🔑 Key Takeaways
- Muscles are essential for movement, metabolism, posture, aesthetics, and healthy aging. Muscle quality is more important than size. Understanding muscle control and energy use can improve performance. Proper nutrition and recovery enhance muscle function. Cold exposure can aid in fat loss.
- The nervous system is responsible for controlling muscles and improving endurance, flexibility, and explosiveness. Muscle control is crucial for daily activities, and a protocol for muscle recovery through cold plunging is available at thecoldplunge.com.
- Our muscles move based on the communication between neurons controlling flexors and extensors. Glycolysis breaks down glucose for energy, and having more muscle than fat means a higher metabolic rate due to the high energy demand of muscle movement.
- Lactate is beneficial, not harmful, during exercise by providing fuel, buffering against acidity, and acting as a hormonal signal. Pushing through the burn during intense exercise can maximize the positive effects of lactate on the heart, liver, and brain.
- Engaging in the 'burn' sensation for just 10% of your workout can have numerous health benefits for your brain, heart, liver and more. Deep breathing during this period can help lactate act as a buffer, fuel and hormonal signal, leading to improved neuron function. While there is little evidence for enhanced neurogenesis in humans, exercise can benefit the brain through hormonal signals such as IGF-one and lactate. Just 10% of your total effort in any one exercise bout is required for the positive effect and specific aspects of muscular contraction can improve muscle hypertrophy and strength.
- Using moderately light to heavy weights can cause changes in nerve and muscle connections, leading to muscle strength and hypertrophy. Following specific parameters, rather than using heavy weights, can greatly increase muscle size and strength. Check out Dr. Andy Galpin's resources for science-based tools.
- Muscles get stronger when stimulated by stress, tension, or damage, triggering a signaling cascade. Resistance exercise builds muscle strength and size and improves bone density, offsetting age-related decline in muscle contractile ability.
- To increase muscle size and strength, focus on isolating specific nerve to muscle pathways and stimulating isolated contractions through challenging specific muscles beyond their natural motion, but this is not recommended for those seeking flexibility or general strength.
- To see the greatest gains in muscle hypertrophy and strength, use weights or resistance bands or body weight between 30-80% of your one repetition maximum. It is necessary to perform sets to failure, and doing enough sets per muscle per week is critical for improvement.
- Performing 5-15 sets of resistance exercise per week, at 30-80% of one repetition maximum and avoiding muscular failure, is ideal for maintaining and increasing muscle strength. Control of contractions and efficient motor unit recruitment determine sets needed. Longer workouts can have negative effects.
- Use bands, weights, or bodyweight for 5-15 sets per week with recovery in-between. Maintain full range of motion and prioritize safety. Increase explosiveness with fast movements and strength with slower movements. Choose exercises based on the desired outcome.
- For explosiveness, use moderate to moderately heavy weights and move them quickly. To improve hypertrophy, isolate muscles and contract them hard. Use hard contractions in-between sets to improve the nerve to muscle connection and optimize testosterone release. Control phone behavior for maximum results.
- Performing six sets of 10 repetitions in compound movements like squats or deadlifts boosts testosterone levels, whereas doing 10 sets of 10 triggers cortisol pathway. Recovery is crucial, and walking between sets and resting 2-6 minutes can maximize work volume.
- Proper cooling techniques and pre-exhaustion can lead to higher volume work and targeted muscle activation. Consider isolation ability, frequency, and goals for optimal set and work distribution. Use HRV, grip strength, and jump height tests to assess recovery.
- Test your grip strength and carbon dioxide tolerance to determine whether your body is ready for workout sessions. Control your breathing by inhaling and exhaling before taking a deep breath to measure carbon dioxide tolerance.
- By measuring your carbon dioxide discard time through intentional breathing, you can gauge your recovery ability and manage stress. A healthy discard time is between 65-120 seconds, and a drop of 15-20% may indicate a lack of recovery. This tool is cost-free and objective, making it an invaluable tool for tracking progress.
- Adjusting the weight and rest time between sets can aid in muscle recovery and focus during training. Avoid using cold as a recovery tool immediately after resistance training, but opt for deep breathing exercises and hypnosis apps to reduce inflammation and promote recovery.
- To reduce inflammation, consume 1000mg or more of EPA, vitamin D, and magnesium malate. Adequate intake of salt, potassium, and magnesium is crucial for nerve to muscle communication and physical performance. Don't forget to replenish electrolytes during exercise.
