How the Body Builds Muscle

How the Body Builds Muscle


There are over 600 skeletal muscles in the body (depending on the source there could be over 800). Most the muscles you are probably worried about are your biceps, pecs, lats, triceps, and quads, however there are a ton of other critical muscles that are important to overall muscular development. Today we are going to focus on the importance of how the body builds muscle. If you can understand the process, you can take advantage of it and build more quality muscle.

I Want Muscle, and I Want it Now!

Everyone knows that you go to the gym if you want bigger muscles, however your muscles don’t actually grow when they are at the gym. Although you may see them get “pumped”, the muscles actually grow when you get home. When you workout with weights or resistance “microtrauma” occurs inside the muscles. This muscle damage effects your myofibrils, which are rod shaped units inside the muscle cells. Your body signals satellite cells to either form new muscle my fibers, or create hypertrophy, which is the increasing in size of these muscle fibers. Between the hypertrophy of the muscle fibers, and the creation of new muscle fibers, this is what actually creates the bigger, badder muscles.

However, this will only to continue to occur if you continue to push forward and either add more weight or more repetitions for your muscles. Once your muscles adapt to the current load, the microtrauma stops occurring. This is why you need to increase the amount of weight you use frequently, and the amount of reps you use the weight with. This is why you may use 20 pounds 8 times this week, and in a month do it 12 times.

Nutrition and Muscle

Hormones such as insulin, testosterone, HGH, and IGF-1 all have important factors in creating more muscle, but we are going to talk about protein and carbohydrates importance in building muscle. Protein is the most important nutrient in the muscle building process. Protein makes up roughly 20% of the muscle weight. During resistance exercise, protein synthesis occurs.  To have muscle growth, you must have more muscle protein synthesis than muscle protein breakdown. Protein is made up of amino acids and each amino acid is different. Each amino acid has different roles in which in helps our body. These amino acids help build and repair our muscle. To maximize muscle growth, you should try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per lean body weight (lb). So if you are 200 lb, and you are 20% body fat percentage. You should try to eat 160 grams of protein a day.

Carbohydrates play a critical role in muscle building also. Muscles love to use carbohydrates as fuel. This fuel is called glycogen. During intense exercise glycogen stores are depleted (think about putting the pedal to the metal in a Ferrari and running out of gas). After you workout, it is vital to replenish these glycogen stores with simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates will also spike insulin that will send protein, amino acids, and these carbs to the muscle cells for repair.

Post workout it is key to give yourself 20-30 grams of protein, and 30-40 grams of simple carbohydrates to help rebuild and repair muscle. This is why Team Nutrition Train suggests the Post Workout Stack from 1st Phorm. Tastes great and is the highest quality Whey Protein Isolate and Simple Carbs that are 6 times more digestible than sugar.  Free Shipping Link and Lowest Price:

Rest and Muscle

If you don’t give your muscles enough rest, you will not grow muscle. Going to the gym is actually a catabolic process. This means that you are actually destroying muscle when you are at the gym. You don’t actually build muscle until you are resting and eating enough proteins and carbohydrates to rebuild and repair. It is important to get enough sleep each night to give your body enough time to recovery from your workout. Rest is as important as any other factor.

Workouts and Muscle

Do not train the same muscles every day. This is one of my biggest complains with many personal trainers is that they put their clients on workouts that include the same basic workouts each day. Your muscles needs 48-72 hours to recover after a hard workout. You should not be doing chest every day, or any other body part. Spread them out.

Check out one of our great workouts here:



Working out is the easy part. The hard part is the rest and the nutrition to give yourself the opportunity to build the muscle. If you follow the above tips, you will have a ton of muscle.


Thank you for reading,


Dustin Holston

Personal Trainer/Sports Nutritionist


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