Increase Muscle Size – 3 Essentials You Must Know
There’s a lot of misinformation out there on how to increase muscle size and add definition. Questions like how heavy should you lift, how many reps should you be doing and what to eat to help you with muscle mass are very common and this article aims to give you some great insight into 3 of the best tips on this topic.
Before we get into this if you are trying to lose weight but you’re noticing that working out is doing the reverse the reason is quite simple…
Muscle weighs more than fat and if you’re putting on more muscle than you are losing fat then you will see the scale tip in the different direction in which you are hoping. The best advice I have on this matter, is forget the weight. Instead focus on how good you feel after your workouts, and always think about how you can improve it the next time. This one important tip is what give bodybuilders the edge they need to out-compete their rivals, and you can definitely use it to your advantage.
Let’s get into the 3 essentials you must know about increasing muscle size!
Increase Muscle Size Fact #1: Strength Does Not Equal Size
This is definitely one misconception, muscle strength does not directly correlate with muscle size. You’ll probably notice the most when playing sports! Some of the strongest men and women out there do not have the biggest muscles. The physics supports this fact because what matters most is functional strength with the right proportions of body size to give those individuals the greatest force and speed.
In fact, when training for strength the periodization training which is done with Olympic level athletes is quite different. Generally they are going for 3-4 reps and have sometimes up to 10 minutes rest between sets. So what if you want to train just for muscle size?
Increase Muscle Size Fact #2: Damage & Repair Must Occur for Growth
Bodybuilders have known it for years that muscle growth occurs when muscles are completely exhausted by repetitions of weight lifting. The optimal number of repetitions to reach muscle size growth is about 6-8 reps. Rest should be about a minute between sets where the optimal number of sets is usually 3.
The main factor to point out here is intensity. You should be completely exhausted by the 6th or 7th rep, absolutely impossible to push out another rep. And this re-iterates of having a workout buddy to help you push through this when your focus is muscle size. What’s happening here physiologically is that your muscles are having small mico-tears from your training and your body signals your brain to release hormones which help to repair the tears, and this is where growth occurs.
So with all this muscle tearing going on, what can we do to accelerate the growth?
Increase Muscle Size Fact #3: Pre and Post Workout Supplementation is a Huge Bonus
I must admit that my biggest challenge when I first started training was my confusion on nutrition. Should I eat more all the time? What about throwing muscle definition out the window when doing this? Several years later and a ton of research later I know better now.
When training for muscle size you definitely do want to be eating a lot more than usual. This should be one stage of your training, one which you can follow up with toning up and defining by cutting calories. But even with that said supplementing with the big 4 (as bodybuilders call it) is highly recommended throughout your training.
Creatine and NO before workouts will give you the biggest pumps and engorge your muscles with blood which will provide water and nutrients to all these tissues. This is brilliant because with these nutrients comes greater energy and the ability to push you to the next level. Without a doubt two of the most successful products in the market are SuperPump 250 and BSN NO Xplode.
After your workouts you definitely want to provide your body with BCAA’s (branch chained amino acids) and Glutamine. BCAA’s increase your nitrogen balance which prevents the catabolic state (also known as muscle break-down stage) which occurs after training hard. I’m really liking Scivation Xtend flavours for BCAA’s, their watermelon one is pretty awesome especially if you add some fresh berries to it.
Glutamine is known as the immunity and repair amino acid because it plays a vital role in protein synthesis (aka muscle size). Glutamine like Creatine are of the most extensively studied supplements for muscle growth in bodybuilding, endurance and other sports. Because they are naturally occurring in our bodies anyway there are no side-effects, these just help us accelerate our muscle growth results by making sure we have the optimal amount in our system. I like Higher Power Glutamine AKG because it’s very affordable and mixes really well. Definitely smart to include this in a post-workout protein shake.
Increase Muscle Size – Conclusion
Now you know 3 very important essential facts when it comes to your efforts to increase muscle size. Remember to focus on the intensity and make sure you are eating tons of healthy foods with the 4 big supplements to take you to the next level.
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