Muscle building requires several simultaneous layers. Your workout, your diet and nutrition and your supplements. The aim of this page is to index all the best exercises, the best fuel for your body and the best supplements
Building muscle is a process that involves taking advantage of the way the body works. More specifically, muscle building exploits the body’s ability to heal itself.
Be it curling dumbbells or doing a bench press, the weight lifting process requires energy.
This isn’t a science paper so I’m going to keep things simple.
The energy that allows you to lift weights is released via a process that involves breaking down the muscle tissue of the area being worked.
This breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones to release energy is known as catabolism.
It causes tiny tears in the muscle tissue. Obviously, the harder you work the muscles, the more damage you do. This creates a greater need for healing.
Your workout is actually the trigger that creates the need for growth. To be more precise, it creates the need for repair.
However, when the body repairs the muscle it always makes the tissue slightly stronger than before. Over time these small increases in muscle mass add up and result in serious growth.
Editors Tips – Top Muscle Building Products
Here are some of the muscle building products that we give our highest recommendation to.
Bulking – Increasing Muscle Size
D-Bal from CrazyBulk
D-Bal is the point man of the CrazyBulk bulking stack.
It’s the mass-building, blood-pumping, oxygen-delivering mechanisms of this stack component that sets the bulking ball rolling for the weeks ahead. Read more on D-Bal
CrazyBulk offer a safe alternative to the most powerful but most dangerous of the anabolic steroids. It delivers:
- a boost in strength and stamina
- enhances Nitrogen retention – positive nitrogen balance is indicative of anabolic (muscle growth) environment
- rapid muscle growth
- increased flow of blood/nutrients to muscles
- increased training focus and drive
In bodybuilding and weightlifting vernacular, there are two basic stages involved in the whole physical conditioning process.
This is especially the case for competition athletes in this discipline. The stages are Bulking and Cutting.
Often they are referred to as cycles.
The bulking cycle generally comes first and involves a diet plan, resistance training program and supplement schedule geared towards packing on mass.
This is actually undertaken so that same athlete can then pursue a cutting cycle, whereby the adipose (fat) tissue is worked off with high intensity exercise and the lean, defined muscular structure shows through.
That said, people who find it difficult to put mass on may just partake in regular bulking cycles (their cut cycle tends to be their own metabolism and constitution.)
The bulking cycle is just that – a period where the athlete bulks up. The training supplements used are an integral part of the plan. They are even involved in dictating how long each cycle lasts
Cutting – Defining Muscle
Instant Knockout from Roar Ambition
This is a competition level fat cutting supplement.
It’s been formulated with intensity in mind what with arguably some of the most effective doses of fat-burning ingredients in any supplement we’ve seen. Read more on Instant Knockout
Instant Knockout has a great track record so far and a very large customer base considering it is a fairly new product.
The highlights to note are the strength of the Green Tea Extract and Glucomannan as a base for both catechin driven fat burning and some comfortable junk food resistance.
Testosterone Boosting Supplements
Best Testosterone Boosters
Muscle growth is also influenced by human growth hormone (HGH) and, more importantly, testosterone.
Testosterone is a steroid the body manufactures. We have written an article comparing the best testosterone booster available
It’s essential for muscle growth, helps provide strong bones, and assists with fat burning too. Testosterone does a lot of other things as well. It’s also the male sex hormone.
The problem is testosterone production peaks during adolescence. From then onward, testosterone levels deplete with each passing year.
This hinders the muscle building process as you get older. It also makes it harder to keep lean, can dampen sexual desire, and may cause male infertility and ED.
How Your Muscles Grow
The process of muscle repair and growth is a form of anabolism. It’s actually the direct opposite of catabolism.
During the anabolic process the body takes small particles called amino acids from the blood and then uses them to repair the muscle protein.
Or muscle tissue, if you prefer.
This muscle building process has a special name you may have heard of. It’s called protein synthesis.
Human muscle tissue consists of 20 amino acids. Nine of them are known as essential amino acids because it’s essential you get them from food (or supplements).
The rest are known as non-essential amino acids.
It’s not essential that you get these from food because, if need be, your body can manufacture them.
The best way to build muscle is to make sure your body has all the amino acids it needs.
The protein you get from some foods, such as meat and fish provide, all nine essential amino acids.
For this reason, they are known as “complete proteins”. Milk and eggs are complete proteins too.
Many plant proteins, such as lentils and nuts, are incomplete proteins.
They do not contain all the essential amino acids. However, vegetarian bodybuilders can get around this by mixing and matching plant proteins.
The other way is to consume complete proteins taken from plants, such as soy or split peas.
When you eat food that provides protein, special enzymes in the stomach, called proteases, break the protein down into its constituent parts (amino acids).
The amino acids are small enough to pass through the intestinal walls and enter the blood.
Once there they blood carries them to the muscles so they can be reconstituted via protein synthesis.
The Importance of Nitrogen Retention
Healthy protein synthesis can only occur in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere.
The problem is, when you train your muscles hard it depletes nitrogen levels.
When nitrogen levels fall too low, it limits training ability. Obviously, it reduces the efficiency of protein synthesis as well.
This is why many bodybuilders take NO (nitric oxide) boosting supplements or eat beets and other foods that are nitrate-rich.
The Role of Anabolic Steroid and Steroid Alternatives
Steroids: What They Do and Why People Use Them
Anabolic steroids became popular back in the 1970s.
As the name suggests, they enhance anabolism, thereby helping the muscles to heal and grow faster.
The other thing many of them do is improve nitrogen retention.
This allows steroid users to train harder as well, triggering the need for extra growth.
Competitive bodybuilders usually train in two stages:
Bulking is all about gaining the maximum amount of muscle.
Cutting is the stage that concentrates on burning excess body fat to improve muscle definition and vascularity.
Cutting gets the body looking nice and lean.
Certain steroids work best for bulking. Others are used mainly for cutting.
The big problem with anabolic steroids, of all types, is they are unnatural compounds.
Forcing them on the body certainly has its benefits, but it can cause untold harm to the health as well.
Side Effects of Steroids
Certain steroids can make men grow breasts and cause women to develop masculine traits. But these are minor problems compared to the other nasty thing these man-made compounds can do. Steroids are bad news.
The other thing to know is, once administered, most steroids take the place of testosterone.
In so doing, they cause the body to stop producing this important steroid hormone.
That means a cycle of steroids must always be replaced by a post-cycle therapy (PCT). This helps the body start producing its own testosterone again.
What the Alternatives Have to Offer
There have been tremendous advances in supplement technology in recent years.
This has allowed some of the more skilled manufacturers to come up with safe and legal steroid alternatives.
These alternatives contain ingredients that cause the body to produce more of its own testosterone.
Depending on which steroid they replace, they may also contain fat burners, energy boosters, and other natural ingredients.
In short, they mimic the steroids’ good points without providing any of the bad.
The best steroid alternatives have a lot to offer.
There’s no denying it. However, less ambitious individuals can still build a pretty awesome physique just be training hard and eating the right kind of foods.