Muscle catabolism occurs when there are more negative than positive agents working in the body. Muscles are always either growing or shrinking – there is no holding pattern. Stress and poor diet/training/sleep patterns can lead to muscle catabolism, and it results in the bodybuilder-feeling run-down, losing muscle, and gaining fat. How can one escape this catabolic state? Here are a few tips in each of the four major areas (nutrition, supplementation, sleep, and training) for leaving the catabolic state, and entering the anabolic state.
This is the most important aspect of recovery, and therefore leaving the catabolic state. Eat. Eat more. Eat more red meat. Include more simple carbs after training – Very important, as it decreases post-training cortisol production. Eat Oysters. Eat 8 times per day. Eat once during the night. A glass of milk or small whey shake is plenty. Consume fast digesting nutrients like Whey protein. Egg whites are a good substitute for fast absorption. Eat fast digesting nutrients first thing in the morning as well – as your body has just been deprived of nutrients for 5 to 10 hours.
Vitamin C – 1000 mg per day. Zinc – 30 mg per day. Consider glutamine if your budget affords it, although experts argue its effectiveness. Get healthy fats from fish oil. Remember – supplements are only meant to assist your diet, so don’t focus upon supplements until you have your nutritional affairs in order first.
Give yourself eight hours of uninterrupted “lay down” time. Even if your body only needs 6 or 7 hours of actual sleep, the extra time for relaxation will be extremely beneficial. Additionally, reserving an hour for reading/nap during the day is a great way to allow your central nervous system to recuperate, halting cortisol production and allowing muscle growth to occur.
Train Smarter. Employ heavy, intense training sessions. Keep them under 60 minutes, and only train 4 days per week. Use forced reps, training to failure, and negatives to force your muscles to adapt to an increasing workload. Always use a spotter when engaging in heavier training regimens.
Essentially, one enters a catabolic state when not enough of one of the vital resources – nutrition, supplements, sleep, or training – is available. Improve the quality of these four areas and watch your body return to growth!
Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for http://www.BodybuildingToday.com
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