When it comes to developing muscles, it takes a lot of hard work which not only involves a lot of time spent on exercising but planning healthy meals as well. However, some bodybuilders claim that there is one method to boost the gains for that targeted muscle bulk and growth. This is none other than L-arginine. So, how does L-arginine for bodybuilding work?
Muscle Growth in Bodybuilding
How exactly does muscle growth start? What causes it? The growth of muscles is caused by hyperplasia or hypertrophy, which refers to the increase in muscle size. A boost in the size of the muscle is also due to the growth of muscle fiber size, which is termed as hyperplasia.
Regular heavy training leads to muscle growth. However, the increase in size and diameter of the muscles depends on the frequency and intensity of the training.
Exercises that Helps Build Muscles
While bodybuilders do the heavy lifting to get that targeted muscle size, it is not all about lifting weights. Building muscles for the body are possible without the additional weight. Here are a few exercises to help build muscle and keep the body toned and fit.
In this exercise, stand with the feet apart. Keep the arms either behind the head or straight in front of you. Push the hips and butt backward and bend the knees. Take note to keep the back flat and the chest up. The back should remain neutral throughout the exercise. Squat as low as you can and move back to the starting position. Your weight should be on the heels and not the toes the entire time.
2. Walking or Running
It does not take much to keep the body toned and fit. Take a look at marathon runners or cyclists. Most of what they do involves running or walking, which is an intense cardio workout that requires the use of all the body’s muscles. One trick to taking this exercise up a notch is pulling the navel into the core once walking or running. You’ll feel and see an increase in your strength once you do this. Try to run or slow jog for 30 minutes each day.
Develop core strength by performing crunches. Do this by lying on a carpeted or matted surface. Remember to bend the knees. Also, keep the feet flat on the mat, and cross the arms in front of your chest. Lift the shoulders upwards using only your abdominal muscles. Hold the position once you reach the peak of the movement. Take note that you shouldn’t raise the entire back. Contract the abs and exhale whenever you move upwards. Slowly ease the back downwards and inhale when going back to starting position. Perform at least three to ten sets each day.
For a complete workout of the triceps, core, shoulders, and chest, a push-up is the best exercise. Place the hands flat on the ground, and they should be slightly apart. The hands should be shoulder-width apart. Using your hands and arm muscles, lower your body until the chest only almost touches the ground. Keep the elbows to the sides. Also, tense the abs each time you raise and lower the body.
5. Tricep Dips
Sit at the edge of the chair for this exercise. Place both hands on the seat’s edge with the knuckles pointed forward. Keep the legs in a 90-degree position and the feet pointing outwards. The elbows should be close to the side, and the shoulders positioned downward. This is the starting position. Afterward, bend the elbows slowly into a 90-degree angle. The buttock should also be lowered towards the floor while you bend the elbows. Hold this pose for around three seconds before returning to the starting pose. Remember to keep the pressure on the heels of the hands. Do this two to ten times a day.
Food that Helps Build Muscles
Apart from regular exercise, consuming healthy and well-balanced meals can build muscles. However, not just any food will do. When it comes to gaining muscles, food that is high in protein is the best option. Some of these include the following.
- Greek Yogurt
- Chicken Breast
- Lean Beef
- Turkey Breast
- Cottage Cheese
L-Arginine for Bodybuilding
Many supplements in the market claim to help build muscles, and there is no shortage when it comes to these powder power drinks. However, some bodybuilders have turned to other supplements that do not require being combined with water. This is none other than L-arginine.
L-arginine is one of the important amino acids that naturally occur in the body. Dietary sources of this amino acid include dairy products, whole wheat, red meat, fish, poultry, and nuts. Apart from its benefit in helping boost muscle growth, L-arginine is also used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, congestive heart failure, and high blood pressure.
How Does It Work?
So, how exactly does L-arginine help in building muscles? The amino acid is vital in the synthesis of protein, particularly during the increase in the size of a muscle. L-arginine sends signals to the cells in the muscles that aid in the metabolism of fat and encourage the discharge of growth hormones.
This leads to lean and toned muscle mass most bodybuilders aim for. L-arginine basically reduces fat stored under the skin and promotes muscle growth. Thus, it helps improve strength and increase fitness.
There is no standard dose of L-arginine for bodybuilding. However, most users claim that the best dose to start with is from 2 to 30 grams in a day. The lowest amount is from 3 to 5 grams in a day which should be taken after and before a workout.
After one week of taking the lowest amount, you can increase the amount. However, take note that taking L-arginine should be discontinued after two months of continuous use. You can resume again after two months.
Much like other supplements, it may cause side effects. Notable adverse reactions that are likely to occur include weakness, diarrhea, and nausea.