Are you exercising LOTS but still not losing weight?

Do you frequent the gym, park or pool an hour or more four to 6 times weekly but still can’t shift the flab or build muscle? Maybe you need to learn about anabolism and catabolism.

Why The Grinding Weight Loss Halt?

Often associated with being athletic, being an exercise junkie and a gym user summons the image of muscle growth and losing weight.

You train because we want to lose weight effectively, get stronger, faster or to prevent or repair injuries.

But do you consider your muscles to be in a state of either growth or degeneration during your training cycle?

During phases of adaptation (after your workout) you will adapt to the training load that has been imposed.

This muscle building is called anabolism or anabolic – recovery. The ideal environment within the body for anabolic adaptations to take effect are those of low stress, correct hormone balances and a plentiful supply of nutrients.

Very intense exercise and proper recovery is the best way to create an anabolic environment in the body.

Catabolism or a catabolic environment in the body is observed when muscle is physically broken down by the external training stress, lack of stimuli (sedentary lifestyle or a plaster cast), long periods without proper nutrition or during and after long steady exercise sessions.

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) taken from the muscle itself can also be used by the body as a fuel source if no alternative BCAAs are provided through nutrition. This is usually seen in long endurance events over 3 hours duration.

If you train day in – day out, doing the same routine, at a moderate pace or intensity it is likely you are experiencing general adaptive syndrome, you are in a state of catabolism and your muscles and nervous system aren’t being stimulated.

Remedy this by keeping your workouts short and very intense. Lift heavy things, sandbags, water-butts and body weight exercises; use hills in your running to work against gravity; and use weights in the gym incorporating compound exercises like the deadlift.

What’s intense Exercise?

Well, intense is different for everyone, and it’s a great idea to build into intensity over weeks, so your ligaments can adapt. Progress your training through a cycle of endurance (probably you are here already), then hypertrophy, strength and finally my faveourite – power!

Below is a table of intensity to give you an idea of what you have been doing.

Training Phase% 1RMRep Range
Endurance<67% 1RM>12
Hypertrophy>67% to >85% 1RM7-12
Strength>90%1-6
Power10%-30%Explosive

In a training year or month, float in and out of different intensities to keep your body adapting, muscles and nervous system stimulated, and benefit from EPOC calories as a result of training in the higher intensity zones. Use the Borg scale to gauge your exercise intensity too.

If you do this, you will lose weight far more effectively, and you’ll soon have the lean and healthy body you really want and deserve. You will likely re-ignite your enthusiasm for exercise too!

Have a great workout!

Nico.

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