Working out is likely one of the very best things you can ever do for your body. If you add some cardio to this mix, good fitness will be your state in perpetuity. There is not much you can do wrong if a good workout is the backbone of your very existence.
For most of us who go to the gym 5-6 days a week, the only thing that might be better is being able to exercise as a function of our daily existence. The closest most people ever get to do this is when they are in the military.
Workouts learned in training for the US Armed Forces, such as the Army or Marines, stay with those individuals their entire lives.
The discipline about committing to workouts on a daily basis and enjoying the results is a powerful combination of factors that have great staying power in a person’s life. It is also a place people return to feel grounded and at some points in life, it is a constant in a whirlwind of change, or it should be, ideally.
Push and Pull
There is a routine to muscle development and it is as old as the dirt we walk on, which includes doing all pushing on one day, all pulling on another, then legs and shoulders each on separate days. Armies have sworn by this workout for decades. It can be a smart way to develop muscles, and once a person hits the point where they are satisfied with where they are, then it is a good idea to work antagonistic muscles.
Pushing days include chest and triceps, and pulling days is back and biceps, so on antagonistic days, a person would work triceps and biceps. Leg day is a special day full of exhaustive exercises designed to make one of the largest groups of muscles in our body as strong as possible. Shoulders, which worked on a separate day as well, can involve both pushing and pulling, and this is a total workout by itself.
Weight Lifting and Cardiovascular Workouts
After being in the military and working out for many years, people get to the point where they become very familiar with what their body can do, but more importantly what it cannot do. Eventually, everyone hits a wall. They might want bigger muscles to stoke the fires of better overall performance, while others just hate to do the same workouts over and over again, and although they feel good, they are just not seeing results.
Weight lifting and cardiovascular workouts are results-oriented labour of love. Everyone that pours themselves into this, day after day, look forward to seeing results – and rightfully so. This is where the human endocrine system comes into the equation. It is a sensitive system that creates and processes hormones in the human body. It is an amazing system, yet with intrinsic limitations.
Everything we do, almost every day, has to do with hormones. The stress we are under as a function of our very existence invites extra cortisol into the mix and, unfortunately, this hormone that helps our body deal with stress also has a deleterious influence on muscles.
This can upset the results-driven agenda of our everyday workouts, but even if it were not for endocrine-sponsored slowdowns, eventually results are hard to come by because the body will only produce so much of what is needed to make muscles larger and stronger. As a consequence, some people that lift weights will turn to hormones for muscle growth. The only way to induce muscle to provide more of what you are looking for is to help them along in that process.
Your body will only provide a finite amount of what you need to achieve results. Physiologically speaking, supplementing that natural process can be the only way to achieve greater results.
The human body has catabolic and anabolic processes:
- Catabolic processes will break things down; and
- Anabolic will strengthen and boost performance.
Cortisol is an example of a catabolic hormone.
Military personnel deal with stress on a frequent basis, which can be more intense during operations. The stress can invite catabolic hormones to increase which, in some way, the body has to balance that out. But that eventuality takes time, and if one is living a stressful life, which most of us might claim, that balance may remain imbalanced for a while. No one wants this, especially not when they are trying to achieve stronger, larger muscles.
Stress will naturally cause problems in many parts of our lives, but the last thing anyone wants is it robbing them of their workout results, yet it undoubtedly will. At some point, most people realise if they want to achieve a larger muscle mass than they were genetically predetermined to have, they must figure out their best steps to get more anabolic hormones. The “wall” that some military personnel hit when they can not get any bigger is frustrating, and since it is perfectly impossible to negate daily stress, other options must be considered.
There are workarounds and, although our bodies are largely just hormones and water, there is a balance that can be struck and that which can produce increased satisfaction and results from workouts. The way a person feels after basic training is undeniable.
What a person learns through that process is amazing and they are forever in awe of what basic training showed them their body could do. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel that again and – although maintenance is great – there are only two ways to capture the feeling of success after years of working out:
- One way would be to stop working out, go soft and then start over again to feel that sense of success, but no one who takes physical fitness seriously wants anything to do with that.
- Figure out a way to make your body work better and foster an environment in which you can get results again.
We are all just made of hormones and water, and there is nothing wrong with trying to figure out how making that balance work in your favour, or to add some science to your art.
Hopefully these tips will somewhat enlighten your way to muscle building to have that ideal ‘army-body’ you wished for.