Guest Post by Emily Murray
There are two main reasons why somebody would go to workout at a gym. They either want to lose weight, or they want to build muscle. Sometimes, they want to accomplish both. However, many people do not quite understand how the muscle building process works, and so they do not fully realize the best techniques they can be using to improve their strength and increase their maxes. Muscle building is not just about lifting heavy objects or doing a ton of push-ups; it has a lot more to it then that.
When you workout you break down your skeletal muscle tissue through stimulation. By stimulating your muscles you create something within them known as “trauma”. This is more commonly known as muscle damage, or the breakdown of the muscle. This process forces the skeletal muscle tissue to rebuild and restructure itself. Whenever a part of a person needs to recover or rebuild, the body naturally makes it stronger to avoid future damages. Even if you break a bone, once the bone has been repaired that certain part of the bone that was originally broken will be a lot stronger. The same principal applies with your skeletal muscle tissue. It rebuilds bigger and stronger then before, which is how you become stronger.
Your skeletal muscle tissue needs time to rebuild after being broken down, which is why you should work different muscles each day. This will allow those specific muscles to take a break and rebuild because otherwise you will just break the muscle down further, which will cause muscle fatigue and you will actually begin to lose muscle. For many people, this has been a common problem. Somebody that wants stronger arms tend to focus on arm workouts each day, which slowly wears down their muscles and weakens them rather then making them stronger. Try switching between arms, legs, and core (abdomen) throughout the week to allow your muscles to have some recovery time.
When you workout to build muscle, you need to make sure that you are eating a lot of calories. This doesn’t mean that you eat unhealthy foods to increase your calorie count, this means you eat healthy nutritious food to provide your body with enough energy to run its normal functions while rebuilding that broken muscle tissue. You should focus mainly on eating proteins, as that is the main nutrient needed to rebuild skeletal muscle tissue. Milk is a great fast-digesting drink that you should have after every workout to immediately refuel your body. You should also eat protein-rich foods such as fish and cottage cheese. If you are trying to diet and don’t want to take in a lot of protein, then your muscle will rebuild more slowly and will require more recovery time. You will also feel more sluggish, but after awhile you will receive the same results as the protein-rich dieters.