Arms (not) like matches and legs (not) like chicken thighs – Part 2

Yesterday the time had come: I had another appointment with the “magic scale”!

As a reminder – the last time I did this was at the end of February and, as reported here, it was not very positive: I had lost muscle mass overall. This concerned exclusively the upper body – i.e. the arms and the torso, on the legs I had even gained weight, creating thus a strong muscular imbalance.

I now had almost four and a half months to counteract the muscle loss with the help of a new training plan and some changes in diet. My goal was to at least stop the process. Ideally, I hoped to partially or completely rebuild the muscle mass lost on the upper body.

With regard to my endurance training this meant: significantly fewer and shorter running units! Currently I only run an average of 6-10 km every second Sunday (always when I don’t give classes) and of course I run a lot during vacation as an alternative to Bodyattack. Apart from that, 2-4 hours of Attack per week are more than sufficient for endurance. 🙂

At the same time I got a new strength training plan, which I adjusted again after about 8 weeks. (Within this period our muscles usually get used to certain movement sequences, so that no new impulses are set and the effect of the training becomes weaker. For this reason, the training plan should be changed regularly, about every 6-8 weeks.) The focus of my new strength training is on the upper body, i.e. arms, shoulders, torso – we left out the lower body completely, as Bodyattack is definitely enough training for booty and legs (which was confirmed by the weighing result at the last appointment). It doesn’t always work out, but I try to put in at least two strength units per week.

As I also give CXWorx-Classes regularly once or twice a week since the beginning of February, the intrinsic muscles – especially those of the trunk – are trained additionally.

As regards nutrition, it came down to the fact that I had to eat even more than I already did. I have to say, it’s really not easy to consume so many calories in a healthy way… Because eating a third portion at a meal only leads to you overeating and getting a stomach ache – nothing you want. My diet has been quite high in protein for some time now, which is basically great for the muscles. But apparently this was not enough and of course you have to consider that proteins are metabolised more slowly than carbohydrates, which is why a carbohydrate-rich meal is highly recommended directly after an intensive training session in order to provide the body with new energy quickly.

So I started to increase the calorie content at breakfast by switching from low-fat curd cheese to 20% curd cheese and eating more snacks throughout the day. After exercising, I have a protein shake and a banana (fast energy for the muscles) before the main meal.

I also decided to use BCAA amino acids to protect the muscle mass. At this point I would like to expressly point out that the effect of this supplement has not (yet) been scientifically proven and that it should under no circumstances be overdosed! But I myself have made very positive experiences with it. I usually take the BCAAs about 30 minutes before Bodyattack and since then I feel much more powerful, especially in the power tracks. By taking the supplement shortly before the class, I achieve – simply said – that the required energy is drawn directly from the BCAAs then present in the blood instead of from the muscle mass. 😉 (By the way, this is exactly the reason why I take a dose of them before jogging, too, as I especially like to run in the morning before breakfast – then the risk that the body draws the needed energy from “unused” muscle mass is particularly high).

Well - did it work or not? 

For some weeks now I have been noticing that I feel much better – much stronger, fitter – than at the beginning of the year and was therefore almost certain that my body values had not deteriorated any further. But of course I was really happy when the magic scale yesterday confirmed my feeling all along the line! 😀

In short: I have not only been able to stop the process, but have also completely rebuilt lost muscle mass – in other words, I have achieved my ideal result! In figures, by the way, this means 1.1 kg of pure muscle mass exclusively on the upper body. My metabolism (which fortunately has always been really good anyway) has become even better, which supports my theory that sometimes you just have to give your body more – more (healthy!) food, more calories, more nutrients – so it has “material” to work with. You can’t build a house if there are no bricks, either, can you? 😉

So I will continue like this and I think that I will be able to maintain these values without any problems. Next week I will get my new strength program, which I hope will be as much fun as the last one – because one thing is clear: If it’s no fun, you don’t do it and then of course the whole thing is completely pointless. Anyway, I am FIBEEEER curious.

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