New Years Resolution: MuscleBound Made Easy
Barry Artiste, Now Public Contributor
Yeah, we have all been there, Advertisements since the 1950's showing the typical 98 pound weakling getting sand kicked in their faces at the beach by a muscle bound bully, fed up, Mr. 98 pound weakling buys the 10 cent Ben Weider exercise program and in a few short months combs the beach looking for the Bully who embarrassed him, and with his bravado and derring do, punches the bully and is now a beach bully himself, with adoring throngs of Beach Babes surrounding him.
Everyone wants the physique they see on WWF, UFC and Action Heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Little is mentioned that most got their Action Figure physiques through Steroids.
Popeye, that deformed Sailor seen on Saturday morning cartoons of yesteryear touted spinach for his "au natural physique", of course this was before anyone heard of steriods.
Today, little has changed, though kicking sand in ones face is passe in our modern society, most likely the closest thing to Bullying is a panhandler nudging you constantly for spare change at Kits Beach.
So, for most of us on a New Years Resolution kick, the article below explains how to "Pump You Up" and do it right without steroids, so by summer time we too can reserve our spot on the beach waiting in anticipation for Panhandlers to nudge that "Latte out of your Hand".
Challenge muscles to make them grow
But make sure they get a rest in between visits to the gym
Jill Barker, CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, January 07, 2008
For There's nothing complicated about building muscle. Experts have long reported the best results come from working hard in the gym one day and taking the next day off. The problem is that too many gym rats favour the "more is better" school of thought and wouldn't dream of giving their muscles a rest between workouts.
If you're guilty of forgoing that all-important day of rest, it's time you understood the science behind making muscles bigger.
The first step in any muscle-building routine is lifting enough weight to stress the muscle. The amount of stress necessary is not enough to cause pain, rather the goal is to break down the muscle at the cellular level. Once the muscle is stressed, a bunch of new cells gather around the injured site and fuse with the existing muscle to produce thicker muscle fibres.
There's a difference between muscle building for looks -- as in this recent international competition in Budapest -- and the muscles you build for sports.View Larger Image View Larger Image
There's a difference between muscle building for looks -- as in this recent international competition in Budapest -- and the muscles you build for sports.
But that's not the only building process at work. An intense weight-training workout produces a flood of natural hormones, including human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factors that further enhance muscle repair and regeneration.
This complex process of muscle growth begins within two to four hours after your workout and lasts as long as 24 hours. But here's the catch: to achieve optimum growth, the rate at which the muscle rebuilds has to exceed the rate at which it is broken down. So if you hit the gym too soon, you will interrupt the muscle-building process in favour of more muscle damage.
That's not the only way to sabotage your chances of building muscular girth. Taking it easy during your workout will also affect your results. Remember, you have to stress the muscle sufficiently to trigger the cascade of cellular effects that result in greater muscle size. To do that, the muscles must be challenged more than they usually are, or in the vernacular of strength-training, they need to be "overloaded."
How do you know if you are giving your muscles enough of a challenge to effect change?
The best way to achieve overload is to lift to fatigue, which means reaching muscular exhaustion by the last rep of your last set. If you have been lifting the same weight for months and can do so easily, it's time to bump up the intensity -- that is, if you want to boost the size and strength of your muscles. Muscles that are challenged to their maximum every workout will realize their size and strength potential.
How big can muscles get?
That depends. Studies suggest that with the right training program, muscle size can increase by 30-70 per cent. Of course, not everyone is destined to achieve results at the high end of the scale. Genetics plays a big part in your potential to build muscle. So does gender.
As for how long it takes to reap the rewards of all this hard work, don't go trying to impress Olive Oyl too soon. It takes several weeks, even months, before there is any noticeable change in girth. The changes in strength, however, tend to show up sooner.
In fact, for those of you whose goals are more functional than aesthetic, more lean body mass is not without its pluses. Added muscle can lead to improved athletic performance and an improved ability to handle the physical stress of everyday life. And for boomers, the extra muscle can go a long way toward mediating the natural loss of muscle mass that occurs after the age of 30.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting to look better in a T-shirt. But if you're after size over strength, be aware that a bodybuilder's workout is different than that of someone looking for more power behind a golf swing or home run ball.