How to Develop Muscle

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Muscle building cannot occur without first tearing down muscle fibers, the main component of muscle tissue. Hypertrophy is the term used to describe an increase in muscle bulk, which occurs when the body repairs torn muscle fibers. Weight lifting, resistance training and long-distance running are among the stressors that initiate the teardown and muscle-building cycle. Building or repairing muscle tissue involves interaction among cells, proteins, the immune system, growth factors, hormones, nutrition, rest and sleep. According to the University of California, San Diego, hypertrophy is not an immediate process; it can take up to two months to start.

Identify Your Goal

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Define your bodybuilding goal. Cosmetic bodybuilding involves developing muscle in specific areas of the body. Powerlifting requires well-developed muscular size and strength. If your goal is participation in sports, you need to develop varying levels of muscular endurance as well as strength, depending on the sport of your choice.

Professional Advice

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Build muscle faster by seeking the advice and guidance of a professional trainer for choosing workout routines specifically geared toward achieving your goals. Set up a workout schedule and execute your routines with persistence, patience and dedication. Working with a professional coach avoids wasting time trying unproductive routines; it also reduces serious muscle damage resulting from improper execution of a routine.

Tear Down

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Perform selected routines to tear down muscle fibers and activate cytokine secretion. Cytokines are proteins that work with the immune system to repair damaged tissue. Cytokines activate satellite cells found on the outer surface of each muscle fiber. Satellite cells multiply, travel to the site of the tear and enhance muscle bulk by binding muscle fibers together, according to the University of California, San Diego.

Rest to Avoid Muscle Damage

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Avoid muscle damage by resting between workouts to allow muscles time for recovery and repair. The amount of rest needed is determined on an individual basis and by training intensity. Working each muscle group twice a week generally allows enough rest between workouts for the body to build muscle mass.

Eat and Sleep

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Eat after a workout to replenish energy and fluids depleted by exercise. Working out burns calories and uses nutrients needed to repair tissues. Two vital nutrients that must be replenished are carbohydrates, which provide energy for muscle contractions, and protein, needed to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Get adequate sleep to avoid a reduction in testosterone levels, according to the June 1, 2011, issue of "The Journal of the American Medical Association." Testosterone stimulates protein synthesis, which increases muscle growth.