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  • Writer's pictureSam Trotta

Maximizing Muscle Growth: The Key Benefits and Simple Strategies for Beginners

Growing muscle is a funny thing, socially speaking.

A lot of people will say they have no interest in it, that they just want to be fit and healthy.

One problem might be the implied thought that growing muscle means growing A LOT of muscle and the look and potential health implications that come with it.

Growing muscle does not have to mean looking like a "muscle-bound bodybuilder" (good luck with that, by the by - it is much harder to do than you might think) or doing anything that is unhealthy or unsafe. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

By taking simple steps to grow more muscle, you might actually be promoting better overall health. Particularly as we age, the habits and ingredients to healthy muscle growth can promote longevity, stave off sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and combat chronic illness.

In this post, I'll discuss three benefits you might not have known about muscular development. In a follow-up post, I will touch on three ways you can get started on your own smart muscle-building process.

Three Lesser Known Benefits of Smartly Building Muscle

If you're wondering about the "smartly" part of this section title, it means the following things when it comes to your muscle-building journey:

  • you are doing your best to build muscle without putting yourself at any significant risk (eg. using weight or exercises that are too difficult or complex, over-eating, etc.); and,

  • real health is at the forefront of your goals and efforts.

When you build muscle, even as a senior, you are invariably building strength. The processes of building muscle and building strength are often seen as separate from one another. While your exercise process ought to be optimized towards your goals, know that there is significant overlap between building strength and muscle.

The strength that you can acquire while smartly engaging in a muscle-building effort can aid in things like fall prevention, injury repair and a return to solid athletic performance. No need for bodybuilding-level bulge to achieve these feats. You will likely find them as a natural biproduct of the muscle-building process.

Building muscle promotes longevity and sustained quality of life. Adding muscle to your frame is a key ingredient to sustaining your overall quality of life - your ability to do the things you love with the people and for the causes you care for most.

As we age, our unabetted bodily processes (eg. hormone changes over time) will cause natural muscle loss. By engaging in smart muscle-building efforts, you can slow and even reverse this process.

We have many clients at Striation 6 who have successfully built muscle in their 60s, 70s and beyond - it IS possible! In doing, so they have enabled themselves to maintain a higher quality of life than they expected by getting stronger and having the ability to maintain their most treasured activities, hobbies and pastimes.

Additionally, we regularly hear anecdotes of people no longer having aches and pains while walking or doing other simple daily tasks, avoiding falling in situations where they'd have likely otherwise fallen in the past, and recovering from slips and falls without being any worse for the wear. This is a big deal!

Building muscle helps to prevent and fight chronic diseases like cancer, metabolic disorders (eg. Type II diabetes), dementia and heart disease. Your muscle system is in some sense the "engine" of your body. While aerobic exercise and fitness are still the biggest predictive factors in the battle against chronic illness, having sufficient volumes of muscle tissue and output is necessary to power and maintain your aerobic capacity.

By building your volume of muscle tissue and strength, you will enable yourself to engage in the activities and efforts that promote aerobic fitness and capacity. Additionally, muscle-promoting exercise has been shown to in and of itself have benefits in battling chronic disease such as:

  • improvements in cognitive function;

  • regulation of blood sugar levels;

  • normalization of blood pressure;

  • maximizing the proportion of fat lost (as opposed to lean muscle tissue) during a health-promoting weight-loss process.

I hope that this post has opened your eyes to or reinforced the idea that muscle-building is not simply a blockhead bodybuilder-type endeavour. Assuming that it is done smartly and safely, that it can actually be a fruitful effort at preserving or amplifying your quality of life and keeping you healthy for as long as possible.

My next post will highlight three simple ways that you can promote muscular development in your own system while keeping in line with the most up-to-date science around nutrition and health.

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