To Grow Or Not To Grow by dfhrf555fcg


									                           To Grow Or Not To Grow
                                          By Dean Eddy Activ Health Personal Trainer

An increase in muscular tension (force) is the primary requirement for initiating muscular
growth, or hypertrophy with exercise training. An Increase in muscle size through
increased protein synthesis during resistance training is a fundamental biological
adaptation to an increased workload in both men and women regardless of age.
              In good old plain English, if you eat right and train hard you will grow!
Simple when you know how, isn't it. Or is it? In determining your potential for growth
there are three fundamental factors that you will need to understand more about.

This starts with Morphology, or the science of Body shapes. Each of us can be broadly
placed in to one of three classifications based on the physical characteristics that we
display. These characteristics are determined primarily by two main components - Body
Fat and Fat free mass.

The classic Ectomorph

Long, rectangular shape.; Flat chested, slender in hips, no defined waist. Poorly
muscled on trunk and limbs. Small boned, limbs longer in relation to trunk. Relatively
lower body fat than other types because of low body weight, but can have a high fat to
muscle ratio due to poorly developed muscle. Faster metabolism.

The classic Endomorph.

Round, soft, pear shaped body: More fat distributed at the hips and thighs. Small to
medium bones. Muscles not well defined. Higher fat to muscle ratio on trunk and limbs.
Shorter limbs relative to trunk. Slower metabolism.

The classic Mesomorph.

The female may be classified as having an hour glass figure whilst the male would be
more stereo typically described as having a Body building physique, broader at the
shoulders and hips, narrower at the waist. Well-defined muscle on limbs and trunk. High
muscle to fat ratio. Medium to large boned. This symmetrical body can look fit even
without exercise. Moderate metabolism.
        It is the fat free mass that is our primary concern here, more specifically the type
of fibre that constitutes the muscular make - up of this Fat Free mass. Human skeletal
muscle tissue is made up of two very different fibre types that are classified by their
contractile and metabolic characteristics.

In FAST twitch fibre (which tend to predominate the Mesomorphic body shape) there
is an ability to generate energy rapidly for quick powerful actions that are anaerobic in
nature. The fast twitch fibre intrinsic speed of shortening and tension development is 3
to 5 times
faster than those fibre classified as Slow twitch. This means that they are very efficient
for physical activities that require short sharp bursts of energy such as weight training
and Sprinting but not so good for endurance based activities like swimming or jogging.

In SLOW twitch fibre (which tend to predominate the classic Ectomorph body shape)
there is an ability to generate energy over a much longer period of time but only at
about 20/30% of the speed and tension of fast twitch fibre. This means that the slow
twitch muscle fibres tend to lend themselves more effectively to those activities that are
more aerobic in nature such as jogging, Cycling, Swimming, Rowing and Exercise to

So what does all this “Twitching” mean to the likes of the would be Body builder?

Put simply, it means that your capacity for muscular growth is very strongly influenced
by your genetically inherent body shape and more specifically the muscle fibre type that
tends to predominate that body shape.

Does this mean that to save a lot of hard work and even more heartache you
should give up before you get started?

Not at all.... We all have a tremendous potential to be realised within the constraints of
our genetic make-up. Most certainly if your body shape and fibre type predominate the
Fast twitching Mesomorph then with the right balance of Nutrition, Training and
Recovery, the sky is the limit. For the rest of us mere mortals, the Ectomorphs among
us can look forward to a “cut” (definition) that would be the envy of any top class Body
builder. And what of our middleman / woman - the Endomorph - with a little more
attention to body fat reduction techniques - a physique that would be the envy of any


     MUSCLE GROUP           Relaxed     Relaxed     Relaxed     Relaxed     Relaxed
                            Flexed      Flexed      Flexed      Flexed      Flexed
Many or us will spend a great many hours working through endless set’s and rep’s
looking for that magical combination that will finally add that extra inch or bring about
that much sort after line of definition. But how many of us would think about spending
even half as much time, effort and dedication in looking at what we eat? In my
experience, unfortunately, not enough. The importance of good nutrition cannot be
overstated in any physical pursuit but particularly when it comes to increasing muscle
mass. Without a well thought out eating plan that is balanced in carbs, proteins
and fat, all that time and effort spent in the gym will be in vain.


