Hello all my gym junkies & wanna be ripped bod babes!! Everyone wants to build muscle that's no secret but the 'how to' is something we're often stuck wondering. The physical aspect of building muscle is something we're all capable of, it's the ability to find the right information, comprehend it & put it in action where most of us get stuck!
Lucky for you I've done the research, pulled out the key tips & broken it down for you! Here's part 1 on how to build muscle:
Building muscle requires both a sufficient amount of calories & protein. The reason for this is in order for your muscles to grow, a natural process called muscle protein synthesis (MPS) needs to occur. Think of it like this - protein is the building block of muscles. When we're exercising intensely a process called muscle protein breakdown (MPB) occurs stripping the cells of protein as a result of exercise. This is where MPS comes to play- after exercising it's important to increase protein intake to enhance the amount of protein produced by MPS to repair muscle damage. To build muscle MPS needs to exceed MPB if it doesn't you'll lose muscle mass.
To recognise how much protein you should be consuming on the daily, I highly suggest knowing your macros & caloric intake. Here's a step by step on how to:
Once your macros & maintenance calories are calculated enter them into my fitness pal for the easiest way to track your food. From here you can adjust accordingly based on your goals, progress, training & lifestyle as this will differ from person to person.
Progressive Overload & Mind Muscle Connection
Progressive overload (PO) creates muscle tension over time which forces the muscles to adapt by growing. The bulk of muscle gains will come from muscle tension which can be achieved through the below forms of PO.
Progressive Overload is better suited to compound lifts & only achieved when consistent with training & the use of mind muscle connection (MMC). A strong MMC recruits more muscle fibres which improve muscle recruitment during lifts. To achieve MMC you should think about where you're suppose to feel the stimulus as apposed to where you're feeling the stimulus. MMC should be used in concert with PO, one without the other is inferior!
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A compound exercise is a multi joint movement that works more than one muscle group at a time, e.g. a squat as it works the quads, glutes, hamstrings & calves. Compound lifts create the greatest change in body composition as they effectively increase overall strength & size. This is because they signal the production of testosterone & growth hormone which are key to building muscle (don't worry girls you don't produce enough testosterone to get bulky).
When performing compound lifts focus on getting your technique perfect before adding weight. Once your form is spot on then you can go ahead & incorporate PO methods.
Keep in mind isolation movements are also very important to have in your routine as they isolate single muscle groups & build a well balanced figure.
You should be performing a variety of compound lifts throughout the week in order to effectively build muscle.
For more on building muscle keep your eye out for part 2! But for now take these pointers, learn them like the back of your hand & incorporate then into your programs. Let's go get those dream bods!
- Summer (@_summerjane)