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Motivation & Inspiration

"One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that's trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don't change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you."
- Vanessa Alexander

For your daily dose of motivation, check out my "Motivation" column on WPM Women.

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Welcome to the sixth edition of the RCS Newsletter. This is the start of my fourth week back in training after forced time out from multiple injuries. I am far from 100%, but at least I CAN train again - for which I am thankful. It is very apparent that I have lost the muscle mass that I have worked hard [TWICE!] to gain in my delts and arms. Because muscle mass is very important, especially in maintaining leanness, one of my goals over the next few months is to gain back the muscle my delts and arms - and then some, to be BETTER than I was pre-injury! Several of those I have been working with also want muscle gains, so this edition is dedicated to everything MUSCLE.

This month in the 'Training' section, I have detailed the best exercises for building muscle mass.

In this month's 'Nutrition' section, I have outlined the optimal macronutrient amounts required for muscle growth.

If there is something that you would like to see in this newsletter, please feel free to contact me to share your thoughts and ideas, and I will be happy to include them in future editions.

The first few weeks back or starting training are the hardest, but they're also the most important in setting that foundation for the future. Let's make February the BEST that we can!



The Best Exercises for Muscle Growth

The best exercises for muscle growth are compound, multijoint exercise (ironically, also the best exercises re fat loss). Here are seven essential exercises that you should include in your training programme if your goal is muscle growth.

  1. Squat
    The squat is the king of all exercises. Squats hit most muscle groups in the body, with emphasis on the core and large lower body muscles. The more muscle mass and motor units recruited during an exercise, the better the exercise for musle growth, and the squat is the best of them all.

  2. Deadlift
    If the squat is the king, then the deadlift is the queen - although both exercises can be used interchangeably with the royalty titles. The deadlift hits not just the back, but the entire core, recruiting and strengthening the large lower body muscles, from the shoulder girdle down to your hips and legs, with emphasis on the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and abdominals, strengthening and stabilizing the erector spinae and lower back.

  3. Bench Press
    Another power exercise, the bench press is the primary exercise used to work the pectorals (and to some extent, the anterior deltoids and triceps). As with the squat, the bench press can be performed with many variations to target areas of the chest.

  4. Reverse Bent Over Row
    Next to the lower body, the back is the biggest upper body muscle group, encompassing the entire area from the top of the trapezius down to the hips. Counterbalancing the bench press, the bent over row works the back. Even better than the traditional bent over row is the reverse bent over row, as it recruits more muscles than the former.

  5. Pull-Ups
    After reverse bent over rows, pull-ups are the most complete exercise for back development - especially for the latissimus dorsi - and you hit every part of your back, from the wide part of your trapezius and latissimus dorsi, tapering down to your waist and lower back, just by using a combination of pull-up variations.

  6. Military Press
    Also called a shoulder press, the military press targets the deltoids, and is generally done in a standing position - that way it forces the trainee to stabilize their core, instead of being able to use the bench for support (as they would in a seated military press).

  7. Dips
    Dips are the best exercise you can do for your triceps. Beginners can start off doing bench dips - dips with their hands on a bench, their feet on the floor. Graduate to body weight dips on the dip bars. The experienced trainee can add weight to their dips by either holding a dumbbell between their feet or hanging a plate on a chain on a weight belt.


Taken from the article Macronutrient Composition for Optimal Muscle Growth in the eBook Maximize Your Muscle Growth:


In order to gain muscle mass, one must be in a positive energy balance. To ensure that the weight gain acquired from the resistance training undertaken results in muscle accretion, it is recommended to increase energy intake by ~15% from maintenance (Lambert, Frank & Evans, 2004). Energy is synthesized from the macronutrients carbohydrate, protein, and fat.


Glycogen is the primary fuel utilized during anaerobic, high intensity training (McKardle, Katch & Katch, 2007); therefore adequate carbohydrate intake is necessary to provide energy for resistance training (Lambert, et al., 2004). Muscle damage occurring as a result of resistance training increases the daily carbohydrate intake for optimal muscle glycogen synthesis (Costill, et al., 1990) . . . According to studies done, 5-6g/kg/day of carbohydrate are required for optimal muscle glycogen levels in those looking to gain muscle (Burke, 2006; Lambert, et al., 2004), and it is recommended that carbohydrates make up 55-60% of daily total energy intake (Lambert, et al., 2004).


Protein makes up the major component of the body . . . The building blocks of protein are called amino acids . . . Adequate protein must be available for amino acids to provide protein synthesis (i.e. muscle growth), since muscle is primarily protein and water (Lambert, et al., 2004) . . . According to studies done (Rennie & Tipton, 2000) the general population require only 0.8g/kg/day of protein. Bodybuilders and those trying to gain muscle mass require higher amounts, ranging from 1.0-1.2g/kg/day for those who do their resistance training in a steady-state, and as much as 1.5-1.7 g/kg/day for those who train in the early morning or in a fasted state (Consolazio, Johnson, Nelson, Dramise & Skala, 1975; Rennie & Tipton, 2000; Tarnopolsky, 2006; Tarnopolsky, et al., 1992; Tarnopolsky, MacDougall & Atkinson, 1988; Torun, Scrimshaw & Young, 1977) . . . recommended that protein make up 25-30% of daily total energy intake . . . (Lambert, et al., 2004).


Used in many of the body's mechanisms for survival, one of the primary functions of fats in the body is to synthesize hormones. Testosterone is one of the primary hormones involved in the process of building muscle (Wardlaw & Hampl, 2007) . . . It is recommended that fat make up 15-20% of daily total energy intake (Lambert, et al., 2004), with a minimum of 15% and an upper limit of 30% of daily total energy (Greenhaff, Gleeson & Maughan, 1987; Torun, et al., 1977) . . .

Read the rest of this article here.

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© 2012 Rosie Chee Scott. All Rights Reserved.
Photography courtesy of Dan Ray.