How To Build Muscle
We train with weights to build muscle, right? But why do muscles grow/become stronger? There are so many training strategies out there, it’s extremely difficult to just “pick one” as they all claim to work, and to a certain extent they probably do.
But I want the BEST results in the shortest period of time, or in other words – maximum efficiency.
Here is a short and simple explanation of what you need to do to build muscle.
“ Building muscle IS simple, BUT it’s not easy! ”
. 1 .
Overload the Muscle
Muscles grow when they are OVERLOADED (stimulated more so than they are accustomed to) from training with weights over time, you must over time continually improve what you are already doing. This in practical terms means improving the mind-muscle connection, form, rep speed, weight used and so on. You should only ever go up in weight when you have an exercise “perfected” – meaning you can’t improve it’s execution within your rep range any further and it is becoming less challenging.
You can overload the muscle with light weight, or heavy weight, but by using light weights it will take more time, more energy and more concentration to get the same result (overload), as well as there being more chance for distraction. By using heavy weights (with good form) you can cause the most overload and allow more growth over a given period of time, which is of course is the “aim of the game”.
. 2 .
Fully Recover – Physically and Mentally
So that I can continually make progress in the gym I must ensure that I am FULLY recovered before I train a given muscle group once again. When I am fully recovered and fresh for the workout ahead, my workouts are extremely productive. Muscle recovery can take up to 48 hours, even if you are sore beyond 48 hours just because you are sore doesn’t mean your muscles haven’t recovered, although your range of motion may still be reduced from the aching. Over time your body gets better adapted if you choose to train a body part more frequently so that soreness time will also decrease.
Anyway enough about muscle soreness! This doesn’t always mean I train the muscle group again 48 hours later, because I can’t train all my other body parts in that time frame with intensity, I may train weak body parts multiple times a week on certain splits however for the most part I’ll train one muscle group directly once a week the majority of the time. It’s worth mentioning that you must also recover mentally, if you could deadlift everyday vs once a week there’s no doubt when doing this movement once a week you would be more intense as you have built up a lot more momentum mentally over that week.
. 3 .
For the Best Results Ensure Sound Nutrition and have Adequate Sleep
Eating high quality meals throughout the day and quality pre and post workout nutrition, on a consistent basis will allow the body to fully recover and recuperate. The better the body is fed, the greater the growth potential will be for the body, without these nutrients the body cannot rebuild. Sleep is also important so that you can go about you daily routine and train effectively. Some people need less sleep than others, try to get the balance right, too much and you may be missing out on a meal you could be eating or a book you could be reading (or something else that interests you), too little and you may start to lose your focus.
. 4 .
Over time overloading a muscle, allowing it to recover and then overloading it again will lead to muscle growth and increased strength. Sound difficult? Well the process of building muscle is fairly “simple”, but many refuse to believe it as this sounds too good to be true…however I am not saying it is easy! Those who get the bodies that are hard to obtain must train extremely hard, push themselves and eat plenty of quality food on a daily basis. When training without the use of steroids or other chemicals, the importance of these factors becomes even more obvious as you can’t rely on anything other than your hard work to get results. Finally be PATIENT, I've been doing this for a fair while now and my best trait which has allowed me to succeed and not just give up, is my patience - something that many athletes talk about, but hardly ever seen unless you've known the person for years.
Simply put – the harder you work (and the more intelligently) the better your results will be, like most things in life.
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Train Hard. Train INTENSE!