Find out which is the best way for you to be lifting if you want to build muscle.
What is Muscle Hypertrophy?
Muscle hypertrophy is the process of increasing the size and mass of skeletal muscle fibres in response to increased workload or stress on the muscles. This can occur through various means, including weight training, resistance training, and other forms of physical activity that cause microtrauma to the muscle fibres.
During hypertrophy, the muscle fibres undergo structural changes, such as an increase in the number and size of myofibrils (contractile units) within the muscle cells. This results in an overall increase in the size and thickness of the muscle fibres, leading to an increase in muscle mass and strength.
Hypertrophy is often a goal of bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts who want to increase their muscle size and strength. However, it can also occur in response to various medical conditions, such as chronic heart failure, kidney disease, or certain genetic disorders.
Jeremy Ethier is a fitness and nutrition expert who has a popular YouTube channel where he provides evidence-based information on fitness, nutrition, and health. He has a degree in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo, where he specialized in biomechanics and exercise physiology.
Video – Slow Reps vs Fast Reps – Which is Better for Building Muscle?
What are the Best Reps and Sets for Muscle Growth?
The best reps and sets for muscle growth can vary depending on the individual’s fitness level, training goals, and other factors. However, there are some general guidelines that can be helpful for most people.
For muscle growth, it’s generally recommended to perform compound exercises (exercises that involve multiple muscle groups) with moderate to heavy weights, and to aim for a total volume of 8-12 reps per set. This means that you would perform multiple sets of an exercise, with each set consisting of 8-12 repetitions.
It’s important to note that the weight used should be challenging enough that you reach muscle fatigue within the target rep range. This can help stimulate muscle growth by causing micro-tears in the muscle fibres, which then repair and grow stronger and larger during recovery.
In terms of sets, it’s generally recommended to perform 3-5 sets per exercise, with a total volume of 10-20 sets per muscle group per week. This can be achieved by performing multiple exercises that target each muscle group, such as squats, lunges, and leg presses for the lower body.
It’s also important to vary your training program over time to avoid plateaus and keep challenging your muscles. This can involve changing the exercises you perform, the number of sets and reps you do, and the amount of weight you use. Additionally, getting adequate rest and recovery time between workouts is crucial for muscle growth and overall health.
What are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the three main types of nutrients that our bodies require in large amounts for energy, growth, and other important functions. These three macronutrients are:
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They are found in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. Carbohydrates can be broken down into glucose and used immediately for energy, or stored in the liver and muscles for later use.
Proteins: Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues, such as muscles, bones, and skin. They are found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.
Fats: Fats are important for energy, insulation, and protection of organs. They are found in foods such as oils, butter, nuts, and fatty fish. Fats can be broken down into fatty acids and used for energy or stored in adipose tissue for later use.
Each of these macronutrients provides a different type of energy and serves a different purpose in the body. A balanced diet that includes all three macronutrients in appropriate amounts can help promote optimal health and wellbeing.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that our bodies require in smaller amounts compared to macronutrients, but they are still critical for proper functioning and maintaining overall health. These nutrients include:
Vitamins: Vitamins are organic compounds that our bodies need in small amounts to function properly. There are 13 essential vitamins, including vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12). Each vitamin plays a specific role in the body, such as supporting immune function, vision, and bone health.
Minerals: Minerals are inorganic substances that our bodies need in small amounts for various functions. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals, which are needed in larger amounts, and trace minerals, which are needed in smaller amounts. Some examples of minerals include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. These minerals are involved in many bodily functions, such as building strong bones, carrying oxygen in the blood, and regulating blood pressure.
Trace elements: These are essential elements that are required in trace amounts. They include elements such as copper, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, and selenium.
Micronutrients are found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, nuts, and seeds. A balanced and varied diet is important to ensure adequate intake of all essential micronutrients. Deficiencies in micronutrients can lead to a variety of health problems, including anemia, weakened immune system, and impaired cognitive function.
Why is Protein Vital for Muscle Growth?
Protein is essential for muscle growth because it provides the building blocks that are needed to repair and build muscle tissue. When we perform exercise, such as strength training, we create micro-tears in our muscle fibres. Protein is necessary to repair these tears and to help the muscle fibres grow stronger and larger.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. There are nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained through the diet. These amino acids play a critical role in muscle protein synthesis, which is the process of building new muscle tissue.
Consuming protein after exercise has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which can help promote muscle growth and recovery. Additionally, protein is important for maintaining muscle mass as we age, as we naturally lose muscle tissue over time.
It’s important to note that the amount of protein needed for muscle growth varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and activity level. However, in general, it’s recommended that adults consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For athletes and those looking to build muscle, higher amounts of protein may be needed.