Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Muscles Don't Grow in the Gym...

Muscle growth does not take place in the gym and on the other hand neither does weight loss.  The body will change through the process of consistent productive exercise, proper nutrition, and adequate rest/recovery. I have witnessed on many occasions where you see the guys lifting weights and checking out their muscles in the mirror to see if there was any immediate change. Maybe if they looked harder or squinted their eyes, you might see something. Also to be fair I also see the ladies checking their weight several times throughout their workout to see if the scale will show any changes. What people don't seem to understand is that the actual process of change takes place outside the gym when you are eating clean, recovering/resting, and sleeping adequately.  So lets go more in depth.

Inside the Gym
When you are working out in the gym what you are actually doing is attempting to stimulate your body in order to get a response. Nothing happens without stimulus. Exercise is that stimulus. You are trying to force your body to safely change due to the stress you placed it under. For adaptation to occur, the body must be confronted with a stressor or some form of stress that creates the need for response. This involves all the resistances training and  cardiovascular conditioning.  So working out is like planting seeds.  However if those seeds aren't watered properly and/or don't receive the proper nutrients then the desired results cannot be expected to be achieved.  In addition it is important to be aware not to overdue the seed planting as a whole.  There is a such thing as "over training", which occurs when the body is put under excessive stress and can cause injury and overall body system breakdown.  So its important to give a good effort in your training but overdoing it won't get you any closer to your goal, it will actually delay results.

Outside the Gym
So in layman's terms what this means is that we need to focus on watering, resting, and the feeding process outside of the gym. The workout is not over once you leave the training facility.  It actually has just begun.  Generally speaking a workout is about 30 - 60 minutes that leaves about 23 hours left for sleeping, eating, and other physical activities take place outside of the gym. These activities are critical in making sure that the 30-60 minutes of training will not be all in vain. Constantly applying stress can lead to over training and serious side effects. In addition not getting the proper rest and food in your system is just as important.

So clean eating plays a key role as well. Do you think your body will be able to adapt and recovery better from the stress of exercise from fries, chips, doughnuts and soda or lean protein, water, healthy fats, and fruits and veggies? The food we eat is used to build new cells and lay down new stronger muscle tissue in our body. There is no way around it.  In addition to proper nutrition, adequate rest and recovery is paramount.  Giving the muscular system and other body systems time to re-calibrate and repair from the stress prevents injuries, puts the body in the best state to burn fat, and improves performance.

So the take away message is to understand that most or more of the focus needs to be placed on what all of us do outside of the gym. You cannot out train poor nutrition. Don't even try it. So don't work hard in the gym and then do the direct opposite outside of the gym. You deserve better for all your hard work - so just focus on being better in and outside of the gym.

EDUCATION and SAFETY always lead to RESULTS.

Yours in good health and spirit.

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