Many are under the impression that the work done inside the gym is the most important part when it comes to seeing results. While indeed it plays a role, the role isn’t as large as one might assume. In fact, it’s what you do outside of the gym that truly determines how quickly or how slowly you see the fruits of your labor.
Rest and Recovery
Your body needs time to rest, recover, refuel, and rebuild. All of this can be accomplished by getting enough sleep, giving each body part adequate rest before hitting it again in the gym, and feeding your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally. When you combine all of these things, you set yourself up for success. However, when you are missing even just one piece of that puzzle, it can considerably slow down your progress.
Tips to achieve proper rest and recovery:
- Strive to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Anything less and the quality of sleep you get can be effected.
- Do not hit the same body part on consecutive days—meaning, if you must hit the same body part to force change, do not do so on back to back days. Leave at least one day in between to rest the muscle group and allow the muscle fibers to be rebuilt and properly refueled.
- Fuel your body with high quality macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are all important to your overall success when it comes to reaching your health and fitness goals. Adjust your macro ratios according to the results you desire (fat loss or gain lean muscle).
- If you are finding it difficult to hit your macronutrients for the day, consider a supplement such as a protein powder if you cannot take in enough protein in your diet from whole food sources.
Maximize Your Results with the Help of BCAAs
First, let’s talk about amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein is what helps build lean and strong muscles. When you exercise, the body demands energy and can enter a catabolic state where it can break down your hard-earned muscle mass to fuel itself. The amino acids in the muscle can help fuel your body, which is counterproductive to your goal of preserving and building quality lean muscle mass. When there is an ample supply of amino acids in the body, it can pull from the stores rather than breaking down the tissue itself. This is where BCAAs come into play.
BCAAs are a little-known gem that has been helping fast-track the recovery process of many for years. BCAAs are branched chain amino acids and are comprised of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three amino acids account for as much as 33% of your muscle tissue. Your body actually contains 20 different amino acids, but of that total, those three are extremely critical.
What Makes BCAAs So Important?
We demand a lot from our body when we step into the gym for a strenuous workout. Through the help of BCAAs, we are able to put our body into an environment where the amino acids can be utilized properly, preserving muscle tissue from being wasted as fuel to drive you through your training session.
Leucine helps increase protein synthesis which can help you add lean muscle mass by stimulating muscle growth. Protein synthesis, itself, is actually a process where amino acids come together to create a stronger protein. Another benefit of leucine is its ability to increase the body’s insulin response. This response causes the body to enter an anabolic state where protein synthesis can be maximized.
When it comes to isoleucine and valine, they both play an important role where they can be converted into glucose to be used as an energy source by the body. This also gives you the ability to train harder and longer since it can improve endurance and delay fatigue.
When’s the Best Time to Use BCAAs?
- What makes BCAAs so unique is the fact that they can be used any time of day. If you prefer to use it as a pre-workout to help fuel your training and promote protein-synthesis you can do so. This is a great option for those who don’t do well with stimulants such as caffeine.
- If you enjoy a pre-workout that has stimulants for the added energy boost, you can simply sip your BCAAs during your workout to help combat fatigue and keep your stores of amino’s full within the muscles. Doing so can help improve your endurance, allowing you to push a little harder in the gym.
- After your workout is complete, you can kickstart your recovery process by utilizing BCAAs which can help repair, recover, and build the torn down muscle fibers from your workout.
- Or if you prefer, you can mix up your BCAAs in the morning and sip them all day long to help keep your body in an anabolic state all day long and further increase the stores of amino acids within the muscle. So, as you can see, BCAAs can truly be used at any point of the day and can be extremely beneficial to your success both in the short-term and in the long-term.
Overall, utilizing proper rest along with the use of BCAAs can be very advantageous in helping you achieve your health and fitness goals. Without fueling your muscles and allowing them enough time to rebuild and grow stronger, you will be left spinning your wheels in the gym and seeing minimal if any progress at all. Utilize these tips and techniques to help speed up your progress in your health and fitness journey.