Take the guessing game out of your routine.
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
The above quote is from the late, great, Bruce Lee. The Jeet Kune Do creator, movie star, and world philosopher was a busy man and regarded his time as one of his greatest commodities. And we should do the same. While we might not all be movie stars or that of celebrity status, we have busy lives. Between work, personal time, relationships, and working out, sometimes we feel spread thin. But our muscle growth shouldn’t suffer just because we are busy.
Many of us are going to the gym and slugging it out in an all-out war against the weights. While guts get the glory and going H.A.M. is definitely a real thing, the old adage of working smarter and not harder definitely applies. Like anything, you want to take a cerebral, as well as action-oriented solution, to your building goals and that starts with research and experimentation. On top of this, seeking advice from professional athletes and those bodybuilders we know and love can go a long way.
Muscle growth seems to be a mysterious topic for a lot of fitness enthusiast. Whether it’s the beginner who doesn’t know where to start or the builder who’s reached a plateau, nailing down a clear and concise plan for muscle growth seems to be elusive…until now.
We have narrowed down three proven ways to boost muscle growth. While there are of course plenty of ways to do so, we wanted to share these 3 tips because we feel they can be very beneficial to you. By putting these into your routine, you set yourself up for better success come your workout.
3 Proven Ways To Boost Muscle Growth
Let’s take a look at 3 proven ways to boost muscle growth so you can get the most out of your muscle building and physique sculpting goals. Stop wasting your time by doing the same stuff and work to build muscle effectively and efficiently so you see the best gains possible.
1. Time Under Tension
Time under tension (TUT) is like the pi symbol in mathematics. It’s the building block for muscle growth, and what you need to focus on if you want to get bigger. Tension promotes amino acid transport into the muscles, activates the mTOR pathway of protein synthesis, and triggers small injuries in the muscle cell structure that leads to repair and additional growth (1).
This added resistance can come in the form of many different exercises, but here is where cable machines can be beneficial. That added level of support while working out, plus the tension of the cable offers resistance great for building gains. Of course, resistance bands are designed for this purpose well.
2. Eccentric Contractions
There are two ways your muscles exert force, concentrically (shortening) and eccentrically (lengthening). Eccentric contractions work when your muscle works against an opposing force and then needs to back track and reverse that movement. The benefit to eccentric contractions are that you will get stronger and increase muscle mass given the added tension and need for the movement to take place (2). Plus, more structurally, you will build stronger connective tissue for additional support.
A great way to apply this to your regular workout would be to load a weight slightly higher than what you normally do for a specific exercise, and have a partner help you with the positive (concentric) portion of the exercise, then do the negative (eccentric) portion without assistance. Not only do you get the benefit of performing this eccentric movement, but you also will have the support of a partner to aid in all your goals.
3. Don’t Blow Your Back Out
Your spine is the epicenter combining brain and brawn, literally. With that being said, protecting it should be one of your highest priorities. If you can’t move, you can’t build muscle, so protecting your back is key. One of the best ways of protecting your back while building muscle in the very same area are front squats.
Front squats are great for activation of the vastus medialius (quadriceps) and the biomechanics are better for your body in general than a back squat of the same weight. Front squats can also reinforce form so you take technique more seriously for added safety.
Can Supplements Help Boost Muscle?
Supplements have proven to be great aids to building muscle, so long as they are from reputable brands and contain premium ingredients. Some staple supplements used to increase muscle include things like protein powders to pump you with protein for growth and better recovery (3), pre-workouts to increase energy and get the blood flowing for muscle pumps (4), and BCAAs as intra-workout fuel to stimulate growth and burst through fatigue (5).
However, if you are more advanced and are seeking more out of your supplementation routine, give mass gainers and casein protein a try. Able to pump you with protein, as well as other ingredients, you will find these two supplements are game changers for those serious about building muscle.
When it comes to supplements, finding only the highest quality products will give you comfort in knowing what you are putting in your body is working for you and your gains.
Building muscle is hard but these 3 ways to boost muscle growth are great as you look to get the most out of each and every workout. While there are many other tips that can help you build muscle like nutrition and adequate rest, we felt these were some of the most overlooked. Incorporate these building blocks into your routine and let us know if it helps you get the most out of your workout. You will find is that muscle growth depends on a number of factors, but at the end of the day, by following the most effective steps, you can get there no problem. With these three tips, as well as with proper supplementation, you can build muscle, tone your physique, and see those results you want most.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Burd, N.; et al. (2012). “Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men”. (source)
- Hody, S.; et al. (2019). “Eccentric Muscle Contractions: Risks and Benefits”. (source)
- Pasiakos, S.; et al. (2015). “The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review”. (source)
- Martinez, N.; et al. (2016). “The effect of acute pre-workout supplementation on power and strength performance”. (source)
- Blomstrand, E. (2006). “A role for branched-chain amino acids in reducing central fatigue”. (source)