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This is why your workout isn’t actually making you stronger

There’s nothing more frustrating nor demoralising than hitting the gym solidly since your New Year’s resolution and not seeing any difference.

Sure that Christmas weight dropped off pretty rapidly, but despite swigging protein shakes in the morning and gym bro-ing in the evening, you still don’t look like Chris Pratt.

If he managed it to take it from Parks and Rec to Guardians of The Galaxy, why ain’t it happening for you?

Probably because your training is all wrong.

While that cardio routine is shifting the flab, it’s not going to add bulk. Let’s be real, there’s a reason why lifting Mjolnir gives Thor Adonis-like guns. 

Although it’s not new news that resistance training will give you the double whammy of kicking pounds and making gains, a new study has explained the exact reason why it’s the winning combo for muscle mass.

Research from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland discovered that both endurance exercise (like running and cycling) and resistance exercises (that’s the stuff you get up to in the weights room) activate the same gene, PGC-1a - but they affect your muscles completely differently.

The PGC-1a protein is the bit of the PGC-1a gene that turns processes on or off, or speeds thing up and slows things down (stick with us).

When it came to muscle building, the study found that only when subjects did resistance exercise did the protein activate genes that stimulated muscle growth. Endurance exercise triggered genes that stimulated growth of new blood vessels and thus increased endurance.

But it was only following resistance exercise that the gene that promoted blood vessel growth as well as a gene that encourages muscle growth.

Ergo, in English, if want muscle do resistance. Because genes.

Next time you’re in the gym, ditch the treadmill and head to the weights room. Make sure you nail the ‘big four’ with squats, deadlifts, bench presses and shoulder presses.

If you start getting bored of them, throw in some chin-ups and rows to mix it up. Just be sure to keep your pulling and pressing actions equal throughout your workout for best results.

Go full Calvin Harris and take it from skinny to stacked. Hanging around in your underwear post-workout is optional. 

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