- Electrolytes, creatine, and beta alanine are scientifically-supported ingredients that can enhance muscle performance, power output, endurance, and reduce fatigue. Ingesting beet juice, arginine, and citrulline can also improve performance for long bouts of exercise by improving vasodilation.
- To avoid herpes cold sore outbreaks, avoid consuming citrulline and arginine. For muscle growth and repair, ingest 700 to 3000 milligrams of leucine with each meal and eat two to four times a day with sufficient amino acids. Finally, exercise can enhance cognitive function.
- Consistent intense physical training can lead to enhanced cognitive focus and overall body and brain health. It is important to control the duration and intensity of training sessions and choose a suitable time of day based on personal preferences and body rhythms.
📝 Podcast Summary
The Importance of Muscles for Health and Longevity
Muscles are not just important for athletic performance but for overall health and longevity as well. The brain to muscle connection is vital for movement, metabolism, posture, and aesthetics. Muscle quality is more important than muscle size for higher metabolism and healthier aging. Understanding how neurons control muscles and how muscles use energy can improve neuromuscular performance, flexibility, and recovery. Nutritional themes, specific exercise regimes, and supplementation can enhance muscle performance. Finally, recovery is essential for improved neuromuscular training. This podcast also covers previous episodes on science-based, neuroscience-based tools for accelerating fat loss and enhancing caloric burn and fat oxidation through shiver-induced techniques and cold exposure.
The Role of Nervous System in Muscle Control and Improvement
The nervous system controls muscles through upper motor neurons, lower motor neurons, and central pattern generators. The nerve to muscle connection creates hypertrophy for larger muscles. Improving endurance, flexibility, and explosiveness is accomplished by engaging the nervous system in specific ways. Movement is the final common path for the nervous system and the brain's main reason for being so large. Muscle control is vital for everyday activities such as breathing, ambulation, and skills of any kind. A protocol for cold plunging to induce shivering and improve muscle recovery is available at thecoldplunge.com. Subscribing to the podcast's YouTube channel is a zero-cost way to support it.
The Science Behind Muscle Movement and Metabolism
Our ability to move and control our muscles is based on the neurons that control flexors and extensors, which move our limbs in opposite directions. These movements are reciprocally innovated or mutually inhibited, and characteristic of most of our limb movements. Glycolysis is the process that breaks down glucose and glycogen into pyruvate producing a little bit of energy. Mitochondria can then create 28 to 30 ATP, which is a lot of ATP if there is enough oxygen available. Muscle movement is metabolically expensive as compared to other tissues, and having more muscle relative to fat means a higher metabolic rate.
The important role of lactate in exercise
Lactate, not lactic acid, promotes optimal muscle function by buffering against acidity, providing fuel, and acting as a hormonal signal. The burn felt during intense exercise signals the presence of lactate, which is vital for continuing muscular contractions. It is important to exercise to the point of intensity where this burn is felt to maximize the positive effects of lactate on the heart, liver and brain. Lactate enhances the function of these organs not only during but also after exercise. Understanding the role of lactate in exercise can provide an important incentive for individuals to engage in physical activity and improve their overall health.
The Benefits of Engaging in the 'Burn' Sensation During Workouts
Engaging the 'burn' sensation for about 10% of your workout can generate lactate based hormonal signals that can improve neuron function, heart, liver and brain health; Deep breathing during the burn period can help lactate act as a buffer, fuel and hormonal signal; While there is little evidence for enhanced neurogenesis in humans, exercise can still benefit the brain through hormonal signals such as IGF-one and lactate; Only about 10% of your total effort in any one exercise bout is required for the positive effect; Specific aspects of muscular contraction can improve muscle hypertrophy and strength.
The Science and Strategies for Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength
Getting stronger doesn't always involve getting bigger muscles, but can help offset age-related decline in muscle strength and posture. The Henan size principle explains how recruiting more motor units can lead to muscle strength and hypertrophy, and using moderately light to heavy weights can cause changes in nerve and muscle connections. Using heavy weights is not necessary for muscle hypertrophy and strength. Adhering to a few key parameters can greatly increase muscle size and strength. Dr. Andy Galpin's YouTube channel and writings provide valuable information on science-based tools for hypertrophy and muscle strength.
