Muscle Building and Recovery

By: Jon Cardozo

If you spent any time reading bodybuilding magazines or visiting related websites, you've probably been amazed by the amount of information that's available. There are many and often conflicting opinions on how to improve your workout and which supplements to take. What you may not see, however, is a good explanation of the recovery phase. Because there's no money to be made from this topic, magazines don't tend to discuss it. And because it may seem like a boring topic, many trainees don't take the time to fully grasp it.

If we understand how muscle grows, then we know why the recovery phase is so important. If you want to force your body to grow muscle, you first have to give your body a reason to build it. After all, biologically muscle is difficult to maintain, and your body would rather not have to deal with it. Your body has to be given a reason to grow new muscle.

When you lift a heavy weight and challenge your muscle beyond its previous limits, muscle fibers are torn and must be repaired. Your body will rebuild the muscle with more mass and strength than before in order to prevent this kind of stress from recurring in the future. What does this have to do with the recovery phase?

Muscles must be given enough time to rebuild before they are put under this kind of pressure again. This requires adequate raw materials from your diet, but it also requires significant amounts of rest. You must limit the frequency of your workouts to make sure your body is ready, and many experts recommend only a few hours of training per week. In many cases, less time in the gym means more muscle.

Training to exhaustion, for example, is usually considered over training and can put a heavy strain on your nervous system and immune system, not to mention your muscles themselves. Because your nervous and immune systems take longer than your muscles to recover, you need to be very careful to avoid over training in the gym. If you overdo it every once in a while, just be careful not to make it a habit.

This advice can save you from a big illness or injury down the road. Moreover, you'll have a better time progressing through your workouts and building muscle from week to week if you give yourself enough time to recover between workouts.

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