Building Muscle with a Small Body Frame
TRANING, NUTRITION, REST.
What's my goal? To be healthy and have strong, lean muscles.
Having a small body frame basically my entire life... building and putting muscle on my body has been a journey!! First off, muscles cannot grow or change to a desired size or shape overnight! It take's a looong time to put on noticeable muscle mass. Second, to build muscles you must stay consistent with training, nutrition and rest!
1. PROPER TRAINING
There is a difference between a workout and a proper workout. Every exercise has a proper form, tempo and should have a timed TUT & repetition range. This is what makes a difference in a proper workout. Lifting a light weight doing 15-20 reps over and over again is NOT going to build any muscle mass! In my personal opinion, to build muscle you need to lift heavy and/or expose your muscles to different training styles. While using your mind to engage the muscles you are wanting to target! When you are training, think about the muscles you are wanting to train and use your mind to picture them grow during your repetition. This will have an effect on your muscle engagement and muscle growth! Another key factor is tempo, TUT (time the muscle is under tension) and the repetition range. The muscles need to be engaged for a certain amount of time to stimulate growth hormones. This is why the way you preform every rep counts! The 2 phases below are the two movements you preform in every exercise and how they should be preformed. THE ECCENTRIC PHASE: part of the exercise movement where you are moving the weight down with gravity. This part should be a slow and controlled tempo to engage as many muscles fibers as you can.
Engaging muscle fibers will ultimately get the most out of your muscle. THE CONCENTRIC PHASE: part of the exercise movement where you are moving the weight up and your muscles are contracting. This part of the exercise should be controlled but explosive to stimulate hypertrophy (muscle growth) in the muscle. At the top of the movement, contract and squeeze the muscle you are targeting.
2. FEED THE MUSCLES
Your muscles will NOT grow if they are not properly fed or in a caloric deficit. I couldn't emphasize enough the importance of nutrition with training.
Nutrition is 70% and Training is 30%. People love to train and push their bodies, but it can put stress on the muscles and body! You know that burning sensation you get in your muscles? It's lactic acid formation and tiny microscopic tears. These tiny muscle tears need proper macro nutrients to repair and rebuild. More importantly, your muscles need calories to grow! Your daily intake of calories will be one of the key factors in your muscle growth. If you are limiting yourself on calories, your muscles will not have the needed nutrients to grow, build and change!
If you are not feeding these tears, nothing will happen to the muscle or it may actually start to degrade away.. muscle atrophy is not what we want! The more nutrition and training you give your muscles the bigger they can get. You must feed the muscle to grow the muscle!
Another thing the muscles won't grow without, is REST. All that challenging work you are putting on your muscles requires rest so they can grow and build. When your resting or sleeping the muscles use that time and quiet environment to repair the fibers and build! Without rest, they will not be able to build and grow, which will completely backfire all of your hard work. Build a relationship with rest/sleep time and use it like you would use the gym... make rest the gym's BFF. If you spend time working hard on a muscle in the gym, spend time resting it so it can build! Makes sense right? 8-9 hours of sleep if recommended for everyone.
4. SUPPLEMENT WHEN NEEDED
Ah, supplements. Something I have learned to used on a daily basis! There are so many different supplements out there it can be pretty overwhelming when walking into a health food store or supplement shop. As a nutritionist I know supplements like the back of my hand. There are supplements that can truly help with building muscle or anyone living a active lifestyle. These are my top supplement recommendations for building lean muscle! PROTEIN POWDER: Using a protein powder is an excellent idea for anyone wanting to build muscle , burn fat or make sure they are getting daily protein requirements. Protein is essential for building lean muscle.
B COMPLEX: B-vitamins help the hormone cortisol from getting out of control! When cortisol is constantly released it puts a lot of stress on our body and in turn it stores fat as a safety mechanism.
BCAA'S: Branched chain amino acids are a common fitness supplement. Why? They create and make up protein, build cells, tissues and are apart of hormonal systems! Taking BCAA's will stimulate protein synthesis and decrease muscle loss.