Looking To Gain Muscle Mass… Do Less With More!

Most Americans don’t get enough exercise because of their busy schedules at work and at home.  Whether it be staying late at the office to finish up an assignment/meet a deadline, and taking care of your children by shuttling them back and forth to practice or after school activities, it leaves very little time to for you to focus on yourself and get the exercise you need.  According to the CDC from a study published in 2011 of adults 18 and older, 48.4% met the physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity, but only 20.6% met the standards for both aerobic activity + muscle-strengthening (only 24% met the muscle strengthening category).  When you are exercising, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts so you can achieve a higher level of cardiovascular stamina and muscle growth.

Achieving the fastest and most rewarding results can be difficult to balance when you only have less than an hour to work out.  To maximize your body’s ability to build muscle, you want to perform higher reps at a lower weight.  This not only achieves faster cardiovascular stamina by increasing the amount of oxygen to your muscular tissues, but causes the muscles to contract faster and be used more efficiently.  When it comes to muscle contraction and muscle hypertrophy (or growth), you want to increase the amount of ATP (the major energy molecule that causes muscle contraction) and the subsequent “power stroke”.  This power stroke causes the muscle to contract alongside the aid of oxygen.  The more you are actively contracting your muscles in rapid succession, the faster your muscle will contract and the larger it will grow (its important to note that when you are working out, you should slowly perform the 2nd half of the exercise-ex. Biceps curl-as you straighten your arm, go slowly).

Exercising 3-4x/week will allow you to achieve your goals of gaining muscle or toning your muscles alongside a well-balanced and healthy diet.  These important tools will help you to move well and think well! If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at Lincoln Park Chiropractic & Sports Associates, service Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago. Stay tuned to next month’s blog!

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