Workout Beginners: Expecting so much in so little time

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beginner-workout

Attention workout beginners: All of this does not happen after one week of training.  The actual time frame in which you can expect to see noticeable muscle gain depends on several factors: your current fitness level, the intensity and consistency of your workouts, and your body fat percentage. You may notice strength gains before you see a change in muscle size.   

By Joseph Palumbo |  IFBB PRO BODYBUILDER

Results are not visible from a single workout to another. Workout beginners should not expect a fabulous increase the very day after training. Increasing muscle mass is a complex process that requires a program that stretches over several months. If you are really dedicated, each day will be only one opportunity to get closer to your target. Bodybuilding consists of three elements: training, nutrition, and the resting period. All three elements must work together for optimal results. First, for training, you need to follow a sensible training program. Use proper form, and progress the intensity in a methodical way.

Muscles such as biceps, pectorals and quadriceps are called skeletal muscles because they attach to points on the skeleton to generate motion. Motor neurons tell your muscles to contract and the better you become at having these signals tell your muscles to contract, the stronger you can get. When someone is able to lift very heavy weights despite not looking very muscular, it’s due to their ability to activate motor neurons and contract their muscles better.

Muscle growth occurs in one of two ways. Hypertrophy of the existing muscle fibers occurs by adding additional myofibrils to increase the muscle mass. Or, new sarcomeres may be added to the ends of the existing muscle fibers to increase their length. Typically, both mechanisms occur during the growth process.  Ideally, muscle cells subjected to regular bouts of exercise, followed by sufficient periods of rest, and with sufficient dietary protein, will undergo hypertrophy as a response to the stress of training. Enhanced muscle protein synthesis and incorporation of these proteins into cells cause hypertrophy. Because there are more potential power strokes associated with increased actin and myosin concentrations (two of the primary protein filaments), the muscle can exhibit greater strength.

Hypertrophy is also aided by certain hormones and has a very strong genetic component as well. In short, muscle is most effectively built by progressive overload. Simply put: you must continually overload the musculoskeletal system with progressive resistance.

Nutrition, keep it simple. Eat Frequently. Eat meals that contains quality protein and carbs every 2-3 hours to ensure a steady supply of energy and amino acids for muscle growth all day, helping you gain mass and stay lean. The key is to keep every meal approximately the same size.

Finally: rest. I cannot say enough about this, because people do not listen. To improve performance (gain size, strength and/or definition) you’ve got to work hard. However, hard training will break down your muscles. It is rest that makes you stronger.  It is the rest that allows the muscle tissue that you have broken down to heal and recover. It really is that simple.  Yet, it is so often over looked. It may also be the very reason why workout beginners do not see the results as fast as they wish…