beyond the barbell

Bodybuilding is an art, and for natural bodybuilders who enter into bodybuilding competitions, it is all about sculpting their physique without the use of performance-enhancing substances. Achieving muscle hypertrophy, which is the process of increasing muscle size, is the goal when it comes to bodybuilding.

Beyond the glitz and glamour of the stage, there’s a deep scientific foundation to muscle growth that natural bodybuilders embrace to be able to achieve their goals.

(Note: This article has been written by The Fit Team who are the first guest writers I’ve ever hired for Fitman Classic Natural Bodybuilding.  I’m happy to have their insight!)

Progressive Overload: The Foundation Of Muscle Hypertrophy

The science of muscle hypertrophy begins with the principle of progressive overload. It is the cornerstone of muscle growth, and natural bodybuilders understand why it is so important. Progressive overload means that you are consistently increasing your resistance or the intensity of your workouts over time.

This creates the necessary stimulus for the fibers of your muscles to adapt and grow. Progressive overload is part of our strategy at Fitman Classic Bodybuilding (The Fitman Performance & Physique Center), one of the best gyms in Roslyn

To implement progressive overload, bodybuilders need to do a lot of different things during their workouts, such as increasing the amount of weight lifted, the number of repetitions they can do, or the intensity of each of the exercises. Over time, these adjustments will lead to your muscle fibers becoming thicker and more robust.

Muscle Protein Synthesis: Building Blocks Of Growth

Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is another very important concept when it comes to muscle hypertrophy. It basically refers to the process of building new muscle proteins within muscle fibers. The balance between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown determines whether muscle growth occurs.

To optimize muscle protein synthesis, you need to prioritize your protein intake and meal timing. This is because it is important that you consume a sufficient amount of high-quality protein after resistance training to help replenish amino acids in your body which are the building blocks of protein. They also stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Amino acids, like leucine, play a crucial role in initiating this process.

Nutrient Timing And Muscle Hypertrophy

Nutrient timing plays a critical role in supporting your muscle growth. After intense workouts, your body becomes more sensitive to nutrients, especially carbohydrates and protein. Natural bodybuilders often practice “anabolic windows,” consuming a balanced meal of carbohydrates and protein within a specific time frame pre and post-workout to improve their performance in the gym, maximize nutrient uptake, and encourage muscle repair.  To get the most out of your workouts, you should do the same.

Adequate carbohydrate intake helps to replace your body’s glycogen stores, ensuring your body has the energy it needs for demanding training sessions. Fitman’s competitors understand the importance of a well-balanced diet and proper meal planning.

Hypertrophy-Specific Training Programs

Effective muscle hypertrophy involves carefully designed training programs. Natural bodybuilders often follow hypertrophy-specific routines that focus on certain muscle groups and training volume. These programs typically incorporate exercises targeting various aspects of muscle development, including compound movements for overall mass and isolation exercises for specific muscle groups.

Periodization is a common strategy used in successful natural bodybuilding training programs. This involves cycling through different phases of training, such as a focus on strength or a focus on hypertrophy. By varying the training stimuli, you can prevent your body from adaptation while promoting continuous muscle growth.

Rest And Recovery Is Important

Do not get too carried away with your workouts since muscle growth does not actually happen in the gym. Muscle growth actually happens during the time you are resting and recovering. This is why it is important that you get an adequate amount of sleep, nutrition, and rest since they are all essential for muscle hypertrophy. During deep sleep, the body even releases the growth hormone which promotes muscle repair and growth.

Contact Us

At Fitman Classic Bodybuilding, we are ready to assist you in your quest to gain more muscle and to embark on your journey as a bodybuilder. Get started with NGA pro natural bodybuilder Fitman, your favorite bodybuilding coach in Philadelphia by contacting us!  

(Note: This article has been written by The Fit Team who are the first guest writers I’ve ever hired for Fitman Classic Natural Bodybuilding.  I’m happy to have their insight!)

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