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My Keplerians are humanoids but they have a special organ and special hormones for protein storage. Not only that but they don't get muscle atrophy from injury. Take the abdominal muscles for example. If a Keplerian who wants to build muscle does too many bodyweight exercises, they will get a first degree muscle injury: enter image description here Sort of like this, injured and swollen but still intact(tears are microscopic). When they get this injury, a hormone is released to break the stored protein down into amino acids and bring it to the injured muscle. Why stored protein? Well my Keplerians naturally eat a high protein diet so eating even more protein is not needed. There will be some muscle growth after this injury heals.

If they do this but with a weight that they are used to carrying as a load, the injury is going to be worse. It will be a second degree muscle injury: enter image description here

This means that the muscle, macroscopically is torn but not completely torn. There won't be a hole, just a tear or possibly multiple tears This still leads to muscle growth.

Now, if the weight is not what they are used to carrying as a load but instead heavier, the injury is going to be even worse. The muscle will rupture. It might not rupture completely but there certainly will be a hole where the abdominal muscles are supposed to be. enter image description here

That is a third degree muscle tear and as you can see from the image, it leads to hernias. Complete rest though can prevent these hernias from occuring. It might lead to a rash or a backache but that is certainly better than a hernia. So much protein is used to heal a third degree muscle tear that none goes to muscle growth. However, with their naturally high protein diet, muscle breakdown is prevented. So muscle mass is conserved.

But is this plausible? Is it plausible that muscle injury leads to muscle growth even when it is second degree? Is it plausible that muscle mass is conserved in a third degree muscle injury simply due to a naturally high protein intake? What would prevent this from being plausible?

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  • $\begingroup$ If a muscle is torn macroscopically, how would it grow? First and foremost, the growth needs to repair the tear. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 18 '18 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ But a high protein diet can compensate for that by getting more protein into the bloodstream. And since they have a high protein diet naturally, that means that they can still get muscle growth, even with a second degree muscle injury. $\endgroup$ – Caters Apr 18 '18 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ the current muscle growth mechanism relies on exercise. If a muscle is not exercising, it's not growing, even if protein is plentiful. You need to address this detail. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Apr 18 '18 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ (a) Too many questions. One question at a time, please. (b) Hard to read post, please reduce the size of your images. (c) No, it isn't plausible. @Alexander is 100% correct. Muscle mass increases more quickly with protein + exercise, but exercise alone (with minimal protein intake) will also do it. No exercise = muscle atrophy. All the protein in the world won't stop atrophy if exercise is entirely removed (I know this for a fact due to an injury as a teen). $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 18 '18 at 19:01
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Torn muscle cells are repaired by myosatellite cells.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myosatellite_cell

Myosatellite cells or satellite cells are small multipotent cells with virtually no cytoplasm found in mature muscle. Satellite cells are precursors to skeletal muscle cells, able to give rise to satellite cells or differentiated skeletal muscle cells. They have the potential to provide additional myonuclei to their parent muscle fiber, or return to a quiescent state. More specifically, upon activation, satellite cells can re-enter the cell cycle to proliferate and differentiate into myoblasts.

Your creatures have loads of these myosatellite cells and they are very enthusiastic. Damage of any sort spurs them into action to a much greater degree that is the case for humans. Often their action repairs the muscle to a greater strength / muscle fiber density than was the case before the damage occurred.

No special diet required.

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