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How to Develop Muscle

author image Sara Tomm
Sara Tomm began writing in 1971. She holds certificates in the medical, physiological and nutritional principles and treatment modalities for eating disorders. As a weight-management consultant, Tomm authored educational materials relating to the medical, psychological, environmental and social aspects of eating disorders, nutrition and physical fitness. She studied at Columbia University, Henry George School of Social Science, Farmingdale State College and Suffolk Community College.
How to Develop Muscle
Muscle building results when the body repairs tears that occur during strenuous exercise. Photo Credit: Minerva Studio/iStock/Getty Images

Muscle building cannot occur without first tearing down muscle fibers, the main component of muscle tissue. Hypertrophy is the term used to describe an increase in muscle bulk, which occurs when the body repairs torn muscle fibers. Weight lifting, resistance training and long-distance running are among the stressors that initiate the teardown and muscle-building cycle. Building or repairing muscle tissue involves interaction among cells, proteins, the immune system, growth factors, hormones, nutrition, rest and sleep. According to the University of California, San Diego, hypertrophy is not an immediate process; it can take up to two months to start.

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Identify Your Goal

To participate in sports such as cycling, you need to develop varying levels of muscular endurance and strength.
To participate in sports such as cycling, you need to develop varying levels of muscular endurance and strength. Photo Credit: Ljupco/iStock/Getty Images

Define your bodybuilding goal. Cosmetic bodybuilding involves developing muscle in specific areas of the body. Powerlifting requires well-developed muscular size and strength. If your goal is participation in sports, you need to develop varying levels of muscular endurance as well as strength, depending on the sport of your choice.

Professional Advice

Build muscle faster by enlisting a trainer.
Build muscle faster by enlisting a trainer. Photo Credit: Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Build muscle faster by seeking the advice and guidance of a professional trainer for choosing workout routines specifically geared toward achieving your goals. Set up a workout schedule and execute your routines with persistence, patience and dedication. Working with a professional coach avoids wasting time trying unproductive routines; it also reduces serious muscle damage resulting from improper execution of a routine.

Tear Down

Perform selected routines.
Perform selected routines. Photo Credit: kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Perform selected routines to tear down muscle fibers and activate cytokine secretion. Cytokines are proteins that work with the immune system to repair damaged tissue. Cytokines activate satellite cells found on the outer surface of each muscle fiber. Satellite cells multiply, travel to the site of the tear and enhance muscle bulk by binding muscle fibers together, according to the University of California, San Diego.

Rest to Avoid Muscle Damage

Rest between workouts.
Rest between workouts. Photo Credit: Helder Almeida/iStock/Getty Images

Avoid muscle damage by resting between workouts to allow muscles time for recovery and repair. The amount of rest needed is determined on an individual basis and by training intensity. Working each muscle group twice a week generally allows enough rest between workouts for the body to build muscle mass.

Eat and Sleep

Get adequate sleep.
Get adequate sleep. Photo Credit: Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images

Eat after a workout to replenish energy and fluids depleted by exercise. Working out burns calories and uses nutrients needed to repair tissues. Two vital nutrients that must be replenished are carbohydrates, which provide energy for muscle contractions, and protein, needed to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Get adequate sleep to avoid a reduction in testosterone levels, according to the June 1, 2011, issue of "The Journal of the American Medical Association." Testosterone stimulates protein synthesis, which increases muscle growth.

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