Beginners Guide to Building Muscle
How to get big!
To show you just how important it is that you get adequate rest I want you to think about when it's easiest for your body to repair and grow your muscles.
During a workout? Far, far from it. In fact, a weight training session is probably the worst thing EVER for your muscles, in the short term that is. When you're pounding the weights, training really hard, you are actually damaging and tearing down your muscles - a workout is hell for your muscles! It's precisely because your workouts are so arduous that your body wants to make your muscles bigger and stronger - it wants you to be able to cope better with the next workout so that it isn't so badly affected. Little does it know, however, that if it does manage to make your muscles bigger and stronger for your next workout you will just use heavier weights and / or do more reps!! And this carries on for years until you (if ever!) get to the size you want to be. Your poor body. :)
So then, you don't grow during workouts (if anything you shrink!). Maybe you grow while you'll out for a walk with your friends or playing sports? Nope! During moderate exercise a great deal of your body's energies are diverted to coping with the demands you put on it while you walk or play. Growing some silly muscles is the last thing it's worrying about whilst you run crazily round a tennis court!
Ah well then, surely it must be after a nice big meal, when you're feeling all snoozy? No again! Vast quantities of blood are diverted to your stomach and intestines after a meal so that the body can properly absorb the food - it's quite a task! If you sit down or lie down then you're body may be able to spend energy repair muscles while you digest your food but it isn't at peak efficiency, not by a long way.
So, what's left? Basically, you grow during the first few hours you are asleep and also at times when you are sat down or lying down. Now think about this - if you are really, really busy and barely get chance to sit down all day and don't get much sleep, when are you going to grow? The sad answer is, you won't. It's the cold, hard truth. You need PLENTY of zero-time to rest so that you can at first merely recover from your workouts and then GROW after you've recovered. If you're only giving your body chance to simply recover from your workouts then the next time you do the same workout you won't have gotten any bigger or stronger since the last one. You'll start to feel stale, as if you've reached a 'plateaux' - you can no longer grow. In many cases, it's just down to the amount of rest you are getting - give your body the time it needs to rest and grow!
Closing commentsOf course, resting all day every day is no use at all if you aren't training hard down the gym, getting proper nutrition, supplementing with extra protein and other supplements and (as in the next section) drinking plenty of water. All these areas are vital to your bodybuilding success - each is linked with the other and it only takes one of these areas to be lacking to ruin your results. It really is a lot like a house made from playing cards - take one card out and the whole thing comes apart.
Beginners guide sections: Water section.