Are you frustrated by a lack of results with your strength training program? Do you have difficulty adding lean muscle to your body even if you feel you are getting enough exercise? The truth is that strength training is a science, and without all the right information, you could turn your wheels and get nowhere.
How does your body develop muscles?
Skeletal muscles literally consist of billions of individual components. The muscle fibers themselves are composed of myofibrils which are made up of groups of sarcomeres which are simply bundles of overlapping strands of contractile proteins. Each muscle fiber receives signals from a nerve that transmits impulses to the brain that encourage it to contract and relax.
During intense physical activity, muscle fibers undergo “trauma” in the form of damage to their cells. This injury activates what are called satellite cells to infiltrate and begin to proliferate at the site of the disturbance in order to repair the damage. Satellite cells multiply, fuse and attach to muscle fibers to help rebuild damaged areas and form new strands of muscle protein. Some satellite cells will also provide additional nuclei to support increased protein synthesis for muscle growth.
4 Common Muscle Building Mistakes
You may think that all your body needs is a workout to stimulate muscle growth, but it’s not that magical. All the cells in your body need the right fuel and care to provide the large amounts of energy needed for muscle recovery and growth processes.
Skeletal muscles are also excellent adapters and require progressive strength training and a variety of exercises to break them proverbially to a point where your body will rebuild them bigger and stronger.
If you are looking to stimulate your muscle growth game, make sure you don’t make these common muscle building mistakes:
Not Eating The Right Fuel
So what does your body need in terms of food to feed the cells that contribute to muscle development? In short, healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat – preferably in the form of nutrient-rich snacks and meals. High-quality proteins such as lean meats, legumes, beans, fish and eggs are essential (and may not be fully replaced by protein supplements).
High carbohydrate carbohydrates such as those found in fruits, cereals, sweet potatoes and winter squash are excellent for replenishing the body’s glycogen stores. And foods such as avocados, nuts, Greek yogurt and olives, offer a healthy dose of the right types of fats that promote effective hormonal function and metabolism.
Doing The Same Exercises Over and Over
Do you limit yourself to weight machines and avoid working with body weight or free weights? Although gradually adding more weight to your elevator can help you increase your muscle mass to a certain extent, without increasing it from time to time, you do not get the strength training coverage your muscles need to support each other for greater efficiency and power.
High intensity interval training with body weight exercises (boards, slits, squats, plyometrics, mountaineering, etc.) is an excellent way to complete a weight training routine. In addition, incorporating more variety into your workouts can help prevent common overuse injuries that can cause you to fall into a knee brace, an ankle sling or, worse still, completely ignore your workouts.
Not Getting Adequate Sleep
Exchanging regular rest for extra time to lift weights could have the opposite effect to what you wanted. Sleep plays an essential role in muscle repair and creation for several reasons. First, when you sleep, you use much less energy than during the day. Your body can tap into your energy reservoirs while you rest to more effectively fuel muscle growth.
In addition, growth hormones are naturally released during sleep, which promotes muscle recovery. And when you get enough sleep, you also give your brain the rest it needs to keep you awake, alert and focused the next day, which promotes more successful workouts.
Not Adding Stretching to your routines
Dynamic stretches before resistance training warm up your muscles to make them more flexible and ready for heavy work. Squatting, brisk walking, even the practice of yoga can serve as a healthy warm-up that prepares your muscles and makes them less likely to tear or tire during movement.
When it comes to increasing your own strength, stretching can facilitate deeper breathing for better oxygen saturation, pain and tension relief for increased energy and flexibility for better muscle plasticity. Not to mention intensifying blood circulation to help all the cells involved in muscle repair and recovery receive the nutrients they need to succeed.