Exercise for Muscle Growth
Muscle Growth Nutrition
Muscle Growth Articles
Exercise Program 1
Exercise Program 2
Home Workout Program 1
In order to understand the best ways to gain muscle, we must
first understand the principles that govern muscle growth
(hypertrophy), as well as the factors which affect it.
Hypertrophy is the increase in muscle size as overcompensation
for micro-trauma due to overuse. The two principal types of
hypertrophy are myofibrillar hypertrophy, and sarcoplasmic
hypertrophy. Myofibrillar hypertrophy is an increase in the size
of the contractile fibers (myofibrils). This type of hypertrophy
is accompanied by an increase in muscular strength. Sarcoplasmic
hypertrophy, on the other hand is the increase in volume of the
sarcoplasm surrounding the myofibril. This type of hypertrophy is
accompanied by an increased resistance to muscular fatigue.
A proper muscle building protocol will involve
stimulating both types of hypertrophy, while providing the proper
rest and nutrients to allow the muscles to repair and
Perform Regular Resistance Exercise
High intensity resistance exercise provides the stimulus for the
muscles to increase their size and strength. An ideal muscle
building program will stimulate both myofibrillar and
Get Adequate Rest and Recovery
The workout is there to provide the stimulus. However, it is
during the rest and recovery period that the body actually
repairs itself and adapts to become more capable of dealing with
the stresses of exercise. During this time period, the body
repairs the micro-trauma, and increases the size of the
contractile tissue and surrounding sarcoplasm. Although this
process often takes about 48 hours, this time can vary depending
on many factors such as the number of sets, the muscle groups
trained, or even the age and genetics of the person. Examples of
factors that affect recovery time include the following:
Larger muscle groups take longer to recover.
Predominantly fast twitch muscle groups such as the pectoralis
major take more time to recover than predominantly slow twitch
muscle groups such as abdominals.
Intensity enhancement techniques such as stripping sets, rest
pause, and negative reps demand more recovery time.
As people grow older, their bodies repair more slowly and
recovery times increase.
Not only must the individual muscles get rest during this period,
but the body must also have time to replenish the liver glycogen
during this time period. Replenishing the liver glycogen is
necessary because a low liver glycogen level is one of the
triggers for the body to break down muscle protein in order to
make carbohydrates for vital body functions. This means
that rest days are necessary even if we alternate the muscles
which we train.
Maintain Adequate Nutrition
While exercise provides the stimulus to adapt and overcompensate,
nutrition provides the raw materials for repairing as well as the
fuel for training. A proper nutrition program for muscle growth
will supply ample energy for training, as well as a surplus of
the nutrients for the body to rebuild and increase lean mass
while avoiding an excess of empty calories. As a minimum, this
will demand the following:
It should supply an ample amount of high quality protein to
provide the essential amino acids necessary to repair tissue and
to minimize catabolism.
It should supply enough carbohydrates to maintain stable blood
sugar levels, as well as to replenish muscle and liver glycogen
stores in order to provide energy for training and to prevent
In the case of an extremely lean person (at minimum tolerable fat
percentages), it should supply enough calories to prevent the
person from entering a caloric deficit.
It should provide enough water to prevent dehydration so that the
person can maintain the energy necessary to train properly.
It should provide enough essential fats, fiber, and
micronutrients to maintain optimum health.
This is done by providing a continuous stream of nutrients
provided by many balanced meals throughout the day. For this
reason, a nutrition program for muscle growth is very similar to
a fat loss nutrition program, with the difference being the
larger portion sizes and caloric intake provided by the nutrition
program for muscle growth. Even more so than in a fat loss
program, there is absolutely no place for starvation diets and
other dysfunctional eating patterns.