Building muscle is done by breaking down the muscle fibers, and allowing them to rebuild and grow.
The best way to build muscle is through resistance training, lifting weights, or carrying out bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups and press-ups.
To build muscle size you should apply progressive overload, this means you should gradually increase the weights or the reps of the weight.
As you increase the weights or reps you will find your muscle volume increases in size, and your strength improves over time.
What is the purpose of muscle?
Muscles, attached to bones or internal organs and blood vessels are responsible for movement. Almost all movement in the body is the result of muscle contraction.
By having extra muscle it can help you perform better as an athlete, some also consider it to improve your appearance.
Where muscle tissue is found on the body?
Skeletal muscle fibers are in the muscles attached to the skeleton. These muscle fibers are spread throughout the entire skeletal structure, on your arms, chest, shoulders, back, neck, legs, etc.
Cardio vs weight training
Cardio can help you get fit and lose body fat, but if you want to build muscle we recommend weight training because it allows you to build up your strength and grow your muscles.
It’s important to incorporate both into your fitness regime, but if your goal is to build muscle, we suggest primarily focusing on weight training over cardio.
How to build muscle without weights?
Another option if you don’t want to join a gym and lift weights is to use your own body weight by carryout out exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, and other bodyweight exercises.
How important is diet when building muscle?
Diet is very important when building muscle, in fact without considering your diet you might not build any muscle at all, or make minimal progress.
So you might be asking, what foods do I have to eat to build muscle? Well, the most important food to consume when building muscle is protein.
Foods that contain protein include:
- lean meats – such as beef and, pork
- poultry – such as chicken and turkey
- fish and seafood – fish, prawns, crab, etc
- dairy products – milk, yoghurt (especially Greek yoghurt), cheese (especially cottage cheese)
- Nuts - Peanuts, and Almonds.
It’s important to have a well-balanced diet, but incorporating proteins is essential for muscle building.
Why is that? The answer is protein synthesis, and to explain it simply, it is a naturally occurring process in which protein is used by the body to repair muscle broken down by physical exercise.
The muscle fibers are broken down, then grow back bigger and stronger.
How to know what muscles to workout?
This depends largely on what your fitness goals are, but if your goal is to have a more muscular appearing look it’s a good idea to train your main muscle groups, including your chest, arms, shoulders, delts, back, and leg muscles.
Cutting your belly fat down can also help to appear less bulky and will help with a more defined, athletic look.
Can I build muscle without supplements?
Yes, you can, supplements such as protein shakes, amino acids, and energy boosters can help improve your workouts but you can build muscle by carrying out a good workout regime, and having a protein-rich diet.
Bulky vs toned
Many bodybuilders have on and off seasons where they bulk up and increase their bodyweight while building muscle. They then cut their body fat low to make muscles look hard. They will typically do this in preparation for a competition.
For most people, it’s best not to bulk up and put on lots of unnecessary body fat onto your frame, instead, it’s better to be relatively toned and maintain quite low body fat while adding muscle to your body.
Being toned is also considered by many as more aesthetically pleasing, because your muscles appear hard and defined, providing a sculpted look like a Greek statue.