Anabolic Vs. Catabolic Training
Bodybuilding requires a lot of hard work and drive. But it is not only you that should be doing the hard work. Our metabolism also matters a lot for developing and sustaining a healthy system.
Our metabolism involves two vital purposes. They are catabolism and anabolism. As a bodybuilder or fitness freak, you might have heard of these terms.
And people often misunderstand these two terms. Many will say one is better than the other for muscle building.
But we’re here to tell you that is not the case. In fact, catabolic and anabolic processes work together to achieve your desired body goals, losing weight, gaining muscles, etc.
Let us learn what the two terms mean and how they affect us.
What Does Anabolism And Catabolism Mean?
Before we move to anabolic and catabolic training, we must understand what these terms mean. Anabolism and catabolism are both functions of our metabolic process. Although they are opposing processes, they are required for normal growth and development.
Anabolism refers to the growth and organization of molecules. Smaller particles come together to form a more complex or large system. Gluconeogenesis is an example of the anabolic process.
Meanwhile, catabolism is the complete opposite. The larger molecules break up to form smaller particles. For example, when we digest food, the molecules break up, releasing energy. Processes like Glycolysis are an example of catabolism.
There are several hormones involved in our body that capture energy. These include adrenaline, estrogen, glucagon, insulin, etc. They keep our health in check, which helps maintain our fitness goals.
Bulking up, shedding weight, building muscles, etc., are all part of our workout regime. It is essential to understand both functions clearly to have more effective training. And let’s not forget that our metabolism is at work even while we sleep.
How Do These Two Factors Affect Our Training And Weight?
Both anabolism and catabolism are part of our metabolism. Therefore, they have a big role in our body weight.
Whenever we are in an anabolic condition, we build more muscle. And in a catabolic state, our body mass reduces. We are losing muscles as well as fat.
Understanding both processes can help us control our body weight. Of course, both anabolic and catabolic training help us shed weight. But you have to get a bit crafty here.
Anabolic training involves a lot of fat shedding and muscle build-up. Our muscles are much firmer than fat. Thus, our mass and weight index will remain high even if we are thin.
On the other hand, catabolic training is more critical. We will lose weight, but it involves both our muscles and fats. Our weight reduces, but our muscle density also goes along with it.
Thus, both training processes affect our bodies differently. And if we are not careful, they can damage our muscles. Therefore, it would help if you stay hydrated, get proper rest, and avoid unhealthy foods after working out.
What Is Catabolic And Anabolic Training?
Anabolic and catabolic training both involve different workouts and routines. And we can expect different results from each.
Catabolic exercises involve a lot of cardio and aerobic exercises. Cycling, swimming, gardening, jogging, etc., are a few examples. In such conditions, we are actively moving for long periods.
Experts recommend getting at least the following:
- Two and a half hours of moderate intensity exercises.
- One hour of vigorous intensity exercises.
You can divide the minutes and hours into three or six days. Remember to check your health or consult a doctor before you start.
During catabolic training, we can expect a rise in our blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. Our body uses glycogen to keep us active. When we run out of glycogen, amino acids from our cortisol continue the job.
Catabolic training is essential for our lungs and heart. However, they can affect our body mass drastically. Catabolic training is not for you if you’re sensitive about losing muscle mass.
This is when anabolic exercises come to the rescue. They involve plenty of strength training for muscle building, like weight lifting.
A few examples are bench presses, squats, leg curls, etc. Doing these exercises for three to four days every week is vital. Here are a few recommended exercises targeting several areas of our body.
- Chest and abdomens – cable crossovers, dumbbell bench press, crunches.
- Biceps – barbell deadlift, close-grip pulldown, hanging leg raise.
- Calves and hamstrings – standing and lying leg curls, incline leg presses, calf raises.
But watch out for your nutrition. In an anabolic state, our body cannot combine smaller particles into bigger ones. Thus, we need essential nutrients to build more muscle tissue.
A carb and protein diet is essential in this case. Rest and sleep are equally important. Ensure that you get enough sleep and don’t stress your body too much. Your body needs rest to repair and regenerate the muscle tissues.
Which One Is Better For Bodybuilding?
Having both catabolic and anabolic training in your regime is essential. But if your target is to build more muscles, anabolic training is the best option.
Our body uses amino acids and proteins to build muscle mass. Couple this with rigorous power exercises, and you will get more defined lean body mass. But you will need plenty of energy to pull this off.
Too much anabolic exercises will result in catabolic processes. During exercises, we can damage our muscle tissue. They need time to regain strength and heal, thus leading to more new muscle mass.
Catabolic exercises are essential for cardiovascular health. But for gaining muscle mass, it is not the best way. If you want to include catabolic training, keep it to a minimum. Having a proper diet and exercise can help achieve this.
Combining Both Anabolic And Catabolic Training
You can have the best of both worlds by combining anabolic and catabolic exercises. Both strength training and aerobic exercises form a robust system.
Sprinting is a fine example. Here, our body stresses on our cardiovascular strength and tolerance. As a result, we lose fat and preserve muscle mass.
The idea here is to involve both processes in your regime. If we can maintain a balance, our body adjusts to both giving us better results. You can do this with a rigorous training program, a proper diet, and lots of rest.
Remember that both processes play a big role in your overall health. Do not avoid one for the sake of getting better results. You might aim to build muscles and altogether avoid catabolic training.
But too many anabolic exercises will stress you out. You need to strike a balance between the two to make it work. After all, bodybuilding doesn’t necessarily mean just focusing on your physique.
We must focus on our internal health and wellness as well. And we can do that by understanding both terms correctly.