If you wish to get a more defined physique and gain more muscles, you should be prepared to hit the grind. Get your mind and body ready for the hard work required of you ahead. Most people who have tried out resistance training of any kind wished to gain some muscle mass at some point in their fitness journey.
But the human body is lazy naturally. No kidding. The body only develops enough muscles that can easily deal with the loads you plan to place on it. So, if you, too, wish to make more muscles, you need to do a combination of hard work and slow gains. The body only responds to the combination of diet, resistance training, and rest. And of course, there are steroids. Contrary to popular misconception, they are not all bad. They actually give you strength and stamina for better results. You can get so much out of your workout if you use steroids.
But more on that later. First of all, you should learn about how muscles grow:
Forms of Muscle Growth
There are two forms of muscle growth:
Let’s take a look at both:
The splitting of muscle fibers is called hyperplasia. The increase in muscle fibers is called hyperplasia. It eventually results in a greater number of fiber. The fibers are the same as the originals. It is said that the number of muscle cells one is born with remains the same forever. The splitting process is not the formation of new fibers. Rather, it is damaging to the existing ones. As per the findings of Russian sports scientists, they found hyperplasia in swimmers’ shoulders. Swimming is the act of training at a high speed with low resistance.
Hypertrophy is what we call muscle growth. It is an increase in muscle size due to an increase in the muscle fibers. There are two forms of hypertrophy:
Sarcomere hypertrophy – which is an increase in the size of the contractile portion of the muscle. It is a smaller increase in the diameter of the muscle, but with an increase in muscle density.
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy – which is the increase in the non-contractile portion of the muscle. It is an increase in the diameter and decrease in the density of muscles. Hypertrophy involves both processes. The growth ratio relies on training frequency and intensity.
Heavy training daily would make you feel strong and solid. Someone who trains for the pump and uses light weights is going to feel soft. To better your performance, you should go to the sarcomere hypertrophy. You would gain benefit from hypertrophy only if an increase in body weight is more important for you than boosting your performance.
There is no strong evidence regarding the process of muscle growth. However, most of the theories suggest that lifting breaks down the muscle and the process of growth occurs from the over-compensating so the body does not get affected by future stress. Every 15 to 30 days, the body breaks down and rebuilds all the muscles. Since lifting requires extra fuel, it speeds up this process. The process of rebuilding is at a high level during the 24 to 36 hours of training. It goes on for as much as 72 hours as well.
Another theory suggests that training leads to an increase in blood flow and due to the increased nutrient supply, growth takes place. However, running increases blood flow but distance runners do not big legs.
According to an energetic theory, the most widely accepted theory, at a given time, a muscle has a certain amount of energy for growth, repair, and movement. This has been touted as an individual’s current adaptive reserve. With time and immense hard work, the body becomes more efficient and adept at breaking down and rebuilding muscle. This leads to an increase in the current adaptive reserve. When there is an increased energy supply, one can achieve a lot, and increased growth follows.
One of the determining factors in muscle growth is training volume. If there is a weightlifter who wants to stay in the same weight class, he should be training with singles. If the lifter is achieving a higher weight class, he should opt for sets of 3 – 6 sets. The primary factors in muscle growth are strict exercise performance, minimal rest between sets, and the volume of work in a limited time.
The most work that you can perform in an instant is the maximum single. Since it lasts for a limited time, it breaks down only a small amount of protein. A small amount of fuel is needed for high repetition sets with the lightweight. Whereas, for medium repetition sets, maximum weights require a larger fuel supply. This leads to an increased protein breakdown that leads to a bigger recovery of energy stores and increased muscle growth.
What To Do During Training Session?
Lifting weight is stressful. For responding to the stress and as super-compensation, the body releases hormones. Testosterone, growth hormone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor, and cortisol are released by the body after and during weight training.
The body needs fuel for energy. Cortisol breaks down the carbs for fuel. Then, the growth hormone, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor team up to stop muscle breakdown by boosting its nutrient flow into the muscle.
After exercise, growth hormone is released in greater amounts. It controls the release of insulin-like growth factor that is a basic anabolic hormone. Testosterone helps with muscle growth. It triggers the nervous system to send stronger signals to urge the muscle rebuilding process. In case you are taking some supplements, if the body fails to produce testosterone in sufficient amounts, you have to ensure that you are buying only the highest-quality product.
Focus on Nutrition
One must focus on proper nutrition for muscle growth. Pay special attention to protein. The recommended amount is less than one gram of protein per kg of body weight or less to maintain health. For weight gain, however, nutritionists recombined two to three grams of protein. You can use twenty to thirty grams of protein at any time, except after exercise or if you are fasting. Any additional amount of protein that you take is stored as fat. This supports the timetable of having small meals all day long.
To increase muscle mass, professionals insist on liquid protein as liquids are easier to digest in great quantities. You can take it during or right after working out.
That’s it, now that you know what goes behind the muscle growth process, you can make better decisions and design your fitness plan accordingly.