Everyone will eventually want to add muscle to their physique or get stronger at some point, but when they try they will find it very hard. This is often because of a number of issues, a lack of information about diet and not doing enough exercise. Once these issues have been dealt with then muscle can be added to the physique.
So what should you eat? Well a diet containing healthy food is always a good start. By that I mean not pigging out on fast foods, not only do you risk ingesting Tran’s fats (which cause cancer) but the food they use is not of good quality. Instead you should aim to eat organic but if you cannot afford organic then simply eat smart. Make sure that no hydrogenated oils have been put into the food and as little pesticides as possible. The main reason to avoid pesticides is that they inhibit testosterone production which means less muscle will be built.
How Muscles Develop
When trying to build muscle you must know what you’re actually doing to your body to make that growth happen. So when your muscle fibres are being used, they will get micro tears. This happens more often during weight training because constant tension is placed on the muscles. When these tears happen it causes the surrounding tissue to inflame and gather fluid this is where the “pump” comes from. When enough of these micro tears happen you get a burning pain, this is when lactic acid is being produced and you get reduced strength and extreme fatigue in the muscle being used. Not long after you will have to rest the muscle.
Many people are under the illusion that this is when muscle is built, but when you go home and eat your food or for seasoned lifters your “pre-workout shake or post workout meal” the protein and micronutrients will be used to fill in the tears in the muscle. When this happens the muscle increases in size.
If you find that you are losing weight it may be that you are working out too hard. This is detrimental to retaining the muscle you have previously built because your body is too busy burning the protein and will only lend some of it to the muscles for repair. Not only this but your body will become catabolic and cortisol will be released that will break down your muscle fibres further. So unfortunately when losing weight you have to expect a decrease in your muscle mass.
Muscle Building Routine
The routine to building up your muscles must focus on the tension of the muscle. To achieve this you need lots of slow reps. With more reps comes the need for more sets. You are looking for 4 sets of 18 reps ideally to build muscle. Do not worry if you cannot complete all of this work up gradually and remember to stretch!
Many people will gain some strength when they have added muscle. But do not expect much, for those who lift only to gain big muscles they will focus on the breakdown of fibres rather than the collective training of the nerves.
For those who would like to gain strength it is all about short intense and ever increasing weight load on the muscles you want to strengthen. But much like the bodybuilder not gaining much strength the strength trainer will not gain much mass if any. Look at the Olympic lifters, instead of wanting to build muscle they try to stay around the same weight so that when they do pull off these impressive lifts it looks superhuman, and they get a better score.
Minor Diet Change
You do not require as many calories to build strength as you do when building muscle; this is because the muscle is not going through the same wear and tear. But you will need to eat your greens as they contain many of your body’s salts which regulate the nervous system.
Strength Building Routine
The routine you will need to use is fast heavy and calculated exercises. It is ok to push boundaries but with strength training this inevitably leads to injury when pushed too far. The advantage of training in strength means you can train more than 2 times a week because the muscles will already be recovered. But eventually you will need to deload. This is where you train for a week using only 30% of your current strength limit.
So instead of bicep curling 40kg you bicep curl 12kg. This allows the nerve connections to settle without allowing them time to forget those connections (this is why you still lift some weight).Then once this deloading week is completed you will find yourself coming back stronger feeling more energised because you are.