The Three Ways Muscles Change and the Importance of Resistance Exercise
Muscles can be stimulated to change in three ways: stress, tension, and damage. The neuron has to tell the muscle to get stronger, and it does that through a triggering a signaling cascade. Myosin, the protein in muscle, gets thicker when muscles undergo sufficient stress, tension, or damage, making muscles larger and stronger. Even if it's just body weight exercises, everyone should do some sort of resistance exercise to offset the age-related decline in muscle contractile ability and improve bone density. Resistance exercise is an efficient way to build muscle strength and size and is beneficial at a whole body level.
Muscle Hypertrophy and Nerve-Muscle Pathways
To generate muscle hypertrophy, it's important to isolate specific nerve to muscle pathways and stimulate isolated contractions through challenging specific muscles in an unnatural way. This is different from getting stronger, which focuses on moving progressively greater loads. To test your upper motor neuron to muscle control, see whether you can mentally or physically isolate and contract muscles to the point of cramping, which indicates a potential for enhancing muscle size and strength. However, muscle isolation is not natural and should be avoided for those seeking to become more supple or stronger. Understanding these nerve to muscle connections is key in determining the best way to train for hypertrophy or strength.
Maximizing the Benefits of Resistance Exercise
To maximize the benefits of resistance exercise, move weights or use resistance bands or body weight in the 30-80% range of your one repetition maximum. Muscle hypertrophy and strength are biased towards these ranges, and performing sets to failure is necessary. For untrained individuals, performing enough sets of a given exercise per muscle per week is key to improvement ranging anywhere from 2 to 20 sets per week. By doing at least five sets per muscle group, one can maintain their muscle, but to see significant gains, the number of sets must increase, depending on the intensity of the workout. Resistance exercise is important for maintaining muscle size, strength, and overall health.
How Many Sets of Resistance Exercise Should You Perform?
Performing 5-15 sets of resistance exercise per week, within the range of 30-80% of one repetition maximum and avoiding muscular failure is scientifically supported for maintaining and increasing muscle strength. The ability to deliberately control contractions and efficiently recruit motor units determines the number of sets needed to achieve desired effect - fewer sets for those who can generate high-intensity contractions. A workout duration of 45-60 minutes is ideal, as longer sessions can lead to detrimental effects like increased cortisol and inflammatory pathways. Individuals who have been training for a while can benefit from higher volume, but excessive volume can be counterproductive for some. Hanaman's size principle should be kept in mind when determining the number of sets for muscles.
Tips for Effective Resistance Exercise
Resistance exercise can be done using bands, weights, or bodyweight. Aim for five to 15 sets per week to train the targeted muscles. Recovery between sessions is important, both at the systemic and local muscle level. Full range of motion is crucial for effectiveness. To increase explosiveness and speed, moving the weights as fast as safely possible is advised. For those wanting to get stronger, slowing down the weights as they get heavier is key to recruiting high threshold motor units. Safety should always be a priority, and technology can assist in monitoring speed of movement. Understanding the goal of training is important to determine the best resistance exercises for each sport or purpose.
Customize Your Resistance Practice Based on Your Goals and Boost Testosterone Levels
Customize your resistance practice based on your needs and goals. Moving weights of moderate to moderately heavy weight quickly is best for explosiveness. To improve hypertrophy, isolate muscles and contract them hard. Hard contractions in between sets for about 30 seconds improve the nerve to muscle connection and enhance hypertrophy. Control your phone behavior to get the most out of your training and other aspects of your life. Resistance exercise increases testosterone levels, and specific protocols can optimize testosterone release.
The Importance of Repetitions and Recovery in Testosterone Increase through Compound Movements
Doing six sets of 10 repetitions with big compound movements like squats or deadlifts leads to big increases in serum testosterone, while doing 10 sets of 10 leads to more of a catabolic cortisol pathway. This protocol can be done twice a week at maximum to maintain the increase in testosterone. Recovery is key to dictating whether or not you can come back and do more work in a different kind of training. Flexing between sets favors hypertrophy, not performance, and walking around has been shown to be beneficial for recovering between sets. Resting for two to six minutes can be beneficial for expanding the volume of work that can be done in a given session at high capacity with a given weight.
