5 lessons I've learnt about Muscle
1. The training is the easy part
When you start working out, the lifting side is the main focus, and the sticking point. Initially there's a big learning curve, but once you've overcome that, training becomes second nature. Later on, down the road, the nutrition side grows in importance, it becomes the main focus between workouts, and the sticking point. To support muscle, nutrition takes a lot of work, more than the training itself.
2. If forced to take a lay off, or break, protein is paramount
If you train regularly enough, you will reach a high level of 'muscle' experience. Eventually you may have an injury. You will have to stop training for a while, or find a way to work around it. The difference between losing everything, and salvaging what you've built, comes down to management. Some people feel it's logical to cut back on protein frequency. This couldn't be further from reality. Without steady building blocks, muscle mass fades quickly. It's very important to keep protein meals frequent, and high quality, ALL the time. This is one of the most important steps you can take to hold onto muscle when you can't lift. The same applies when taking a holiday or break from training.
3. Lifting heavy with low reps builds muscle
There's many schools of thought on muscle training, and plenty of them work well. The 'battle ground' tested, and most reliable method, comes down to lifting heavy things, using lower reps for sets, and increasing the amounts you lift little by little each week. It's good to mix up training sometimes with variation to reps, weights used, and volume, but basing the foundation of training on the 'heavy stuff' will benefit muscle plans the most.
4. When it comes to supplementation, a decent Protein Powder, Creatine, and Glutamine is one of the best 'stack' foundations
There's a lot of choice for supplements, many offer great benefits for muscle, athletic, and health support. One stack that's become a foundation for strength trainers, bodybuilders, and athletes is Protein Powder (usually Whey Protein), Creatine Monohydrate, and L Glutamine. Around the globe, for both men and women, it's a favourite trio to support strong, healthy muscle. I begin every day, with a Pure NZ Whey shake, and a glass of water with a serving of Micronised Creatine and Pure Glutamine. Here's an informative article by Will Brink, on how effective these supplements are together: Optimising Muscle Health with Protein, Creatine, and Glutamine
5. You can make big improvements to muscle and strength in a few months
When the right plan is in place, muscle and strength development can increase in a big way, over only a few short months. It doesn't have to take a long time. Age is no limitation. The key is to stick to a good plan and not switch here, there, and everywhere. Committing to a plan for a minimum of 6 weeks, and ideally for at least 12 weeks at a time is the way to make it work. A solid program will help you break through any plateau you are on, and take you to your next level. If not making progress, then it's time to take at close look at the nutrition plan, and the training plan.