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|THREE KEY INGREDIENTS TO MAINTAIN FITNESS FOR HUNTING|
With the outbreak of COVID-19 there is no better time to release this article I wrote a while back that had yet to be published. The key information will help you avoid getting sick from most all virus and keep you healthy, strong, and living a long life. With a background in health, fitness, and nutrition these sort of things come easy for me but not for everyone else. It takes time, dedication, persistence, patience, and willpower / willingness to want to change for the better.
To put it in perspective, the country's obesity epidemic has grown significantly worse since the turn of the century, just about 44% of Americans are obese, in just about 1/2 (1 out 2 people randomly chosen are overweight). So that means, just about half of you reading this struggle with this topic. So lets begin....
There is no denying we would all love to keep our body as healthy as possible 24 hours 7 days a week for 365 days a year. Am I right? Of course. So, the real question is how can we do it? And the answer is simple, KEEP YOUR BODY ANABOLIC. Now how do you do that you ask. Allow me explain.
There are 3 key players in keeping your body in an anabolic state:
REST AND RECOVERY
- Let’s start with proper rest and recovery. This requires adequate sleep and rest between workouts, in which case creates idea optimization for hormonal balance and protein metabolism. In layman’s terms, try to get 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep at night and don’t overdo it on your everyday workouts. If you can manage these two, your body’s hormones (in a resting state) can properly strengthen muscle tissue overnight! Think of it like a plant, give it sun and water it will continue growing and strengthen overnight. Leave one without the other and it will not.
At night, while resting... your metabolism works like a mechanic and your vehicle is your body. It’s a little difficult for mechanics to work on your car when it’s constantly running. The ideal time with the greatest amount of growth hormone is released into your body is when you are asleep. Providing them with enough rest and let the mechanics do the work.
What exactly is your metabolism doing while it’s resting? Well, your body is made up primarily of protein (found in your bones, muscles, and tendons…etc) and additional protein is needed to be broken down and utilized in the body for repair, growth, and or converted into glucose or triglycerides to build back your energy. This functionality happens ideally when you are sleeping. This leads to proper nutrition.
- To keep your body consistently healthy and continue growing, you must consistently be eating healthy. Never let yourself fall off the healthy nutrition eating train, keep yourself on the tracks! To do this, you must consume well balanced healthy foods, combining primarily carbohydrates, protein, and Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s). The quality BCAA’s I am talking about are composed of 3 amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine in which your body must get from your diet. In conjunction with hormone growth, these amino acids are crucial in maintaining an anabolic state. They help aid the protein breakdown for protein synthesis. I will touch on more BAA’s soon.
Let’s talk about other proteins. The general recommendation is between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Other factors apply here, age and sex, so make sure to consider this further if you are really trying to dial in your protein consumption. I always live by the rule, more is better, you never want to deplete yourself on protein.
Finally, my personal favorite, carbohydrates! Carbs give you energy! Make sure you are consuming 40-50% of your caloric intake with healthy, unprocessed carbs. The American diet is not only saturated with carbs but extremely saturated with unhealthy carbs, so make sure to balance your complex and simple carbs (sugars) accordingly with calories burned and or not burned. Low carb diets can help with fat loss but decreasing your carb intake too much and you can damage your body in maintaining an anabolic state. In short, carbohydrates are broken down in the body as glucose in the cellular level. Glucose is used as sugar which gives you energy! Did I mention I love carbs?
Like I promised, let's jump back to BCAA’s because it's directly correlated to lifting and working out, which is our last key player. Although we get BCAA’s from healthy foods and our bodies create it through protein break down, we are also in need of readily BCAA’s while we workout to maintain an anabolic state. As we workout we are immediately breaking down muscle tissue and the “big 3” increases protein synthesis in muscle tissue, keeping us in an anabolic state! Speaking of lifting…..
Get catabolic to be anabolic. It may sound like an oxymoron but you must break down your muscles with strenuous exercise and or lifting to stay anabolic. Like mentioned above, with the help of your BCAA’s, nutrition, and proper rest you will be able to maintain “as anabolic as possible” while working out. Hence the reason why I saved this for last.
You may now be asking what kind of workouts are best to perform? Realistically it’s any physically demanding lifts or movements on the body that gets your blood pumping, heavy breathing, and breaking a sweat! To concrete my answer, a combination of workouts where you are lifting heavy one day, plyometric exercises one day, and doing (HIIT) High Intensity Interval Training yet another.
Plyometric exercises consist of intense strength training that involves quick short muscle contractions followed by swift body movements, like a burpee jump up. Workouts like these are great for improving power, explosiveness, and muscle endurance.
HIIT mostly resembles interval workouts or circuit training but at a much higher lung capacity with little rest between intervals. Workouts like these promote the breakdown of fast-twitch muscle fibers and in result aid in muscle growth and strength.
Heavy lifting puts yet another different kind of stress on the muscles in the aid of ultimate growth. This is a form of lifting that requires lifting weights around 80-90% of your one rep maximum. Major muscle groups like quadriceps, chest, hamstrings, glutes, back, shoulders, biceps, and abs are most focused on when lifting heavy. Heavy lifting to promote growth in these areas include, squats, bench press, overhead press, barbell rows, and cable lateral pulldowns include a few.
As you can see, staying in shape and at peak health can be easy if you stick to these three ingredients. They must all work in alignment so getting off track can be easy. Just remember your body acts like a plant, works like a car, and remember to consume your BCAA’s during each of your workouts and keeping your body as healthy as possible is not that hard to achieve. Other honorable mentions are drinking enough water and keeping your stress level to a minimum. Stick to the guidelines above as closely as you can and you will find your body will maintain at an optimal level to fight off virus like Covid-19 and keep you in shape for hunting season.