In this story the world is known that there is magic and many can do things though few can do more than the equivalent of creating a spark before getting tired. Having many ways to channel the mana some are atunned to specific types of magic and even without practice the tallented have talles that the trained eye can see. For the healers I thought it would be fun to have them be very muscular people due tho their subconscious applying their gifts in self healing. Not body builder size muscle but very much noticeable.

The healing is not Wolverine level healing but close. It would take a day for these people to grow a missing limb (though without training they lack the mana) but the point is for what muscles fibers are concerned the process is very fast.

Would it be possible that with a "normal" daily routine for a beyond medieval society someone with super healing build up noticeable muscle? I would assume the farmer or the wood chopper and the hunters would but what about the mushroom collector or the basket weaver?

  • $\begingroup$ Cool question! Do the healers become muscular due to the self-healing process? If so, it seems like any healer could become muscular regardless of what they do in their daily lives. $\endgroup$
    – Framazu
    Nov 26 '20 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Framazu Well, the way building muscle work is; when you use them some fibers break and when the body heals ads more fibers so next time they hold better (it's a bit more complicated but that is the just of it). What I wanted to know is if the damage from daily activity heald at a very fast pace alowing the muscles to constantly work to their maximum capacity always, is enough to build an athlete phisique over a, let's say 20 years. From the answers I got aparently muscle damage enought to heal stronger only under heavy use so my basket weaver is not going to have a a crosfit athlete abs then. $\endgroup$
    – Mike
    Nov 27 '20 at 14:04

It wouldn't, but as a result of exercise

Healing and muscle mass have are not directly related. As @TheSquare-CubeLaw points out, Muscle mass comes from the healing process after damage is sustained from work or exercise. In other words, self-healing would build the muscles faster, but they must first be damaged through work or exercise. Self-healing alone would not do the trick.

However, it's your world. If you want healing to be something more than mending damage, you can (and I don't see any reason why you shouldn't!). In other words, the use of magic to heal does two things.

  1. It causes the muscle to reform itself in its most healthy, most efficient condition. This means the muscle (not any additional mass yet) achieves the greatest strength that it can.

  2. Then, the magic of healing can also build on that muscle. This one is actually a bit more complex. It's true that you can add mass through exercise. However, you can't add it infinitely. There is a limit to how much additional mass can be achieved — and it's not the same for every person. This is why some very strong people are described as "wiry," because genetically they are not prone to bulk. The use of magic to create mass should have a limitation similar to this. In other words, a naturally thin person cannot come to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger simply by self-healing. They must actually have the base genetics to look like Arnold in the first place.

  • $\begingroup$ Healing is very much influencing whatever it heals. Scar tissue and mended bones show very much that healing can be different from the original. Just assuming it's healing as intended is a fallacy. Even if a whole limb grows back, folds of the skin at the joints for example would be different/lacking, as well as a different finger print. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Nov 26 '20 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Trioxidane I understand that a healed bone is often stronger (tensile strength) than the original. But muscle mass? Hence my suggestion that the magic of the OP's world be defined as creating something from the proverbial nothing. However, it would be interesting to suggest as a limitation that, since building muscle mass does require building from something (exercise + food intake), if it's defined as only replacing the exercise, then it must draw from the body to get the biomatter building blocks. That would impose useful limitations. $\endgroup$ Nov 27 '20 at 0:15
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    $\begingroup$ @jbh I believe muscle building is caused by microscopic scars induced by training. The muscle bulks up by adding more fiber as it tries to heal. $\endgroup$ Nov 27 '20 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw Now that's interesting. "Muscle hypertrophy occurs when the fibers of the muscles sustain damage or injury. The body repairs damaged fibers by fusing them, which increases the mass and size of the muscles." (Source) I didn't know that! In other words, self-healing would work, so long as the damage caused by exercise is caused, first. It solves half the proverbial problem. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Nov 27 '20 at 0:48

Hormones determine how much effort is considered training. That's why some people with better hormones are naturally more muscular, because their bodies consider daily activities as training.

See females for example, you could have a guy and a girl work as farmers for 10 years, and the girl will never develop any muscle from it. At least not any visible and noticeable muscle. Whilst the boy will delop greatly in the first year, then stop growing because the effort remains the same while he got stronger.

The girl needs higher amounts of efforts to force the body to grow muscle, a woman needs to put about 3 to 15 times more effort into physical activities if they want to build as much muscle as men.

Why the 3 to 15? Because women hormones are really different from one another.

So, no... Healing faster alone would only give people the opportunity to put more effort on daily, maybe instead of sleeping 8 hours a day they only need 3 or 1. So in the end if they work more hours, that's more effort which equals more muscle... Not to the bodybuilding level, but still, noticeable.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding! We're glad you could join us! When you have a moment, please click here to learn more about our culture and take our tour. Thanks! $\endgroup$ Nov 27 '20 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ I grew up in a farm. Women will develop muscle too, although with similar genes (i.e.: siblings) the men will be tougher. And the hormones are the same, it's their concentration that varies. Men produce testosterone with the testes and the supra-renal glands. Women have only the latter to produce testosterone. On top of that estrogen and testosterone seem to compete for absorption by muscle and testosterone gives more muscle - and women have mpre estrogen than men (yes, men have it too, hence why some guys have men boobs). $\endgroup$ Nov 27 '20 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ Women body builders can be strong, but don't usually get the ridiculous muscles that male body builders have. My father knew a woman who was a body builder and sold gym equipment (like barbells). He drove her to the train station and a redcap wanted the tip for carrying in her bags. He tried to lift one of her bags to put it on the cart, and the look on his face was priceless (I am assured) because he couldn't lift the bag that the young lady had taken out of the cab. $\endgroup$
    – NomadMaker
    Nov 27 '20 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw I know, I never said the opposite. $\endgroup$
    – Kinda
    Nov 27 '20 at 9:52

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