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Anabolic Advice Mallard - New Years Resolution Nutrition edition


Carbohydrates fuel your body, and make you able to perform. You need them to provide energy for a workout, and restore energy after a workout. The main problem with carbs nowadays is not that people eat them, but that they don't burn them. For a regular, healthy person, if they're active, there's no valid reason to not eat carbs.

Refined carbs are not necessarily bad, but they're so easy to digest, that they make your blood sugar spike. This leads your body to store the carbs, and often converts them into fat. Wholegrain carbs have a lower glycemic index, meaning they will release sugar into the blood more gradually, without serious blood sugar fluctuations. But if you need to replenish your energy stores quickly, white flour or even pure sugar works just as well as wholegrain flour or vegetables.

Muscle only grows if it's challenged and exhausted first. Protein shakes help provide the nutrients necessary for muscle recovery, but so does a decent diet. Protein you don't use is just excreted, so protein shakes are only beneficial if you can actually direct the protein to a muscle group you're developing.

The reason the body has fat reserves, but no carbohydrate reserves, is that fat is denser in nutrients. It also means that the body is actually quite good at burning fat for energy. Just as with carbohydrates, fat isn't necessarily bad, not burning the fat is.

Fat is mainly metabolized in the liver. If you are dehydrated, the kidneys will function sub-optimally, and the liver will be required to help the kidneys filter the blood, instead of helping you burn fat. If you're well hydrated, the kidneys can perform, leaving the full capacity of the liver available.

Lots of exercises can be downright dangerous if you have incorrect form. If you're unsure about your form, you can always ask the more experienced lifters or a PT for a form-check or a spot; 9 out of 10 times they'll gladly help. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help; screwing up and injuring yourself is even more embarrassing.

Breathing is one of the strongest reflexes the human body has; don't force your exercises against your breathing patterns. Work with your breathing, and it will let you know if what you're doing is right for you.

The only way to tell if an exercise is working for you, is by how it feels. Soreness and tightness come from doing something a muscle is not used to doing, and usually means the muscle is being repaired and prepared to do it better next time. Sharp pain means you're asking a muscle to do something it can't possibly do yet, or anymore; this can be severely damaging.

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+1 for actual correct information. 

High fat foods aren't the enemy and I mean real foods like nuts, avocados, oils, and bacon.

Thanks. All credit for making these images goes to IntracolonicEXPLOSION.

As a Nutrition student, THANK YOU for all the carb and protein stuff.

Trying to explain to my weightlifting friends is like arguing with a wall.

Good solid advice. 

Only thing I'd add is that what works for you may not work for someone else, and vice-versa.

+1 for bacon

You always upvote bacon.

More:

The only way to tell if an exercise is working for you, is by how it feels. Soreness and tightness come from doing something a muscle is not used to doing, and usually means the muscle is being repaired and prepared to do it better next time. Sharp pain means you're asking a muscle to do something it can't possibly do yet, or anymore; this can be severely damaging.

Mobility

Being able to perform a movement is not just about strength, it's also about range of motion. Stretching increases your range of motion, enabling you to use muscles more effectively.

Recovery

Resting is just as important as training; your body needs time to digest nutrients, transport them to the muscles, and rebuild and refuel the muscles. This just takes time; be sure to offer your body that time. Rest doesn't mean inactivity, though; there's nothing wrong with taking a walk, having a swim, or doing some yoga on rest days.

Cooldown

After a workout, your body will be in an activated state for quite some hours. Your body will be actively searching for energy to replenish reserves, and if you don't eat after a workout, you will burn fat for energy. This means you will still be using energy after a workout, so you should expect tiredness. It's recommended to do some cooldown exercises like walking or cycling, to stop your body from throwing all available energy into the muscles you've just trained.

Low-intensity routines

For most beginners, building strength can be done with bodyweight exercise, and building stamina can be done with mild cardio. You do not need to start with heavy lifting or HIIT; while it does work, it's better to ease into it. This will give your body time to adjust to the new things you're asking it to do.

Higher-intensity workouts

Heavy lifting takes a lot of energy, both physically and mentally. Trying to grind out some heavy lifts at the end of a workout can be dangerous, so do those lifts while you're still fresh. To avoid balance problems, counter all heavy lifts with exercise in the opposite direction; bench press vs. row, triceps pulldown vs. biceps curl, etc. Don't half-ass those opposing movements just because you don't like them; they'll start working for you in the long run.

Routines general

The human body is aimed at streamlining every process; if you do something often enough, you will get better at it. It takes a while for your body to adapt to new patterns though, so you should stick to one pattern; constantly switching up your routine will not work. You won't see progress immediately, but after a while of sticking to one routine it'll become noticeable.

Choosing what's right for you

In general, exercise has a similar effect on all humans. The type of exercise you perform can be said to have a predetermined effect, and that is why professionals suggest certain routines. With some common sense, you should be able to figure out what your goals are, and which exercise routines work for you. You don't need to stick to premade plans; if you feel you'd reach your goals faster by adding an exercise, or modifying if by, for example, adding a dropset, there's no reason not to.

Focus

In the gym, only your goals should matter. You aren't there for anybody but yourself, and you should not care about what other people might think of you. They're not there to judge you; they're also there for their own goals. Feel free to strike up a chat, ask for spots or form-checks, but don't compare yourself to other peoples' goals.

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