The term anabolic has routinely been used in the past to describe hard-core training targeted for bodybuilders. This belief has put off many individuals from adopting its use as the goals of many gym-goers is to tone and define muscle rather than build. Also anabolic steroid use is also associated with “illegal drugs” used to synthetically enhance muscles so its overall global condemnation has encouraged health-conscious people to eliminate the term anabolic from their vocabulary.
What few athletes forget, however, is that it is possible to switch your body into anabolic mode without the use of drugs and in a natural and safe way. Anabolic simply means building muscle derived from protein sources, usually ingested through normal foodstuffs, such as poultry and fish produce or protein powder, as a supplement. Catabolic on the other hand, is the breaking down of such protein.
Are Endurance Workouts Beneficial for Building Muscle?
If you are someone who prefers to run long-distance races, such as marathons or prefer long cardio workouts to strength training, the likelihood is that your body will resort to breaking down your muscles as a source of energy. The cells within the body have to be replenished with the correct type and amount of nutrients in order to reverse this trend. A balanced diet including substantial amounts of protein are required to help build muscle and a small meal digested before a workout will help to stimulate lean muscle growth.
Anabol ic training is another way of describing a training plan for building muscle mass and should not continue to scare people into believing otherwise. The amount of muscle mass you require depends on the types of exercises your perform and what you eat before and after you train but also when you wake up and before going to sleep. There is a stigma that eating multiple portions of protein throughout the day will help to build lean muscle and it is sometimes difficult and expensive to consume the amount of grams per body weight required, especially if you are into bodybuilding. For this reason many athletes supplement their meals with protein powder.
Best Training to Achieve an Anabolic State
Many experts will tell you that doing too few sets in weight training will not produce the desired effects and neither will too many. The ideal number of total repetitions in order to see satisfactory results is between 40-70 for each muscle group. This can easily be obtained by doing 2 exercises for each muscle with 3 sets x 10-12 reps. It is important to use a weight which is on the heavy side but one which you can perform well enough without having to struggle with towards the end.
The aftermath of a heavy weights workout with enough reps will guarantee that your muscle building efforts will continue to work up to 48 hours post-workout, which also means that your body will continue to burn calories within that time period.
Nutrients are conveyed within your body through a healthy diet and will help to trigger an anabolic state. Starving yourself or even fasting (unless this is intermittent) can have the opposite effect and you will then be leaning towards catabolism. Sufficient carbs and protein are vital for your body during anabolism.
After a heavy workout your body needs adequate rest. Training the same muscle group on successive days is not recommended as we have already determined that the effects can last until 48 hours have passed. Muscles being targeted during similar workouts are subjected to such force that muscle tears are quite common. This is even more reason for you to obtain the necessary rest.