In a previous post, we discussed the difference between anabolism and catabolism. Although you can gain from both metabolic processes, going on a catabolic state can be harmful to bodybuilders. Not only are you losing muscle mass, but you’re also drawing out protein from your muscles and organs. As a result:
Your body is in a catabolic state when it starts to down fats and protein as a source of energy. However, reducing your calorie intake does not push your body into catabolism. Your calorie deficit is also not the reason why you’re losing muscle. Catabolism and muscle loss happens because:
You can avoid catabolism by concentrating on three essential elements: nutrition, training, and recovery.
Just because you want to lose weight and reduce fat does not mean you should drastically lower the quality of what you eat. To prevent muscle loss is to maintain your body in a state of ketosis through activation of gluconeogenesis. This is the formation of glucose from protein as a source of energy. Instead of breaking down muscles to create ketones for energy, you need to trigger your liver releases its storage of glycogen for synthesis.
To prevent your body from cannibalizing muscle, reduce the number of carbohydrates in your diet. During your cutting phase, your body thinks it is undergoing a crisis. As a result, instead of burning down glucose from carbs for energy, it stores it as fat. Modify your diet by substituting reduced carbs with protein. It’s recommended that you take 1-1.5gms/lb of body weight of protein spread in intakes of 5-7 meals a day. Protein-rich food includes:
Most bodybuilders often err on their training during the cutting phase. They either reduce the intensity due to low energy. Or, they increase it for fear of losing muscle bulk. However, both are the reason why your body is wasting muscle.
When you reduce the intensity of your workout, it signals your body that your muscles are not needed during the deficit. You should maintain your strength training intensity to continue stimulating your muscles. A study showed that strength training was able to preserve muscle mass even in the presence of a calorie deficit. Maintaining high-intensity interval training during calorie restriction also appeared to enhance glucose metabolism in skeletal muscles.
Increasing the intensity of your training, on the other hand, forces your body in a negative nitrogen balance. As a result, your body is drawing out protein molecules from your muscles and organs as its source of energy. There is a loss of skeletal muscle mass due to depression of protein synthesis, and your organs will suffer damage as well.
The key is to stick to the intensity of the training that you had prior to your cutting phase. This will keep sending the stimulus to your muscle and maintain the balance in protein synthesis.
The recovery phase is crucial to help your body build muscle after training. It’s essential that you promote the recovery phase by getting adequate amounts of rest and sleep. Getting as much as 6-8 hours of sleep a day releases growth hormones that help repair muscles. Sleeping also helps your body restore organs, bones, and boost your immune system.
In contrast, lack of sleep promotes muscle breakdown and development of fat tissue. This means that instead of your body repairing and building muscles (at a lesser degree), it’s breaking it down to store fat.
You also need to have a break from your training during the cutting phase. A 2-3 day break in a week will help your body recover and adjust to the low-calorie intake without compromising your tolerance. Once you’re done with your cutting cycle, a week from the gym is also needed to help your body heal.
The reason why there’s muscle wasting in cutting is the lack of balance in energy supply and consumption. A number of bodybuilders and athletes often struggle through the cutting phase because of the resultant low energy due to caloric deficit. SARMs help you through the cutting phase by increasing fat breakdown and promote the production and delivery of energy to your muscles.
There are three SARMs we recommend that you use and/or stack during your cutting phase:
Prevent muscle loss by halting the progression of catabolism through nutrition, exercise, proper recovery, and SARMs. If you have questions about how to use SARMs for cutting, please feel free to ask us in the comment section below!