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Mountain muscles

So you want to build BIG muscles. What should you do? Lift BIG weights, right?


Building muscle...the easy way...

A new study in the United States has shown that lifting much lighter weights can work just as well. The key is to lift the weights until your muscles get really tired (go into fatigue). The size of the weight doesn’t seem to matter. Lifting a light weight 24 times is just as effective as struggling to lift a heavy weight five times. What you must do is lift the weight until you cannot lift it any more. This puts your muscles into a state of fatigue and it is this that triggers the body into making more muscle protein which is used to grow bigger muscles.


This could be quite useful for body builders, weight lifters and other power athletes. Most importantly, it could be used to treat people who are recovering from a serious injury or disease. Because they have reduced muscle mass, they need to build muscle quickly with the minimum risk of damaging the muscles they already have.

Building muscles for hikers

In the summer time, some long-distance skiers walk around with a walking pole in each hand. They do this because there is no snow around and they need to keep up their exercise. This might seem a bit strange, but new a new study has shown that walking poles really do make a huge difference to a hiker’s performance.

Walking poles

Where's the proof

Scientists asked two groups of active and fit people to hike up and down Snowdon, the tallest mountain in Wales. Each group ate the same breakfast and carried the same weight in their back packs. Each person’s muscle damage and function was recorded over three days. The results were quite surprising. The group with the poles didn’t lose as much strength and recovered faster. They also reported less soreness in their muscles.

This is great news if you want to spend days hiking in the mountains. Take your walking poles and you will probably find you can go much further and feel much better at the end of the day. What’s more, if you have a really serious challenge like climbing several peaks in day or hiking up Kilimanjaro, the poles may give you just the edge you need to succeed.

Reaching the top

The big questions:

How does your body know to build more muscle?

What is the best and safest way of muscle building?

How can I reduce the soreness after a workout?

How can I hike further and faster with less fatigue?