In this post, we’ll unpack the 3 pillars of bodybuilding with the goal of maximising muscle growth, defining what they are, the role they play in optimising muscle growth, how to leverage them and more.
The 3 Pillars Of Bodybuilding
Effective bodybuilding is the result of understanding a number of universal principles, that, when applied successfully, maximise the development of muscle growth.
There are 3 pillars to bodybuilding. They are: Training, Nutrition and Recovery. Below we’ll unpack each of these 3 pillars in more detail.
“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” ― Socrates
Bodybuilding Pillar 1 ― Training
Training is key for providing your muscles with the stimulus they need to tear.
The body is an adaptation machine. Consequently, you must progressively make your muscles work harder ― known as progressive overload. This can be done by either progressively increasing the weight, the number of reps or the number of sets compared to the previous workout.
Resistance training causes microscopic damage to your muscle fibers, which triggers the reparative process termed muscle protein synthesis, in which the damaged fibers are repaired and built back stronger than before. Only when the rate of muscle protein synthesis exceeds the rate of muscle breakdown, muscle growth occurs.
As a general rule, training sessions should last around one hour. It is not hormonally helpful to train longer than an hour.
“The pain you feel today, will be the strength you feel tomorrow.”
Bodybuilding Pillar 2 ― Nutrition
Nutrition is key for providing your muscles with the nutrients they need to repair.
While training breaks down muscle tissue and recovery rebuilds that tissue bigger and stronger, your body can’t create that new muscle tissue out of nothing. In order to develop muscle, you have to have the right nutrients in your body. This means that what you eat and how much you eat is essential.
Nutrition includes diet, supplementation and hydration. It is highly individualised. Therefore, ultimately, the best diet is the one that works best for you.
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates
Bodybuilding Pillar 3 ― Recovery
Recovery is key for providing your muscles with the rest they need to grow.
Research indicates that 90% of muscle repair and growth occurs during sleep. In fact, research shows that sleep deprivation directly inhibits muscle growth and can even cause muscle loss.
Studies suggest the optimum amount of sleep is between 8 and 9 hours.
“Muscle is not built when training ― it’s built when resting.”
Train Smarter, Not Harder
When it comes to bodybuilding, it is better to train for less time but with high quality than for more time with low quality.
Therefore, the key to training smarter and not harder is to increase the intensity of workouts and reduce the duration. Workouts generally shouldn’t last more than an hour unless you are lifting heavy and rest periods are longer.
“You can train long or you can train hard but you can’t do both.” ― Jeff Cavaliere
The three core pillars of bodybuilding are training, nutrition and recovery.
Training is necessary for providing your muscles with the stimulus they need to tear. Nutrition is necessary for providing your muscles with the nutrients they need to repair and grow. Recovery is necessary for providing your muscles with the rest they need to repair and grow.
By understanding and then successfully applying the three pillars of bodybuilding, you will create an environment that is prime for maximising muscle growth, allowing you to ultimately achieve the results you desire.