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What Causes Muscle Growth?

In order for muscles to grow, three things are required:

1. Stimulus - exercise is needed to make the muscles work, use energy and cause microscopic damage to the fibers.

2. Nutrition - after intense exercise the muscles need to replenish their stores of fuel.

3. Rest - it is during the rest or recovery phase that the muscles repair the microscopic damage and grow.

Muscle size increases due to hypertrophic adaptation and an increase in the cross section area of individual muscle fibers. Intensive exercise impacts more on the strength influencing fast twitch type II fibers, therefore the increase in muscle size is accompanied by greater strength.

This will deplete the muscle's energy stores and cause microscopic damage to the muscle tissue. During recovery, these stores of glycogen and phosphocreatine will replenish from carbohydrates and creatine ingested as food or supplements. Amino acids supplied in the diet will trigger the protein synthesis that repairs the damaged muscle and lead to the creation of bigger muscle fibers.

To achieve continuous improvement you will need to keep reaching for higher levels of training intensity otherwise the improvement process will grind to a halt. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to plan for provided certain basic principles and rules are clearly followed. Subsequent articles in this series will examine these principles in detail.

In the meantime you can find out more about building muscle by visiting the site listed below.

Richard Mitchell is the creator of the bodybuildingadvisor.com website that provides guidance and information to athletes at all levels of bodybuilding experience. Go to Bodybuilding Advice to learn more about the issues covered in this article.

In The News:

At least 32 killed and dozens injured in twin suicide attack in Baghdad
Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:05:00 +0000
At least 32 people have died and dozens more are wounded after a double suicide attack in Iraq's capital.

'Let's start afresh': Joe Biden becomes 46th US president and urges unity
Wed, 20 Jan 2021 14:19:00 +0000
Joe Biden has entered the White House as America's 46th president, and after taking his oath of office he told his country it has been "a day of victory and hope".

Three dead and six injured after explosion destroys residential building in Madrid
Wed, 20 Jan 2021 14:29:00 +0000
At least three people have died and six others were injured after an "extremely loud" explosion destroyed a residential building belonging to the Catholic Church in Madrid's city centre.

Coffins stacked high in crematorium of German town ravaged by COVID
Thu, 21 Jan 2021 12:37:00 +0000
A crematorium is a sobering place to visit during a pandemic. Especially the one in the town of Meissen, eastern Germany, where coffins are stacked on top of each other in every available space.

Police find stolen 500-year-old da Vinci copy - which museum did not know was missing
Thu, 21 Jan 2021 09:06:00 +0000
A stolen copy of Leonardo da Vinci's 16th century Salvator Mundi painting has been found by Italian police, despite priests not realising it was missing.



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