Professor Timmons developed the below ‘5 top tips for muscle growth’ based purely on scientific fact.
These are not tips that follow the recent trends and they are not based on the current fads claiming to help you build muscle, but they are 5 simple steps that your body (old, young, healthy or overweight) will understand and respond to based on its biology and help you to build muscle.
Professor Jamie Timmons is one of the UK’s leading exercise scientists and a founder of www.xrgenomics.com, here he shares his tips.
Top 5 Tips for Growing Muscle
1. Growing muscle is not just for body-builders
For many men the main reason for wanting to put on more muscle-mass is to look good, whereas many women would like to avoid gaining muscle mass for the same reason. However, aesthetics should not be your main consideration here. Your muscle mass is likely to decrease with age, and later in life this may lead to an increased risk of trips and falls. This is a major cause of loss of independence in elderly people. To reduce this risk, act now! Do some resistance training to gain or maintain muscle tissue ‘bulk’ to aid strength and stability. This is as important as increasing your aerobic fitness, for men and often even more so for women.
2. Consistency, progress and quality
Consistency in the frequency of your workouts is the key to gaining muscle. If you train three days per week one week and then do just one work-out the following week you will not be giving your muscles the optimal signals to grow. Make sure that there is progression in your workouts. It is possible to change more than just the amount of weight you lift and you need to keep things fresh. Try changing your rest periods, lifting tempo, the machine/bar/exercise used, your exercise selection or volume. Remember to always push and challenge yourself.
The first of the three R’s. Rehydration after exercise is important, and believe it or not: the most effective rehydration strategy that combines other ‘3R’ elements is milk! That’s right, better than water and better than sports drinks. The nice part about milk is that it also contains high quality proteins (rich in essential amino acids for aiding muscle growth). Studies have shown a greater muscle mass gain in men and women if they drank a pint of skimmed milk following resistance exercise.
The second of the three R’s. Carbohydrate levels in muscles are critical for function. This means that you need to restore muscular carbohydrate stores (called ‘glycogen’) so you can come back strong for your next workout. You do not need expensive sports drinks for this purpose, instead we like to advocate the consumption of chocolate milk (or your favorite flavor), which contains a little added sugar to help restore muscle glycogen.
The third of the three R’s. Proteins are not all equal in their capacity to stimulate muscle remodeling and repair after exercise. Our work suggests that proteins that are digested rapidly and have a high ‘leucine amino acid’ content are very effective. In studies in which different proteins have been compared, whey or mixed milk proteins consistently come out as the top protein source to help stimulate gains in muscle mass.