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March 12, 2022 9 min read

A lot of processes go into building and maintaining a healthy body system. Metabolism is one of the most important processes for sustaining your body and development. 

Your metabolism is made of two distinct processes; Catabolism and anabolism.

Both processes work to offset each other and, in so doing, help you to strike an internal balance.

Catabolism and anabolism are two important aspects that help you to determine a wide range of factors, including your muscle growth on your fitness journey.

Below, we have provided you with adequate knowledge to help you navigate weight training by understanding which of these processes is best for you.

Concept of hormones. Medical hormonal therapy. Hormone balance.

Taking An In-depth Look At Your Body

The body goes through two major processes to maintain and capture energy.

It achieves these processes with the help of different hormones such as estrogen, insulin, adrenaline, cortisol, and glucagon.

Each of these hormones helps to initiate these processes and greatly influences your health, general wellness, and even ability to build muscle to achieve your fitness goals. Knowing how these processes work and manipulating them for your interest is a key method to attaining your fitness goals faster.

Tipping one side in favor of the other would help you to maximize your metabolic processes to acquire bigger muscles faster. 

In the basic sense, anabolism and catabolism are the building blocks of your weight.

Anabolic and catabolic processes are based on the growth and building of the body. They are processes that involve the organization and building up of simple molecules to form bigger and more complex components.

Whenever you come across words such as anabolic pills or anabolic processes, they mean elements for building muscle mass.

Anabolic processes signify the building up or synthesizing of molecules from smaller units. This process requires energy and helps in the growth of new cells, mineralization of growth for greater bone density, and increase in muscle mass.

The catabolic process, on the other hand, involves the breaking down of complex molecules into simpler forms to release energy into your system.

Catabolism is the reverse of Anabolism and is often seen in processes like the digestion of food and glycolysis of glucose. Where Anabolic processes draw energy from the environment, catabolic processes release energy for the cells or fuel anabolic processes.

Differences Between Anabolic And Catabolic Processes

Consider it in this form: the catabolic process is what your body undergoes when digesting food and breaking it into small, easily absorbable nutrients.

The anabolic process, on the other hand, is how your body makes use of these simpler molecules gotten from the food to regulate and maintain other body processes.

Essentially, anabolic processes:

  • Help you to build and sustain muscle mass.
  • Demands energy to be completed.
  • Combines small and simple molecules to form bigger, more complex molecules.
  • Includes hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, glucagon, and insulin.

While catabolic processes:

  • Break down of complex tissues like fag and muscle.
  • Release of energy into the system.
  • Break down large molecules into smaller and simpler molecules.
  • Includes the use of hormones such as cortisol, glucagon, and adrenaline.

What It All Means To Your Body

Anabolic and catabolic processes are like two sides of a coin that come together to make up your metabolic processes.

Metabolism is the total reaction of chemicals in your body that takes place in your cells with the aim of providing energy for life processes and other synthetic processes.

Simply put, your metabolism controls how your body manages energy. You utilize energy no matter what physical activity you engage in, even in your resting phase.

Your body is fueled by energy gotten from the food and drinks that you consume.

Anabolic and catabolic processes determine how your body uses this fuel. 

Your metabolism is responsible for many things that concern your health, including weight, muscle mass and fitness. Contrary to popular opinion, your fitness level is not only determined by the physical activities that you engage in.

Thanks to genetics, many people have the advantage of high metabolism on their side to boost their fitness journey.

This is further supplemented with hormones, diet, daily physical activity, exercise, and sleep. 

Your weight and muscle mass largely depend on your catabolic and anabolic processes.

Learning how to manipulate these processes can help you build and maintain your muscle mass goal. To do this right, you need to understand your body and learn what process to tip in your favor.

Think of it like this: catabolism is the energy that your body produces, while anabolism is what your body uses up.

If your body manufactures more energy than you can expel, it makes sense that the rest of this energy is stored away. This might sound so simple, but doing it wrongly will cause you to waste time and effort without any possible result. So how does this work?

