What is catabolism and anabolism that we hear so often in gym discussions? Why is everyone afraid of catabolism?

So far, our concerns had been simpler, such as “how to lose fat” or “how much protein I need”. But since we have more demands from our body, we need to deepen our knowledge in order to reach a higher level of performance.

As contradictory as it sounds to the title of this article, we need to know that catabolism cannot stop permanently, as it is a necessary procedure for the human body.

In this article we will learn how to keep catabolism in the desirable levels for us, and why it is so harmful in its most extreme form, for someone who is trying to build muscle mass. But, first of all, let’s see what catabolism means scientifically.

Catabolism is the metabolic process in which large molecules are broken down into smaller molecules.

Catabolism is necessary for the organism, because the “raw materials” are produced for the synthesis of the required large molecules (anabolism), while it is a process that generates free energy, part of which becomes ATP.

So far, catabolism is nothing but a normal and essential for the body function. But why those who try to increase their muscular mass are so afraid of it? When the body is not fueled with the necessary fuel to carry out our daily activities, it draws energy from the body fat and the muscles. Those who are in the process of muscular hypertrophy are trying to avoid this rather than the catabolism in its scientific term.

In other words, catabolism, in its extreme form, is the breakdown of muscle tissue in order to produce energy. This is something that you want to avoid if you want to build a powerful and big muscular system!

 Differences between catabolism and anabolism

Metabolism is divided into two strands, the catabolism and the anabolism. Catabolism includes complex compound disintegration reactions in simpler, yet usually energy efficient. The anabolism includes the synthesis reactions of complex chemicals. The synthesis reactions usually consume energy. The catabolic reactions yield energy (exothermic), while the anabolic absorb energy (endothermic).

The energy released by catabolism is transferred to the energy-requiring reactions that make up anabolism.

The opposite of catabolism is anabolism, the condition in which our body is in a state of muscle reconstruction and development. Keeping our body in an anabolic state during the day is what interests us most.

When energy is needed, glycogen is quickly mobilized to deliver the fuel that the body needs. Once the glycogen is depleted, the body burns fat for energy and afterwards muscle mass, something that we must avoid!

The stages of catabolism:

When energy use exceeds the availability of energy from the diet, the body uses its stored energy to cover its needs.

  • The first step in energy catabolism is the breakdown of glycogen or triglycerides into simpler compounds. This occurs in the skeletal muscles, the liver and the adipocytes.
  • The second stage of catabolism of carbohydrates is glycolysis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycolysis), whereas the stage of catabolism of triglycerides is the β oxidation of fatty acids.
  • The final, common stage is the cycle of citric acid and the oxidative phosphorylation.

How will I avoid this situation?

The process of building muscle tissue is in any case quite a difficult task and requires a properly designed weekly diet and a training program aimed at (+ program over-line) δεν ξέρω τι είναι το πρόγραμμα στην πάνω γραμμή οπότε check εάν το μετέφρασα σωστα! muscle hypertrophy so that we can get the best results. Excessive weight training leaves no room for your body to recover. This can affect a particular muscle group or your whole body.

Some cases of over-training can also be more serious, as they can cause a negative nitrogen balance (catabolic state) in your system, destroying the opportunity of new muscle growth. Catabolism is the breakdown of muscle tissue and unfortunately the worst enemy for anyone who follows a program for muscle hypertrophy.

The following tips will help keep your body from a catabolic condition in a continuous anabolic condition!

  1. Eat every 3 hours.

For a successful program of muscle hypertrophy, you have to eat often, about every 3 hours, that is 5-6 meals designed according to your needs. With a balanced weekly diet program, you will have plenty of energy throughout the day, keeping your body in anabolic condition, preventing catabolism.

  1. Avoid overtraining.

The best way to avoid excessive training is to limit our workout to 45 minutes of pure dynamic training plus 15 minutes of warm-ups. When you exercise at high intensity for over 60 minutes, you stress your body intensely and as a result the hormone cortisol is excreted from the adrenal glands, a hormone that breaks muscle tissue into energy production. This is definitely something you do not want to happen!!!

  1. A Pre Workout meal is very important

Before training (30 minutes) we must give our body nutrients that will shield it and prevent catabolism during our training.

  1. Make a Post Workout (postponing) meal NECESSARY!

If the Pre Workout meal is considered to be very important, Post Workout meal is considered irreplaceable and critical in order to have the greatest benefits by eliminating catabolism and easing anabolism! This meal should be taken urgently after our training and even before we shower! This is required to be done immediately so that the body can replenish its energy stores quickly, stopping muscular catabolism to produce energy. Meals rich in protein are recommended.

Additional TIPS for best results:

Below are some basic changes that can be made to your daily routine:

  • Increase the hours of sleep in order to make the most of your natural hormones.
  • Increase post-coach carbohydrate intake (replenishing glycogen levels), increase protein intake, take antioxidants and a legitimate anabolic activator supplement.
  • Casual massage therapy will relief muscle tension.
  • Work each muscle group only once a week and two muscle groups maximum in each workout.
  • Dedicate a whole week for recovering (not training at all) every 8-12 weeks.

Excessive weight training can lead to months of lost time and effort due to its catabolic effect – and this is certainly the biggest nightmare for every trainee who wants to achieve muscle hypertrophy. Allow your body the necessary recovery time to get the most out of your workout and STOP catabolism!