How to build muscle
I have spent an extreme amount of time studying this topic, and I guarantee I do not know it all. I am learning more every time I read new research and as I take a different anatomy course on how muscles work and how nutrition affects the muscle. This article is a summary of most of what I can explain before I give up typing.
Every time you engage in physical exercise, your muscles tear. Yup, you are literally ripping your muscles apart, which is part of why you have muscle soreness and muscle pain, and we will talk about how to alleviate the pain and how to repair these muscular tears further down. But first you need a little bit of information about the composition of the muscle.
Humans have 1 of, or a mix of, 2 muscle fibers, generally known as, fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers. Most research has proved that from birth you have a greater tendency to have one type or another, but, anyone can add in some of the fibers they predominately don’t have.
Slow twitch: Slow twitch muscle fibers are generally associated with repetitive endurance type exercises, such as a marathon runner. For weight lifters it follows the mantra of lower weights higher reps. Generally 4-5 sets and 15+ reps. Athletes with the slow twitch muscle fiber that follow the higher reps lower weights rule, will appear more lean and maybe even “shredded.” And the best part is they are not as likely to receive muscle injury due to the tightness of the muscle fibers.
Fast twitch: Fast twitch muscle fibers are generally associated with sprint like exercises, such as…. sprinting! Weight lifters looking for fast twitch muscle fibers are going to be more inclined to do high weight and only a few reps. Such as 2-3 sets with 4-8 reps. Individuals with a fast twitch build are generally more built, larger, more muscly, or even “Jacked.” a high amount of these muscle fibers leads to a lot higher chance of muscular injury.
Understanding the muscle fibers is critical to focusing on the body you want to achieve. I personally recommend exercising in with a healthy balance of the two. Using both types of muscles is the best way to guarantee all around shape.
This is my favorite part. For about 2 years I focused on super lean muscle. I was super lean and super dense for my amount of muscle and size. Weighing in at around 180 pounds, my top bench was a little under 200lbs. My workouts during this time lasted anywhere from 2-4 hours. I worked out Chest and Bicep on the same day, Back and triceps another day, Leg, abs, and restart. I would lift over 1000’s of reps per workout, and I would do a little bit of cardio. I only did 4-10 sets and upwards of 15-25 reps for each set.
Time to get big
Then one day I decided I want to be big. I wanted to have a lot of muscle. I started lifting a lot heavier, and I did a lot less reps (6-15 per set). About 2 years later I went from 180lbs to 250lbs. It was a massive weight gain but the muscular results were obvious. My biceps measure out around just under 20 inches flexed, My one rep max for bench is 355, 3 rep max is 320. Dead lift 3 rep max 315 ( I almost never go heavy on the dead lift because I worry about a back injury). Squat 315–1 rep ( I’m super scared to go any heavier due to weak knees). I love the strength and everything about it. I feel a little bit chubby, but I love knowing how strong I truly am.
How to do it
Remember how I said every time you lift you tear a muscle? It is time to circle back to that. Every time you lift you get microscopic micro tears. As the micro tears repair themselves your body does the best it can to make that muscle stronger. The muscle uses protein to rebuild. But the secret that has taken me LITERALLY YEARS to find, Muscles HAVE TO refuel before they rebuild. Other wise all that protein gets used to feed the muscle, and not nearly as efficiently as carbohydrates do. Once I started consuming carbs right after my workouts and then a protein shake a few minutes later, I made some MASSIVE gains. My favorite product for bulking is Myo bulk. It is full of carbs needed for that immediate refuel and it is loaded with protein to help rebuild. I only ever take one scoop of this because it is a lot of calories.
BE WARNED, This product is not intended for weight loss. YOU WILL gain weight with this product. My second favorite thing about this carb and then protein process is I am Rarely ever sore. I can work out super intense and then I take 2 scoops of this after and I Never have a sore muscle.
If you are wanting to loose weight but you do want to gain a little bit of muscle along the way then I would recommend
Generally when I take this I still experience muscle soreness, but it does have a lot of good protein and it is pretty lean. All of these XPI products are very good, and quite tasty.
Don’t forget water!! Muscle is composed of primarily 70-85% water. Being dehydrated can actually cause you to loose muscle mass. Also, Avoid extreme amounts of creatine. Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical in you body that pushes water in to your muscles. With how much water Is already in your muscle I absolutely recommend staying the hell away from pounding creatine incessantly. If you think you need a little boost go ahead and take a little but please do so in moderation.
Coming soon, a post on exercises!
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Thank you to all who read my posts!!