I am pretty sure I might be the only one, who is fascinated by muscles.
But that is okay.
I am here to fascinate you too! Hopefully (fingers, toes, arms, and legs are all crossed here, people)
So, I am sure you have heard of muscles at some point or another and the truth about the matter is muscles are pretty cool!
NO! I have not lost my mind. Stay with me here!
What do muscles do? Muscles help us to move our bodies, from left to right, and from up to down. But how do they do that? Well, tendons connect are bones and muscles together, allowing us to move the bones by contracting our muscles. Muscles have a little bit of help from actin and myosin.
I probably lost you a little bit with actin and myosin. So, let’s start in a little simpler way.
Say you lift up an object, the muscles contract like a rubber band that has been stretched out and then released. This process happens because of the actin and myosin inside of the muscle.
We have three different types of muscles, they are:
Smooth muscles which are the supporting tissue of blood vessels and hollow internal organs such as the stomach, intestine, and bladder.
Cardiac Muscle is an involuntary, striated muscle that constitutes the main tissue of the walls of the heart.
Skeletal Muscle is the form of striated muscle tissue, which is under the voluntary control of the somatic nervous system.
Now how do we know, how to best work our muscles to make them bigger (or leaner) as well as stronger. Let’s start with one of the easiest things.
When we dehydrate our bodies, we dehydrate our muscles, they are made of 78% of water. If there is no water inside of the muscle fibers the movements will decrease. This is what many of us are familiar with, as tight muscles. When we massage and stretch the muscles, we allow the water to flow `through where blockages have occurred and allowed for the full potential of the muscle to be utilized.
Now down to the nitty gritty that a lot of us are wondering about, how do we build muscle?
Surprisingly, muscle growth comes from after the workout. During the resting period.
After, working out our bodies have to repair and replace the damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process. This is where the muscle fibers are fused together to create new protein muscle strands. These muscle strands are called myofibrils and they increase in thickness and number. This only happens though when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
SO what are the ways that we build those muscles?
Tension- this is where we apply stress that is greater than what our bodies have gained accustomed too. We generally recognize this type of muscle building when we lift heavier weights.
Muscle damage- Have you ever felt sore? That is your muscles repairing themselves after a hard workout. They release inflammatory molecules and immune cells that activate satellite cells to jump into action.
Metabolic Stress- Is a specific type of training that increases the blood flow to the cells, it is generally called “pump training”. Generally, it is training over higher volumes and shorter rest periods.
But don’t forget!
Your body needs adequate rest and nutrition to produce results, otherwise, you could send yourself in the opposite direction. It is all about working smarter not harder!
Try targeting the different muscle groups you hope to build in one workout instead of each day a different area. It takes three days to lose that muscle that you gained and if you only target that muscle group once a week, it could put you further back!
Yes… I could keep going and bore you with a 50-page book on muscles if I really wanted to but I won’t. I want you to have the basic knowledge and understanding of muscles so you can take it to the gym and utilize this knowledge!
So take the leap! And get started today!
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