Building lean muscles is generally the goal of most people, especially those who go to the gym frequently. Unfortunately, this process is not easy, as it requires determination, hard work, and the appropriate nutrition plan.
As you may know, the online community is loaded with misinformation and false claims that have one unique goal – financial profit.
For this reason, we decided to write this article to explain the science of building muscle and what happens at the cellular level.
The Science of Muscle Hypertrophy
When you are lifting weights, the muscle fibers will undergo what’s referred to as microscopic tears. These tears send signals to the brain, which activates the tissue repair mechanism mediated by growth hormones.
Some of these hormones include insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and human growth hormone (HGH).
Fortunately, your body is smart! Therefore, it will not only repair the inflicted damage but also stimulate muscle growth to handle future strains.
As a result, you will end up with bigger, stronger muscles that allow you to lift heavier weights, which creates a virtuous cycle.
Note: that the body requires a number of amino acids to mediate this process. In particular, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are indispensable for muscle hypertrophy and performance optimization.
Energy and Muscle Growth
Glucose is the main form of energy used by our cells. When a glucose molecule enters the cell, it will be part of numerous metabolic reactions to generate Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP).
When you are asleep, your liver and skeletal muscles start the process of transforming glucose into glycogen. As a result, myocytes (i.e., muscle cells) become more efficient during workouts since glucose (stored as glycogen) is readily available.
For a more in-depth understanding of muscle hypertrophy, we need to tackle the structure of a typical strength training workout.
In general, a strength training workout consists of multiple exercises that you have to perform for an X number of sets. Each set has 10-15 repetitions, which refers to how many times you need to repeat the movement.
As you approach the final repetition of each set, you will start to experience the process of training to failure, which is crucial for muscle growth and strength. From this information, you can see the complexity of muscle growth and the number of factors involved.
By far, strength training is the best way to induce the physical and hormonal changes that trigger muscle hypertrophy and weight loss. Lifting weight increases testosterone levels (insert the link of the previous article) and burns fat (insert link of fat belly), which allows you to reach your dream figure in a short period of time.
Sleeping for sufficient hours is also crucial for hormonal regulation and muscle growth.
In a 2017 cross-sectional study, scientists reviewed hundreds of clinical studies to examine the relationship between sleep and muscle growth.
They found that participants who slept for less than 6 hours had poor muscle growth relative to the control group.
Muscle hypertrophy is a fascinating process that involves several organs, glands, and hormones. We hope that this article successfully explained the basic aspects of muscle growth and the science behind it.
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