building muscle mass

it is necessary to increase the load to create a new growth stimulus in the muscle.

The mechanism of muscle growth is very simple and is called hypertrophy, that is the enlargement of the muscle cells that already exist within our body. So the purpose of those who want to increase muscle mass is to achieve hypertrophy. Hypertrophy occurs when a muscle adapts to an overload, ie after having made an effort above its capacity. This is equivalent to using an extremely high load in the gym for very short periods of time; when the muscle is overloaded it is as if it understands that it is no longer sufficient to perform the required work and is therefore stimulated to grow. It is therefore evident that when the muscle is adapted to the load currently used, it is necessary to increase the load to create a new growth stimulus in the muscle. Practicing exercises with increasing loads and intensities is called progressive overload and is the only effective method to produce muscle growth (separate drugs!).

The mechanism of growth

bodybuilder

But let’s see more in detail the mechanism of growth starting from the day of training in the gym: when the muscle makes a particularly intense effort (overload) the muscle fibers undergo micro-fractures.

So it is not at all true that the muscle grows in size during the execution of the exercise; on the contrary, after the exercise a catabolic process takes place, that is to say, the micro-fracturing of the muscular fibers; if after exercise we seem to see the muscle a bit bigger is only because the effort has attracted more blood into the capillaries and temporarily creates this effect of “inflation”, destined to disappear after a few minutes. Long after the overload, about 12-24 hours later, the muscle begins to react and repair micro-fractures. This moment corresponds to when we hear the famous “heavy meat”, and it is precisely here that the muscle grows: by repairing the microfractures, the body performs an anabolic action (the opposite of catabolic) or regeneration and growth. The notorious anabolic steroids (taken illegally by certain bodybuilders) amplify the anabolic action of the organism and therefore exalts the growth process.

Well, let’s forget about the anabolic steroids and see how to behave during the anabolic phase to maximize muscle growth. First, we have to eat a lot of protein to supply the muscle the raw material to grow. If we do not supply raw material to the muscle, it would be like building a house using many builders without however giving them bricks and cement; no matter how much they commit themselves to trying everything they can to achieve the goal, they can not build anything really if they do not have the basic materials available. Furthermore, if we go back to overloading the muscle too early, that is, when the anabolic “reconstruction” process is still taking place, we produce an extremely negative effect called overtraining. This means that we are going to create further micro-fractures to the muscle making the work done in the previous training session useless and also the reconstruction process will be much longer because the muscle has been excessively fractured.

OK, now let’s see how to translate this process into practice. Muscle growth takes place following three important rules: as soon as one is violated, the growth process is interrupted.

weight lifting

1) Short and intense training

The muscle must be overloaded, not tired, so it is necessary to do a few series with few repetitions, no more than 6-8 repetitions per series. Going beyond the muscle would work in an aerobic and no longer anaerobic regime and this does not produce enough stimulus to reach hypertrophy. But the few repetitions performed must be truly intense; you have to reach the so-called muscular incapacity, or when you get to the last repetition, the muscle must be so exhausted that you can not complete the movement without someone giving you help. When muscle incapacity is reached, the muscle is overloaded and it is no longer necessary to train it; you can then move on to the next exercise.

2) Eating

You have to eat a lot of proteins and carbohydrates, with quality foods (so no snacks/fries / fast food), to supply the raw materials to the muscle to grow. I will address the topic of nutrition and supplements on a separate post later on after the Holiday season. For now, it is enough to know that you have to eat a lot by making many small meals (from 6 to 8 a day) throughout the day.

3) Rest

The muscle grows when it rests and not when it is training. The classic fear of the bodybuilder is not to train enough; instead, it should fear the opposite, that is overtraining. After hard training a part of the body it is good to let it rest for 5 to 7 days before training it again, to allow the body to repair and grow muscle from the previous training.

