It seems as though from the beginning of time, when speaking of weight training or resistance training, men and even women these days are always looking to add muscle mass and strength. As a Personal Trainer in Mclean, I always receive the question of how to increase size and strength. Sometimes it may be coming from a younger athlete looking to perform better in their sport, or maybe it’s just somebody looking to gain some weight who may have a fast metabolism. So let’s discuss this, how do we put on muscle mass? How do we gain muscle strength?
First off, we need to talk about the mechanisms of the body. Our bodies always want to maintain what is called homeostasis. In other words, our body always wants to know what’s coming so that way it has the resources to deal with whatever stress or load it receives. Thus exercise is the stimulus for the muscle to change its size and strength to combat the workload levied upon it. In other words, if we want our muscles to change and increase in strength and size or muscle hypertrophy, we need to break down the muscle, give it a workload that it is not normally used to, and as a result the muscle will increase in size and strength.
However, just performing the exercise as the stimulus is only a part of the equation. When you work out, in regards to resistance training, you break down the muscle and actually cause micro-tears within the muscle. But that is just the beginning. Once the muscle is broken down now the muscle needs to repair itself and recover and thus become stronger. In order to be certain that the muscle recovers properly, we need to feed the muscle the adequate nutrition to speed up its recovery. Additionally, sleep is very important as well.
So in summation, in order to increase muscle mass and strength, it’s important to perform a workload intensely enough upon the muscles that it causes a breakdown in the muscle tissue. Recovery from that bout of exercise, which is dependent upon nutrition and sleep, is what allows that muscle to recover and get stronger. As always, if you have any questions always feel free to contact us at every body’s personal trainer.