In order for you to build more muscle and strength, you need to be more “anabolic”, than “catabolic”.
You need to increase “protein synthesis”, rather than decrease it or reduce “protein oxidation”.
So, what does this mean?
Anabolic means to “build”…
Catabolic means to “tear down”…
When you take “anabolic steroids”, you are increasing “anabolism” and thus, the building of muscle.
You’re increasing “protein synthesis”… meaning, you’re making MORE protein and thus, more muscle.
However, what most people don’t know is that anabolic steroids work by ALSO decreasing the catabolic effects of cortisol, the stress hormone.
This means you have a “net profit” of more protein synthesis versus protein oxidation.
In fact, two of the most powerful steroids Dianabol and Trenbolone are extremely powerful at REDUCING the negative effects of cortisol.
The truth is that in the long run, steroids are actually more anti-catabolic than they are “anabolic”.
They are doing more to reduce breaking down, rather than building up.
In fact, this is why steroids work so much better at building muscle than growth hormone, which is almost purely “anabolic” and has very little anti-catabolic effects.
Improved Hormones Are Key
So, let’s pause for a moment and let me quickly summarize what we’ve learned so far.
If you want to build more muscle, get stronger, and also have less belly fat, you want to do TWO things at the same time.
- Increase anabolic hormones
- Decrease catabolic hormones
If using MONEY as an example or an analogy, this means more revenue and fewer expenses and thus, a lot more money and NET profit for you.
I hope this makes sense.
One additional note as far as the stress hormone cortisol… It is catabolic to muscle, but it’s also indirectly ANABOLIC to fat cells.
Keeping this super simple, chronically elevated stress hormones such as cortisol will start to cause fat storage and synthesis, while also increasing appetite.
This is why taking prednisone, basically “cortisol in a pill”, will cause rapid fat gain.
One example of this is Jerry Lewis. He had been thin his entire life. He had to take prednisone due to an illness he had, lung disease, and he rapidly gained 60 lbs in just a few months.
And when he eventually got off this toxic drug, he lost all the weight.
No change in diet – it’s just negative hormonal changes and negative food partitioning effects because of cortisol.
Meaning the food you eat gets utilized more for fat storage, rather than energy and protein synthesis.
Effects of High Cortisol
Remember, cortisol is a stress hormone and when it’s high, your body is in SURVIVAL mode and it wants to create fat so you can survive longer in case you can’t find food.
It’s your body’s natural protective measure.
It does NOT want to grow muscle because muscle takes up too much energy, it eats up too many calories.
And… as we dig deeper into this topic, this is also why as cortisol increases, testosterone decreases.
That’s right, the hormone that opposes testosterone is not a female hormone such as estrogen, but the stress hormone, CORTISOL.
Just one night of bad sleep can shoot up cortisol and decrease testosterone.
After a week, you can have a decrease in testosterone levels by as much as 50% or more.
And something important here about cortisol. It’s your survival hormone.
One major reason it also lowers testosterone levels is that it wants to DECREASE your sex drive.
It does NOT want you to procreate and have babies because your body is thinking “well, something is wrong that he is under so much stress… maybe food and shelter are lacking. This is NOT the time to have a baby”.
So the higher cortisol levels, lead to decreased testosterone, lower sex drive and cause poor sperm production, and so forth.
Recap on Hormones
So, let’s pause again and let’s quickly review what we’ve learned:
- Testosterone is anabolic to muscle cells and increases protein synthesis.
- Cortisol is catabolic to muscle cells and decreases protein synthesis.
- Testosterone decreases fat.
- Cortisol increases fat, especially belly fat.
- Cortisol basically opposes testosterone. As cortisol goes up, testosterone comes down.
Higher cortisol is also linked to lots of other health problems, such as:
- High blood sugar and diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Poor blood flow
- Memory and cognitive problems
- Gut and digestive problems
- Hair loss
- Mood problems
- Accelerated aging
But since today’s goal is about building muscle and losing belly fat, I’ll continue on with that focus.
Easy Ways to Improve Hormones
And thus, we have two goals.
To increase testosterone levels and more importantly, decrease elevated cortisol levels.
And to accomplish this goal, I’m going to give you the 3 best and easiest ways to do this.
First, you must improve your sleep. Getting deeper sleep is the key to improving all of your hormones.
I’m going to do an entire article series about this topic in detail, so make sure to check my blog regularly.
But my best suggestion is:
- Try to get to bed before midnight.
- Dim the lights around you an hour before bed and turn on your BLUE BLOCKERS on your electronic devices like your phone and computer.
- And keep to the same sleep time and schedule every night.
As far as food, you have to eat carbs. Insulin lowers cortisol. So by having carbs, you raise your blood sugar, the insulin goes up, and cortisol comes down.
This is why people who are on ketogenic diets or do intermittent fasting all have elevated cortisol levels.
So, the most important time for your carbs is before, during, and after your workouts.
Have healthy carbs, not junk.
Again, I’ll do an entire article and email series about this in the future.
I make a shake and I have some around my workout. It’s basically 50 grams of protein and carbs.
You can be low on carbs the rest of the day if you need to.
Finally, take ingredients – specific herbs and amino acids that lower cortisol levels.
Most of the supplements suck. But I use “Stress & Cortisol Relief”.
It’s got clinically proven ingredients and it’s backed by real science.
I take 2 pills immediately after my workouts and I also take 2 pills about an hour before sleep.
In both blood and saliva tests, my cortisol levels are for sure lower.
More details about “Stress & Cortisol Relief” in this link if you want to give it a try.
It comes with a one-year guarantee, so you have nothing to worry about or risk.
So I talked about lots of stuff today.
PLEASE read this article again because as I stated earlier, managing your hormones and especially your stress and cortisol levels, will make dramatic improvements in your ability to:
- gain muscle
- lose fat
- be happier
- and just live a longer and healthier life
I care about you and this is why I’ve given you so much information – you need to be educated about your health so you don’t get ripped off or lied to.
Let’s get healthier together. I’m here to help you.