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Science of Muscle Growth, Increasing Strength & Muscular Recovery | Huberman Lab Podcast #22


In this episode I describe how our brain and nervous system control muscle tissue and how to leverage that for muscle maintenance, growth (hypertrophy) and recovery. I explain muscle metabolism and muscle fiber recruitment. I detail protocols for increasing muscular growth and for neuro-muscular recovery. I explain the effects of deliberate cold, anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-histamines on training progress. I describe science-supported protocols using certain weight load ranges, total sets per week, training intensity, frequency, and in-between set activities if one's goal is to increase muscle growth, strength or endurance. I review three foundational compounds and nutrients and three optimization compounds and nutrients that have been shown to improve neuro-muscular performance. Finally, I explain how to leverage exercise and weight training to enhance cognitive function.

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00:00:00 Introduction
00:10:58 Protocol For Fat Loss: (Zero-Cost) PDF Available At:
00:12:45 Muscle Is A Slave To the Nervous System
00:16:22 Why We Have A Brain
00:17:38 Flexors, Extensors, & Mutual Inhibition
00:20:00 How Muscles Move, Making & Using Muscle Energy: Making ATP
00:23:29 The “Burn” Is Not Lactic Acid. Lactate: A Buffer (Prevents Acidity), Fuel, & Hormone
00:26:11 Feeling the Burn For 10% of Workouts Is Good For Brain, Heart, Liver
00:27:30 Leveraging Lactate To Enhance Brain Function
00:29:40 Breathing Properly Through “The Burn”— For Sake of Performance & Brain Function
00:30:47 Neurogenesis (New Neurons) & Exercise: Not Much, In Humans… Which Is Good.
00:33:39 How To Contract Muscles, Make Them Bigger and/or Stronger: Henneman’s Principle
00:36:58 A Large Range of Weight (30-80% of One Repetition Maximum) Can Be Used
00:38:58 What Makes Muscles To Grow? Stress, Tension, & Damage; Myosin Balloons
00:45:22 Figuring Out Which of Your Muscles Will Grow & Get Stronger Easily (Or Not)
00:48:11 Getting Stronger Versus Muscle Growth: Distributed Versus Local Effort
00:50:47 How Much Resistance Should (Most) People Use? (30-80% Range) & Specific Goal
00:54:25 How Many Sets Per Week To Maintain Or To Grow Muscle & Get Stronger
00:56:43 10% Of Resistance Training Should Be To “Failure”, the Rest Should End “Near” Failure
00:58:23 Number of Sets: Inversely Related To the Ability to Generate High Force Contractions
01:00:09 How Long Should Weight Training Sessions Last
01:01:35 Training Duration & Volume
01:03:51 Range of Motion & Speed of Movement; The Key Role of (Upper Motor) Neurons
01:08:10 Customizing Training; 1-6 Month Experiments; Key Elements Summarized
01:09:28 Focal Contractions Between Sets To Enhance Hypertrophy, Not Performance
01:11:26 The Optimal Resistance Training Protocol To Optimize Testosterone Release
01:16:00 How Quickly To Complete Repetitions; Interset Rest Times & Activities; Pre-Exhaustion
01:20:43 Tools To Determine If You Have Recovered From Previous Training: Local & Systemic
01:26:33 Carbon Dioxide Tolerance Test For Assessing Recovery
01:32:43 The Way To End Every Training Session. How To Breath Between Sets For Performance
01:34:46 How & When To Use Cold Exposure To Enhance Recovery; When To Avoid Cold
01:36:37 Antihistamines & Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Can Be Problematic/Prevent Progress
01:38:42 Foundational Supplements For Recovery: EPA, Vitamin D3, Magnesium Malate
01:41:08 Ensuring Proper Nerve-Muscle Firing: Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium
01:45:00 Creatine: Good? How Much? Cognitive Effects. Hormonal Considerations: DHT
01:50:12 Beta-Alanine, Beet Juice; Note About Arginine & Citrulline & Cold Sores
01:52:00 Nutrition: Protein Density: Leucine Thresholds; Meal Frequency
01:55:54 Why Hard Workouts Can Make It Hard To Think/Do Mental Work
01:57:25 Leveraging Weight Training & Rest Days To Optimize Cognitive Work
01:58:58 What Time Of Day Is Best To Resistance Train?
01:59:40 More Information Resources, Subscribing (Zero-Cost) To Support

Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac -

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Up next

Muscle Energy for Sterno-Clavicular Joint
27 Jun 2022
Muscle Energy for Sterno-Clavicular Joint
newadmin · 0 Views