Of all the nutrients available to the potential body builder protein is probably one of the
most controversial in terms of the quantity and quality required to sustain muscular
growth. In short most studies indicate that the R.D.A. (recommended daily allowance)
for the general population ranges from about 0.75 - 0.83g per Kg of body weight per day
up to 1.63g/Kg/day for individuals involved in high intensity strength, endurance or
weight training. Just as important perhaps is the frequency with which protein is
consumed, especially when training.

   EGGS         FISH        MILK        CHEESE          MEAT          OTHERS
WHITE 2.68 TUNA 8.3      WHOLE       CHEDDAR        BEEF 7/8       YOGHURT
                         0.93        7.05                          PLAIN 1.49
YOLK 4.76    HADDOCK     SEMI 0.94   EDAM           CHICKEN 8      NON FAT
             7.14                    7.07                          1.62
POACHED      COD 6.0                                TURKEY 8       SOYA

The above figures represent the grams of protein per ounce. Careful
consideration should be given to cholesterol levels of the above products.
                              PROTEIN; THE FACTS

               1) Proteins are formed from sub units called amino acids.

                     2) The body requires 20 different amino acids.

3) Eight of the twenty amino acids cannot be synthesized in the body. These are known
             as essential amino acids and must be consumed within the diet.

4) Proteins are found in the cells of all animals and plants and are generally referred to
                                            as: -

   Complete (higher Quality) containing all of the essential amino acids in the correct
  balance for the body. And Incomplete (lower Quality) containing less than all of the
essential amino acids, which may not necessarily be in the correct balance for the body.

5) Proteins provide the building blocks for synthesis of cellular material during anabolic
                                    (growth) process.

 6) Protein breakdown (catabolism) during exercise becomes most apparent when the
                              bodies carbohydrate stores
    are low. This perhaps enforces the need to maximise carbohydrate levels during
                                 strenuous exercise.

 7) Excessive intake of protein over and above the bodies daily requirement does not
 lead to continued muscular growth and strength gains. Surplus protein represents an
  excessive burden on the body because it subsequently has to be broken down into
 other substances and either removed from the body or stored. When stored it merely
                         becomes a further source of body fat.
                        THE ROLE OF CARBOHYDRATES
What is carbohydrate, and is it important in determining your ability to increase
your lean tissue mass?

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates used to be divided into two main categories. Those that where SIMPLE,
sometimes referred to as sugars, and those that where COMPLEX more often referred
to as starches. At a molecular level these terms referred to the complexity of their
structure (a full description, of which, falls outside the boundaries of this text). On a
more practical note these products where and quite often still are more readily identified
from the examples below.

   Fruit sugar (glucose, fructose), Table Sugar (Sucrose), Milk sugar (lactose) White
        bread, jam, sweets, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, fruit, honey and sauces.

            Pasta, rice, noodles, potatoes, breakfast cereal, pulses and flour.

Which was thought to be better for you simple or complex?

Although both could provide us with the energy to carry out physical activity, it was
believed that the complex variety of carbs would provided us with a far greater spread of
other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibre. The simple variety where,
more often than not, associated with processed foods that where generally higher in fat.

Why do we need either of them in the first place?

In short, without sufficient carbohydrate intake you will not have the fuel to provide your
body with the necessary energy to exercise and to provide you with the physical
changes that you are looking for. An adequate carb intake also prevents much needed
protein from being catabolised to provide energy.

How many of these carbohydrates does the average person require to sustain
adequate energy levels?

The specific number of calories required varies from person to person depending on
activity levels, genetics and lifestyle. It is therefore perhaps more prudent to look at the
percentage of carbs in the diet. Current guidelines indicate that for an individual who is
working out on a regular basis you should be aiming for approx 60% of your daily
calories from carbs. But which ones, those that used to be referred to as simple or
To answer this question, you will first need to understand a little about what is referred
to as the glyceamic index.