Anabolic Or Catabolic Training 

Anabolic and catabolic training are two fitness words that fly around the gym. If you have spent a lot of time with veteran gym-goers, athletes, or fitness trainers, you might have come across these words too often. They are not something you hear every day, so what exactly do these words mean? 

Anabolic Training

Anabolic training, like the process, is any range of exercise that leads to the building up of muscle mass.

In an anabolic state, your body struggles to build up essential complex cells from smaller cells of proteins and other nutrients.

These exercises often include resistance like barbells, dumbbells, or any weighted equipment. 

Catabolic Training

Catabolic training, however, includes exercises that aim to help you lose some weight.

This training type leads to a breakdown of overall body mass, including both fat and muscle cells. In training, these terms are often made out to sound like two distinct parts, like the north and south poles.

However, anabolic and catabolic processes work together to help you attain your ultimate goal: to gain muscle mass.

How are they connected?

Anabolic and catabolic training are connected because a healthy body requires you to strike and maintain a balance between them both.

The trick is not to dump one process for the other but instead combine them in a percentage that your body optimizes these processes and maximizes the results.

This requires proper dieting, a heavy training program, and enough rest. When growing muscle and increasing body mass, it is better to introduce your body to an anabolic state and less of a catabolic state.

Catabolic training, which includes aerobic exercises like swimming, running, and biking, helps to keep you in an active state for a long time.

These medium-high intensity workouts help to get your heart rate up, release catabolic hormones, and in the process, burn lots of calories. 

Catabolic training not only increases your heart rate but also increases your blood pressure and your respiration.

This causes your body to take in more oxygen, break down glycogen to glucose for fuel, and convert amino acids to energy using cortisol to make up for the low carbs and sugar in your system. Put; you burn fat.

Sustaining a catabolic state for too long might also tap into your fat resources for fuel. Since there is a lack of external resistance of the muscles, there is no muscle gain. Instead, your body loses fat and muscle cells, causing you to lose weight.

Essentially, if your goal is to cake down a bit and achieve a trim look, you should focus on catabolic training. 

One would expect that anabolic training would focus less on weight loss and completely on muscle gain, but this is not entirely true.

Anabolic exercises will help you to lose fat, but thanks to the added resistance on the muscle, they also help you to maintain and even gain muscle mass.  

Anabolic training raises your body mass index, so it makes sense that your numbers on the scale increase, but you do not gain fat deposits. This is because muscle is denser than fat. 

Which Training Is Best For You?

To gain muscle for a more buffed look, you need to figure out to what extent you should combine catabolic training with anabolic training.

Working in a catabolic state for too long will ruin your chances of gaining muscle mass.

While catabolic exercises might be great for your lungs and cardiovascular health, they are undoubtedly a horrible way to build muscle. Keeping your catabolic process to its minimum is achievable with the combination of the right diet, proper exercises, and adequate recovery.

Your exercises should revolve around catabolic exercises like: crunches, bench presses, and deadlifts. 

Anabolic training is the best training option for muscle growth.

Anabolic training helps to build new muscle using proteins and amino acids.

This, however, requires energy to be completed, and so your body requires more nutrients than you will during catabolic training. 

Intense Anabolic training often leads to a catabolic process in the body. When you work out, you break down muscle fibers. These fibers need to heal and be strengthened to increase your muscle mass and lead to evident muscle gain.

Since anabolic processes deal with building and repairing cells to form more complex molecules, this is where the anabolic state comes in.

Exercise can increase testosterone levels in the body.

Testosterone is a trigger of the anabolic process as it is an anabolic hormone that increases neurotransmitters in your body system. These neurotransmitters cause tissue growth which leads to the synthesis of new muscle growth and, in turn, muscle gain.

This synthesis reverses the catabolic effect of the breakdown of muscle fibers and instead maintains and increases your muscle mass.

