The content of this article:
- Muscle training
- basic knowledge
- Exercise plan
- Proper nutrition
- to sum up
When we talk about muscle building, what are we actually talking about? Is it instructing muscles to increase? Or does it mean increasing the weight of lifting weights to make the muscles stronger? How do you define muscle exercise?
In many cases, the trainees do not have a clear concept of muscle exercise, resulting in a lack of planning in exercises and nutritional supplements. By accurately defining what you want to achieve, you can follow the correct steps and move towards the goal.
For example, the training method that aims to increase muscles is slightly different from the training method that strengthens strength and explosive power. These specific goals technically belong to the category of “muscle training”, which can provide relevant guidelines for those who are keen on muscle training.
In this two-part series, we will discuss the training, nutrition, and supplementation of male muscle building.
What is muscle training?
For the sake of clarity, in this series of articles, when we refer to muscle exercise, we define it as an adaptation and response to muscle fibers derived through a progressive overload method. Basically, lack of muscle exercise refers to putting strategic pressure on the muscles and then allowing them to repair, thereby increasing the size and strength of the muscles.
As far as muscle training is concerned, muscle enlargement and strength strengthening can complement each other. If the muscles are in a state of hypertrophy, the strength will be strengthened accordingly. As for the rate of strength improvement, it depends on the training method we choose.
This is why in different training methods, the speed of strong growth will vary. Therefore, whether you are exercising solely for muscle hypertrophy, strength, or explosive power, your muscle fibers will grow at different rates and continue to strengthen according to the training method you choose.
Author’s note: Nutrition and other repair methods also have an important impact on the rate of muscle exercise. It must be remembered that when discussing muscle exercise in this series of articles, although some aspects are not necessarily defined as muscle exercise, they can have a profound impact on the rate of muscle exercise. Remember, all factors must be considered together!
The basics of muscle training
In order for muscles to grow, we must make different adjustments to lay the foundation for success. If your goal is to build muscle, “improvisation” and a poorly considered diet will only bring short-term results.
In order to make long-term progress, let’s explore the three basic elements of muscle training.
1. High-quality training program
It’s simple, right? However, this aspect has been ignored by countless bodybuilders. You must understand that your training plan is sufficient to affect the rate of muscle exercise.
The importance of a training plan: A good exercise plan takes into account the multiple training variables involved in building muscles, such as progressive overload, appropriately increasing the amount of training and a system to track the progress of the exercise. This is just a small part of the many important things. If your exercise training plan does not consider these matters, then you may have to review your plan or hire a coach to provide assistance.
The fallacy of bodybuilders: Usually, when bodybuilders exercise frequently without gaining muscle, it is often due to a lack of consistency in their plans. Frequent changes to the exercise plan will bring a fatal blow to muscle exercise. This includes frequent switching from one plan to another in order to pursue a “better” or “very beautiful” plan, regardless of the content of the plan.
Influenced by social media, or lack of patience to understand the actual mechanism of muscle exercise, may contribute to changes in the plan. Without a consistent plan to track your progress, the effect of muscle training will not last long.
2. Nutritional considerations for muscle training
You can go to the gym to exercise in accordance with your existing eating habits to gain muscle growth. This is because you impose new stimuli on your body. And as you continue to do this, the body will begin to adapt.
Why nutrition is important: After what we call “novice gain” (muscle/strength increases rapidly due to the freshness of exercise), muscle exercise will become more and more difficult. Just like training, we need more cooperation in order to continue to make a progress-a nutritional strategy for muscle training.
By considering the total daily calories, macronutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates), and even mealtime, you can speed up the speed of muscle exercise. For example, if you don’t track your macronutrients, and you eat too little or don’t eat enough protein, you will build muscle at a much slower rate than your peers who understand the diet.
Protein is a very important element for muscle training . For a diet with a balanced calorie or a slight surplus, protein can help you increase high-quality muscle; if your diet reaches a calorie deficit, protein can also help you maintain lean muscle.
There are many different ways to get more protein in your daily diet. In addition to animal protein sources such as beef, poultry, fish, and dairy products, there are also a variety of protein powders to choose from. If you eat animal protein, whey protein and casein are ideal. For vegetarians and vegans, there are also many plant-based proteins to choose from, including products rich in pea protein, soy protein, hemp seed protein, and so on. Many post-workout repair formulas also contain protein, as well as nutrients that support muscles such as BCAA and other important amino acids.
Learn more about the importance of nutrition for exercise:
- 3 sports supplements for men
- The best nutritional habits that help exercise and repair
- How important is the mealtime after exercise?
The fallacy of the bodybuilder: The method that worked for you at the beginning may not be able to maintain long-term results. Through physical exercise, the more pressure we put on the body, the more we need to pay attention to how to replenish nutrients for ourselves from a nutritional point of view, and how to align with our goals.
For example, compared to a calorie-balanced or slightly surplus diet, if the calorie intake is in deficit, the rate of muscle exercise will be much slower. By combining nutritional considerations, we can accurately adjust our diet to meet our goal of building high-quality muscle.
3. Remember, repair (sleep) is extremely important for muscle building
To build quality muscles, it is not enough to go to the gym, exercise, and focus on a healthy diet alone. We also need to remember that elements that help the body repair, such as sleep, can also play an important role in muscle training.
Why sleep is important: When we fall asleep, the body releases growth hormone (HGH). This hormone plays an important role in muscle growth and strength adaptation. In addition, sleep can promote our repair and growth through muscle protein synthesis. This is how our body uses protein to rebuild and repair muscle fibers. (One of the many benefits of sleep!)
In addition to these two key elements, the body usually increases blood flow during REM sleep. The increase in blood flow is very helpful in transporting useful repair materials to the muscle fibers. At the same time, sleep also helps the muscles relax, so as to relieve the tension imposed on the muscles after a whole day of activity and training.
In addition to sleep, restorative methods such as massage, cold baths, saunas, and meditation practice can help achieve our muscle training goals.
The fallacy of bodybuilders: Many times, bodybuilders will keep the above two important points in mind, but forget the importance of sleep and other repair mechanisms. If we do not provide the muscles with the tools needed to repair and adapt, then even with a good training plan, we will not be able to achieve long-term results.
In addition, if there is a lack of sleep, a good diet will not work. Lack of sleep can cause hormones such as cortisol (stress hormone) to increase, hindering muscle building and growth. Cortisol has a catabolism effect, which means that it will break down molecules; the increase of this hormone will hinder the synthesis of human muscle protein.
Understand the basics of muscle training
In the next article on muscle training, we will analyze the above three points in detail, and at the same time, delve into the specific details and best suggestions to ensure that you master all the basics of muscle training and gradually achieve results.