Thursday, November 26, 2020

The 3 Key Factors for Optimal Muscle Growth

When it comes to building muscle, people try to overcomplicate things. Yes, there's a science behind gaining muscle mass, but it isn't as difficult as you think. The more advanced you get, the more you need to do to see progress.

For beginners and relatively new lifters, you only need to worry about three crucial factors:

Progressive overload
Here's a very brief and simple description of muscle building:

  • Your muscles are worked
  • Muscle fibers break down
  • The muscle repairs itself and becomes stronger

That's basically what happens whenever you lift weights. So where does progressive overload fit in? Well, it refers to the way you challenge your muscles. A muscle will only get bigger and stronger when it is constantly put under strong demands. Simply put, you need to challenge your muscles to get them to grow back bigger and stronger.

The easiest example is increasing the weights you lift. If you're squatting 10kg for 12 reps - and you find it a breeze, you have to up the weight. Increase it until the 11th and 12th reps are a massive struggle. Then, when that weight becomes easy, you increase it again. This is the best starting point for progressive overload and it's fundamental for muscle growth. The best summary for it is this: push yourself harder in every workout!

A good diet
Your diet & nutrition needs to complement the workouts you perform. A poor diet won't help you build muscle at all. Firstly, you need to consume enough protein to ensure your muscles build and recover. If you find that you are not getting enough protein from your diet, check out a place like over at for a variety of protein shakes. This can be a great way to refuel your body and help your muscles recover and grow.

Similarly, you need to eat enough calories to build muscle. If you're eating far fewer than you burn, you're going to burn too many calories and lose too much weight - some of which will come from muscle mass. There's a great article on this over at that's worth reading. It goes into more detail than you get over here, and it's written by nutrition experts.

Ample recovery time
The final factor is your recovery time. If you go back to the first point on how muscle grows, you'll need to pay attention to the regrowth phase. The cells in your muscles work hard to repair themselves and come back stronger. If you don't have a good recovery routine, this won't happen very quickly. You'll know if this is the case as you'll be sore for days!

As a result, you can't work out as frequently because your muscles are still sore. Again, this links into the first point as it means you're not getting enough progressive overload. Thankfully, a good diet does a great job of speeding up the recovery time. Still, you should stretch and follow a good recovery routine to optimize muscle growth.

These three factors are all you need to worry about if you're just getting into lifting. It's not rocket science: challenge your muscles, eat well, and recover properly!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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