Young active strong fit muscular sweaty man doing deadlifts in a gym

How To Use Anabolic Training To Your Advantage

Many competitive athletes, especially bodybuilders, go down the easy path of anabolic training by securing anabolic steroids like testosterone boosters. Combined with the right exercises, testosterone boosts lead to increased strength and muscle mass.

While testosterone therapy has been thought to pose health risks from acne problems to cardiovascular problems, Dr. Paul Henning investigated and found this to be a highly suspect theory. You can read what he discovered about testosterone and TRT health risks here.

For healthier results, it is ideal to work for bigger muscles using proper diets and exercises. Successful Anabolic training requires proper exercises to form one killer workout session.

Compound weight lifting and intense workouts that involve heavy weights are your best bet for building muscle.

These exercises increase muscle-building hormones and make it easier to increase your muscle mass. Aim for exercises that work for all major muscle groups at once. Never stay too long on one resistance weight. Use the progressive overload principle and steadily increase the resistance you train with.

This causes a gradual increase in your musculoskeletal frame, increasing the demand on your muscles and thereby increasing your muscle response and muscle gain. To make the most of your anabolic training, you need to understand that energy is necessary for every process, including the synthesis of new muscle tissue.

Anabolic processes require energy. Building and repairing your muscle is an anabolic process.

Without the energy necessary to build back your torn-down muscle, your body burns through muscle protein to make up for the loss.

Getting Your Anabolic Training Right

For the best results, it is important to train intensely and continuously replenish your lost energy and nutrients. While exercise with resistance might be a major part of your muscle gain and might stimulate muscle growth, you need the energy to maintain and complete the entire process. 

Your workouts should not drag on for hours without adequate food and drink breaks.

This would cause you to lose energy and muscle protein. Instead, shorten your sessions and take time to restore lost energy.

This would shorten the production of cortisol, the catabolic stress hormone that prevents protein synthesis and inhibits muscle growth. 

Nutrition before and after you hit the gym is very important for muscle growth. While pre-workout shakes are a great idea, it is important to consume a balanced meal about two hours before your routine.

Your body quickly burns through this and requires a top-up about an hour after completing your workouts. This is because your body has lost all its energy during your routine.

While the body takes in nutrients and synthesizes them to form muscle mass at any time of the day, professional bodybuilders and athletes all believe in a small opportunity opening where the body makes the most of the nutrients you eat and drink. This is known as the anabolic window and lasts about 15-minutes after your workout.

How To Make The Most Of Your Anabolic Training 

To maximize your Anabolic training, consume a lot of carbs and protein. Your Anabolic diet should contain lean protein like chicken and eggs, beans, potatoes, oils, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and vegan substitutes like Quinoa and soy products.

Your meal should contain about 30 grams of protein. Spread your feeding time out evenly and eat about every 3-4 hours. Your muscle cells thrive on water, so it is equally important to chug down lots of water. The recipe for the perfect anabolic training should also include plenty of rest. Just as your muscles need exercise to grow, they also require adequate sleep.

Sleep gives your muscle fibers time to heal and releases protein-building amino acids into your body. Sleep also produces the growth hormone, an anabolic hormone for protein synthesis necessary for muscle growth. Sleep also gets rid of the cortisol build-up you might have from your time at the gym.

Consistent sleep is a great way to burn fat and remain healthy. To get the best sleep of your life, incorporate RESTED-AF  into your nightly routine for deeper and better quality sleep to hasten muscle growth.

Getting Started With Anabolic Training

Anabolic training helps to build muscles and other complex tissues, while Catabolic training helps to break down these complex tissues, such as fat, into simpler molecules. While it might seem like an unlikely match, both training sessions are a great way to build muscle. Anabolic training targets the muscles for growth, while catabolic training helps burn fat and keep your heart healthy.

Understanding how these processes work and how best to play them in and outside the gym is a great way to achieve the buffed goal you seek. Remember to eat well, work out intensely, and get adequate sleep.

Don't know what your meal plan should be? Check out this research-based nutrient combination for anabolic response.