These days, strong has taken the place of skinny. Unfortunately, putting on muscle is much easier said than done. Of course, even though it’s not exactly rocket science to figure out the formula for size/strength, there is a bit of science involved.
Strength and Science: Growing Muscles Fast
The truth is that we really don’t need any fancy equations to help us learn to get fit. Of course, it is beneficial to know how muscles grow. It may sound bizarre, but in order for your muscles to grow, you must break them down first.
This is what happens when you lift weights: you apply pressure/stress to the muscles to create “trauma” which triggers satellite cells to rush out and repair them. These cells create new muscle protein, which results in bigger, stronger muscles.
During strength training, you can use this process to your favor. Since your body will quickly adapt to challenging tasks, it will do what it needs to for that task to be easier next time around. This is a concept that is known as progressive overload.
You can put this into practice by simply increasing the weight on the bar, mixing in new routines, or a variety of other things. Following are a few tips that will help you if you are interested in effectively and safely increasing muscle mass.
In order to gain size and increase lean muscle, you should focus on these four movements: overhead press, bench press, squat, and deadlift. Science proves that big moves are the best way to increase lean muscle and strength. Research has shown that compound moves work several muscle groups, resulting in a much larger hormonal response.
Therefore, they are much more effective than the isolated movements. To increase strength, you should do 5 reps or less. To increase size, you should be doing 6 to 12 reps.
Use Free Weights Instead of Machines
Equipment also is pivotal in gaining muscle. Most experts believe that you should be using free weights instead of machines. So, get your hands on a flat bench, barbell, plenty of weights, and a power rack. In regard to machines, its best if you can avoid them.
One study followed the progress of those who were using free weights in their workout versus those who were using exercise machines. The study revealed that those who were using free weights were able to outperform those who were using only machines- and they had a significant improvement in balance and strength.
Don’t Neglect, but Don’t Focus on Cardio
If your goal is to build muscle, you must prioritize that. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do any cardio at all- just something a little different. Consider this: world-class endurance athletes do not train in the same way that a pro football player does, right?
If you want to increase your size, focus on preserving muscles/burning fat. Experts recommend that you use the farmer’s walk and hill sprints in your cardio routine. In addition, you can use sled pulls/pushes, which combine cardio conditioning and strength training.
Don’t Forget to Eat
Increasing muscle typically means that you need to consume more calories- but you must focus on quality, not quantity. Nutritional experts believe that the diet for an individual who is building muscle should not be any different than any other healthy individual other than the amount of food he’s consuming.
You will be able to give your body the fuel it needs by avoiding refined sugars, alcohol, and processed foods, and instead choosing healthy fats, lean protein, and complex carbs.
Don’t Overdo It
The right combo of work versus rest is what will give you the results that you need. Of course, finding this perfect combo can be a bit of a challenge. If you exercise too much, you end up over training, which increases your risk of injury and stalls your progress.
Of course, if you’re not exercising enough, it can slow down your muscle building. So, when you’re creating your muscle building program, make sure that you take a day off between workouts- if you’re a beginner. If you’re a more experienced lifter, you may be able to create a training plan involving more exercise each week.
Even then, you need to have what is known as a “deloading” phase about every 4-6 weeks. In addition, be aware that not getting adequate sleep will have an effect on you performance and cause you to plateau on your strength training.
When it comes to building muscle, there is no really big secret. The process is not at all complicated, but it does require that you be consistent and committed.
However, regularly challenging your body and giving it the proper nutrition it needs, you are sure to achieve results.