This post might somewhat go against what is read in many fitness magazines. In these magazines, incredibly large bodybuilder photos are often posted, along with their training cards. These cards provide for routines very different from what I told you; sometimes we talk about 15-20 series per muscle group when I propose one or two. But it must be considered that such programs work only on those rare monsters of genetics that also make use of illegal and extremely harmful anabolic drugs. They are therefore exceptions to the rule, exceptions that provide an altered view of this beautiful sport. Many people try to follow the training programs of these genetic monsters, but all of them fall in overtraining. So after months and months of hard work they realize that the results have been almost completely inexistent and, discouraged, they leave the activity in the gym. It is obvious that those with a lean constitution can never hope to reach the levels of certain professional bodybuilders, but following a method of training suitable for them can, with much patience and time, build a respectable physique.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Franco Nero
Franco Nero

Franco defines itself as a person trapped in a sedentary lifestyle, however, he is an avid fitness "addict" and like, many more in his environment spends vast parts of his leisure time on a gym, running, cycling.

Read other posts from Franco Nero
Scientific insights to improve your fitness

In this age and time, with current technology and knowledge, there is an abundance of information of what to do and what not to do.

You got up this morning, and decided to put on your favorite pair of pants… and it is a little tighter than the last time you wore it. Perhaps it shrunk during the last wash, you thought to yourself. But this thought was quashed as you stepped on the weighing scale, and it turns out that you’ve gain weight.

So, looks like it is time to hit the gym, exercise, and lose those excess pounds. But, where do you start? Should you just be running on the treadmill every other day, or just do 100 sit-ups to get that sexy, chiseled abs? Or should you be enrolling yourself in boxing or Muay Thai classes to lose those pounds? Should you bid that tasty fried chicken and cheesy pizzas goodbye and forever be stuck with salad and celery aka ‘rabbit food’?

In this age and time, with current technology and knowledge, there is an abundance of information of what to do and what not to do.

You can get fitness wear to help you in your journey to fitness. There are watches which can monitor your heart rate, breathing patterns as well as amount of calories used in your activities. Most of these watches is able to detect the number of steps you have taken or even how much you have slept (provided, you wear that watch to sleep!).

There are various other tech garments, including compression pants and shirt, as well as inner wear which could help in improving your performance while running or working out – some of which are advanced to pick up data and send it to your smartphones to be analyzed.

Then, there are the other aspects of improving your fitness – via fitness programs and diet.

Hence, it is crucial to find out what your body needs and what program is suitable for you. A tailored fitness program can help you maintain your fitness levels.

When it comes to selecting a proper program, it is important to fall in love with the program you are committed to. As starting one is a big decision, the challenge is to be committed to the program and be consistent in working out.

At Epi Life Coach, we have Strengthening programs which feature over 20 fitness workouts that strengthens core muscles and lifts your overall performance. The programs feature instructional videos, which are short yet highly detailed. Stay committed to those programs, and you’ll be loving the way your toned and fit body very soon!

The other aspect to look out for is proper diet. With research and a better understanding about nutrients and health, you can understand better what your body requires to either lose weight or build muscles.

By eating right, you will consume the right types of food for your body, food that nourishes you and provides wellness benefits to your body. These foods would usually contain probiotics, prebiotics, plant stanol or fortified with vitamins and minerals. Know your body and eat the right kinds of food that will double up your fitness results.

With all these knowledge easily obtained at a click of a button, you should be one your way to a healthier and fitter you.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni - Author of |Radiation mapping article for Epi Life Coach
about the author

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.

ELC - Habits

Here, we look at five habits that can help you get fit and keep at it.

1) Fall … fall in love! 
Getting started in a fitness program is a big decision, but committing to that decision and being consistent in working out is the ongoing challenge. When the initial motivation dwindles, the gym seems further away and the weights seem heavier than ever. But passion can help sustain your motivation, so you have to find workout routines that you love to do, that challenges you and gives you variety.
Check out Epi Life Coach’s Strengthening programs, where there are over 20 fitness workouts that strengthens core muscles and lifts your overall performance. You will love the instructional videos that are short yet highly detailed. Keep to your programs, and you’ll be loving the way your toned body looks and feels in no time!

2) Start Small but Aim for the Sky. 
The thing about fitness goals is everyone wants to achieve them fast. With one big goal in mind, it can get overwhelming and frustrating. Try breaking down the goal into smaller, actionable steps. To achieve 100 body crunches, try starting with 20 and slowly working the number up to 50. Add more with each week, as you feel your abdominal muscles respond, and celebrate when you reach your goal!
Belly fat is a notoriously stubborn fat to lose and an unsightly bulge around your middle area can only add to your body consciousness. Take a look at Epi Life Coach’s Body Sculpting program. It is a high impact program designed to sculpt specific upper and lower body areas, including your midriff. It is packed with instructional videos on how to do proper burpees, crunches and lunges. With over 30 videos, you will have amazing workout routines to choose from.

