You know, here at Treadmill Sensei, I mostly focus on treadmills, treadmill workouts, safety, cardio exercise, and related things.  Well today I thought I would branch out a little and add a little something about exercising to gain muscle.

Muscle gain and fat loss go hand in hand. People who are working to lose weight are also going to be working to gain muscle, and people who are working to gain muscle will also lose fat. When people talk about strong, dense muscles they are really talking about the shape and mass of the muscle. Some people have trained their muscles to use more blood flow, which will of course increase their effectiveness.

There are a few different ways to enhance muscle mass and performance. One way is obviously through contraction and tension. You usually use weights for this. When performing gym exercises you are actually isolating specific muscles, depending on the workout you are doing. Some exercises are going to be called compound exercise and other are going to be isometric exercises. The compound exercises are going to require more muscle use, simply because you are going to be using more muscles.

Isometric exercises are going to directly work one muscle. That is going to be good if you want to specifically grow biceps or pectorals. The compound exercises are going to be much more effective for burning fat. The simple fact of the matter is more muscle is going to burn more calories.

How you perform your exercises are going to effect the development too. If you are doing slow and controlled movement you are going to creating a more thorough tear in the muscle, and if you are doing quick movements you will be training muscles to react.

The first is generally how weight lifting and exercising is performed. The second is called plyometric exercise.  Slow controlled movements are going to create some intense muscle gain. Know that muscles don’t actually grow during exercise; the workout is only the stimulus. You may notice the muscle becomes engorged; this is only because of all the blood flow that has entered into the muscle. Sometimes during workouts you will not feel sore.

That doesn’t mean that you didn’t tear your muscles, it only means that you don’t have a large pool of lactic acid in your body. Lactic acid does stimulate muscle growth but it is not imperative for it. So even if you are not sore give yourself a day’s rest in between each workout session. Cardio exercises can be done daily; the legs are big muscles and can handle the strain of daily pressure.

Plyometric routines train your muscles to react. This makes them more powerful and faster in competition. People who can run fast but seem to have tiny legs are the ones that have been training with plyometric routines. These people are usually ninjas or something very similar like a break dancer.