Body Composition: Train Hard, Rest HARDER

The principles behind adding lean muscle mass to your physique can make no sense at the best of times.

If you’re a painter, and your goal is to finish a painting – then you paint for as MUCH as you can to achieve your goal.

But in the world of fitness and muscle-building – the game is totally different.

You can feel your muscles growing by the second in the gym as you squeeze out that last rep before letting it hit the ground can’t you? Right? WRONG.

In case you weren’t aware – you DO NOT grow muscle in the gym. In fact – this where your muscles are breaking down and your enemy CORTISOL begin to flow.

CORTISOL is the body primary catabolic hormone, and is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Also, your body’s TESTOSTERONE and ENERGY levels will be lower if you’re not resting properly.

You grow muscle when you REST and RECOVER.

Building muscle really is like baking a cake. You need the ingredients (nutrition) the oven (your training) and the rest and recovery (the time it takes your cake to cook) to get a finished product.

There is no use just having the ONE thing – without the other?

Make sense?

Then there’s the hormone LEPTIN – which tells your body when it should be feeling full. Your body will start begging you for carbs when leptin levels drop. This occurs when your body does not get enough sleep.


Each night you should be shooting for 8-10 hours sleep, to allow for your muscles to recover and begin the growth process. Also – try training no more than THREE days in a row.

A good split would be the following:

MONDAY – Train









A recent study out of the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands has found that protein synthesis is increased by 22 percent in subjects that consume a protein shake BEFORE bed, compared to those who had just flavored water.


As crazy as it sounds – REST will do you good, and allow you to build muscle quicker and more efficiently than one who skips this important part of the muscle-building process.


Happy Lifting!

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6 comments for “Body Composition: Train Hard, Rest HARDER

  1. November 22, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Make sure that protein shake before bed is casein! 🙂

    Thoughts on a little cardio on rest days?

    • November 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Although I’m not the author of this post, low intensity cardio on off days can serve to increase protein synthesis. Here are two posts on that very subject:

      • November 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

        Yeah I know, I miss author Matt. 😉

        I did read those articles before, good stuff. Was just wondering if the rest days should be complete rest days or if I can keep moving. I do usually make sure I take at least one complete rest day a week. Even though I hate that day!

        • November 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

          Author Matt will be back in full swing soon. I appreciate that you’re missing me! I promise to get back to writing more soon. I have another alcohol related post going up tomorrow am. I’ll probably be posting Saturday am as well. I need to visit that great blog of yours soon as well! (Although I’d be super happy if you were posting on this site too-I’m a big fan of your writing after all!)

          • November 22, 2012 at 10:41 am

            Awesome, love your writing. Not taking away from the others you have some good help (just like I liked this article) but yours is what brought me to the site in the first place. 🙂

            I’d be more than honored to write for you if you thought there was some way I could contribute. I don’t have all that scientific stuff down and have no formal training or education on any of this. It’s just all research I’ve done on my own (you know like from people such as yourself) and my own experiences to go by! So not really sure what I could add to your already awesome content.

          • Lifestyle and Strength
            November 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

            Awesome! Although no one writes ‘for’ me per se, if anything I promote for them (hence my lack of production – you’d be surprised how time consuming being the ‘coordinator’ here is). Could you please send me a mail to so I can fill you in on what I’m trying to do here?

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