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Warm Ups, Weight Training and Muscle Building
MUSCLE GROWTH: From a weight training perspective, the theories behind muscle growth are based on the notion that training places stress on the muscle causing it to break down, and growth results from over-compensating to protect the body from future stress. When you weight train, microscopic tears occur in your muscle fibres. Protein is utilised by the body to repair the damage and over time the muscle increases in size. This muscle growth occurs due to hypertrophy or hyperplasia. Hypertrophy is an increase in the size of the muscle due to an increase in the size of the muscle fibres, while hyperplasia is an increase in the number of muscle fibres in the muscle. Stimulating and stressing the muscles occurs in the gym, muscle growth occurs when you are resting and recovering, and not during training itself which is a common misconception. That is why rest is essential to building muscle, along with your training, and your diet. It is a four-element process, each as important as the other, and each requiring your focus and dedication:

Warming Up

The Importance of Warming Up

Helps prevent injuries - Increases the removal of lactic acid and other waste products resulting from exercise - Increases the efficiency of contracting muscles - Increase neuromuscular co-ordination - Improves muscle co-ordination - ncreases heart rate, speeding up blood circulation - Increases the delivery of oxygen to the muscles - Increases the body's cooling mechanisms - Increases the body's range of motion - Mentally prepares you for the training session.

The Guidelines for Warming Up

Warming-up should increase your body temperature and produce sweat but not cause fatigue - Include stretching exercises to help loosen your muscles - Include lighter sets of exercises to prepare your muscles for intense training - Warming-up should take no longer than 15 minutes maximum.


Warming Up Phases

PHASE 1: Increase your heart rate e.g. using a rowing machine, exercise bike or treadmill for 5 minutes - PHASE 2: Prepare your muscles by stretching - PHASE 3: Perform light sets of the exercises in the session.




Cooling Down

A cool-down at the end of a training session will help prevent muscle soreness and joint stiffness - Cool-down with a slow 5 minute row or jog followed by light stretching


Muscle Growth ctd


It is a four-element process, each as important as the other, and each requiring your focus and dedication:.


Weight Training

Cardiovascular Training

Rest and Recovery

Diet and Nutrition


There are theories that the human body breaks down and rebuilds muscles every 15 to 30 days. Weight training accelerates this process due to the muscle's increased need for fuel. Rebuilding peaks 24 - 36 hours after training and can continue at an increased rate for up to 72 hours.

THE PUMP: When weight training, you can reach a peak where backed-up blood stifled by muscular contraction is released.  This blood is pumped back into the muscle fibres, making your muscles look bigger and feel solid.  It normally lasts around 30 minutes.  This does not always occur, and you may find that working one particular muscle group gives you a better pump than working another. 

DELAYED ONSET MUSCLE SORENESS (DOMS): Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness occurs 12 - 24 hours, sometimes even up to 48 hours after your training session.  It is different to the pain caused by injury; it is an intense, penetrating soreness in a muscle group that is welcomed as an indication of an effective training session.  It is more pronounced in beginners, but can occur no matter how long you have been training.  However it does not always happen, so do not be disappointed if you are not sore the next day or two after training a particular muscle group.


Training Programmes


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