Somebody asked me in the gym about “anabolic environment” and if it be achieved by a natural? You see the word “anabolic” seem to get tied up with drugs these days that people tend to forget that the word “anabolism” is simply a medical term for a biological process that occurs in the body with or without pharmaceutical help.
Of course I replied with “yes” it can be and it is not that difficult although it may take some discipline. One can produce an anabolic environment in his body for his muscles to grow effectively and legally.
Now when I say “legally” that means by not using any drugs or steroids. Don’t misunderstand that I think Steroids should be illegal in the first place. I don’t advice the use of Steroids but I think making it illegal and witch-hunting users and pushers is just plain stupid and costly to the taxpayers who are paying for the whole stupidity. Around 50% of prisoners are jailed for steroid-related cases and tell me whose money is used to get them there and feed them while they are there?
Now let’s get on with some simple tips on how to create an anabolic environment for your muscles to grow:
Sleep – If you are planning to build muscle, don’t forget to get at least 8-10 hours of “quality” sleep per day. Upon sleep your body goes into an anabolic overdrive and goes full blast on repairs that need to be done- those repairs include building more muscle mass above micro-traumas.
Consider sleep as equivalent to the “maintenance period” of passenger monorails that usually goes when the stations are closed. The trains need to go offline for the repairs and maintenance. You cannot fix them while they’re running and there is just no getting around that fact. Be deprived of sleep; be deprived of growth.
Avoid any Endurance activities – studies have demonstrated that endurance athletes have lower testosterone levels when compared to sedentary individuals ( Strüder et al., 1998;Maïmoun et al., 2003) – imagine that? Endurance and aerobic activities are good only when your goal is “endurance”. Since for endurance athletes excessive muscle growth would be detrimental to performance; try running a triathlon with 250 pounds of lean muscle mass!
If your goal is muscle growth, better steer away from any type of aerobics and endurance type activities so that you will stimulate your body to do the “right” type of adaptation – and with that I mean the type of adaptation that you need which is increases testosterone and increased muscle growth.
Sprints instead of marathons – this is related to the last item. We now know that endurance cannot be good for building muscle but we must also know that sprinting and HIIT are also great for testosterone. Studies show that HIIT or sprinting can increase free testosterone reuptake and that only means more testosterone for you and for me.
Use whole body moves – I might even go as far as saying that you should squat before beginning any workout. Studies have also found that those whole body lifts: (bench presses, Squats and any deadlifting type moves) tend to increase testosterone levels like what we mentioned in a past post. (J-Appl Physiol, 96:531-539, 2004)
The take-home message is this: in any workout you must at least do a squatting type, a deadlifting type, or any standing over head pressing type of moves. Any type of high CNS-involvement moves basically counts as good testosterone booster and must be included in any workout (see this post for a complete list).
Limit your Time inside the gym – I am not to make you paranoid about overtraining. But to be able to derive any type of muscle gains, you must see to it that you will be doing the most amount of work within the shortest period of time.
Someone who is doing above 20 sets per body part is obviously not working very hard per set and is only one step ahead of the aerobic heads. And to be able to grow huge muscles you need to make your muscles work hard EVERY set because that is how you want them to adapt.
Make each and every workout efficient. No redundant moves for example – you already did flat bench presses, there is no point in doing dumbbell flat bench anymore. What you must do however is to really work hard to failure on your flat bench and make it count. Applying intensity moves on the major moves is also a great way to stimulate growth in the least amount of time. I wrote a post recently about 45 minute workouts please check that out.
It is also worth mentioning that the longer your workout is – the more cortisol and catabolic chemicals flood your system. So it is wise to limit your workout in just under an hour to make sure that you benefit from the testosterone surge and your progress not be halted by cortisol.Follow @AboutLifting
Think of it like fishing – reeling in too strong and you risk breaking the line; too weak and you will be overpowered by the fish. Remember that this is not a marathon – you are basically training your muscle to exert the most amount of force in the least amount of time but at the same time you need to make sure that you get enough time under tension in your sets.
Stay hydrated – I cannot overstate the importance of water in keeping you in an anabolic state. 75-80% of your muscles are water just to say the least. Being deprived of water will instantly send your body signals that it needs to limit muscle growth because there is not enough water to sustain it.
If you are or have been an avid strategy games gamer you have probably heard or seen the warning sign:
“Not enough water to build new unit”
-you don’t want that to happen when your body tries to “build” bigger muscles and your body replies:
“NOT ENOUGH WATER TO BUILD NEW MUSCLES!!”
Cholesterol is king – No I am not telling you to eat more McDonald’s; On the other hand you must get as much “good cholesterol” as you can. What do I mean by that: anything that came from real, home-cooked foods are essential. For example steaks, avocados, fish belly, etc.Follow @AboutLifting
Read this post for the scientific evidence that you need cholesterol.
Cholesterol is basically the main ingredient of testosterone – and WITHOUT testosterone you can forget all about “muscle gains” because you’re not going to have them.
Egg yolks are perfect source of T-friendly cholesterol and they are heart friendly as well since they are high density fats – HDLs get rid of the “plaques” of fat that accumulate in your arteries. Furthermore eggs contain an ample amount of Omega 3 which serves to balance your omega 3/omega 6 intake ratio. That is very important since all of the foods you consume right now are filed with omega 6 which ruins your body’s processes and causes unnecessary inflammation.
Therefore: get your fats from natural animal sources, fishes, fish oils, egg yolks, avocados, flaxseed oil and Medium chained triglycerides like Virgin Coconut oil.
If you are worried about getting fat please rest assured that fat intake doesn’t necessarily equate to fat gain. What equates to fat gain is inactivity and eating fast foods and binge-eating with junk foods, not drinking enough water and drinking soda (we tend to drink more soda than water). Just eliminating those and lifting weights properly will get you burning fat and building muscle in no time.
So I hope you have anything to add if so then put them below in the comments section. I guess the above points lead to more reason why you should eat your eggs, people!