How Muscles Grow

Muscle growth is a direct consequence of resistance training and nutrition and a critical factor to improve athletic performance. More muscle mass encompasses more strength, which can help you become more explosive, improve your power output, and enhance performance outcomes We’re going to talk about how muscle growth happens and what you need to do in order to build more size and strength.

How Do Muscles Grow?

The human body is comprised of 650 skeletal muscles, composed of thread-like myofibrils and sarcomeres which can achieve growth, through the process of repeated muscle contraction. The metabolic change for how muscles grow, is an increase in net muscle protein balance, which is simply the difference between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. An increase in net muscle protein balance, is a direct response to resistance training and nutrition which stimulate anabolic response through muscle protein synthesis [R].

Muscle growth takes place in two different forms, hypertrophy and hyperplasia. Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle size due to an increased in the size of muscle muscle fibers, while hyperplasia is an increase in the number of muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is achieved through increased muscle tension and physical stress, breaking down muscle fiber. Growth is a result from overcompensation to protect the body from future stress [R].

Resistance Training & Nutrition

Resistance training places intense physical stress on your muscle fibers, creating microtears and trauma to your muscle tissue, stimulating the muscle building process. The rate at which you build muscle depends on several variables related to resistance training, such as training volume, load, workout intensity, and duration. Maximizing muscle growth through training, will also depend on how many sets and reps you do.

Training for maximal muscle growth requires higher volume training and more intensity, with minimal rest periods. This will essentially force cellular changes which will result in increased muscle growth.

The other component to muscle growth, is nutrition. Protein is vital to initiate muscle protein synthesis to rebuild and repair muscle. Protein is comprised of amino acids, which stimulate the muscle building process. This is why you see bodybuilders and athletes supplement with a protein shake. It’s important to flood your muscles tissue with the fuel it needs to maximize performance. Drinking a protein shake before your workout will help elevate amino acids in your bloodstream at a much faster rate, than food alone. The short rush of amino acids is known as hyperaminoacidemia and stimulates greater amounts of muscle protein synthesis. Having a flood of amino acids post-workout is just as important, as it will help with muscle growth and optimize your post-workout recovery.

Now let’s talk about carbohydrates. Complex carbs are a major source of muscle fuel in supporting higher energy demands during training and to initiate muscle repair and recovery. Carbohydrates inhibit muscle protein breakdown and when combined with protein post workout, can greatly increase muscle mass over a prolonged training period [R]. Mixing clean carb sources such as Swolverine’s Clean Carbs, and Whey Protein Isolate post workout, is the most optimal way to grow more muscle.

Hormones Testosterone And Insulin

Hormones, especially insulin and testosterone, play important roles as regulators of muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. Testosterone increases muscle protein synthesis, inhibits muscle protein breakdown, and stimulates other anabolic hormones. Resistance training can help stimulate the release of testosterone and growth hormone [R].

RELATED ARTICLE 9 Ways To Increase Testosterone Naturally

Natural testosterone boosters can be a great way to simulate the production of more free testosterone, to help improve performance and build more muscle. Swolverine’s ZMT is made with proven testosterone boosting ingredients, such as Fenugreek, DIM, Rhodiola Rosea, Zinc, and Magnesium.

Creatine And Muscle Growth  

Creatine is formed of three amino acids L-arginine, glycine, and L-methionine. Around 95 percent of creatine in the human body is stored in skeletal muscle. Studies have shown that creatine supplementation may benefit strength, muscle growth and performance by increasing power, and reducing muscle damage [R].

A study published in the journal Nutrition and Health investigated the effects of creatine supplementation on muscle hypertrophy in resistance trained men. After an 8-week training period, the study showed that creatine supplementation greatly increased muscle growth combined with resistance training [R].

The best creatine for muscle growth, is Kre-Alkalyn. Head-to-head studies have shown that kre-alkalyn, has better bioavailability and increases power and strength up to 28% more than creatine monohydrate. 

RELATED ARTICLE Kre-Alkalyn Vs Monohydrate

How Do Muscles Grow: Takeaway

The key elements to build more muscle, is training and nutrition.

Muscle growth can only occur under constant tension and force, created to produce an adaptation to physical stress, aka resistance training. The more you lift, the more muscle mass you will build. Incorporating quality lean proteins and complex carbohydrates into your nutrition plan, is also crucial to induce muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle mass breakdown, to fuel your performance and recovery.


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References

Tipton KD, Ferrando AA. Improving muscle mass: response of muscle metabolism to exercise, nutrition and anabolic agents. Essays Biochem. 2008;44:85-98. doi: 10.1042/BSE0440085. PMID: 18384284.

Pearson AM. Muscle growth and exercise. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1990;29(3):167-96. doi: 10.1080/10408399009527522. PMID: 2222798.

Wang, Chia-Chi et al. “Effects of 4-Week Creatine Supplementation Combined with Complex Training on Muscle Damage and Sport Performance.” Nutrients vol. 10,11 1640. 2 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10111640

Krzysztofik, Michal et al. “Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 16,24 4897. 4 Dec. 2019, doi:10.3390/ijerph16244897

Nunes JP, Ribeiro AS, Schoenfeld BJ, Tomeleri CM, Avelar A, Trindade MC, Nabuco HC, Cavalcante EF, Junior PS, Fernandes RR, Carvalho FO, Cyrino ES. Creatine supplementation elicits greater muscle hypertrophy in upper than lower limbs and trunk in resistance-trained men. Nutr Health. 2017 Dec;23(4):223-229. doi: 10.1177/0260106017737013. PMID: 29214923.

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