How Muscles Work - Basics

Before you begin any workout routine, it's essential that you understand how the muscles work. I won't get into a long and drawn out explanation, you can go over to How Stuff Works if you want the medical explanation, but I promised you I'd keep it straight forward here.

Basically, your muscle is made up of fibers and within these fibers, cells slide back and forth across each other. You have three types of muscles. Skeletal (which we we'll be discussing on this blog), smooth (digestive system), and cardiac (your heart).

Your skeletal muscles have fast twitch and slow twitch abilities. Fast twitch for speed and power, and slow twitch for endurance. Since we aren't going to be training our muscles to lift weights for longer that two minutes, we'll be concentrating on the fast twitch side of things.

Your fast twitch system works in two parts. First, your strength enzyme system, which depletes it's store of energy in a few seconds. Second, your burst power enzyme system which kicks in after that and depletes it's store in less than two minutes.

Our bodies are amazing works. However, the body is efficient and doesn't work any harder than it has to. People are overweight because their body is efficient. They put in more energy than their body uses, so it stores it up. The same can be said for your muscles. They won't grow past their routine requirement. Our muscles grow if we place increased demands on them in dynamic ways. Simple as that.

So that's the basics of how muscles work for beginners. I'll go into depth next time about what needs to go into your body for the maximum chemical reaction benefit and why it's so important. Until then, stay tuned and happy training!