How and why do muscles grow? Scientifically, the process is very simple. Your body responds in certain unpredictable ways to things you do. If you consistently weight train, add cardio, enjoy a healthy diet and drink lots of water, you will burn fat and gain muscle. Practice the following 4 steps and you will harness the science of muscle growth for a leaner, stronger, healthier body.
1 - Your muscles will only grow when they are forced to.
When you weight train, whether you use free weights or your body weight, you actually cause micro-tears in your muscle fiber. Your body’s incredible ability to repair itself steps in, and your muscles are adapted to grow stronger than they were before. And that muscle growth never occurs if you do not experience enough micro-tears.
You have to force your muscles to work so hard that they literally tear down. And there is definitely a sweet spot you are trying to achieve. If you work your muscles too hard, you can over-tear them. Your body may never fully heal, and you stunt your muscle growth. And if you do not workout hard enough and force your muscles to tear, very little muscle growth occurs.
2 - Muscles grow when you overload them.
Sometimes you will hear weight trainers talking about “feeling the burn”. Contrary to popular belief, this is not what causes your muscles to grow. That burning sensation is not the sign of a perfect workout. What you are experiencing is just a surge of lactic acid in your muscles. This happens because your muscles are burning energy.
And high repetition workouts with lower weights do not cause muscle growth either. Overload has to occur before your muscles grow. Overload your muscles by consistently and steadily increasing the amount of weight you left, and you will grow muscles.
3 - Muscles grow after you stop working out.
Muscle growth takes place outside of the gym. What you do when you are stressing your muscles and overloading them is preparing them for the recovery period. This is when your body heals, causing your muscles to grow in strength and size. This means plenty of rest between workouts.
4 - Your muscles will only grow if you feed them properly.
You can do everything properly to boost muscle growth, but if your diet is unhealthy, you may see little to no effect. Working out, lifting weights and doing body weight exercises only dictates 20% to 40% of how you look. Yep, your diet is that important. Get the proper ratio of carbohydrates, protein and good fats, drink lots of water and feed your muscles the right amount of calories and even minimal workouts will show quick results.