How to safely and effectively build muscle, whether for looks or for strength. Also, how muscles work physiologically.

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2
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2answers
1k views

What's the “optimal” macronutrient split and daily caloric intake to increase lean body weight while reducing fat?

In the past few months, I've managed to trim down to about 11% bodyfat but unfortunately not without sacrificing a several pounds of muscle in the process. I'd like to regain and build beyond that ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

How does a muscle grow step-by-step?

I am trying to understand how a muscle such as the bicep grows step-by-step. For example (but not limited to): How nutrients line up? Which are essentials? What exactly do they do? It's hard to ...
7
votes
1answer
354 views

Why do you have to exercise to build muscle?

Many chemical processes that used to be time-consuming or tiresome can be worked around, e.g migraine, vitamin deficit, bad eye-sight. Endurance training and muscle anabolism are just chemical ...
2
votes
1answer
345 views

Strained my neck and feeling pain

Last week, I was trying to do some exercise lifting weight up. Suddenly I got a strain in my neck. I can move my neck but feel pain when doing so. I didn't do any exercises after that day, and I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
235 views

Should I add more protein to my diet to avoid muscle loss?

I've read several places you should try to at least get .5 g of protein per pound of weight. Note that I don't know my lean weight. Now I'm a 186 cm(~6 feet) tall male weighing 111.8 kg(~246 lbs), ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it possible to gain muscle with cardio/aerobics?

I believe the best way to gain muscle is heavy weightlifting. I've done that before using a routine based mainly off of the Stronglifts program and I saw good results. However, until recently I was ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

If I build up my muscles and then don't use them for a while, then will the “build-up” regress after a while?

And if so, is regression more powerful if I build up my muscles from, say, the 90th percentile to the 99th percentile as compared to from the 30th percentile to the 50th percentile? As in, is the ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Should standard, non-rehabilitation exercise routines target smaller individual muscles?

Looking at the list of exercises on exrx.net, I see a good deal of them recommending exercises to target muscles that most fitness sites seem to completely overlook. For example, there are pages with ...
8
votes
2answers
435 views

Keeping track of muscle dimensions

I am looking for tools and procedures to keep track of changes in sizes of muscles. (or groups of muscles like upper arms and chest). (1) How feasible is this? (2) Are more subjective measures like ...
1
vote
3answers
276 views

What are the true implications of the abdominals being actually just one muscle?

A lot of online advice on developing the abs starts by correcting the misperception that the abs are separate muscles, instead, they are a single wall. Now, it's not clear what should I conclude from ...
0
votes
1answer
273 views

How to increase muscle mass?

I am 49 year old. I have reduced 6 Kgs and maintaining it for last 2 years nicely. Due to busy shedule I don't get time to exercise regularly. But I walk for half hour daily. My diet includes 0.8 ...
3
votes
1answer
285 views

Weights + Conditioning circuit + Mixed martial arts

I'm thinking of starting a regime, where I hit my local gym 3 hours a day 6 days a week. I am 5'7" with a moderate build and I weigh 65kg. I'm wanting to build muscle and lose fat. The first 1hr ...
8
votes
3answers
365 views

Is growth of a muscle limited to the size of the opposing muscle?

I've read and heard from several bodybuilders (Arnold, big Youtube guys) that the pectorals will only grow in proportion to the upper lats. Both must be trained equally to see growth. What is the ...
2
votes
2answers
202 views

Calorie consumption dilemma: strength vs fat loss

I am a 77 kg guy. I used to be a scrawny 52 kg guy before I began 5x5 workout. During the weight gain process, I didn't care much about the associated fat gain. I was getting stronger and looking ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

What are the outcomes of training unevenly on various body muscles?

While most of the trainers train all of their body muscles, it is possible to skip a few muscles and focus on the rest. The best example is all of the guys who don't care about the legs and can end ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

How to strengthen the “foot muscle”

Not sure what the muscle is called, or if there is more than one, but seems like there is a muscle under my feet going from somewhere close to the heel and forward to where the toes are "attached". I ...
1
vote
1answer
466 views

Severe Muscle cramp during abdomen crunch

I have fat around my Belly, and whenever I try to do Abdomen crunch, I get severe (or massive) muscle cramp in my belly which prevents me from doing anything for next 30 minutes due to intense pain. ...
0
votes
1answer
705 views

First week at gym, am I doing right?

I have just joined a local gym near my home. My body details are: Height: 5'8" Weight: 56 Kg My target is to gain strength, shape, and muscle. I am 24 years old. After joining a gym, I found that ...
1
vote
1answer
599 views

Do muscles discriminate against the type of micro-tear?

Weightlifting creates micro-tears in the muscles. When these micro-tears repair, the muscle grows back bigger. Does this same principle apply to tears caused by other means? For example, if you create ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How is it possible to use a higher percentage of our theoretical strength?

I've read somewhere ( Why is muscle size not proportional to strength?) that under normal circumstances, even when we try our hardest, we can use only 20-30% of our strength. Under what circumstances ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the protocol for muscle maintenence (stay the same mass)?

Let's say a bodybuilder has been lifting heavy in the 8-12 rep range, eating a high protein diet, and so has attained substantial muscle mass. Now the bodybuilder would like to just maintain the same ...
10
votes
2answers
468 views

Theory to burn Calories with muscle

Once I had a physical education teacher at the University tell me that he is experimenting with a theory. The theory is that muscle burns calories and that as muscle mass increases, the amount of ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Importance of short rest times between sets

What are the benefits of taking shorter rest times in between sets? If I am capable of doing an extra rep or two if I rest for 1 minutes instead of resting for 30 seconds, which is more beneficial?
5
votes
1answer
316 views

Pulled a muscle - How to heal and relieve pain

I pulled a muscle in my neck and upperback. What is the best way to heal and relieve the pain? The advice on the web is not clear. Some people say apply heat, some say cold, and some say alternate ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Is it possible for one of a pair of muscles to feel the burn more than the other muscle in the pair?

The last two times I've done legs curls at the gym my left glute will feel the burn on the third set, but the right glute did not even though I made sure that both legs were putting in the same amount ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Is It Possible To Gain Mass With Out Increasing The Workout?

For the past couple weeks I've unintentionally kept my workout exactly the same. Same reps, same weight. Not a lack of motivation, it's just when I'm done I can't do any more. But the crazy thing is, ...
6
votes
1answer
824 views

I can't do more than 10 - 15 repetitions for biceps

I have been going to the gym since last seven years. My friends at the gym do more than 15 repetitions per set. I am not comparing with them, but I don't understand why can't I do more that 15 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Do people who lift weights twice per week need less protein than people who lift three times per week?

Several exercise programs I've seen suggest lifting weights 3 times per week, but also say that progress can me made by only lifting twice per week (although it will be slower). These sorts of ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Does muscle really “turn into” fat?

You often hear people say "My muscle turned into fat" to explain why they used to be strong and in shape but now they are on the somewhat rotund side. My question is how does that transition actually ...
3
votes
3answers
265 views

Lost weight and getting fit - where to go from here?

I've maintained a pretty poor diet for most of my adult life, and as a software developer, I've spent most of my time behind a desk with very little exercise. Since New Year 2011 I've lost nearly 2st ...
3
votes
1answer
553 views

neck pain vs. head orientation

I'm wondering if looking slightly down and to the left puts more strain on the left or right side of my neck. For a little background, I use two enormous monitors and I think I use the on on the left ...
2
votes
3answers
747 views

How often to take measurements?

How often should someone trying to gain muscle mass take measurements? The only answer I could find was for weight loss, which from experience shouldn't be more than once a month. Can that ...