Are you a Hard Gainer? Here are some of the best ways to build muscle
What are the best ways to build muscle? This is certainly a million-dollar question. Before we answer that, let's look at how and when muscles cell growth occurs.
When Does Muscle Growth Occur?
Muscle growth does not occur as you lift weights or as you run your 20th mile. It occurs when you are resting and during what bodybuilders refer to as the “recovery” period after a workout. It is after you have literally shredded your muscles that your body goes through the process of adding new muscle fiber.
Heavy workouts damage muscle cells and your body has a sense of balance between what you use and what you need, and that “balance” is what defines our physical stature. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, your body realizes that you don't need all of those muscles and so they shrink.
When you lift weights your body says to itself “we need more muscle” and you begin to produce more muscle cells. It is in a constant state of defining “normal.” It takes a lot of energy and recourse to grow and maintain muscle and if we don't need it we lose it because your body is always looking for the most efficient use of energy.
So, one of the best ways to build muscle is to use them. That is why bodybuilders head to the gym or rather live at the gym. The more you use your muscles the bigger they will become.
How Does Your Body Build Muscle?
As mentioned, exercise damages muscle cells. When that damage occurs, your body must decide if the damage can be repaired or if the cell should be replaced. That process – whichever way it goes – is important because it helps the body to reset our “normal” body mass.
When we are working out heavier than normal and are sore from the results, we are telling our body that we need more muscle. What happens then is that the body begins to repair and rebuild new muscle fibers which is what makes our muscles grow. It is the muscle fibers that give us strength and as the muscle cells gain more fiber they become bulkier and stronger. That is our goal. We want that bulk and get bigger.
So, another of the best ways to build muscle is to push yourself so that you feel the burn. You don't want to push yourself so hard that you become injured. In conjunction with exercise, your goal should be to prime your body for muscle growth. That means eating the right foods to build muscle, a good diet that is rich in vitamins, essential amino acids, and protein is just as important as your training.
This is why there are pre and post workout routines, which also include meals and supplements. If your body does not have what it needs to repair damaged cells it removes them. Making sure your diet is healthy, full of vitamins and completely balanced with amino acids is important.
Plateaus and Exercise
So, you eat a good diet and you are working out as much as you can, but you are not able to physically power through your workouts and you do not seem to be getting stronger. What gives? This type of scenario is not uncommon, and bodybuilders and trainers refer to it as a plateau. You have reached a stage where your body is not responding to your efforts.
A plateau is another word for a stalemate between protein synthesis and muscle breakdown. When your body is producing more muscle protein synthesis than it is causing muscle protein breakdown – adding muscle or subtracting it – then you are growing strong and bulkier. When your body is undergoing more muscle protein breakdown than it is muscle protein synthesis, then you are losing muscle. When neither is happening, you have reached a balance between growing new muscle and muscle cell breakdown, this is what is called a plateau.
Besides a good diet switching up your training routine is important
Another common reason many reach a muscle building or strength plateaus is that they fail to change up their training routine. Changing your training with different exercises, or going from heavy to light training sessions mixed with higher reps “less weight” or lower reps “more weight”. Besides diet, it is always important to keep tricking your body and prevent the muscles from getting used to a routine. You can power past that strength plateaus with products like Deca that help increase muscle protein synthesis.
One of the best ways to gain muscle is to make sure that your body is primed to increase muscle protein synthesis This means eating all the right foods, getting plenty of exercises, allowing enough rest between workouts for your body to recover, and ensuring that your body has what it needs to recover quickly. If needed, consider a little extra help from a supplement.