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In the past I’ve written that muscle mass generally is not a result of surplus caloric intake but mechanical stimulus from resistance training or anything that requires higher muscle tension.
There are complex pathways influencing the rate of muscle turnover — and this rate can push the balance in favor of either muscle growth or muscle loss, or somewhere in between.
Some factors influencing this balance include inflammation, adequate nutrition (though not excessive calories), repeated and progressive muscle tension, and rest.
Essentially, though, strength training delivers the primary signal to push the balance toward more muscle mass. Muscle-protein turnover rate, in response, favors more muscle.
Muscle preservation is another factor contributing to overall muscle mass. The greater the preservation, the less likely the muscle loss during the natural turnover process — and therefore the greater the chance of muscle gain.
I’ve also written about how growth hormone stimulates fatty acid metabolism (fat release and utilization for energy), but I haven’t talked much about how it also spares muscle mass… not just glycogen-sparing, not stored-protein-sparing, but actual muscle mass. Growth hormone preserves muscle mass.
Fasting has been shown to increase natural growth hormone significantly, which stimulates healthy energy balance and preserves muscle mass, influencing not just metabolic health but also the longevity of physical function, or creating a healthy foundation for increased muscle mass.
Intermittent fasting, it’s not just for fat loss.