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The Ultimate Folly After Your Workout!
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The Ultimate Folly After Your Workout!

I see time and time again; people workout very heavy, determined to loose weight and build lean muscle. They work themselves to the point of exhaustion, and put some good wear on their muscles. Then they go home to bed and eat nothing.

Let me say this; this is the ultimate in foolishness. I will take it a step further and point fingers. Ladies, you are the worst for it. I am not sure why women love to workout extremely hard then starve themselves, but I implore you to stop. Men who do this, I say pull your head out of your ass and give your head a shake.

There seems to be this idea you need to starve yourself in order to build lean muscle. What folly! You need to get in protein! Allow me to break it down for you in a really abridged, simply, lowest common denominator kind of way. When we workout we rip our muscles on the microscopic level (hopefully that is all). Even aerobic training will cause this wear on the muscles and joints. Anaerobic training will especially cause this type of wear. In both cases, this is exactly what you want. You want the muscle to come back stronger, or more toned, or bigger.

Depending on the type of exercise you were doing, you will build either fast twitch or slow twitch muscle fibers. The body will repair itself and build new fibers and fix the damaged ones. This allows to body change. You will loose fat as well during the process (provided you are not carb addicted or carb loading to excess). But here is where the foolish fail; they do not get the protein needed to build and repair muscle.

I believe the primary reason for this is a persons obsession with the scale. Scale obsession is foolishness (unless you are trying to make weight to fight). My advice is don't look at the scale for a month. Yes, that is right, A MONTH! Don't be like a dog on a bone, fixated, and unable to shift your conscientiousness to a higher way of thinking. Obviously if things were working for you, you would see and feel the results right?

Here is how it works; you need to intake protein in order for the body to break it down into amino acids. Your body recombines the amino acids into usable proteins for your body. The body then takes those proteins and uses them to build muscle fibers. Those muscle fibers build, replace and repair the muscles you need, because you injured them on the microscopic level.

If you don't get the right amount of proteins, you will become (and I have heard this term lots) "skinny fat." That means you will have low muscle, and high lipid content (fat content) in your body. Sounds gross? It most certainly is.

So I imagine you are wondering what foods are full of protien, and how much protein you need? You need a very bare minimum of 50 grams per day on workout days. If you workout during the day or evening, you need at least 50 grams after you are done, no later than an hour after workout, broken down into 2 to 3 meals or snacks. You may also do it in 4 to 5 snacks if you are the grazing type. Anything short of that, is your ass. The only one you are going to punish is yourself.

If you want to workout really heavy, you need more protein, I would say up to double, even triple that, and back down to 50 or 60 grams on recovery day. You need carbs, as the brain won't work properly without them. You can do some moderate carb loading only in the morning and at lunch, that is it.

Carbs to watch for in moderation are spuds, rice, sugar, pasta, bread/wheat, and quinoa, couscous, & the like, etc... Most people cannot get through their head it that it is carbs that are the big culprit, not fat. You can eat a fair amount of fat, not get fat. Something to really watch out for are things like candy, pop, and energy drinks that market themselves with 'No Fat.' Yes it is true they have no fat, but the sugar you take in will be directly transformed into lard right away. Women especially get caught up in cutting out fat when the body needs it for the joints and other essentials. They want to loose fat, so the initial psychological reaction is to cut out fat. Wrong thinking! Reduce carbs, chances are you do not really have to reduce fat, and you can eat virtually as much protein as you want. Which really sucks for those who love their sweets. Eat virtually as much veggies and fruit as you want, as these foods are not calorie dense. Dense, starchy foods are the culprit. Celery, peppers, cucumber, apples, pears, oranges, etc.. will not make you fat. Supper should consist of meat, veggies, and a piece of fruit for dessert.

Now, lean meats are important for protein intake, as well as eggs. Beans, lentils and whey are great sources for protein too. Soy is only good for women to take in as it is very high in estrogen. If you are a man, it will mess you up. You will start to retain more fat, have longer recovery times, and most importantly, it will take the lead out of your pencil. For those ladies who are endeavoring to get really ripped, lay off all things soy yourself. Tofu (soy product) is high in estrogen and while it is high in protein, higher estrogen levels cause the body to store more fat.

If you go to the pub or bar, get chicken wings. That is generally just meat, celery, or carrot sticks. Feel free to big out on that, limit your beer intake to 1 or 2 beer. If you have to get a glow on, use hard liquor, less calories. This common sense stuff, that ain't that common for most, but you should start thinking along these lines. Especially if you are over 30 like me.

Just remember you have to hydrate plenty as half the hunger you experience is in reality thirst. You must also bear in mind that the more muscle you have, the more chubb (lard, lipids, fat) you will burn. Muscle also weighs more than fat too, which is why you have to let the unhealthy, and counter productive obsession with the scale go. Scale fixation is one of the hardest challenges to over come. But if you can do it, I promise you, you are well on your way!

The pic in this article is of my personal friend, Diane Fraser, a Canadian Body Builder in Calgary, Alberta.

Andrew Hoard


Street Talk

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