So not sure if you have heard, but muscles are trendy right now. Which I am totally on board with. More and more woman are getting into the strength training and this makes me super happy! I mean why shouldn’t we let out our ‘She Hulk”. Really, we should all be paying attention to our muscles.
Before I go any further with the gains talk, please know that by lifting weights you are not going to “bulk Up” like a male version of the hulk! Woman simply do not have the amount of testosterone in their bodies like men (this is a whole other post). So please, ladies don’t be afraid to LIFT.
Ok back to business…
Did you know that the human body is made up of about 650 muscles? Yep, shocked me too. All 650 muscles are designed to serve their own function which allows us to move, eat, stand, talk, breathe etc. The human body is truly magical when you think about it.
Our bods are also very adaptive. They learn how to deal with stress whilst using the least amount of energy possible. At this point in time your muscles are very used to your daily routine. Yeah, so what you say? Well in other words if you want to create the change you need to change things up.
How? Well, my friend I am about to tell you how to pack on more muscle and become that ‘She Hulk” you desire to be.
If you want your muscle to grow, they need a reason. Meaning you need to apply stress to them that is greater than what they’re used to dealing with. To do this you need to add more weight, moving through a bigger range of motion, mixing up the exercises, taking less time to rest or you can add more reps. Therefore, every time you apply new or larger amount to your muscles they are then forced to respond and adapt.
When a muscle is stressed beyond its normal capability, the individual fibres that make up the muscles are damaged (Its ok don’t panic, this is normal). This then triggers an inflammation response and your immune system activates special cells in the muscle called satellite cells. These then move into the damaged area, multiply and then fuse themselves to the damaged fibres.
The newly repaired fibres are stronger and more resilient than the old ones. This keeps happening each time. Kind of like a back up for your muscles for when you decide to cause them to stress again. The new thicker fires are what makes the muscles grow. The greater the stress, the greater the damage = the greater chance of muscle growth.
The system is super cool. But it is important to help repair the process along and allow it to complete before you decide to damage those fibres again. Your ability to grow bigger and stronger relies highly on your ability to recover and regenerate the damaged muscle tissue.
Regeneration and repair only happen when you rest and consume the right building blocks. These are carbs and amino acids from protein. These are to fuel the satellite cells and grow new muscle tissue.
The process of repair peaks around 24-36 hours after the damage was caused and can continue for as long as 72 hours. This is why after a day or, so you get that ‘Holy shit, did I get hit by a bus’ feeling. That my friends, is called delayed muscle soreness- the cool kids call them DOMS.
So to conclude this long ass post that I thank you so much for reading,
To accomplish muscle growth, the rate of tissue repair must be greater than the rate of tissue damage. So its not solely about the workout. In fact, if you’re working out hard, you need to be recovering harder.
Muscles don’t grow during your workout, they are only damaged. The growing comes with the repairing. Without proper rest and the nutritional block’s needs, they will break down and you’ll lose them (this hurts the soul TRUST ME).
Also, just keep in mind too much stress or not enough repairing will likely lead to injury, nothing kills goals than being injured, So be smart. Follow an appropriate program, where the stress is gradually increased over time with the right amount of rest and nutrition.
If you think you want to become your own version of the ‘She Hulk’ you know where to find me. I would be super happy to help!