Exercise Q & A with Michael Carrera Exercise Q & A with Michael Carrera Q: Do you gain muscle while you exercise? A: The myth that you gain muscle while you exercise has existed in the inner circles of fitness enthusiasts for years. In order to gain muscle, you must engage in regular resistance training exercise two to four times per week (three times per week is ideal). When a muscle is inflicted with the stress of a workout session, it undergoes a process known as the General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS (no pun intended). A workout session assists in breaking down the muscle fibers and in time with proper rest and food intake, the body heals, repairs and grows. Q: How long does the body take to heal after exercise? A: Depending on how hard you push yourself during a workout, usually within a day or so after you exercise, the body adapts and becomes stronger and wiser and better able to tackle the next workout session. Our bodies recover more quickly from low to moderate cardiovascular workouts such as walking, running or cycling as compared to resistance training, which is why cardio activity is recommended on a daily basis. If another resistance training session occurs prior to the healing and growth of muscles, your results can be stunted. Habitually training beyond your bodyâ€™s level of comfort can lead to overtraining. Training with weights every other day is a good way of assuring you give your body adequate time to heal Q: How about if you want to do resistance training four to five times per week? A: If want to train with weights more than three times per week, I would recommend following a split routine which alternates the muscle groups you exercise. You can follow an upper body/lower body split or divide the muscle groups further such as chest, back, biceps and abdominals on one day followed by legs, shoulder and triceps on the second day. You can then repeat each workout twice per week. Q: How can you help the healing process? A: To help the healing process, eat something light with a healthy combination of protein and carbohydrates, maybe a delicious smoothie immediately after your workout to kick-start the healing process and the building of lean muscle mass. Also, taking a high potency multi-vitamin, vitamin C and an antioxidant mixture will help you recover. After your weight workout, stretch your muscles throughout the day to increase blood flow and the delivery of nutrients. This article was originally published on Truestar Health, www.truestarhealth.com. Reprinted with permission from Truestar Health 2006.