Super focused on building muscle and strength?
You gotta address stress!
And, you might be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies when you’re skipping out on recovery which allows the (good) stress and inflammation from exercise to calm down.
If you’re do things like:
>> waking up hella early to workout, sacrificing enough good sleep
>> stay up late to “get your steps in”
>> training 6 or 7 days of the week instead of 3 or 4
… you’re probably off in the land of diminishing returns. My clients get lean and strong by including enough rest and recovery days to push themselves hard in a few training sessions each week. If more of your time is freed up from exercise, it might also mean you get to include more play time or hobby time. All of these variables lower stress and inflammation which can make it easier for you to get strong + lean.
Here’s why you gotta address stress…
increased cortisol makes recovery hard
High cortisol leads to muscle tension, reduced blood flow to the muscles, and lactic acid build up which, taken together, hinders muscle growth. Cortisol also leaves your cells starved for carbohydrates, which directly impacts the body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscles after training.
cortisol inhibits muscle growth
The presence of cortisol makes the environment of our body a “catabolic” one as opposed to an “anabolic” one. This means that the body is focused on breaking down, not building up. Carbohydrate and protein stores are broken down for fuel in this situation.
elevated cortisol inhibits sleep
Under normal conditions, cortisol rises in the morning and falls in the evening. When stressed, cortisol stays high all day, or does other wonky things like rise in the evening instead of in the morning. This leads to issues falling or staying asleep, which make it hard to optimize muscle and strength gains.