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    Muscle Growth Essay (2321 words)

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    IntroductionWith the introduction of such modern conveniences such as the automobile, remotecontrol, and even the electric toothbrush people are relying on technology to doeverything for them.

    With a generation growing up in todays society physicaltasks have almost become obsolete. Tasks such as even going shopping and goingout to visit a friend can be done from the comfort of your own computer. Withthis sedentary lifestyle, muscular size will almost be unnecessary, except forthe athlete who wants to succeed in sports. To the non-athlete, there will beno reason to leave the house because everything that you need will be at yourfingertips, you will not have to get up and do anything. Any type of exerciseis good for the body and muscles. Muscle growth is essential if you want tolook better, feel better, and perform everyday tasks such as walking to the car,and getting out of bed easier.

    A person who is in shape will also sleep betterthen an out of shape person, and feel more revitalized in the morning. Muscles account for approximently 35% of the body weight in women, and about 45%of the body weight in men. With over 600 muscles covering the human skeletonmuscles give the body bulk and form. Then human body contains millions ofmuscle fibres whose coordinated contraction cause the whole muscle to contract. Muscles are the foundation on which our bodies are built. Without muscles ourbodies could not perform the simplest tasks such as opening our eyes, talking,breathing and even the pumping of our heart or the most difficult tasks, such asrunning the hurdles in a track and field event.

    . Muscles are also important tomaintain balance and posture. Description of MusclesIn the body there are several types of muscles that control different functionsin the body, one of these types being skeletal muscle. Skeletal muscle is themost evident in the human body due to it having the most mass the other types ofmuscles and that it lies directly under the skin attached to the skeleton bytendons and ligaments.

    Skeletal muscles are divided into three structural units, the entire muscle, themuscle bundle, and the muscle fiber (cell). Each muscle fiber is divided intotwo types of fiber structure, fusiform and pennate, with the pennate beingbroken up into three basic structures. These structures being the unipennate,bipennate, and multipennate. Notice the longditudinalgrain of thefusiform muscles (left)compared thepennate muscles. (below)Striated muscle tissue (above) is associated with the muscles related to theskeleton and movement.

    Striated muscle tissue is the muscle tissue locateddirectly under the skin and are the muscles that are the most visible. There are two types muscles in skeletal muscles, these are fast twitch and slowtwitch muscles. Fast twitch muscles have a fast form of myosin ATP and are verygood of delivering calcium to the muscle cell. Slow twitch muscles have a slowform of myosin ATP and are not very good at delivering calcium to the musclecell. Fast twitch muscle fibers reach peak tension more then twice as fast asslow twitch muscles, making them more explosive muscles which would be moredesirable for athletes such as sprinters. Notice the dark slow twitchfibers and the light slowtwitch fibers magnified.

    Thefast twitch fibers tiremore easily then the lighterslow twitch fibers. Causes of Muscle GrowthMuscles growth (hypertrophy) takes place in the muscle fiber themselves. When amuscle grows there is not a increase in the amount of muscle fibers, since thisis set at birth, but rather an increase in the size of those muscle fibers, andan increase in the amount of connective tissue in the muscle. Muscle fibers areenlarged through resistant training, or regular activity by stimulating theamount of the contractile proteins, actin and myosin.

    What this does is makemore cross bridges available to do more work. Muscle fibers with no apparentresistant trainingMuscle fibers with considerablymore resistanttrainingThe stimulus that tells the muscle to grow is a result of two things, theshortening of the muscle against a resistance and the intensity of thecontraction. For growth process to start a point must be made in your workoutwhere the exercised muscle is working near maximal capacity against a resistance,and the relative intensity of the exercise is very high. When performed justright, a highly intense resistant exercise disrupts cell wall and cellularmicrofilaments, which begins the growth process. A: General Adaptation Syndrome (G.

