Iron man Iron Man USA August 2017 f - Page 72

IM HARDGAINER WORKOUT BUILDING SLOW-GROWING TRICEPS By Michael Schletter, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D Everything you need to know about building your triceps but were afraid to ask. E veryone is given a ge- netic gift when it comes to growing muscle. Some guys have ripped abs no matter what and some guys have biceps that grow like weeds. However, for every gift one is given, there will be one body part that doesn’t grow like the rest of them. Usually, this is out of plain old neglect (yes, I’m looking at you gym “bros” who don’t do legs), but sometimes it just seems like the part you want to grow the most is the one that just never does, regardless of how hard you work on it. For many, that’s the triceps. The Science Behind Your Guns First, let’s review some basic human biol- ogy. To build muscle, you need to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis (the creation of muscle proteins and thus big- ger muscles) above the rate at which your body is breaking it down. The biological pathway that signals the body to build more muscle is called mTOR, and that pathway is controlled by your blood amino acid profile – that’s how much of each amino acid is circulating in your blood at any given time. The most important amino acid involved with this pathway is leucine. Leucine ac- tivates the mTOR pathway. Unfortunately, no amount of working out will magically cause your body to increase blood levels of leucine. In fact, leucine is one of the three amino acids your body simply can’t synthesize, so it’s therefore called an es- sential amino acid. Sorry vegans, you can’t get it without a protein supplement. Leu- cine can be found in most animal-based protein products (like chicken, eggs, beef, fish, etc) and is also sold as a branched- chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement. It’s usually delivered in combination with 70 AUGUST 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com