 Every body is unique, and every physical body will respond differently to different physical exercises.

3) Eat well and eat right. 
This may seem like the easiest habit to have, but with today’s hectic lifestyle, it is not easy to eat right. Eating right means consuming the right types of food for your body, food that nourishes you and provides wellness benefits to your body. Functional foods are named as such because they provide an additional functional ingredient, usually probiotics, prebiotics, plant stenol or fortified with vitamins and minerals. Know your body and eat the right kinds of food that will double up your fitness results.

4) Have Good Taste in Music. 
Your fitness workout may be repetitive, but it need not be boring. Tune into to good music and improve your workout experience. Working out to music can increase your performance, divert your attention from bodily aches, gets you in the zone and level up your fitness efforts. 
Choose energetic soundtracks with an upbeat tempo to maintain your workout motivation and make your workout more enjoyable. Epi Life Coach’s fitness programs are set to energetic, lively soundtracks so you maintain your efforts without you noticing it.
After your workout, power down with some relaxing soundtracks to realign your equilibrium, gently stretch your core muscles and relax the body. Check out our store of spa and lounge albums that can accompany your cool down exercises.

5) Understand your body. 
It is easy to get distracted by the gradual improvements to your body, or if your fitness results have reached a plateau. Every body is unique, and every physical body will respond differently to different physical exercises. If your body is not responding well to your regular fitness, it could be that this fitness is not the optimum exercise for you now. Understand your epigenetics to know which workout will give you the optimum results so you can achieve peak performance. 
With your unique lifestyle and environment, you need a tailored fitness program to help you maintain your fitness levels. Pay attention to your body, listen your epigenetic cues and use these little habits to get the most out of your workouts.

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

Mirko Francioni - Author of |Radiation mapping article for Epi Life Coach
about the author

Mirko is for people who knows him well a true motivator and inspirer. He has been the driving force in projects such as a wellness center in Thailand, a corporate on-line travel agency and membership club with over 120,000 members worldwide. Mirko has created a strong professional reputation as one of the leaders in the hospitality and fitness & recreation industries.

happy motivation day

Eating a few cakes probably won’t dent your fat loss goals for the year (if it’s a one off) but it will affect how you feel right now today.

Almost all of us think of improving our health and fitness as an ongoing journey which it is but where many of us slip is we tend to think of everything as a future benefit or goal i.e. we are losing weight to be 10lbs lighter by a wedding or 20lbs loss over the year. It’s vital to have targets, be it short , medium or long term. The issue is we tend to not think about how this benefits us today. It’s a process known as “delay discounting” where the further out the reward is the more we discount it.

For example eating a few cakes probably won’t dent your fat loss goals for the year (if it’s a one off) but it will affect how you feel right now today.

The trick is to try and make the reward more immediate – so that walk in the park will make you feel more energized TODAY, it will get you feeling better TODAY and so becomes a positive event with an immediate positive impact on health and wellbeing TODAY. If you try to make it a daily goal then those days add up and become a week of beneficial activity – which then becomes a month and so on. This makes hitting those medium and long term goals much easier.

This feeds through not just to fitness but to having a little ‘you’ time, reading maybe, or doing something nice for yourself, or focusing on a task at work – it has many variations but the concept remains the same.

When approaching a task it’s better to break it down – into small pieces that are easier to handle just like a child does with food. By adopting this approach you value yourself right here and now – and I am positive it will make a big difference. You often hear people say they try and live one day at a time – it allows you to appreciate the present so try and think like this. Motivate yourself by knowing you can make a difference with your fitness today!

What makes a big difference for you? Do you have you own “way around” it?

Let me know in the comments below.


I will be happy to read and reply all of your comments. also feel free to share on any of the Social Media listed below and start the "Conversation".
As always, thanks for popping in and see you soon.

franco nero
about the author

Franco defines itself as a person trapped in a sedentary lifestyle, however, he is an avid fitness "addict" and like, many more in his environment spends vast parts of his leisure time on a gym, running, cycling.