    A. S)The way our muscles respond to training is the same way that any other stimulusresponse mechanism in our body responds to a stressor. This mechanism is calledthe General Adaptation Syndrome. If a muscle is given a stimulus (stressor) that it is not accustomed to it willrespond by going through three stages. The first of these stages is called thealarm stage.

    The alarm stage occurs immediately after a very intensestimulation, muscle cells are disrupted, and later on muscle soreness is felt. This happens because the muscle that is being trained is not accustomed to thisstimulus and is slightly injured trying to respond to it. The second stage is the resistant stage, this is where muscle hypertrophy takesplace. The muscle responds to the damage by rebuilding and restoring the muscletissue. In the third stage the muscle not only has repaired the damaged muscle, but willnow add new muscle proteins to avoid having the muscle slightly injured like itwas in the alarm stage. This addition of muscle proteins will cause the muscleto become bigger and stronger in order to be able to properly handle that typeof stress again.

    Another factor in muscle growth is genetics. Genetically, men have thepotential to have more muscle growth then women because of the highertestosterone levels that they have. Another genetics factor in muscle growth iswhat body type you have. An ecotmorph, will have a very high metabolic, and mayhave a very hard time gaining weight, whether it be muscle or fat, and anendomorph will not have as hard of a time gaining muscle mass, but must be verycareful because of a low metabolic rate, will also gain fat very easily. The ideal body type for muscle growth is the mesomorph body type. Mesomorphs aregenerally athletically skilled, and there body type has a predominance of muscle,bone and connective tissue.

    “Artificial” Muscle GrowthOne way which muscle growth is achieved more rapidly then just by resistanttraining, is with the aid of artificial growth hormones, most notably, anabolicsteroids. Steroids are compounds that resemble the natural male hormone testosterone. Testosterone has an anabolic effect in the body, and is produced naturally inthe body, but only a small portion of the testerone produced naturally are usedfor the anabolic (muscle growth) effect, but rather for the androgenic (malesexual characteristics) effect. Steroids are constructed synthetically tomaximize the anabolic effect, and to minimize the androgenic effect.

    Steroids are taken mainly for the person who wants the quick results of musclegrowth, and to increase athletic performance. Steroids cause many negative sideeffects in the body, which include: increased aggressiveness, increased acne,development of facial in women, development of gynecomastia (breast like tissue)in males, just to name a few. Steroids use is most prolific in sports such asbodybuilding and professional football. Even though these sports have their owntesting programs very few athletes are ever caught using steroids, or othergrowth hormones. It is estimated that approximently 90% of players in the NFL,and approximently 99%-100% of professional body builders take anabolic steroids,or some other type of anabolic hormone.

    These growth hormones are taken to gainexcess muscle size and strength in order to gain the competitive edge on theiropponent. An example of steroid us in afemale professionalbuilder, notice the bulkingmuscles which cannot beachieved naturally by femalesdue to a lack ofnaturally occurring testosteronein their bodies. Effects of Aging on the MusclesThough muscle atrophy (reduction) does take place due to a lack of exercise,another factor that contributes to atrophy is the factor of age. Between theages of 24 to 80 males tend to lose 40% of their skeletal muscle mass. Althoughsome older males may continue to be physically active, the skeletal muscleatrophy will not be as significant, but it will still take place.

    Muscle strength can be relatively maintained up through 50 years of age. Afterthat time a 15% loss in strength per decade occurs between the ages of 50 and 70. From the ages of 70 to 80 years of age, a 30% loss in strength occurs perdecade. Due to this muscle and strength loss there is a decreased ability topartake in physical activity, and as a result, more atrophy takes place.

    This type of muscle and strength can have negative effects on an individualbecause a decline in strength in the lower part of the body may result in fallsand hip fractures. A decrease of muscular strength in the upper body increasesthe risk in accidents in activities such as cooking, and cleaning, which requirepushing and pulling motions. Resistance training can also help a great deal in the fight to stay young. Older men show a greater strength and muscle increase after a resistant trainingprogram then do that of younger males. Resistant training can also reverse theeffects of osteoporosis in older women, by building more muscle mass around thebones, and making the bones stronger, and less susseptial to breakage.

