By Bertus Albertse, managing director at Body20
Most men have at some point in their lives looked in the mirror and thought to themselves, “I need to gain more muscle”. Although their reaction may have been instant, it’s likely that they were not as quick to take the required action.
In fact, their inaction is, to a large extent, quite understandable. Like most adults, their time is divided between earning a living and caring for their families, with little time left in the average day to spend three or four hours pumping iron at the local gym.
When you look at the body of a champion bodybuilder, it’s immediately apparent that it was not achieved in a week or two, and neither was it acquired without a great deal of blood, sweat and tears. Even many single individuals with plenty of time on their hands may be hesitant to embark on the kind of punishing routine required to develop one’s body to such an extreme degree. While admiration comes easily, imitation demands commitment.
Those determined to gain muscle fast will simply have to accept that the process will not be a quick one, and that many of those icons of the screen and the bodybuilding arena whom they admire so much have probably taken years to develop those enviable bodies.
In practice, most men are more concerned with simple aesthetics, rather than taking first prize in a bodybuilding contest. Realistically, Mr Average would probably be delighted with just 3 to 5 kilos of additional muscle mass, accompanied by a generally leaner and more toned appearance.
The formula for success
However, even such modest goals are not going to be realised overnight. That said, there are ways in which one can speed up the process. Firstly, it must be understood that muscular growth in adults is induced by damage to the fibres, which, in turn, results in the formation of additional new tissue during the repair process. This means that heavy resistance exercises are necessary, and should be repeated to the point of failure to maximise damage and thus gain muscle quickly. Each exercise should then be followed by sufficient recovery time, while focusing on a new area or muscle group. It is also a good idea to vary the exercises used every few weeks, so that the muscles continue to be sufficiently stressed.
To ensure an adequate supply of the proteins and other nutrients that are essential for repair and growth, subjects need to boost their intake of natural nutrients, along with appropriately constituted supplements. Variations based on this combination of exercise and optimised nutrition can definitely help you achieve your goal faster, as long as you’re prepared to persist with them.
A quicker way
For those whose enthusiasm for bodily perfection may have waned in the light of the above revelations, and for anyone hoping to gain muscle in double-quick time, there is some good news. A technology driven workout known as EMS training is causing shock-waves among fitness enthusiasts all over the world, mainly for its impressive and rapid results with regard to toning, fat loss and cellulite reduction. This form of training is also available at a growing number of Body20 Studios nation wide. Visit www.body20.co.za for more info.