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The body has about 650 muscles that take up approximately one half of your entire body weight. These muscles are continuously working to keep us alive and moving. Some muscles we consciously control while others move involuntarily.
Muscle is an elastic type of material, which rapidly responds to any form of increased activity requiring it. There are three different types of muscles in the body, skeletal muscle that we will concentrate on here, cardiac muscle and smooth muscle. Skeletal muscle is in a constant state of being toned or tightened. We need this muscle for any movement we make from running to getting out of the car.
If you want to know what your muscles will be like after a certain training technique, look to the sports men and women who train that way. If you want to have large well-defined muscle groups, go towards the weight training and weight lifting techniques. If you don’t want large muscles but want endurance capabilities, then focus on a runner’s training technique.
When you start weight training, your muscles will start to grow after approximately 2 months depending on your dedication and genetic make-up. Your muscle size increases because there is an increase in your muscle fibres, you don’t actually grow more muscle cells.
You will start to see changes in your body as your training develops. Large muscles will start to develop first, such as your chest and back muscles, as these tend to grow faster.
The triceps are usually a great motivator when you first begin training. This is because they are not used very much, so from a little work they firm quite quickly. This will be very noticeable in women as this is a common fat storage area.
The muscle will decrease however when you stop training it. Also, if you continue to eat at the same rate as you did before when you were training the living muscle, a layer of fat will develop over the tissue. Don’t worry though, it is easy to regain what you once had.
Muscle strength does tend to reduce, as we get older. The main reason for this reduction is reduced activity. If we keep active and maintain muscle strength into our older years, this will promote health and allow us to remain independent, due to increased mobility.
There is great debate on how much protein is necessary for increased muscle and performance but many body builders believe that increasing your protein intake will increase your body muscle mass and in turn increase strength. It is generally believed though that by taking a good supply of carbohydrates and then consuming approximately 1.5 -2.0 grams of protein per lb of body weight per day will be enough to promote muscle growth and development.