TIP#1.3 Get Catabolic For More Gains…?

A common mistake to make while in pursuit of a fitness goal is to think that you must always be 'anabolic' to make progress, to grow, to get stronger and bigger. While anabolism is a big part of this, the opposing process - named 'catabolism' - is greatly underestimated and hugely important as well if you wish to attain head turning results. The fact is that Anabolism is powered by catabolism, and you can't have one without the other.

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Anabolism is the building up of molecules and cells in the body to make larger structures and Catabolism is the breaking down of molecules in the body into smaller units. One process we want catabolism for in-relation to health and fitness results, is the breakdown of fat molecules into energy that can power anabolic processes - like building muscle. Without the release of vital energy to power anabolism, no cell building can occur. So, it makes sense to maximise catabolism as much as possible so we can build and repair muscle damage, get bigger, stronger, fitter and leaner.

One hormone that is especially relevant to muscle growth is GH - Growth Hormone. Generally speaking GH is nearly always described as an anabolic hormone, due to its effect on cell growth. However, it has very powerful catabolic type tendencies, namely involved in using stored fat. GH coaxes fat to be released into the blood stream and transported to the muscles to be used as energy for muscle building. So, although not directly involved in the breakdown of fat into energy, it plays a vital role in the re-direction of fat in the body. Growth Hormone can be maximised through optimal sleep - (see this article here for more info on optimal sleep) - intense exercise and a high protein, low carb diet. GH is also released due to the stress of a hard workout, when the body is in need of energy for repair. Insulin interferes with GH so waiting a while before eating, up to 30-60mins after working out can improve the 'fat burning' effect of the workout, and provide energy to begin repair, along with the protein already in your blood from your last meal.

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Catabolism is also extremely important for not only growth but for maintaining cells as well, through the release of chemical energy. So, as we've learnt in previous articles, the key to building muscle, getting stronger and burning fat is mastering the maintenace of existing muscle, we can now understand further the relevance of catabolism in our bodies. Chemical energy is the result of catabolic hormones like cortisol, glucagon, and adrenaline breaking down molecules through processes like glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and gluconeogenesis. There are also many more hormones that show they have catabolic effects. Even the lactic acid build up you feel in your muscles while exerting yourself through exercise is a result of oxidation - a catabolic process. Catabolism is all around us and deserves to be recognised as something just as positive as Anabolism. Without taking full advantage of the catabolic hormones, we can never achieve our elite dream physiques!

Here are some things to avoid if you want to improve the potency of Catabolism; Go to bed very late every night, eat excessive amounts of carbohydrate every day, working out with Low Intensity and within your comfort zone, eating a huge meal immediately after exercising, eating a very small amount of protein each day, not eating healthy fats, eating junk food, drinking a lot of alcohol, working out too often and/or for too long. Like it or not, your body can never stay anabolic 24hrs of the day, there will always be catabolism occuring at some point, but this is actually exactly what we need. Fluctuating from anabolism and catabolism is natural and it's how the body repairs and regenerates - so take full advantage of catabolism for more gains!

Thanks for reading

Matt

NOTE: See article "TIP#3 Eating Well Will Change Your Life" to learn more about constructing a muscle building diet.

#catabolism #recovery #recover #tip13 #anabolism

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