're mostly using their own bodyweight they recover quickly.
More frequent training increases the acute anabolic effects of training, such as increased protein synthesis, muscle-specific IGF-1 expression, and other factors involved in modulation of short term protein synthesis. This all falls in line to support training with more frequency than the classic bodybuilding "one muscle per week." Even the best bodybuilders like Arnold worked each muscle three times per week. (That means he works his muscle 156 times per year vs. 52 times) I also feel that their very high repetitions can improve their quality of muscle fibers. They also do extreme stretching. Extreme stretching causes microtrauma from forcing sarcomeres to produce tension at extreme length, where damage is most suspectible. By holding it for 30-60 seconds, you initiate the stretch reflex which increases the amount of tension in that area (I do it with my DC training), thus boosting tension and therefore acute damage. There's some speculation about stretching activating gene expression with satellite cells. My muscles grew a lot bigger from incorperating this. So those athletes use all the benefits of progressive overload, extreme stretching, and a balanced diet.
Some people are born with better symmetry than others. A person like greg kovacs is going to have a hard time improving his symmetry, he is just born to be big not symmetrical.
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