What You Need to Know About Building Muscle

What You Need to Know About Building Muscle

Are you looking to build lean muscle? There are different ways this can be achieved. But understanding how to do so in an efficient, effective, and safe way is most important. In the following, I will discuss the basics of muscle building, what rep ranges to aim for, and how to structure your programs.

Your body is in a constantly state of renewing and recycling the amino acids in your muscles. Think of amino acids as the building blocks of your muscles. If your body removes more aminos than it can replenish, than muscle loss can happen. This is much like weight loss and being in a calorie deficit.

If you are resistance training and making your muscles work hard and don’t replenish those muscles with an adequate amount of protein to recover, not only will you not GAIN muscle, but you risk muscular strain. The key here is to increase the rate of protein depletion while decreasing the rate of protein breakdown.

So how do I achieve that? To build new muscle tissue, is to indeed perform resistance training but focusing on getting enough protein (as well as other essential nutrients) post workout and throughout the day. The correct amount of resistance training ignites your hormonal response toward muscle growth but for this to happen, that protein intake must be higher than protein burned.

When considering your training program, consider these different types of rep ranges. 1-5 repetitions help develops more strength, 6-12 repetitions help develops more muscular growth, and 12-20 repetitions helps develop more muscular endurance. No matter the rep range you use, towards the end of each set should be a bit of a struggle to complete the set. Those “tough reps” are the ones that are breaking down those muscle fibers allowing to your body to use that protein we have discussed to help rebuild a stronger muscle.

To elaborate, IF you are choosing the 12-20 rep range, when choosing your weight, you should not be able to complete many more reps after 20 reps. Same applies to the 1-5 reps. Load management is important to avoid injury, but you still want to pick a weight that is challenging so that you can get the most out of the movement.

Something to consider, everybody is different and the way their body responds to specific rep ranges can differ. If you are trying the 1-5 range and don’t see the progress you are looking for after a few weeks, give some of the other ranges a try. Obviously, changes aren’t going to happen overnight, so give it time.

What exercises you are doing is also important but also depends on your goal. For example, if you want to grow your biceps, isolation exercises are great such as biceps curls. Another way to achieve muscle growth in the biceps can be a compound exercise (an exercise the incorporates multiple muscle groups) such as the pull up.

A good rule of thumb is to incorporate 3 sets of 3-5 compound exercises in the beginning of the workout and finish with 1-3 isolation exercises. These do not include warm up sets or work up sets. Generally speaking, depending on your current conditioning 5-7 movements per muscle group training at proper intensity will certainly help build that muscle and prevent over training.

If you have any questions about rep ranges, exercises, program structure, or the protein/nutrients you should be consuming, please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of us at Success Fitness!