The foundation of any successful fitness regimen is healthy habits. Whether your goal is to run your first marathon, set a deadlift personal best, or commit to a daily walking routine, the key is to stick to regular habits that push you on the path to success. healthier and fitter life. However, when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, knowing what not to do is often as important as knowing what to do. Building and maintaining muscle mass is no exception to this universal rule. To help you build and maintain lean muscle mass, we share five bad fitness habits that are causing you to lose muscle mass so you can avoid them at all costs.
You can spend countless hours in the gym and train with Tazmanian devil-like intensity, but if you have poor fitness habits, you’re shooting yourself in the proverbial foot and unlikely. that you reach your fitness goals. Fortunately, by making minor changes to your diet, workout routine, and daily behaviors, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of bad habits and dramatically improve your ability to build muscle. Certified Personal Trainer Kate Meier, CPT of Gym Garage Reviews shares information on bad fitness habits you should avoid like the plague. Keep reading to find out what they are, then check out Top 5 Diet and Exercise Tips to Regain Muscle Mass.
A surefire way to lose muscle mass is to not consume enough energy (calories). Food is the fuel for your muscles, and not eating enough calories means your body will be running on an empty tank.
“Significant calorie reduction combined with intense cardio will lead to muscle loss over time,” says Meier. “Speak to a nutritionist or use an online calorie calculator to help you determine the number of calories your body needs to support daily functions and your training program.”
“Constant training is a key aspect of building muscle, but overtraining can have the exact opposite effect,” warns Meier. Unless you’re an endurance athlete who runs marathons or competes in triathlons, overtraining can lead to overtraining syndrome (OTS), a condition that occurs when you don’t allow for proper recovery after workouts. constant and vigorous workouts, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). Additionally, reduced levels of muscle glycogen and muscle weakness are associated with overtraining, according to research. According to the HSS, common symptoms of OTS include prolonged fatigue, poor sleep quality, low energy, persistent muscle pain, and mood swings.
Sleep is probably the most powerful (but most underrated) aspect of any health or fitness goal. Practicing good sleep hygiene and making high-quality, restful sleep a top priority will help you maintain and build muscle. Research shows that not getting good quality sleep, or not getting enough sleep, can increase your risk of losing muscle mass.
“Your muscles repair and grow while you sleep, and sleep regulates virtually all of your bodily functions,” says Meier. “Aim to get a good eight hours of sleep every night. This will help prevent long-term fatigue and help with muscle growth if you exercise regularly.”
Your body is made up of about 20% protein; it is in all your cells. Therefore, getting enough protein is essential not only for good health, but also for building and maintaining muscle mass.
“Whatever your nutritional strategy, make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet,” says Meier. “Muscle is fueled by protein, so proper recovery and muscle growth depend on it.”
Although the international Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the amount of protein you should consume is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your body weight, you will need to consume more if your goal is to optimize muscle growth and recover faster from workouts. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends consuming between 1.2 and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for best results. Just make sure you’re training hard and getting your protein from whole-food sources and high-quality protein powders.
While regular cardio exercise is fantastic for overall health, going too far can lead to muscle loss. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. However, consistently going over that threshold, combined with not eating enough calories or weight training, is a bad habit for anyone who wants to maintain or regain muscle mass.
“Making sure your body is properly fueled before cardio workouts is crucial because while it helps you burn more calories and fat, it will also burn muscle once other sources of energy are gone. energy will be exhausted,” says Meier. “The bottom line is that you should strike a good balance between cardio training and strength training if your goal is muscle growth.”
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Learn more about Adam
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