Keeping the Muscles Filled Up

When we exercise we are alterating and manipulating our sympathetic tone to improve the systems of the body.   If the goal is to just improve the systems responsible for the physical aspects of the body, then exercising in a progressive manner will work. However, for the bodybuilder it is more involved.  In order for muscle to get bigger there must be an influence in the neural output and muscle fibers. Building muscle is no easy task.  The muscle must be worked to a point where protein synthesis increases.

Over-working a muscle will cause protein inhibition.  The bodybuilder must know how much is enough.  Also, for muscle tissue to grow there must be a greater volume of blood pumped into the area. A person can train all they want but without increased blood production and volume their efforts are fruitless.  Consuming the right foods and supplements will help produce more blood.  The more blood that can be pumped to the muscle means that the muscle can be nourished better.  Greater oxygen, vitamin, mineral, protein, fat and sugar metabolism improve as a result of greater blood volume.

Once the muscle tissue is built up the key is to sustain it.  The body is in a constant state of breakdown.  The cells of the body are somewhat lazy.  If they can rest they will.  If they can shrink they will do whatever it takes to shrink.  It is much harder to keep muscle tissue active and full then it is to become atrophied and deconditioned.  This is why I consider  true natural bodybuilding (not the drug induce bodybuilding) to be the  hardest sport to do.  The true natural bodybuilder has to balance all facets of life, training, supplementation, nutrition precisely everyday to maintain their physique.  It is so easy to become complacent and lazy. That is the nature of the human.  The real challenge is to tear down the tissue, rebuild it and then maintain it.  Think of it like this,  the muscle is like a balloon with a small pin hole in it.  

You pump up the balloon and it remains tight and full as long as the air is in. After you blow it up and tie it off, the balloon will eventually deflate due to the small pin hole. The balloon gets pumped up again once you add air to it. This is much like building muscle. You pump the area up with blood and oxygen etc.  Then during the recovery phase the muscle slowly begins to shrink.  When you train again the area gets pumped up.  This increase and decrease cycle is always taking place. The science behind bodybuilding is figuring out a way to keep the muscle pumped up without losing all the “air”.  This is where true bodybuilding techniques take place. By knowing how to train and how to manipulate the muscle tissue is the answer.  You have to figure that for every 10% of tissue you activate through progression and intensity of exercise that you end up only producing 1% of actual gain.  This is why it takes natural bodybuilders longer to make significant gains.  It is all about discipline, frequency and tissue manipulation.  The key is keeping more air in the balloon longer and knowing when the right time is to pump it back up before it totally atrophies.

Daryl Conant, M.Ed

tags:  muscle tissue, daryl conant, vince gironda, ron kosloff, natural bodybuilding, supplements, strength building.