Regardless of the type of exercise you perform, chances are you probably wish for it to increase the amount of muscle you have. There’s more to building muscle than just working out, as the science of muscle building is very complex and should be somewhat understood so that you can plan your workout and supplement regimen accordingly.
The human body is comprised of more than 650 skeletal muscles. These muscles make up the body’s mechanical system, and perform the contractions that are responsible for movement. The organelles or special structures within a muscle cell contain myofibrils, which are elongated threads. Sarcormeres are units of myofibrils, and contain thin filaments that slide past one another whenever a muscle contracts. Motor neurons are present as well, as these are what trigger your muscles to move in the first place.
How Muscles Grow
During a workout such as lifting weights, muscle fibers are actually damaged. This triggers a cellular process in which satellite cells on the outside of muscle fibers fuse with one another and with these fibers to form new myofibrils. The new myofibrils increase in number and size, thereby resulting in muscle hypertrophy or growth. During this process, some satellite cells serve as a source of new nuclei, allowing muscle fiber to synethesize more proteins.
Muscle Protein Synthesis
Muscle growth can only occur whenever the rate of protein synthesis is greater than the amount of muscle protein breakdown. A single workout session stimulates the protein synthesis process, which may then continue for up to 24 hours. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine provide an anabolic effect, and are used to stimulate the rate of protein synthesis while simultaneously reducing the amount of protein breakdown. As such, the release of these amino acids are highly responsible for building new muscle.
Why Rest is Important
The muscle protein synthesis process is something that can only happen during rest, which is why overtraining is not suggested. Muscle protein synthesis begins immediately after a workout, and the process must be allowed to continue uninterrupted in order for damage to be repaired and results to be noticed. It is only during rest that muscles are “refueled” so that new myofibrils can form, which is why skipping the recovery period can actually hinder your results in the future.
One way to stimulate the muscle protein synthesis process post-workout is to ensure that there is an adequate supply of amino acids in your blood ahead of time. This will provide your body with the added fuel it needs to ensure you are able to complete an entire workout without feeling fatigued. Depending upon your workout goals, you may want to consider a supplement containing BCAAs, along with L-glutamine, leucic acid, and taurine, along with some bio-active peptides and protein.
Science shows that building muscle is actually a complicated process that takes time to develop. You can speed your results somewhat by ensuring your body has the right amino acids and following a well-structured exercise plan that allows for an adequate amount of recovery time.