How to build and support stronger muscles

How To Build and Support Stronger Muscles

Have you noticed some individuals have the body of a Greek God but don’t seem to go to the gym as often as the person who is a consistent gym rat? Why is that? No surprise here but you can’t workout for hours at the gym and then eat whatever you want. The person with the body of a Greek God is likely optimizing their workout regimen and pairing it with adequate nutrition.

You primarily have three different types of skeletal muscle fibers: slow-twitch muscle fibers, intermediate muscle fibers and fast-twitch muscle fibers. Which muscle fibers you recruit depends on the intensity of your workout.

Slow-twitch muscle fibers
These fibers are small, store and utilize oxygen for energy production, and are fat-burners. We recruit these first and they power us through lower-intensity movements. They do not tire easily.

Intermediate muscle fibers
These are slightly larger and they are a combo of slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers. They are both oxygen and glucose dependent for energy. We recruit them as exercise intensity increases.

Fast-twitch muscle fibers
These fibers are large, cannot utilize oxygen, and rely on glucose for energy. They store a lot of glycogen (stored glucose). They are our power fibers. The faster we move or the heavier we lift, the more these fibers are recruited. These fibers tire quickly and require more recovery.

Type A workouts:
Type A workouts are high intensity where your heart remains at its max rate for most of the activity. As intensity increases and you recruit more fast-twitch fibers you rely more on glucose and less on fat for energy. You burn through glucose stores, leaving you feeling depleted.

Examples: running, sprint workouts, a heavy power-lifting session, cross fit.

What can you do to ensure adequate recovery? Hint: you don’t need to OD on carbs.
  • Consume a snack rich in carbohydrates, combined with protein immediately post workout: a banana with peanut butter, 2-3 medjool dates with coconut yogurt, a ½ of a banana in your SWW™ smoothie.
  • Replace electrolytes with SWW™ Restore.
  • Increase intake of antioxidants: berries, greens, citrus fruits.
  • Focus on protein for muscle building.
  • Get adequate sleep to ensure recovery.
  • Have some carbohydrates with dinner.
  • Have a B workout the following day.
Type B workouts:
A B workout is low intensity. You do not reach your max heart rate as you are primarily using your slow-twitch muscle fibers and are in a fat-burning mode. You can do this workout for a long time without feeling depleted.

Examples: walking, hiking, light weights, pilates, yoga

What do you need to adequately recover?
  • Not necessary to immediately replace carbs (you were not burning through glucose).
  • Get adequate sleep to ensure recovery.
  • Focus on protein for muscle building.
  • Maintain blood sugar balance by optimizing protein, fat and fiber.