Staying active is vital for overall health, and it’s also the best way to build muscle mass. Notably, skeletal muscle is one of the three main types of muscle. Tendons connect these muscles, which contract and cause movement, to bones. The best way to build muscle mass is to do the right exercises and eat specific foods. In this article, we’ll cover how to build skeletal muscle, including what types of exercises to do, what foods to eat, and when to rest and stretch.
- 1 How do muscles develop in the body?
- 2 Do men and women have different muscle growth?
- 3 Muscle building through exercise
- 4 Cardiovascular activity
- 5 Rest and muscle growth
- 6 Diet and muscle building
- 7 Sources
How do muscles develop in the body?
Age, gender, and genetics can all affect how quickly a person can build muscle. Muscle size increases when a person continually challenges their muscles to cope with higher levels of resistance or weight. This process is known as muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy occurs when muscle fibers are damaged or injured. The body repairs damaged fibers by fusing them together, which increases muscle mass and size. Certain hormones, including testosterone, human growth hormone, and insulin growth factor, also play a role in muscle growth and repair.
These hormones act by:
– improving the way the body processes proteins
– by inhibiting protein degradation
– activating satellite cells, which are a type of stem cells that play a role in muscle development
– by stimulating anabolic hormones, which promote muscle growth and protein synthesis
– improve tissue growth.
Strength and resistance training can help the body:
– release growth hormone from the pituitary gland
– stimulate the release of testosterone
– improve muscle sensitivity to testosterone.
Do men and women have different muscle growth?
Various factors, including genetics and the levels of estrogen and testosterone in the body, can affect how quickly a person can build muscle. Regardless of biological sex, muscles develop at different rates depending on the morphology of people.
Men and women can have the following body shapes, and each requires a different approach to strength training:
– Mesomorph: People with this body type tend to be muscular and generally gain muscle mass much faster than people with other body types.
– Ectomorph: This term describes a slim or straight body. Ectomorphs are less likely to build muscle mass, but they can increase their strength through resistance training.
– Endomorph: This body type is more rounded or curved. People with endomorph bodies can build muscle more efficiently through strength training.
However, several characteristics are more pronounced in men and promote faster muscle growth. These include more muscle mass, higher testosterone levels and tighter joints.
Muscle building through exercise
Overall, people build muscle at different rates depending on age, sex and genetics, but muscle development increases significantly if the exercise is:
Best results are also achieved when exercise is followed by adequate rest. The best type of exercise for building muscle is strength training, although cardiovascular activity can also be beneficial.
It takes several weeks or months of consistent activity and exercise for muscle changes to become visible. Adults should practice muscle-strengthening exercises that involve all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
Here are some examples of muscle building activities:
– lifting weights
– use stationary weight machines
– activities with resistance bands
– bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups and squats
– muscle training classes that include all or some of the above activities.
Strength training and aging
As a person ages, the risk of reduced mobility and other skeletal and muscular problems, such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis, increases. However, older adults should try to meet adult exercise guidelines if they can. If they cannot, they should remain as active as their physical limitations allow. Strength training is also beneficial for older people to prevent injury and aid recovery.
Also known as aerobic activity or simply “cardio”, cardiovascular exercise benefits a person’s heart and respiratory system.
Cardiovascular activity is essential for overall health. Current guidelines recommend adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. While some people think that aerobic exercise doesn’t help build muscle, recent research doesn’t agree. Regular cardio activity can promote muscle growth and function. It also increases overall fitness levels, which can help reduce the risk of injury.
For optimal muscle building, study authors suggest people perform aerobic exercise at 70-80% of their heart rate reserve, which a person can calculate by subtracting their resting heart rate from their heart rate. maximum heart rate.
for 30-45 minutes straight, 4-5 days a week
Rest and muscle growth
Rest is an integral part of building muscle. By not letting each of the muscle groups rest, a person will reduce their ability to repair themselves. Insufficient rest also slows fitness progress and increases the risk of injury. Ideally, one should not perform strength training on the same muscle group for two consecutive days.
Getting enough sleep is also important for the muscle growth process. Lack of sleep decreases protein synthesis, contributes to loss of muscle mass and inhibits muscle recovery. However, many more studies are needed to confirm this link. Reducing stress can help a person build muscle because the hormones the body releases during times of stress have a negative effect on muscle development.
Diet and muscle building
To stay in shape, it is essential to have a balanced and healthy diet. For people who want to build muscle, protein intake is especially important. Current guidelines recommend that adult men and women consume 56 grams and 46 grams of protein per day, respectively.
The timing of protein intake may also matter.
Sources of protein include:
milk and cheese
soy and tofu
beans and lentils
Dattilo, M., et al. (2011). Sleep and muscle recovery: Endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis [Abstract].
Dattilo, M., et al. (2019). Effects of sleep deprivation on the acute skeletal muscle recovery after exercise [Abstract].
How to eat and train for a mesomorph body type. (2014).
Konopka, AR, & Harber, MP (2014). Skeletal muscle hypertrophy after aerobic exercise training.
Poornima, KN, et al. (2014). Study of the effect of stress on skeletal muscle function in geriatrics.
Ralston, GW, et al. (2019). Re-examination of 1-vs. 3-sets of resistance exercise for pre-spaceflight muscle conditioning: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
Sample strength activity plan for beginners. (nd).