Muscle growth is a complex physiological process which occurs when the rate of protein synthesis is greater than the rate of protein breakdown in muscle”.
Ideally after workout damaged muscle fiber are either replaced or are repaired through a cellular process in which muscle fiber are fused together which lead to the formation of new Myofibrils (muscle protein strands). These newly formed myofibrils gradually increase in number and thickness leading to muscle growth. This process of muscle growth takes place during resting state rather than during workouts.
In addition, there are three other mechanisms which aid muscle growth:
- Muscle Tension
Put extra stress or load on your muscles in order to facilitate extra muscle growth as compare with what your body is adapted with previously. This could be achieved by gradually increasing the number of weights which one is lifting. Putting extra load or tension on the muscle will stimulate your muscles thus causing more growth.
- Muscle Damage
Localized muscle damage occurs when one feels muscle soreness after (within 72 hours) the workout and results in the release of inflammatory substances and additionally also facilitate the release of immune cells which soothes soreness and side by side further enhance muscle growth.
- Metabolic Stress
Cell swelling around the muscles causes metabolic stress which further contributes to muscle growth. This is due to the presence of muscle glycogen around the connective tissue which helps to swell the muscle leading to “sarcoplasmic hypertrophy”.
Thus for muscle growth or breakdown to happen one should push the muscles to create stress which is greater than the previous threshold which the body is already adapted to. This can be achieved by either lifting heavier weights or frequently continually altering your exercises regime so that more muscle fiber can be damaged thus leading to growth of more total muscle fiber and fatigue.
After the completion of your workout regimen the most important part of rest begins, during this period adequately fueling your muscles can lead to muscle growth and regeneration.