Written by M.G. Thibault
edited by Ryan McTeigue
What happens in the body to make Muscles grow?
For an athletic person who does weight training on a regular basis, the process of building muscle is not a new concept. However, not many will know the actual biology that goes on in the background by the super intelligent body. On a biological level - gaining muscle mass is a combination of increasing the number of myofibrils, increasing water volume, and connective tissue volume.
This process has led scientists to classify muscle hypertrophy into two categories:
- Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy - increases muscle size by increasing the volume of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscle cell.
- Myofibrillar hypertrophy or “functional hypertrophy” - increases muscle size by increasing the contractile proteins.
Hence, we see it every day in the gym, some muscular bodies have a “puffy” look which reflects sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, while other weightlifters demonstrate a “denser” physique which more similarly resembles myofibrillar hypertrophy.
Hormones Involved in Muscle Development
There are many factors that influence muscle growth. However the highest priority for muscle growth before all else is your bodies hormonal environment, which signals muscle strength and recovery and directs the flow of traffic for nutrients that are ingested through diet to be shuttled into muscle for growth.
The following are natural Anabolic Hormones produced in the body and how they modulate muscle growth:
- growth hormone- increases muscle mass and strength
- testosterone- increases lean body mass and decreases fat mass
- IGF-1- central regulator of muscle repair; Anabolic effect
- Cortisol- greatly inhibiting effect on skeletal muscle anabolism; Catabolism signalling
- beta-endorphins- relieves muscle pain; Responsible for “runner’s high”
- Parathyroid hormone- excess levels may account for muscle dysfunction and wasting
Muscle Growth or lack thereof, is then further influenced by the type and intensity of your exercise regimen, nutritional intake, and intelligent supplementation. Here’s a few take home points about the science of muscle growth:
1. Muscle development is reliant on the stress we put on them
When you “train” your muscles to lift heavier weights, it will respond by getting stronger. When you allow them to take a long vacation by cheeling on the couch, they’ll shrivel up from disuse, leaving the muscles flabby and weak.
There is pure science in the term “use it or loose it". Intense workouts (such as heavy weight training) damages the muscle tissue, which then remodels muscle fibers making them bigger and stronger. Thus, including relatively intense exercise, particularly resistance training, in your fitness regime is essential — regardless of your ability or age! As anything start slow and gradually increase the intensity each session until you are reaching a natural peak and then simply try and maintain that level with proper recovery and rest periods.
2. Muscle gains rely on calories and protein
In order to build a pound of muscle (450 grams), you require 2,800 calories mainly to support protein turnover, which will even increase when you add training into the equation. Muscle fibres are broken down and rebuilt every 7 – 15 days and typically, we’re breaking down more than we’re building up.
To gain, we need to build up more than we’re breaking down, especially after resistance training. Adequate protein is required to do this. One session of resistance training can stimulate protein turnover for up to 48 hours. During this time, if caloric intake is sufficient which includes 15-30% of protein, growth can occur. If this environment is not created however muscle growth will be limited or not occur at all.
Ligandrol (LGD4033) and Its effect on Muscle Gains
Ligandrol is a SARM compound primarily used for bulking and cutting. Because of its potency, bodybuilders can easily vouch for LGD as the best non-steroidal muscle-bulking agent in today’s market. Anecdotal reports show that you can experience benefits within a month of starting the compound.
Ligandrol is exceedingly popular because of its rapid muscle building properties. Combining LGD with a solid resistance training regimen effectively results in fast muscle growth and connective tissue adaption, leading to significant strength and power gains.
The best part is LGD’s high selectivity when it comes to muscle androgen receptors. Meaning it only affects the androgen receptors of skeletal muscles, bones and connective tissues. Because it’s very specific with its target receptors, LGD4033 is safe and doesn’t have the unpleasant side effects of steroidal compounds like liver problems and/or the prostate enlargement.
LGD4033 will cost you less, can be taken by mouth and doesn’t require that you use anything to inject it, which is a large reason people avoid traditional anabolics in the first place. Having said this, studies claim it can enhance your body’s receptivity to testosterone. Its potency can be observed through the anabolic/androgenic ratio, which is close to 10:1. This means it can effectively build muscle without causing significant side effects. Testosterone exists at a 1:1 ratio, which shows its anabolic properties is equal to the risk of adverse effects.
While LGD is not allowed in professional sporting competitions, many non-competing athletes and fitness enthusiasts use LGD4033 for their own physique enhancement and personal improvement.