Building muscle

Weight lifting is critical to your efforts to raise your metabolism through exercise. If you lift weights with a short period of rest between exercises, you build up a pretty good sweat and get your heart beating in the process so you get some aerobic benefits, too. However, the primary purpose of weight lifting is to build muscle, it’s the best way to raise your metabolism. Just a 5 kilo increase in muscle means that you can burn another 140 calories per day at rest. When building up the biceps your muscle fatigues, and then gets a very slight inflammation. The signals from this purposeful inflammation are the same as those given off by an infection or tumor, but in this case the signals recruit new baby muscle cells, called “satellite myocytes,” which merge with the damage muscle fiber to enlarge it. Some oxidation accompany the inflammation of the muscle cells is inevitable, but the resulting cell damage can be to your muscles. Eating a good source of protein will help with the repair of the muscle. Weight bearing exercise is essential to maintaining the strength of your bones, your posture, and your ability to achieve and keep a healthy body weight. By building muscle you become more efficient at burning calories, and so you have more leeway in your diet as you retain a healthy body weight.

Getting started with weight lifting. Circuit training is weight training in which you move from one exercise to another with little rest in between. Going faster and using lighter weights can improve heart health and endurance, while going slower and using heavier weights can build strength and muscle size. You need to spend more time between groups of repetitions if you lift heavier weights. It is true doing lighter excises and more repetitions will avoid building bulky muscles, which is often the preference of women. You can turn any workout into a circuit by going from one exercise to the next, with no more than a 15 to 30 second rest period. Repeat the circuit three times in about 30 minutes for maximum benefit. You should focus on one set of muscles one day and another on another day so that the same muscle groups get a chance to recover before the next bout exercise. The key to building muscle is to feel a burning in your biceps after about 10 repetitions and to continue carefully to between 12 and 15 repetitions.

Planning what to eat before and after exercise. It is hard to perform exercises when you are still digesting food, and it is equally hard to exercise if you skipped your last meal. So it is important to be careful about what you eat before and after exercise. The best thing to eat before exercise is a light meal of easy to digest carbohydrates ( fruit and vegetables) and small amount of protein. A great choice is a protein shake made with berries that contain lots of antioxidants, such as blueberries. Loading up with carbohydrates is not necessary if you have been eating normally for the past few days. When you are done exercising, it is very important that you eat a snack such as a protein bar or protein drink with both protein and carbohydrates providing 100 to 200 calories with in 30 minutes, and that you drink enough water to restore your fluid balance. The carbs will restore muscle glycogen, the protein will provide amino acids to help build muscle tissue, and the water will help you maintain normal circulation to the muscles. Eating colourful fruits and vegetables provides phytonutrients and antioxidants that help protect your muscle cells from excessive oxidation as you exercise. As I’ve mentioned, some inflammation is helpful in building muscle. However, part of the purpose of the rest period is to repair this good damage and build muscle. The good part of the damage is not affected by nutrition, but eating a lot antioxidant rich foods can help keep your muscles from getting sore from excessive damage between supplements, including vitamin E, have been shown to reduce excess damage to muscle fibers following exercise.

Copyright (c) 2007 Sue Bektas