Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going Catabolic

The bodybuilding lifestyle has a tendency to be extreme. Guys eat every 2.5 hours and carry a gallon jug of water with them at all times. Everything in life can revolve around the training time and the umpteen times during the day guys use for re-feeding and re-fueling periods.

Social events are dismissed or postponed if they interfere with a planned workout or if one is one a cutting phase to get ripped for a competition. Relationships can suffer as a result of the extra "sacrifices" made in the quest for more quality muscle.

Over the years I've heard many theories of things that can be done to keep the muscles growing. Trying to keep the body in an anabolic state, just a fancy way of saying to keep the body in a state where it is growing, is a priority. The opposite of anabolic is catabolic and that is the bodybuilder's worst nightmare. If you go catabolic, your muscles are wasting away and therefore shrinking or staying the same. No bodybuilder wants to go catabolic -- ever!

Sadly many guys live in fear of going catabolic. I've read how some guys say the body goes catabolic overnight because you haven't eaten in a few hours. If you don't eat immediately upon arising, you risk losing muscle. Heaven forbid! To prevent that, some guys drink a protein shake in the middle of the night. They even set their alarm!

Here's my advice to that: don't be an idiot! Sleeping is one of the best things you can do to promote muscle growth. Don't screw it up by setting your alarm and deprive yourself of growth-producing REMs. The same crew might want to cut back on water later in evening too so you can sleep through the night without going pee.

As for going catabolic upon arising, you can wait a bit to eat without worrying about your muscles shrinking. The body is much more efficient than bodybuilding "experts" give it credit. If you're hungry and want to eat first thing, go ahead. If you want to shave, shower and get ready first and maybe read the morning paper or check Facebook or e-mail, go ahead. Those few minutes are not going to make one bit of difference. Enjoy life a little and ease up. Trust me. You'll be okay... and your muscles won't look any different.