Tue, 16 May 2018

Rest, recover and repeat: Get enough muscle downtime for a healthier and stronger body


The best way to build muscle tissue is not by exercising more. In fact, your strength, endurance and muscles only develop when you are resting!

A common misconception about building muscle and strength is the necessity for you to train longer hours and at a higher frequency. From time to time, we can get caught up in working out excessively, especially when we feel this sudden surge of motivation.

In the end, we tend to forget that rest is just as important, and begin to push ourselves beyond our level of muscle endurance.

So what is muscle endurance?


Not to be confused with muscle strength, high levels of muscle endurance makes your everyday chores and training easier. This allows you to train longer without feeling physical fatigue.

If you have low muscle endurance and an intensive workout regime, you may be suffering from, what experts call, ‘Overtraining Syndrome’.

Some warning signs for you to take note of:

  • Persistent muscle soreness
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Decreased sports performance
  • ‘Burnout’: mood swings and loss of desire to train

The solution to ‘Overtraining Syndrome’


Taking regular breaks – and taking the right kind of supplements to help boost recovery - are essential to relieve the stress on your muscles.

Not sure of what you can do? Just follow these three easy tips:

1. Train at your own pace:



If you’re only just starting out, begin with low intensity reps and light weights. Once you feel like it’s getting too easy, you can gradually increase the intensity. Not only does it build up muscle endurance, it also reduces the occurrence of mental and physical fatigue.

Allocating times of rest is equally as important as planning your training schedule. Make sure that you get some time in between reps and days of workout. Experts recommend a time period of one to two days of rest before another round of hitting the gym. But exercising for consecutive days is not necessarily bad as long as you are targeting different muscle groups each day.

The bottom line:
Plan your training routine to be well-balanced and catered to your body’s ability and needs.

2. Getting some regular, quality sleep


Adequate sleep is actually the most important factor for muscle repair and development! During REM sleep, high levels of growth hormones, which are crucial for recovery, are produced.

If your aim is to build stronger muscles, insufficient sleep does just the opposite. Your body will be losing muscle and gaining fat instead. Experts even recommend sleeping more if you have overtrained for a longer period of time.

Hours is also not everything. Making sure that your sleep is uninterrupted is the most beneficial for relaxing your mind and body. Only then will you be refreshed to train another day.

The bottom line:
Get an average of 8 hours of quality sleep to recover and improve overall health.

3. Speed up recovery and build endurance with BCAA


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are the building blocks for protein which is necessary to build muscle and endurance. More importantly, they also supply nitrogen that is important to maintain and repair muscle tissue.

The bottom line:
When you train, there is a possibility of over exerting physically. Increasing BCAAs would then aid your muscle recovery process.

Want to boost muscle recovery? Here are three BCAA supplements we’d recommend:


For extra protein to build muscle endurance, Mutant BCAA 9.7 (S$95) contains 9.7g of amino acids. To get the best mix of a strong and well-rested body, just add a single scoop into your drink as you work out!

Spare yourself from the unwanted physical exertion and improve your muscle stamina with Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard BCAA (S$45). It is formulated to boost both energy and focus for the ultimate training endurance.


ForTo reduce muscle breakdown during exercise, we recommend Ronnie Coleman’s Amino-Tone (S$40). With less muscle fatigue, the chances of overtraining is lower. This way all you need to do is rest for the recommended period of time and you’ll be back on track to get a stronger, healthier body!

Visit Fitlion’s online store for more information and product recommendations.

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