In our recent patient study here at The Private Clinic, we found that an athletic and healthy physique was the most desired by our patients. In the category for “Most Desired Celebrity Body”, Jennifer Lopez was voted number one, with another face of health and fitness; Australian model known as “The Body”, Elle Macpherson, coming in second and the petite and athletic actress Scarlett Johansson following.
In this blog, we have broken down the basics you need to know about muscle to help you increase mass, definition and tone to achieve the enviable athletic look.
How does building muscle mass and strength work:
To put it simply, growing and increasing muscle comes from creating microtears through exercise. During rest, the damage to muscle fibers is filled in and repaired, forming new muscle (hence why having rest after exercise and rest days are so important). When you build more muscle and increase your mass, you also raise your opportunity for strength as more muscle means you can exert more energy and force. In order to exert energy effectively, pre-existing and new muscle needs to be trained through exercise, otherwise, it is possible to have big muscles but not necessarily ones that are strong.
How long does it take to see visible results when building muscles:
If you are new to exercise and a strengthening routine, noticeable results and muscle growth can take around 8 weeks to become visible, while more experienced gym-goers are able to see change typically within 3-4.
What are some of the benefits of increased muscle mass and strength:
- Increased metabolism and weight management: muscle takes up less space than fat and boosts the metabolism. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you will naturally burn per day. This can make it easier to manage weight as your caloric intake can be higher, while you burn more calories at rest while also becoming physically leaner.
- Improved self-esteem and mental health: many people feel more confident in their physical abilities and their bodies appearance when in better shape. The feeling of knowing one’s own strength or getting through a difficult workout can be extremely rewarding as it reinforces self-confidence in what one can achieve which can apply to other areas of life. Exercise also helps to manage stress and anxiety by strengthening the mind-body connection and releasing endorphins which are responsible for keeping us in a happy and positive mood.
- Protection from injury: as the body ages it naturally loses muscle mass. Maintaining physical strength and mass is essential for maintaining strength, mobility, balance and avoiding the severity of falls later. Lack of muscle strength can also lead to avoidable aches and pains such as lower back pain from a weak core, or knee pain due to weak glutes.
How to build muscle mass and increase definition and tone:
- Sleep and rest: sleep is essential for building muscles as it allows them to repair and grow while replenishing energy stores for your next workout. Without the ability to rebuild during sleep, muscles may continue to break down long after exercise. The same goes for rest- avoid strength training the same muscles on consecutive days if you want to build muscle as they need time to repair and grow.
- Diet: Apart from your regular fruits and vegetables, when trying to gain muscle mass, making sure you have enough protein is an essential building block for maintaining your pre-existing muscle mass and building new. Eating for your specific workout needs is also important- carbohydrates before cardio for energy, and protein-rich meals before strength training to build muscle. You may also need to assess your caloric intake as an increase in physical activity can put you at a caloric deficit causing weight loss (or leaning out; once ideal mass has been achieved), while a caloric excess can be beneficial for both recovery and increasing mass.
- Choosing the right kind of exercise: While it can be tempting to only do cardio, it is more beneficial for weight loss than building up muscles. Incorporating a mix of targeted weight and strength training is essential for achieving strong, lean muscles and building mass and tone.
- Check your fat percentage: When it comes to increasing definition, you will want to assess your fat percentage, as even the strongest of cores may be lacking powerful definition if they are covered by a large excess of fat. By decreasing the percentage of fat covering muscles (within a healthy range for you), their tone is easier to see.
- Safe, non-surgical muscle-building treatments: Spending hours in the gym may not be possible (not to mention tiring), and sometimes that little extra kick is needed to take current results and workouts further. This is where treatments such as EMsculpt which we offer here at The Private Clinic can be beneficial as the treatment contracts muscles using electromagnetic paddles to build muscle and burn fat with one 30-minute session equal to 20,000 sit-ups or squats.
By combining the ability to easily and safely achieve an high number of reps at a highly focused and stronger intensity (contracting 100% of the muscle vs the 20% activated by physical training), and increasing fat metabolism x5 in the treatment area, EMsculpt is able to build muscles with less covering fat for strong and lean definition.
Treatment is FDA approved, non-invasive and non-surgical with treatment areas including the stomach, upper arms, thighs, calves and buttocks (EMsculpt is the world’s first non-surgical butt lifting treatment). Results are 100% natural as it utilizes your own muscle capacity and is a perfect addition to a training routine.
Many patients who are already into fitness find the treatment most helpful for seeing dramatic and almost immediate results while improving their physical endurance and abilities during workouts and sports. EMsculpt is also while also available for those who want to strengthen areas but find it difficult to do certain exercises, and perfect for improving core strength and bringing abdominal muscles back together after pregnancy.
“My gym instructor told me that to build muscle I would have to work out for hours every day, but with Emsculpt I’m fitter, stronger and my Pilates class was a breeze.” – Vicki
EMsculpt has been voted 91% Worth It by RealSelf’s Patient Choice Awards 2020, Best Innovations by NewBeauty 2019 Award Winners and Best Body Firming Treatment by Harper’s Bazaar 2019 Anti Ageing Awards.
To book a free consultation please contact us on 0333 920 2471 . For more on EMsculpt including patient Before/Afters and FAQ’s click Here.