Focus on Complete Range of Motion (Full Flexion – Full Extension)
Strength/weight training for muscle growth is most effective by implementing a complete range of motion for every exercise. Studies done at the University of Rio Grande in Porto Alegre, Brazil have found that full range of motion and partial range of motion can both trigger muscle-growth, however full range of motion has a more positive effect on strength increases. With these strength increases, more muscle fibers must be recruited to lift the heavier weight and in turn, more of these muscle fibers are left to be repaired, after training.
Intake Carbohydrates with Protein after Training Sessions
Although there are quite a few philosophies about enhancing muscle recovery for growth after training, recent studies support the ingestion of high-glycemic carbohydrates alongside protein, immediately post-workout for the most effective recovery. Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario demonstrated that carbohydrates will work to increase insulin response and replenish depleted glycogen stores in muscle and in the liver. Meanwhile, the stimulated insulin response will work to shunt amino acids to damaged muscles for more efficient repair; consequently increasing muscle growth.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule, and Catch Plenty of Sleep
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “Sleep for growth”. The truth is, there is much science to support this simple phrase. In fact, lack of sleep is related to increased cortisol levels, improper glycogen storage, decreased growth hormone production, and impaired delta wave sleep. This combination makes it difficult to increase muscle mass as high cortisol levels are related to muscle-breakdown, decreased glycogen storage is related to low energy and weakness in the gym, and decreased growth hormone production and delta wave sleep are directly related to inadequacies in wellbeing and the body’s ability to recover from intense exercise.
Scientists have found that 8-10 hours of sleep is the ideal amount of time to sleep, thus avoiding the negatives mentioned above. Instead, proper amount of sleep will work to regulate hormone production, improve glycogen storage, and decrease cortisol levels. The result is mood and energy enhancement, less fat gain, and an easier ability to pack on lean muscle mass.