Building muscles is a long and slow process. It takes even years to build muscles, but little mistakes in the training regime, nutrition intake, and general lifestyle may result in muscle loss. The top five reasons for muscle loss and their respective fixes are provided below.
You’re training too much (or not enough)
The main factor for muscle growth is training volume. Up to a threshold, the muscle growth increases with increase in the training volume. Initially doing more workout results in muscle build-up. However, there is diminishing marginal utility and after a certain point there becomes an inverse relationship between training volume and muscle growth. Training more can result in damaging the muscle tissue and muscle loss.
The Fix: Create a schedule
Beginners should create a training schedule and aim at gaining consistency in workout regime. Setting a workout goal of 3-4 workouts for 12 weeks can be a good beginning for a consistent schedule.
You’re too focused on weight loss, not fat loss
The workout goal should not be to lose weight but to lose body fat. For losing body fat the calorie intake should be controlled. Only eating less and controlling the calorie intake should not be the goal as it will lead to muscle loss. Eating sufficient protein and weight lifting is required in addition to reducing the calorie intake for building body muscles.
The Fix: Keep Score
One should do resistance training three to four times a week and maintain the strength levels when dieting. A target of 0.8-1 gram of protein intake per pound of bodyweight is also recommended.
You’re not recording your workouts
Workouts should be recorded and monitored regularly otherwise there will be no way to determine if one is progressing or has stalled. One can remember how much weight they lifted last week but it is not possible to remember all such tiny details.
The Fix: Write everything down
It is recommended to record the weights lifted and reps completed. Such recording and monitoring of workouts will help to get stronger and build body muscle.
You’re not using proper exercise technique
Proper technique in a workout is important for achieving the desired results. People make the mistake of moving to advanced exercises without mastering the basic ones first. The amount of weight to be lifted also has to be selected properly. One should not lift heavier weights just to satisfy the personal ego. Such improper exercise techniques have a degenerative impact on the muscles.
The Fix: Modify. Then modify some more.
If one is struggling then weights should be reduced. It is also recommended to try simpler exercises targeting specific body muscles and then slowly moving to more complex exercises.
You’re stressed and not sleeping enough
Sleep is important to maintain ideal workout. If the sleep is affected then the body has less energy to do the workout and it will also leave the body with lesser time to recover from the training stress. Lack of sleep creates hormonal imbalances in the body which leads to fat accumulation in the body. It also slows down the muscle growth.
The Fix: Prioritise self-care
One should aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep in the night. It is also recommended to follow a consistent and regular sleeping schedule.