Understanding the process of muscle growth can definitely go a long way toward helping you understand why certain recommendations for building muscle are given. These recommendations are not only related to the type of training that is done but also incorporate specific nutritional and supplementation strategies.
In this article we will examine the steps involved in muscle growth so you will be able to systematically and methodically build muscle fast!
There are 3 steps in the muscle building process, each of which are equally important. This means that each step must be taken in order to achieve your goal of muscle growth. Skipping just one of these steps means that muscle growth simply will not occur!
- 1. Provide a muscle stimulus
- 2. Supply the required nutrients
- 3. Create a suitable environment
We will cover each step individually.
1. Provide a muscle stimulus
In order to stimulate the muscles to grow you must lift weights on a regular basis, there is simply no other way!
So many young guys are convinced by ads in bodybuilding magazines that the only thing they need to do is take a supplement and their muscles will grow! This is simply not the case. Building muscle requires hard work in the gym, plain and simple!
There are no quick fixes or short-cuts, just intense, hard training. Performing a regular workout routine is the first essential step in the muscle grow process.
The drawback of this fact is that there are so many different approaches to training that this can become confusing in itself.
2. Supply the required nutrients
Once you have stimulated the muscles to grow, the next step involves providing your body with the nutrients it requires.
These include an adequate amount of overall calories and protein. You see, you need to have a slight excess of calories in order provide your body with the energy it needs to go through the muscle building process and you also need enough protein, which are the ‘building blocks’ of muscle tissue.
It is important to keep in mind that you don’t consume too many calories above what your body requires simply because you will increase your bodyfat level if you do. This means it will take you longer to get in great shape when you want to get ready for summer.
Your daily food intake should be split up into 5 or 6 small meals containing a portion of all 3 macronutrients; carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Since the human body is a ‘dynamic structure’, constantly breaking down and building up body tissues, having a constant supply of nutrients throughout the day (small, regular meals) means that your body is less likely to enter into a ‘catabolic state’. A catabolic state is the opposite of an anabolic state and is where more breaking down of body tissues occurs compared to building up.
Not only is an adequate amount of food essential if you want to build muscle fast, but so is taking a range of muscle building supplements.
There are only a few supplements that you should seriously consider using and you can completely disregard all the ads you see plastered throughout bodybuilding and fitness publications; virtually all of them are hyped-up rubbish!
Here are the best muscle building supplements (in order of preference): creatine monohydrate (Creapure), protein powder, and if you’re over the age of 30, a testosterone booster.
Each of these muscle building supplements is discussed in more detail in the article on muscle building supplements. However, suffice to say that you don’t need to spend much on supplements in order to get a substantial increase in your muscle mass. Whilst they can make a significant difference in how quickly you get results, the most important aspects of building muscle are diet and exercise!
3. Create a suitable environment
The final essential step in the muscle growth process involves creating a suitable environment for building muscle. This simply means doing everything possible to allow the muscles to recover from the training session and re-build themselves.
Post-exercise recovery is often under-estimated as an effective way to enhance your muscle growth efforts and there are some very simply ways you can take to maximise its effectiveness.
One of the best ways to create a suitable environment for muscle growth is to simply not train! It is best to have at least 1 day of complete rest and not do any exercise at all. Since weight training causes microscopic tears in the muscle fibres, which is the stimulus for muscle growth, the body requires nutrients and rest in order to re-build those tissues and make them thicker and stronger so they will be able to effectively deal with that load if it is faced again in the future.
Accordingly, it is best to only train a specific muscle or group of muscles once or twice a week so it is given a chance to recuperate and grow.
The main reason why it is best to have at least 1 day of complete rest is simply because the nervous system also needs recovery, not just the muscles.
Even though the muscles may get completely recovered between workouts, the nerves that stimulate the muscles to contract are being exhausted every time you train. Therefore 1 day of complete recovery is best for allowing the nervous system to recover and recuperate from exercise.
Sleep is another essential factor when it comes to creating the ideal environment for muscle growth. In fact, when you’re sleeping is when the majority of muscle growth is occurring. Therefore, you must make a concerted effort to have 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Here are a few tips to improve the quality of your sleep and by doing so, increase muscle growth:
So there are the 3 steps in the process of muscle growth. Follow each one as closely as possible and prepare to be amazed at the results you can achieve in a relatively short period of time!