There are many reasons for wanting to build muscle mass. Whether you are an athlete in training, a dieter looking to maximize fat loss, or you find yourself concerned about losing strength as you age, weight training is important.
As we tax muscles during strength training, we are actually creating damage to the muscles that must be repaired. As the tissue is damaged, cells produce enzymes that signal the body to make muscle proteins. The body responds by not only repairing the damage, but also by making the muscle stronger and bigger so it can withstand more strain.
There are two principles you can follow to help you get better results from your strength training routine in less time: lift heavier and eat for results.
Lift Heavier – Conventional fitness wisdom says that you should complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps of each exercise in your strength training circuit. However, if you are looking to build muscle, newer research indicates you should lift as much weight as you can handle with good form for 3 sets of 4 to 8 reps. Longer sets with less weight are better for muscle endurance training than for muscle building.
Eat for results – Health and training experts have long preached the importance of coupling adequate protein consumption with weight training for those who are looking to increase muscle mass. Obviously it’s important to give your body the building blocks it needs to sculpt your new lean muscle, but new evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in how your body makes use of that protein for muscle building.
Multiple studies show that subjects with higher levels of omega-3s produce more enzymes that signal the body to synthesize muscle protein after eating. As an added bonus, a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine found that omega-3 fatty acids also reduce the next day soreness often associated with weight training.
If strength training is part of your fitness routine, getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids can help you build muscle faster and recover with less soreness. Omega-3s are found in protein sources like fatty fish and grass-fed beef, but if you aren’t sure you are getting enough from your diet, you should consider an omega-3 supplement like Omega XL to help maximize your weight training results.