         Until recently it was believed that dramatic increases in blood sugar where as a
direct result of the ingestion of foods high in SIMPLE carbohydrates, however it would
now appear that it is not quite as straight forward as this.
         More recently it has been discovered that it is not necessarily the molecular
make up of the sugar that determines how quickly a carbohydrate gets into the blood
stream but a combination of other factors such as the presence and balance of other
nutrients and fibre contained within the foods consumed. Not to mention that different
starches are absorbed at different rates. To take all of these factors into account the
concept of the Glyceamic index was born. It works on the basis of the time that it takes
for 50g of a particular food to cause an increase in blood sugar levels. This time is
measured against a reference food such as glucose which has an index of 100
(sometimes white bread is used as the main indexer) and then indexed accordingly .The
higher the index, the quicker the rise in blood sugar and the greater the insulin release.
It is this subsequent insulin release that has tremendous implications for: -

                               General well being
                        Weight Loss (body fat reduction)
                              Sports Performance
                            Blood Sugar Regulation
                          Reduction of Heart Disease

     On the next page is a brief guide to some of the more common foods and their
  associated index. This list is by no means exhaustive and continues to grow as more
 foods are studied. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend you regularly check
                  for an update on those foods that are as yet unlisted
             HIGH                      MEDIUM                           LOW
            70 PLUS                     55 - 70                    55 AND BELOW

kellogs coco pops 77        Kellogs sustain 68             Allbran 42
kellogs cornflakes 84       Croissant 67                   Muesli toasted 43
Rice crispies 82            Crumpet 69                     Porridge 42
Bagel 72                    Pita bread 57                  Fruit loaf white 47
White bread 70              Rice basmati 58                Heavy grain bread 46
Brown rice 76               Taco shell pasta 68            Pumpernickel bread 41
White rice 87               Ryvita 69                      Buck wheat 54
Crisp bread puffed 81       Arrowroot biscuits 63          Noodles 46
Water biscuit 78            Shortbread biscuit 64 (comm)   Egg fettuccini - pasta 32
Morning coffee biscuit 79   Wheat meal biscuit 62          Ravioli meat pasta 39
Waffles 76                  Beetroot 64                    Spaghetti -pasta 41
Parsnips 97                 New potato 62                  Vermicelli -pasta 35
Potato baked 85             Sweet corn 55                  Oatmeal biscuit 55
French fries 75             Fanta 68                       Apple muffin 44
Pumpkin 75                  Squash diluted 66              Banana cake 47
Swede 72                    Cantaloupe melon 65            Sponge cake 46
Broad beans 79              Honey 58                       Green peas 48
Watermelon 72               Sucrose 65                     Carrots 49
Jelly beans 80              Pineapple 66                   Sweet corn 55
Glucose 100                 Pea & ham soup 66              Sweet potato 54
Maltose 105                 Raisins 64                     Apples 38
                            Mars bar 68                    Apricot 31
                            Muesli Un-toasted 56           Cherries 22
                            Wholemeal bread 69             Grapefruit 25
                            Weetabix 69                    Grapes 46
                                                           Kiwi 52
                                                           Mango 55
                                                           Orange 45
                                                           Peaches fresh 42
                                                           Peaches canned 30
                                                           Plums 39
                                                           Pear 38
                                                           Butterbeans 31
                                                           Baked beans 48
                                                           Haricot beans 38
                                                           Soy beans 18
                                                           Chick peas 33
                                                           Lentils 28
                                                           Lentil soup 44
                                                           Kidney beans 27
                                                           Chocolate 49
                                                           Lactose 46
                                                           Fructose 23
                                                           Milk whole 27
                                                           Milk skimmed 32
                                                           Yoghurt 33
                                                           Ice cream low fat 50
                         Exercise and Muscular Hypertrophy

   The range of exercises available to the individual wishing to improve their physic is
   phenomenal. And would no doubt allow us to extend this article by another dozen
  pages, however there are some very important principles that we can apply to these
                  exercises that are well within the realms of this text.

Free - Weights or Machines?

