The Secret To Growing Muscle – Part 1

The secret to growing muscle: what you need to know!

It is August and each year we see the influx of motivated people flock to gyms to get ‘in shape for summer’…. And each year we see people drop out soon after from not getting the results they wanted. “Well, who told them in the first time that they were going to make remarkable change in just three months?”

These people are extrinsically motivated and this means there is something external driving their effort, and although this may get us into the gym, it is the intrinsic motivation that keeps us here. I.e When you start to train you feel good and when you hit your goal you tell yourself  “I like this and I am not going backwards”! If this is you, then great, you are making a positive health and lifestyle change for the right reasons. You don’t want to be here in 12 months saying ” I want to get back into it”, or “Why didn’t I stick with it all year”?  Do you? Change your motivations and voice them out loud so you can hear them and you will have a much better chance of making exercise a habit…. But anyways;

“For long-lasting change, there needs to be a systematic administration of a sufficient stimulus, followed by an adaptation of the individual, and then the introduction of a new, progressively greater stimulus” (LKravitz)

So do you want to know what the secret is to building muscle…..Time! Time and more time!

It doesn;t hapopen ov erbnight but it will happen! This is so true but it can take 3-6 years to develop a good enough foundation to build serious muscle. I will take you through an annalogy over the next few weeks based on building muscle is like building a house!

It’s more than just building muscle!

It is important to understand that muscle hypertrophy is only one adaptation to resistance exercise. I.e. Take this into consideration. When you build a house you start with the planning before laying the foundations, and then the walls and finally the roof, before you start all your second fix (this is your plumbing, tiling, electrical etc). Let me put this into perspective for you to understand resistance training and building your body.


Strength adaptations to resistance training

In the beginning you see results and over time they plateau and this is because the majority of strength training benefits, in first 3 months of strength work, relate predominantly to neural adaptations. What this means is that the body finds more efficient ways to deal with the task (resistance exercise) and because of this the motor unit (this is the nerve and the muscle fibres it innervates) is adapting to these stresses and more efficiently innervating the muscle fibres it is responsible for, resulting in a better, more organised muscle stimulation process.

Your body starts a process of recognizing exercises so that next time when faced with the same stimulus it can say “ok motor unit 1 and 2 you guys are required.” As the load grows the brain then asks more motor units to fire up and innervate the muscle fibres for work. Similiarly like the supervisor asks more tradespeople to get involved in a building project.

This week find your intrinsic motivation byu asking yourself what you don’t want.

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