Muscle Building 101
One of the predominant reasons people join CrossFit Simsbury is to "get stronger".
Below we will discuss three main components you need to build muscle, and following that, we'll discuss three common pitfalls that prevent people from building muscle and achieving that goal.
How to Build Muscle
1. You must lift weights!
The human body responds to stimulus. In order for the body to give the response of building muscle, the stimulus must be lifting weights. Cardio and bodyweight exercises will just not suffice. Think barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells. Compound lifts (2 or more joints - think squats, deadlifts, etc ... full body movements) are best.
2. You must consume enough protein in your diet
Muscle is built with protein. If you do not have enough protein in your diet, your body will not be able to create new muscle. A very general rule of thumb is 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.
3. You must take rest days!
Lifting weights is a stress on your body [a good stress]. This actually makes your body weaker temporarily. It is during rest that your body repairs and builds new muscle.
Common Pitfalls that Sabotage Muscle Growth
1. No resting enough
There are two areas to this: sleep and rest days.
For sleep, everybody should aim for 7+ hours a night. If you are getting less than 7 hours, not only are you doing harm to your body, but you are preventing muscle growth. Want to supercharge your physical performance? The goal should be 8+ hours.
For rest days, most people should aim for 2 rest days a week. Working out for 6 or 7 days in a row is not the best idea unless you are a professional athlete. Not only are you reducing your muscle growth, but you are asking for small nagging injuries. Your body needs rest to repair and grow.
Consuming alcohol prevents muscle growth. If you have 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine with dinner 4 days per week, you are significantly reducing your ability to grow muscle.
3. Not tracking your nutrition
Your car has a gas gauge to tell you when it is low in gas. Your home has a thermostat to keep the house a certain temperature. Your phone has a battery display to let you know how much more it can operate. All of these things we use have gauges to keep them working in optimal condition.
For our body, we have a gauge - logging our food.
You will never know if you are consuming enough protein if you do not log your food. Our body is a high performance machine, if you do not give it the right fuel, it is not going to perform. If you undereat, you will not grow muscle.
Curious if you are building muscle?
Hop on our InBody scan! You can do a scan anytime a coach is available, and the cost is $20. Make sure you do it BEFORE you workout, and try to do all scans at the same time each time.