Tis the Season to Put on Muscle
I've always thought that the holiday season was a great time to focus on putting on muscle mass rather than trying to lean out or cut up. Because of the difference in body types and individual commitment levels, ''growing'' muscles can be easier for some while frustrating and difficult for others. But for everyone, it is the same basic formula of eating more calories and training in a progressive overload manner.
Between mid-November and early January, there never seems to be an end to the gatherings of family, friends, and food! Calories, calories, calories. Some people may be freaking out and trying to figure out how not to gain unwanted weight this upcoming season, but think about this: more muscle will increase your metabolism, which in turn will burn fat for energy.
During an intense workout, your body's oxygen levels are depleted and especially after high-intensity strength training, your body must work hard to build those levels back up. This is known as Excess Post Exercise Consumption or ''the after-burn.” It keeps your body at a heightened metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after your workout!
Since high-intensity resistance training creates a greater EPOC than cardio, the key is to focus on lifting moderate to heavy weights with a routine that utilizes large muscle groups and compound movements (squats, bent-over rows , push presses, etc.). Staying consistent with this type of routine during the holiday season can help keep body compositions at a desirable place by preserving/building muscle.
Even though most of us get that it takes extra calories coupled with consistent resistance training to increase muscle, don't think the holiday season is your green light to gorge yourself, but to use it to your advantage of increasing mass.
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