A good start is to ensure you pick a program that calls for the proper intensity to stimulate adequate muscle growth, such as Slow Motion High Intensity Strength Training. Once you are on track with the right program, the following inputs are essential (Based on the book Body by Science):
- Sufficient Rest: Adequate sleep. This is when the body recovers, when it relaxes and when it repairs processes without interruption.
- Adequate Hydration: Muscle is comprised of 76% water. Adequate water maximizes your circulating blood volume. “This benefit, in turn, maximizes the delivery of nutrients to recovering muscles while withdrawing waste products that accrue as a result of intense muscular contractions.” Doug McGuff MD. Rule of thumb for proper hydration is to consume roughly 3 liters per day
- Adequate Nutrition: But not excessive. Aids in the recovery of the body after a workout and provides the elements to build additional muscle during the growth production.
- Putting Stressors into Perspective – Keep life stressors to a minimum
- Don’t Cultivate Training Angst – “The immediate consequence of a proper strength training workout is that the trainee gets weaker and remains so for several days while the body replenishes the energy debt incurred. Only once this has taken place will the body start to produce the adaptive response (growth).” Doug McGuff MD. In other words, don’t feel guilty that you are not in the gym on your recovery days.
The physical act of exercising may only take 30 minutes, once per week in the studio but the act of being fit and healthy is a lifelong achievement.