This Article is About
skinny guys
muscle fibers
muscle stress
lifting weights
exercise period
diet and nutrition
effective diet
muscle cells
high intensity
muscle growth
Body Building For Skinny Guys - The Facts
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Working Out - The Two Stages

There are two sequential stages in working out, firstly the weight training stage where you hit the gym and place stress on your muscles by lifting weights. Secondly, the post exercise period occurs when you are resting.

This is most often the stage that people who are beginning to workout neglect as they possess the “the more time I spend working out, the bigger my muscles are going to grow!” mentality. This statement is only partially true.

Muscle growth only occurs during the resting and repairing stage where tears in the muscle are woven back up and additional layers of muscle fibers are woven over the existing muscle. This creates the increase in bulk that you see in muscle gain.

However for this to occur, it requires an effective diet and nutrition regime that will allow the muscle to repair and grow fast.

In order for your muscles to grow, you have to stimulate them with a high intensity weigh training stress and then allow them to move through the recovery process. I cannot stress this enough, do not neglect the recovery phase. This is where muscle growth occurs.

If you fail to leave time for the recovery phase and proceed straight to the muscle stress phase, your muscles will not grow, instead there would be a detrimental effect as your muscles are unable to repair itself.

Muscle Growth

In order to grow muscle, we must first understand how muscle grows. The muscle consists of muscle fibers or muscle cells if you want a more specific term. When you use a muscle, it is essentially contracting or shortening the length of the muscle in one direction only, and when we relax the muscle, we lengthen the muscle in the opposite direction.The great range of movements that we are capable of are due to several muscle groups working with and against each other, each still contracting in one direction only.

Now imagine placing two combs with their teeth facing each other. When you place them together, the teeth of the two combs interlock and become tight. This is how the muscle works, when you contract your muscle, it is like the teeth of the combs running over each other and interlocking, shortening the overall length of the muscle.

There are two main types of muscle fibers that the human body can consciously control. They are the fast-twitch and the slow-twitch muscle fibers.

The fast-twitch fibers are responsible for the quick and immediate bursts of energy needed for actions such as sprinting and jumping. These fibers operate by contracting within a very short time span for a large amount of energy release.

The contraction of these fibers is produced within a short amount of time generating a large amount of propelling force. These are the fibers responsible for Olympic winning 100m sprints. For example, during a sprint, the sprinter does not regulate his or her breathing, usually finishing the race in one or more breaths depending on the length of the sprint as their muscles are operating in anabolic conditions. Most importantly, these muscle fibers draw upon anaerobic resources for contraction. They do not require the muscles to be constantly supplied with oxygen in order to function.

The slow twitch fibers are responsible for longer periods of muscle stress such as long distance running. They produce the same amount of force per contraction, but is it spread out over a longer period of time. Hence the propelling force is not as great.

For example, a long distance runner has to have a proper and good breathing technique in order to maintain the speed at which they are running. Their muscles require a constant oxygen supply to remove the lactic acid efficiently and prevent muscle fatigue. This is what it means by their muscles are operating in an aerobic condition.

The proportion of fast and slow fibers within an person’s body make up is unique and differ between individuals. A sprinter would have more fast twitch muscle fibers and lesser slow twitch muscle fibers as compared to a long distance runner who would have more slow twitch muscle fibers as compared to fast twitching muscle fibers.

What then is the purpose of knowing all these? Comparing the two examples, have you ever compared the difference in leg muscle sizes? As any one can point out, the sprinter has massively huge calf muscles as compared to a long distance runner.

Therein lies the application to muscle building. In order for you to build muscle bulk, you have to activate those fast-twitching muscle fibers. By setting off those fast contracting muscle fibers, you activate the body’s natural response to external stress. In this case, the body now has to increase the number of fibers in certain muscle groups that are placed under stress.

Returning to the fundamental theory, more strength equals more muscle fibers equals more muscle bulk to compensate for the sudden change in load. Yes! Your muscles start growing BIGGER.

So How Does This Affect ME?

There is a high probability that a skinny dude like you and me possess more slow-twitch fibers as compared to fast twitch fibers. Therefore, it will much harder for you and me to trigger the body’s natural response to the stress placed on your muscles as compared to any other normal human being hitting the gym.

Since your body requires a higher level of stress to kickstart the response to start building muscle fibers, you would have to do more repetitions and sets. Also, when doing the exercises, you would have to lift the loads in a small amount of time with bursts of energy to trigger the fast twitch fibers and slow down when releasing.

For example when you are doing a bench press exercise, the upward movement when lifting the load should be quick and not gradual pushing. When releasing the load back to the original position, this action should be slow and controlled. This would produce the most effective results in the shortest amount of time.

Just remember, exercises that you do must be fast coupled with slow release and most importantly with adequate rest will see you putting on muscle mass.

Body building for skinny guys is a daunting task, but commit to a regular schedule and do not give up even if you are not seeing results immediately. More importantly, get a training partner for motivation and encouragement.


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