    Muscles and Self EsteemWeight training and the desire of muscle growth is no longer set aside just forthe elite athletes. Weight training is being done by many people, from olderpeople trying to stay young, and for younger people for the sake of looking good. Muscle growth is desirable because it gives people who have a pudgy look thelook of a more lean and athletic person, rather then the look of a couch potato. Weight training will not only help someone to look better, but they will alsofeel better, give them more energy, and allow them to eat more due to theincreased speed of their metabolism. With an increased metabolism they willburn more fat while sedentary, then will a person with a slow metabolism. Theywill also more likely be more attractive to the opposite sex, and will be moreconfident with themselves.

    Starting an Muscle Growth ProgramAfter a muscle growth program your body will feel better, regardless if it yourfirst time in a muscle growth program or you have been training for a while. Even though you may feel sore your first time training, or after a extendedbreak from training, you will probably find that this is a good sore in a waythat you know you are doing something good for your body. Keeping Track of ProgressKeeping track of progress can be done in many different ways during weighttraining, but is a good idea in order to see what type of muscle and strengthgains that are being made. Progress can be plotted by actually taking themeasurements of your muscles and recording the differences every week or everycouple of weeks. Another way that progress can be measured is by keeping somesort of journal which has your workout in it, along with how much weight thatyou are lifting for each exercise, this way you can monitor the strength gainsthat you are having.

    Avoiding the “Plateau” EffectAfter weight training, the first few months you may notice a drastic increase inyour lifts, but after that you may start to plateau. What happens when youplateau is that the gains in strength that you have been achieving seem to leveloff, and strength gains seem to stop. This can be a discouraging factor in manyyoung weight trainers and may lead them to give it up because they think that itisnt doing any good. If this happens dont be alarmed, it is very common amongweight trainers. What is happening is your muscles are not getting the alarming effect that they received when you first started working out, yourmuscles have adjusted to that routine and now have built almost a resistantagainst.

    Many people feel that when this happens that more weight must be addedin order to achieve more strength gain, but this is not true. By altering yourworkout your muscles will get confused and the alarming effect will occur inyour muscles causing muscle and strength gains to occur once again. . EquipmentWhen weight training, it is recommended that proper equipment be used beforestarting a training program.

    Proper equipment would include proper shoes tocushion the feet and prevent any foot soreness and to dampen the pressure put onthe arches of your feet by the increased weight placed on your body whilelifting the weights. Another piece of equipment recommended, but not essentialwould be a pair of workout gloves. Workout gloves protect the hands whengripping the weight and may prevent a callus buildup on the hands. One piece ofequipment that is strongly recommended would be the weight belt. The weightbelt is a thin leather belt which is very wide and is worn around the waist inorder to protect the lower back. Due to the strain that some weight trainingexercises can put on the lower back the belt is highly recommended.

    Cool DownIt is recommended to adequately cool down after a training program in orderprevent, or reduce muscle soreness. During a weight training program you shouldproperly stretch the muscles being worked in order to keep them loose. Stretching should also be done directly after a workout because the muscles arestill warm and can be stretched more easily. This will also increaseflexibility which can be very advantageous in preventing injuries such as musclesprains and strains.

    A Conclusion to Muscle GrowthA muscle growth program can be beneficial to everybody, from the young athletewanting to succeed in sports, to the older man trying to help stay and feelyoung. The benefits of muscle growth are too high to be passed out by anybodywho has any sort of ambition of feeling better about themselves, looking better,and having more energy for everyday tasks. You will find that once you startweight training, and muscle and strength growths are noticed that it will almostbecome addicting and the desire for bigger and better results will becomegreater and greater. I would recommend muscle growth to anybody, and anyone whodisagrees should give it a try, just for a little while, and after the resultsof improved strength and muscle size are noticed weight training will become apart of their life.hCategory: Science

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