How to build muscle? How many reps to build muscle? How to get ripped or shredded?
You must have heard
these questions frequently. Burning questions for those looking to
aesthetically upgrade themselves and/or improve their physical performance
Strength training has numerous benefits. It improves balance, stamina, endurance, delays sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and obviously increases strength. It also improves mental health, busts stress, improves the mood and speeds up the metabolism.
In this blog we cover the basics and the most tried-and-tested fundamentals of strength training.
How To Gain Muscle?
As you know there are
three major somatotypes – Endomorphs, Mesomorphs and Ectomorphs.
body types are of slight build and possess fast metabolisms. They have low fat
and allow to gain muscle.
possess lean body mass and are genetically predisposed to an athletic body. The
gain muscle fairly quickly compared to Ectomorphs.
types are of large build and possess slow metabolisms. They are strong but lose
weight rather slowly.
Each body type has
their own specific training method that yields maximum results. But all bodies
share the same principle – muscle breakdown and fatigue, which induces muscle
Muscle growth can be
stimulated in 2 ways:
Myofibrillar: This is caused by putting the muscle under heavy load which causes new muscle growth. Muscles consist of a group tubular-shaped muscle fibers that slide over each other during contraction and extension. By putting them under stress, they experience micro-tears that cause them to grow back denser during rest phase.
Sarcoplasmic: This occurs by depleting energy reserves within the muscle with a high number of repetitions. Muscle stores energy from the food in the form of glycogen. When these are depleted beyond limit, muscles grow larger to store more energy to be able to endure longer during the next exercise.
By focusing workouts around the two with
wave loading, heavy sets, giant sets, drop-sets, high-volume circuits, HIIT,
etc. you can achieve the best results and maximize on quality gains.
Summed up over the vast amount of FAQs, the following are top-tier points that will add to your knowledge, remove misconceptions and optimize your training.
Proper technique: By far the most important. Exercising with improper form places more stress on certain muscles and joints which can cause asymmetrical growth, lagging body parts or worse; injuries.
Time Under Tension: Muscle gains happen only when the muscle is placed under tension. Always strive to get the most tension with the right form.
Focus: Visualize your goal. Pay attention to the exercise. It is meant to work the muscle through the resistance, not on moving the weight from point A to point B. This ties in directly with proper form.
Switch it up: Our bodies are adaptable. They quickly adjust to the stress and routine. To break through gain-plateaus, be sure to try a new method of exercise. This forces our bodies to adapt again, hence leading to more gains. As famously said by Arnold, “You have to shock the muscle”.
Compound vs Isolated: Compound exercises increase overall strength whereas isolated movements help focus on the lagging muscle. Incorporate both to see max. improvement.
Gym vs Body-weight: Clearly, your body is also a weight. Used with the right technique, body-weight exercise can be very beneficial as they as are convenient, require little to no equipment and improve functional performance.
Diet & Nutrition: Maximizing gains is a direct causation of proper diet. Getting in the vital micro and macronutrients is essential. Diets are best structured specifically as each person is unique in their fitness level, metabolic state, nutritional deficiencies, allergies, etc. Consulting a nutritionist is ideal.
With this strength training knowledge now under your belt, it’s time to make those gains. No more excuses.
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