Monday, October 8, 2012

Rest and Nutrition are Key

It is said that gains are not made in the gym, but rather at home. This means that you stimulate your muscles at the gym (or wherever you may choose to exercise), but your muscles actually grow when you are resting.

Lifting weights causes microtears in your muscles (part of what makes you sore after a strenuous workout). When your body repairs these tears, your muscles grow back stornger. This requires the right nutrition, plenty of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, as well as proper sleep. Failure to eat right or sleep right can actually result in a loss of muscle, despite how much weight you lift. If you want to see more gains, then be sure to get enough calories and rest, that is, unless you just like picking up heavy stuff, putting it down, and repeating without seeing any changes in your physique.

Proper nutrition is also important to provide fuel through your workout. A good breakfast with complex, slow-burning carbs and protein can help you to sustain your energy throughout your regimen. You'll have to keep it up on days that you don't workout too. Soreness that lasts days after your workout can be an indicator that your body is still healing, and thus, still needs proper fuel and rest. Sometimes this soreness can be alleviated by taking in the right kinds and amounts of nutrients.

This piece of advice is primarily for those that are trying to gain muscle. For those of you who are trying to lose fat, nutrition and rest are still important, but you will want to try to have a caloric deficit (in other words, take in less calories than you burn with your basal metabolic rate plus physical activity).

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