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  • It Takes More Than Muscle to Lift Heavy

    Neural adaptations can be responsible for different strength gains, despite similar muscle mass from person to person. Building muscle can be different from case to case. Now, there is scientific data to support this theory. Brain cells can be responsible for this as there could be more electrical signals sent to the muscle with higher repetitions and lower weight compared to lower repetitions with higher weight.

    Neural adaptations study and findings

    A 2017 study[i] made by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln build on empirical data and showed how neural adaptations can be responsible for different strength gains. These gains can be similar, regardless of the weights, but with different repetitions.

    Researchers took 26 men and chose leg extensions as the base exercise for the study. Two groups were formed. The first group used a load of 80% of the maximum weight they could lift. The second group used 30% of their maximum handled weight. While the first group did fewer repetitions, the second group performed the exercises with higher repetitions, due to the lower weights. After three workouts each week for a total of six weeks, researchers concluded that the heavy-load group improved voluntary activation by 0.15% while the light-load group improved voluntary activation by 2.35 percent. So what caused these results?

    In simple terms, muscles are activated by the brain through electrical signals. These signals are triggered by the neuron motor cortex. This then leads to muscle excitation which is responsible for contractions. These signals could be activated to a larger degree for those performing a higher number of repetitions. It is why the study found better strength gains for this group. Researchers concluded that training with higher frequency repetitions leads to better strength adaptations. This is constant for amateurs, average lifters or athletes.

    Of course, the research has vast interpretations and it could be a great base for further investigation. One of the areas which are critical to assess comes with fatigue. Researchers believe that simply lifting lower weights every day is more practical on the long-term. This is due to possible delayed muscle fatigue.

    The study can also be the ground for new research when it comes to joint impact and the training of the elderly. But even if the results are similar with different loads, the researchers do not exclude the possibility of training with heavy loads based on a low number of repetitions. For those who have busy lifestyles, this method of training remains a good option. People with busy lifestyles can also consume an amino acid supplement, as 9 out of 20 amino acids cannot be produced by the human body and they need to come from foods.

    Neural adaptations are responsible for strength development in both low and high-intensity training and it goes to show that muscles are largely impacted by the brain and its electric signals. The research can be applied in different ways. For some people, it means that higher frequency with low weights can mean building muscle with reduced fatigue. But the traditional heavy loads with fewer repetitions should not be excluded. It is yet to be seen how these two types of training methods can be combined for more complex workouts.

    [i] N.M.D. Jenkins, A. Miramonti, E.C. Hill et al. (2017), Greater Neural Adaptations following High- vs. Low-Load Resistance Training, Frontiers of Physiology Journal.  Available at:

    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2017.00331/full

  • More Muscle, More Strength: Why You Must Use HMB

    Walk through any supplement store and you'll be swarmed by brightly coloured labels claiming to contain the most potent muscle builders known to man. The problem is that most of these claims are just hyped up advertising. Leave it to science to weed out the true muscle builders from the colourful powder that doesn't do much.

     

    One ingredient that has been getting a lot of attention in the fitness community is beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, more commonly known as HMB. Let's take a look at what HMB is and how it may the key to unlocking your muscle building potential.

     

    What is HMB?

    Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate is a metabolite of the essential amino acid, Leucine. This means that once Leucine is ingested and broken down, HMB is the end result.

     

    HMB has received a lot of attention recently due to its implications for lean muscle tissue. Originally utilized as a way to prevent muscle catabolism for people with degenerative diseases such as AIDS, HMB has now become a serious muscle building supplement contender in the fitness industry.

     

    The Benefits of HMB

    Protects Muscle

    • The benefit that first shined the spotlight on HMB is its ability to help protect lean muscle tissue. Studies have demonstrated that HMB is able to decrease cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which means it breaks down protein and muscle tissue when left unchecked. What's more, HMB may be able to boost protein synthesis, which helps in the development of lean muscle tissue. (1-3)

     

    Build More Muscle

    • Continuing with this idea of muscle building, HMB may be one of the best legal and proven supplements to support muscle building. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. HMB comes from the amino acid Leucine, which has been the subject of a number of studies citing it as an effective ingredient for muscle building. HMB not only blocks catabolic breakdown of muscle tissue but it also promotes protein synthesis. As mentioned above, protein synthesis plays an important role in muscle development. Several studies have concluded that subjects supplementing with HMB saw greater muscle development than their placebo-focused peers. (1-3)

     

    More Strength

    • A study published in European Journal of Applied Physiology tested subjects on the bench press, squat, deadlift, and vertical jump. Subjects were provided with HMB supplementation 12 weeks in combination with a well-designed training program. Subjects saw a significant increase in total body strength and power across the board. (1-3)

     

    How Much HMB Should I Take?

    While there is no scientifically confirmed dosage, the industry standard seems to be 3 grams per day. Medical websites such as WebMD recommend 3 grams per day for 8 weeks then cycling off the supplement for 3 to 4 weeks.

     

    Conclusion

    Ready to support your muscle building goals?

    Want a pharmaceutical grade HMB?

    Looking for excellent prices and even better quality?

     

    Amino Z has exactly what you need. Amino Z HMB is pure, effective, and inexpensive. Best of all, you can mix it with a variety of different muscle building supplements when you create your very own supplement! That's right! With the Amino Z Supplement Builder, you are in control.

     

    Click here to check out the Amino Z Supplement Builder and create your very own supplement today!

     

    References

    1. Slater GJ, Jenkins D. Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation and the promotion of muscle growth and strength. Sports Med. 2000 Aug;30(2):105-16.
    1. Wilson, Gabriel J, Jacob M Wilson, and Anssi H Manninen. 'Effects of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) on Exercise Performance and Body Composition across Varying Levels of Age, Sex, and Training Experience: A Review.' Nutrition & Metabolism 5 (2008): 1. PMC. Web. 2 Aug. 2017.
    1. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Joy JM, Andersen JC, Wilson SM, Stout JR, Duncan N, Fuller JC, Baier SM, Naimo MA, Rathmacher J. The effects of 12 weeks of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate free acid supplementation on muscle mass, strength, and power in resistance-trained individuals: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Jun;114(6):1217-27. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2854-5. Epub 2014 Mar 6.
  • Glutamine (Amino Acid) Facts, Benefits and Functions

    Glutamine (amino acid) benefits, functions, uses, applications and purchasing information.
  • Does dextrose aid protein uptake after exercising? Should I therefore have dextrose in my protein shake?

    Ultimately, yes.  Personally I believe that dextrose is a vital component of your post-workout protein shake.

    Insulin is a hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism within the human body.  Consuming dextrose will raise your insulin levels and thus encourage protein synthesis following exercise.  I'll explain in a little more detail:

    Once you consume protein, it is broken down into its' molecular components, amino acids.  Amino acids are then absorbed into the blood stream and taken up by muscle cells in order to undergo protein synthesis.  However, amino acid uptake is stimulated by insulin independently.  Therefore, if you have low insulin levels, amino acid uptake will be inhibited, thus leading to reduced protein synthesis within the muscle itself.  At the end of the day, this is bad news - the muscle building and recovery process is slowed which will hamper your progress in the gym.

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