3 keys to massive muscles

Posted: November 6, 2013 in fitness, Muscle Building
Tags: , , , ,

Burning fat is not easy, but let’s face it, for the most part you can work with your body to accomplish your fatloss goals. When it comes to putting on noticeable muscle mass you have to work against your body, which makes it all the more difficult.

Just look at the number of bodybuilders to the number of fitness models out there and it is quickly apparent that getting shredded is far more easily achieved than adding lean muscle mass.

While trying to determine why this is I wrote the following abstract: The body builds muscle as an adaptive response to training stimulus where that stimulus is perceived as a threat to ones survival. The signal is sent via anabolic hormones to utilize available nutrients to hyper compensate for this threat.

If this is true (and I belive it is) we can safely say there are three pieces in the chain that MUST be present for muscle growth to occur.

  1. Progressive Overload training stimulus
  2. Over-abundance of nutrients
  3. Optimal hormonal Environment

A fourth one could be added which is Persistance, but for now I’ll discuss the three listed.

Progressive overload training implies that we are progressively giving the body more and greater stimulus than it is accustomed to. This stimulus can come in many forms. For some ideas on how to accomplish this check out the following posts: Intensifiers; How to lift heavier weights; Periodization

I have begun building a program going forward which is designed to elicit progressive overload in virtually every way possible.

Over-abundance of nutrients implies that there are enough nutrients in your body to perform its daily tasks, and then enough extra to put that towards building muscle. Notice I used the word “nutrients” and not “calories”. A deficiency in nutrients whether that be protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals etc will decrease your ability to use the food you eat to build muscle. Eating an excess of junk food will serve little purpose because that food does not contain nutrients needed for the body. If anything it will slow the process because all of that junk has to be digested and removed.

This can actually be a huge challenge, which is why I am currently working on designing ways to help those of us looking to put on muscle with the job of getting enough food and nutrients in throughout the day.

Finally, one of my favourite subjects these days is having a good hormonal environment.

When people get frustrated and deem themselves a “hard-gainer” the tendency these days is to skip right over the first two and blame hormones, so they risk health issues and legal issues by seeking out steroids. There is obviously something to steroids or they wouldn’t be around today, but my approach is to try to remove any limiting factors via diet and supplementation.

For example, deficiencies in magnesium, zinc, vitamin D and fatty acids have been shown to limit the ability of men to create testosterone. These are fairly easy things to fix through diet and supplements.

As far as muscle-building goes, we have to optimize testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone and insulin.

All of these are affected by your diet and supplementation, so that’s the intelligent place to begin, and also the starting point for my upcoming gaining cycle.


Super Hero Physique
superhero_physique by Shawn Buffington

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