Muscle growth is a very common topic among athletes. You can achieve it through weight training and eating proper meals. This article discusses the science behind muscle growth.
How Does Muscle Grow?
Key to understanding all the progression of muscle growth is to put more pressure on the muscles. Putting stress is a major part of muscle growth that disrupts your body’s homeostasis. When you go to the gym and put your muscles under stress by lifting heavyweight and each repetition is close to muscular fatigue. In this scenario, the muscle fiber breaks down and leads to small-scale tears. Your body will get this as a risk to its survival, while the body’s task is to keep you safe and it will respond accordingly.
The moment you complete your workout, go to home, eat and rest. This way, the body will repair those small-scale tears, this time bigger, leaner, and stronger than before to ensure the future lifting risks. Through this process, your body grows and will look bigger and muscular.
There are 2 common types of muscle fiber:
Slow-twitch fibers (type 1): Slow-twitch fibers facilitate long-duration exercises such as running.
Fast-twitch fibers (type 2): Fast-twitch fibers facilitate short-duration exercises such as powerlifting and sprinting.
The research has found many types of fast-twitch fibers and categorized into type 2As and type 2Bs. Old studies show that type 2Bs fibers are anaerobic with good oxidative capacity. But the latest studies show that 2As fibers have great anaerobic capacity and 2Bs have a low oxidative capacity. Both fast and slow-twitch fibers (2As and 2Bs) have the anaerobic capacity, the only reason that changes the process is oxidative capacity.
When you are playing a set of bench press with 5 to 7 repetitions, you getting half part of that 2As fiber. This doesn’t mean that low repetitions don’t build muscle, but every set should take 30 seconds to train 2As fibers. Therefore, the ideal set volume is 10 repetitions. Many people disagree with this idea. The professional bodybuilders play low repetitions and they think it is the correct set volume! Yes, professional bodybuilders play low repetition but they lift heavyweight. Because of that lifting heavyweight, they get 100% type 2A fibers trained.
Importance of Nutrition for muscle Growth
Anabolic macronutrients are energy serving elements consumed in large portions. These are the three macronutrients, such as protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Protein: Protein is the most essential nutrient for muscle growth. Without consuming enough protein, you will have a tough time to build muscle because muscle is protein and protein is muscle. If you are not consuming protein means you are not building muscle.
Carbohydrate: Carbohydrates are also very important to give you the energy to perform an activity throughout the day. The body burns carbohydrates as a fuel that feeds the brain and in the gym. It also gives you the potential to play an intense workout.
Fat: Fat plays a very important rule in body hormones production. They have told us that fats are not good for us. Fat should be understood as a series of lipids, each with its own different effect on the body. There is no doubt to limit bad fat, but we should eat good fat. Basically, fat acts as a structured compound, and it supplies important chemicals to the body cells to produce testosterone.
You will considerably reduce the risk of injury by doing a proper warm-up. It’ll make sure the muscles can work with heavy weights. Many weight lifters are doing this wrong. Some people absolutely avoid a warm-up, and others just don’t understand what they’re doing. During warmup, you should not fatigue your muscles. The entire basis of muscle building is to increase as much weight as is possible. When the hypertrophy phase arrives, your muscles should be 100% ready. If you think you’re getting even mildly tired or you’re draining your energy, you’ve got to ease it and take things a little slower.
Machines Or Free-Weights
If you’re new to the gym, it’s natural you have a lot of questions about machines and free-weights. Free weights are the most effective tools to promote muscle growth. Machines can still have a spot in your workout schedule. A lot of old school hardcore lifters will say that free weights are the best way to pack serious muscles and that machines are a waste of time. For more information, read about machines and free-weights.
Compound vs. Isolation Workout
Isolation workout has its place in a routine of heavy lifting, but not in place of basic compound exercises. The basic movement of the compound exercise will allow you to increase the maximum amount of weight, increase the maximum amount of total muscle fibre and promote the highest overall anabolic effect on the body. You need to focus on the primary compound exercises to build as much muscle as you can. For more information, read about compound and isolation exercises.
The hypertrophy duration should not last longer than 45 minutes. There are several reasons to complete your muscle building workout during this timeframe. This 45-minute period does not involve warm-up but comes into play with the beginning of the first set. Intense training is exhausting on the body, and spending long time in the gym is unnecessary and counterproductive. After 45 minutes of intense exercise, the body releases a potent catabolic hormone called cortisol, which promotes the breakdown of muscle tissue for use as energy. If you want to gain and protect your muscle, stop over training. For more information, read about the hypertrophy phase.
Resting Between Sets
Always play the next set when you feel you have recovered from the previous set. Some people say that resting between sets should be 2-3 minutes, some say 4-5 minutes. One study shows that longer resting between sets will increase muscle strength. For more information, read about resting between sets.
Stretching Before Workout
Studies show that stretching as a warm-up or pre-workout provides almost no benefit. Some studies have shown that stretching your muscles before your muscle building exercise will increase your risk of injury and reduce your energy.
Muscle Growth Supplements
People who want a muscular body will still focus on muscle gain. While food and exercise are important, however, supplements can also aid in delivering calories and nutrients. The following supplements can help you gain muscles.
- T Boosters
In particular, you need more calories to eat than your body uses, and more protein to eat than your body requires. Many dietary supplements, such as weight gainers and protein supplements, can be straightforward ways to help you consume more calories and nutrients. For more information, read about 9 exercise-enhancing supplements to gain muscle.
Foods for Muscle Growth
High-protein foods are essential for muscle gain, but carbohydrates and fats are also important energy sources. If your goal is to build lean muscle, focus on regular exercises and eat lean calories. By adding the following foods can help you build lean muscle.
- chicken Breast
- lean Beef
- Greek yogurt
- cottage cheese
- turkey Breast
Many of the above foods are protein packed and help your muscle to recover and grow after you’ve been active. It is also important to eat carbohydrates and fats to provide fuel for exercise and physical activity. In addition, all the foods on this list include the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function in the best way possible. For more information, read about 18 nutritious foods that help you build lean muscle.
Steroids Use in Bodybuilding
Many people turn to substances such as anabolic-androgen steroids (AAS) to boost muscle strength. Anabolic refers to muscle development, while androgen refers to the rise in male sex hormones. The first thing that could come to mind is their use in bodybuilding to improve muscle gain. AAS is also used for several other purposes. Using anabolic steroids in bodybuilding can have the following effects:
- improves stamina,
- increases muscle mass
- improves protein synthesis
- reduces body fat percentage
- increases muscle power
- boosts workout recovery
- increases bone density
- increases red blood cell
Despite its potential benefits, the AAS has a variety of side effects. As a result, the severity varies depending on the genetics and how often you use these drugs. AAS can cause the following side effects:
- heart disease
- aggressive behavior,
- liver dysfunction,
- influences of body image
- decreases testosterone
AAS is a synthetic testosterone source to improve muscle mass and strength. Although their health risks vary according to form and quantity. They can be dangerous and can cause side effects at any dose. Plus, they’re illegal, too. It is a very serious decision to use AAS, and the risks result in terrible consequences or even death. For more information, read about steroids use, dangers, and potential side effects.