Techniques for Effective Workout and Recovery
To achieve higher volume work and build muscle, using proper Palmer cooling techniques can allow for more repetitions and work at a given weight over time. To effectively isolate a muscle before a compound movement, pre-exhausting with isolation work, like leg extensions before squats, can lead to more targeted muscle group activation. It's important to consider factors such as muscle isolation ability, training frequency, and performance goals when deciding on sets and distribution of work. To assess systemic recovery from exercise, three simple tests including HRV-based heart rate variability, grip strength, and jump height can be used. HRV, in particular, is a key metric for measuring nervous system recovery and can be monitored with various wearable devices.
Measuring Grip Strength & Carbon Dioxide Tolerance for Exercise Recovery Assessment
Measuring grip strength and carbon dioxide tolerance can help assess recovery and determine whether or not to train your whole system at all that day. Grip strength relates to your ability to control your lower motor neurons and generate isolated force, while carbon dioxide tolerance measures your capacity to engage the calming aspect of your nervous system and your ability to consciously control your diaphragm. Inhaling deeply and exhaling four times before taking a fifth deep inhale through your nose can be used to measure carbon dioxide tolerance.
Measuring Carbon Dioxide Discard Time for Physical Recovery
Measuring your carbon dioxide discard time can indicate your recovery ability and readiness for physical work, as well as your ability to engage the parasympathetic nervous system and manage stress. By inhaling as much as possible, then exhaling slowly through your mouth, you can measure your carbon dioxide discard time which should ideally be between 65-120 seconds, indicating nervous system recovery. If your discard times drop by 15-20%, you may be veering towards not recovering. The tool is valuable, informative, zero cost, and objective over time. Finish your training sessions by deliberately engaging the parasympathetic arm of the nervous system, possibly using breathing tools, and measure CO2 tolerance in the morning.
Using Physiological Size and Recovery Techniques to Optimize Your Workout
Physiological size between sets can aid in muscle recovery and focus during training sessions. However, using cold as a recovery tool immediately after resistance training may short circuit the benefits gained from the workout. Cold exposure can be beneficial after endurance work, but anti-histamines and non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs can hinder gains from both resistance and endurance training. In order to change nerve to muscle connectivity, a stressor during training associated with inflammation is crucial, while reduced inflammation is necessary after training. Deep breathing and hypnosis apps can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting recovery.
The Role of Omega-3s, Vitamin D, and Electrolytes in Reducing Inflammation and Improving Physical Performance.
To reduce inflammation at a systemic level, it is effective to have a sufficient intake of omega-threes (above 1000mg of EPA per day), vitamin D, and magnesium malate. However, it is important to still stress the muscles enough for change during training. Additionally, having enough salt, potassium, and magnesium is crucial for nerve to muscle communication and physical performance of any kind. Endurance athletes and those who train in high heat understand the importance of electrolyte intake, as it affects mental performance as well. Drinking enough water will not suffice if electrolyte levels are low.
Core Ingredients for Improved Performance
Electrolytes, creatine, and beta alanine are the core three things that seem to improve performance and are well-supported by the scientific literature. Creatine can increase muscle performance and power output by up to 20%, help increase lean mass and reduce fatigue. Beta alanine seems to help with exercise in the 60 to 240 second range, improving muscular endurance, and reducing fatigue. It also has some interesting effects on the reduction of body fat and improvements in lean mass. Ingesting beet juice, arginine, and citrulline can improve performance for long bouts of exercise due to their effects on vasodilation.
Nutrition and Exercise Tips for Optimal Health and Performance
Consuming citrulline and arginine can increase the likelihood of herpes cold sore outbreaks. Ingesting 700 to 3000 milligrams of leucine with each meal is important to support muscle growth and repair. Eating two to four times a day, ensuring sufficient amino acids, supports muscle repair, muscle growth, and strength improvements. There is a relationship between particular kinds of exercise and our ability to think and perform cognitive functions.
The Relationship between Intense Exercise and Cognitive Function
Intense exercise can temporarily reduce the oxygenation in the brain, resulting in reduced cognitive function. It is important to control the duration and intensity of training sessions to prioritize both physical and mental health. By scheduling intense physical training at the same time consistently, the body and brain can learn to predict bouts of intense focused effort, making it easier to focus during non-training times. Training time of day should be chosen based on personal preferences and body rhythms. By developing a consistent routine, athletes can enhance their cognitive focus and benefit their overall body and brain health.