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Muscle building - part 1: ingredients

picking a weight
picking a weight
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When building muscle in a health first manner, four ingredients are needed to maximize results: appropriate exercise, correct nutrition, proper recovery and sleep.

Appropriate exercise includes type of exercises to be done, order of their execution, type of resistance (compressive or traction), how much resistance (maximum, near maximum, some percentage of maximum, et cetera), whether the exercise is a grind, dynamic, or rhythmic, performed for reps or time under tension, et cetera – all based on the needs of the athlete.

Correct nutrition is about what to eat and when to eat it. Using correct food sources like lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, fresh berries and fruits, seeds and nuts, an athlete can maximizes his or her hormone profile to optimize muscle growth.

Proper recovery is more than cooling down with a good stretch (though that can be important). It is about compensating for the tension and joint compression created during the workout using tools such as yoga, traction tool aids, contrast showers (hot then cold – repeat 4-5 times), saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, getting a massage, meditation and others…

Sleep, along with proper nutrition may be the most important component of the muscle building equation. It is during sleep that an athlete repairs the damage dome during exercise. If sleep is cut short – less than seven hours, then full hormonal optimization doesn’t occur, leaving muscles only partially repaired. And a partially repaired muscle is less likely to get bigger or stronger.

Skip or scrimp on any one part of the muscle building recipe and the results will be markedly less than optimal.


  • Hugo 5 years ago

    A good reminder that I need to get more sleep. Thanks Chuck.