Muscle building can be difficult. Multiple factors are involved in building muscle. Some people can develop muscle much easier than others. One reason for this is genetics. Genetics may make it harder for particular classes of people to easily gain muscle mass no matter how hard they try.
There are certain fundamentals that everyone needs to understand when it comes to building muscle. The following information highlights several important factors in building muscle mass.
Muscle damage is inextricably linked to muscle growth. In fact, it is the first step towards muscle growth. Overloading a muscle with more resistance than it is used to will bring about microscopic tears in the fibers of the muscles. When controlled, this damage can function as a stimulus for growth. As a form of response to injury, immune cells will rush into that area of your body to break down the injured tissue. And also patch things up, thereby occasioning an inflammatory response.
Immune cells also move to the scene of the damaged tissue and produce molecules known as cytokines. The function of these cytokines is to activate the help in growing muscles. Apart from that, the molecules also have the ability to turn on satellite cells that join the existing fibers of muscle to increase their size. Therefore, muscle damage is very important for muscle growth.
Another critical factor in building muscle is muscle tension, also called “Time Under Tension.” The amount of tension that your muscles are exposed to determines how well your muscle grows. Time spent under tension, in this sense, refers to the total amount of time that your muscle acts against a force.
For instance, if you decide to do an overhead press with the concentric phase being 2 seconds. And the eccentric phase being 2 seconds for 8 reps. Then the total amount of tension time for your muscle would be 32 seconds. Anytime you want to hypertrophy your muscle, time under tension is usually more important than when your major focus is to build strength.
When it comes to strength gains, heavy resistance is ideal. As a result of using heavier weight, your muscles won’t stay under tension for as much time, since the rapid fatigue will set in. Thus, the implication of this is that a weight which you can only lift for a limited number of times won’t bring as much sufficient metabolic stress or tension time (which maximizes growth).
Nutrition and Supplementation
When we cause the muscle fibers to tear, they must be rebuilt. Proper nutrition and supplementation are vital to this process. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, then you must understand that in order to do so you will need to put your body into a calorie surplus. This means intaking more calories than your daily metabolic rate can expend. This does not mean that you can eat whatever junk food you want. It is still important to maintain a healthy balance that is not too restrictive. Supplementation is also key. If your goal is to gain mass, then your protein intake needs to be at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. In order to do so, a quality protein supplement of your choice will be vital.
In conclusion, it should now be quite evident that muscle damage, time under tension, and nutrition are the three most important contributors to muscle growth. The three complement each other as they all bring about different results but work together to build muscle.