Both have positive and negative aspects. As far as free-weights are concerned, on the
positive side they are extremely versatile allowing for a greater inclusion of accessory
musculature than the majority of modular resistance machines. Because of this, the
calorie expenditure and intensity, exercise for exercise, is perceived by many as greater
in free weights than in modular equipment and probably accounts for the popularity of
free weights in general. On the negative side the risk of injury with free weights is much
greater than with resistance machines, particularly when training alone. From a
mechanical perspective, in any free weight exercise you are only as strong as the
weakest point in the arc of movement (leverage).
As far as machines are concerned, they are very safe and muscle specific allowing for
changes in leverage via off set cams and pulleys. On the downside resistance machines
tend to be so muscle specific that the total work carried out by associated musculature
is far less than there free weight counterparts. I think it would also be fair to say that
they do not have the versatility that is generally associated with free weights.

How often should I train?

This to a large extent is flexible around the time that you have available. Successful
regimes can range anything from training one muscle group per day six days per week
through to the more common four day split and alternate day training for the full body.
       The amount of evidence based research on muscular Hypertrophy and optimum
work / recovery ratio’s is very limited. This unfortunately gives rise to a lot of
personalised “systems” that may or may not work for you. On that note my best advice
to you would be to experiment with both work and recovery periods bearing in mind that
there is growing consensus (again, as yet, not evidence) that after a heavy resistance
work-out a muscle may require as much as four to five days to recovery completely.

How hard do I need to train?

Heavy weight and low rep / Lighter weight and higher rep? Both methods have staunch
advocates and again research seems to be split. Those who believe that muscular
growth or overload is best created by taking the target muscles to failure using whatever
means necessary. And those who believe that it is best created by maximising the
tension in a muscle without necessarily going to failure but more volitional fatigue.
       To throw yet another hat into the ring I believe (and at this stage it is only my
humble opinion) that in the same way that we all pre - dominate a particular body shape
and muscle fibre type the methods for training should be different. An example of this
might be: -
                    Mesomorph 3-5 sets 8 - 12 reps to failure
              Ectomorph 3-5 sets 12 - 20 reps to volitional fatigue.
                   Endomorph 3-5 sets 8 - 12 reps to failure.
       Per anatomical movement that each muscle group is responsible for.


Recovery is very closely linked to frequency and intensity. However the most important
aspects of recovery are adequate sleep and nutrition.


  One of the most commonly asked questions by individuals who are embarking on a
                    weight gain or body building programme is; -

What supplements do I need?

                      The question they should really be asking is; -

                                Do I need supplements?

To answer this question effectively we must first clarify the purpose of supplementation.

 The purpose of supplementation is to compensate for any dietary or nutritional
          shortcomings in an individuals normal daily eating routine.

This means that the requirement for dietary supplementation is as individual as each
person and the balance and quality of their respective diet.
       With this in mind I have listed some of the more widely accepted advantages and
dis- advantages of supplementation.


Allows for a large calorie intake without the associated bulk from foods containing a high
proportion of fibre or fat.

Quite literally the mind body link. There is much research into the positive effective of
belief. In short if you are taking some thing that you believe will make you bigger,
stronger, faster and more energised then it is most certainly possible that you will elicit a
positive benefit from it.

These are supplements that enhance physical performance. They can, as indicated
above provide a psychological improvement to performance but more importantly their
are a number of tried and tested products on the market that have proven to enhance
an individuals performance or response to training. These range in nature from the
carbohydrate drinks and bars that are quite readily available in the high street through to
more specialised products like creatine.


With more and more publicity being given over to the negative effects of today’s
methods of processing foods. More recently with the concerns expressed about
genetically modified food products it is more important than ever before to ensure that
we are obtaining all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients required for optimal
health. Some supplements are able to provide this in a convenient and cost effective


A large proportion of the supplements available today are very well marketed and
extremely overpriced. Anything obtained in supplement form to improve health or
performance can be obtained through a well balanced diet at a fraction of the cost.

One of the major problems with supplementation is that it quite often leads to
substitution and as a result of this a deficiency in many important nutrients and micro -

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