HOW TO GAIN MUSCLE AND MAINTAIN LEAN MUSCLE

We talk about weight loss and different kinds of diet to maintain a fit body and lean muscles, but how do we gain muscle and of course we have to eat for sure but we also don’t want to gain weight while eating. So today we’ll talk about muscle gain and maintaining a lean muscle.

First thing first; our body metabolism, you have to manipulate your body metabolism to be in a state of muscle building.

Our body metabolism can basically be in two states viz.: Anabolic state and catabolic state:

When in the anabolic state our body is in the process of building new compounds and tissues, including muscles and strengthening our muscles and bones. And when in a catabolic state our body is in the Process of breaking down complex compounds and body tissues for energy. This could happen when you are exercising hard for a long period of time without replacing your energy with food and drink which can lead to the breaking down of muscle for fuel.

The aim is to maximize anabolic muscle building and minimize loss of muscle through catabolism.

How to do it?

1. Optimizing the Hormones Responsible for muscle growth

Hormones stimulate muscle growth so we have to think of ways to regulate/ manipulate hormones that are produced naturally in the body, as these processes are induced by the hormones. Anabolic hormones include growth hormone, IGF1 (insulin growth factor), insulin, testosterone, and estrogen.

Testosterone:  

Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones called androgens. But women also have testosterone. For both men and women, testosterone plays a key role in the development and maintenance of muscle mass, strength, energy levels, and bone density. 

It increases protein synthesis, and so increases muscle mass and strength.

Testosterone increases neurotransmitters, which encourage tissue growth. It also interacts with nuclear receptors in DNA, which causes protein synthesis and builds muscle.          

Testosterone is also known to increase levels of growth hormone.

Growth hormone:

Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates the liver to produce IGF-1, the hormone ultimately responsible for anabolic muscle growth. Growth hormone stimulates protein anabolism in many tissues. This effect reflects increased amino acid uptake, increased protein synthesis and decreased oxidation of proteins.

Exercise/ Workout:

One should know the most important step toward anabolism is the correct training.

Now muscle growth occurs whenever the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown.

And this growth happens while you rest after a workout.

When you exercise, you place a lot of stress on your muscles, which causes them to develop very small, microscopic tears in the muscles. This is the reason why you have muscle sores after your workout. This is when your body initiates damage repair with amino acids which is the building block of protein; this is when Protein synthesis happens. So you wanna eat an adequate amount of protein when you workout.

  • A. The type of workout that favors anabolism is strength training and not cardio exercise because cardio might drain your energy and start burning your muscles. What you ideally want is to stress your muscles to initiate muscle repair not drain yourself of energy.
  • B. Resistance training, such as weight lifting also boosts testosterone. Sprinting, Lifting weights and Resting strategically helps.
  • C. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be very effective, as you put a lot of stress on your muscles. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which lead to increases in muscle volume and definition. It is also known to increase your testosterone.

2. Eat

1.   Eat Protein:

Protein is made up of amino acids and amino acids are the building blocks of your muscles and body.

But your body is constantly draining its protein reserves for other uses like making hormones and so you have to replenish that protein.

Source of protein:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Soy

2.      Eat carbs and fats:

Apart from eating protein you definitely don’t wanna neglect on your carbs and fats especially when you are working out, the reason being your body runs on carbs and fats for energy and when you run out of it your body might tap on your protein reserved and there would be less protein for your body to synthesize for muscle building

3.      So ideally within an hour after finishing your workout, drink a protein shakes that is high quality and fast in digesting.  And make sure the shake has some carbs in it. Protein helps repair damaged tissues and promote muscle growth. Carbs have the role to replenish your body’s energy stores.

4.      A balanced diet filled with all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals, compounds that may naturally facilitate anabolism. And never miss a meal.

3. Sleep/ Rest

Adequate sleep puts your body into a state of anabolism. During sleep, hormones help repair tissues.

Your body recovers from exercise repairs itself and grows new muscle tissue. When you sleep your body produces its biggest surge of growth hormone.

Also, Changes in testosterone levels occur naturally during sleep, both in men and women. Testosterone levels rise during sleep and decrease during waking hours.

4. Rest

You shouldn’t work the same muscle group for at least 48 hours. During the rest and recovery period between workouts, muscles go through a repair process that’s important for muscle growth.

5. Minimize Stress and Cortisol Levels

Excess stress causes the production of cortisol and cortisol hormone blocks the effects of testosterone.

Meditate, take yoga or learn other daily stress management techniques to minimize the effects of cortisol.