4 Keys to Muscle Growth

Research-backed strategies to maximize muscle growth

1. Intense Resistance Training

It seems like everyone these days hits the gym. But how intensely do you really train? Training intensity is the key to reducing myostatin. Perhaps the best research available to tell us this comes from a study that determined and compared the magnitude of changes in myostatin and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) for muscle strength and muscle size in response to resistance training in healthy men. The study looked at 20 healthy men ages 18–45 studied over 10 weeks
 of intense resistance training. They tested arm strength (biceps curls), muscle gain (cross-sectional area of upper arm), IGF-1, and serum myostatin. While there were significant increases in both strength (+30%) and muscle gain (+12% in CSA), IGF-1 remained unchanged. Meanwhile, myostatin decreased in study subjects by an average of 20.3% over the 10 weeks.(11) These findings were very significant and consistent with a prior muscle-loss study on myostatin in which it was demonstrated that a plasma increase in myostatin of as little as 12% corresponded to an almost five-pound mean loss in lean skeletal muscle mass over 25 days.(12) The key difference
in the previous study was training intensity! So taken together, while some weight training may help to decrease myostatin expression, it was the intensity of resistance training that brought about the biggest changes.

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