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How to Boost Your Muscle Growth with Anabolic Workouts

If you're interested in developing muscle and shedding fat you may have come across the concept of anabolic workouts. However, what are they? How do they operate? In this article we'll provide an understanding of anabolic workouts, their distinctions from regular workouts and how you can incorporate them to accomplish your fitness objectives.

What is an anabolic workout?

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An anabolic workout is a type of training that focuses on building muscles and burning fat. It involves exercises like strength training with weights or bodyweight exercises. Additionally compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and push and pull variations are incorporated to work muscles and joints 

The main goal of a workout is to maintain high intensity for approximately 30 seconds. This duration helps increase the levels of testosterone and growth hormone in the body which are crucial for muscle growth and recovery. Moreover an anabolic workout also triggers the release of insulin, facilitating transportation to the muscles while preventing muscle breakdown.

What is a catabolic workout?

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A catabolic workout refers to a type of training that breaks down molecules, like lipids and proteins into smaller units, which the body then utilizes for energy or other physical activities. This workout routine involves engaging in exercises that rely on oxygen to generate energy, such as running, cycling or swimming. It also includes high intensity interval training (HIIT) where you alternate between bursts of activity and longer periods of rest or low intensity exercise.

Engaging in a catabolic workout can have benefits, including calorie burning, improvement in cardiovascular health and enhancement of endurance. However, it's essential to be cautious as overdoing it or not providing the body with nutrition can lead to muscle loss. This is due to the increase in cortisol levels—a stress hormone—which can trigger muscle breakdown and promote storage.

How to balance anabolic and catabolic workouts

Both anabolic and catabolic exercises play a role in maintaining your well being and physical fitness. However it's essential to find a balance between the two based on your goals and requirements. Here are some suggestions, on how you can achieve that;

  • To effectively increase your muscle mass and strength it is advisable to prioritize anabolic workouts. Aim for about 3 to 4 sessions per week, ensuring that you have a minimum of 24 hours of rest between each session. It is crucial to select exercises that engage all the muscle groups and use a weight that pushes your limits performing around 8 to 12 repetitions per set. Allow yourself a resting period of 60 to 90 seconds, between sets.
  • To enhance fat loss and boost endurance it's beneficial to include catabolic workouts in your routine. Aim for 2 to 3 sessions per week, on days following your anabolic workouts. Opt for exercises that raise your heart rate and induce sweating like HIIT or circuit training. Keep these sessions brief and intense, not exceeding 30 minutes.
  • To ensure the preservation of your muscle mass and avoid muscle breakdown it is important to consume adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates both before and after your workouts. Protein serves as the building blocks for muscle repair and growth while carbohydrates help replenish your glycogen stores, preventing any muscle damage. Aiming for an intake of 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is recommended, along with consuming at least 20 grams of protein within an hour post workout. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain hydration by drinking amounts of water in order to prevent muscle cramps.


Anabolic workouts offer a way to enhance muscle growth and fat burning. These workouts typically involve strength training using weights or bodyweight exercises that stimulate the production of hormones. Catabolic workouts also have their benefits for health and fitness, but it's important to note that they can lead to muscle loss if performed excessively or without proper nutrition. Striking a balance between these two types of workouts is key depending on your goals and requirements.

By following these suggestions you can effectively optimize your fitness and reach your goals faster. It's crucial to remember that anabolism and catabolism work in tandem to help regulate your body weight and metabolism. Therefore there's no need to fear either one – utilize them !

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.