What are the things killing your gains? You may have noticed that you lose your muscle pump within a few days. That is because you have some deterrent habits during the muscle gaining phase. So, it would help if you stopped doing those things that affect your gains. Our muscle contains water as a significant part, around 20% protein, 1-10% fat, and 1% glycogen.
When you work out, you use your muscles to lift weights or body weight. The glycogen and the water stored in your muscles also get used. The muscle fibers made up of protein break due to the weight you lift to give resistance to your muscles.
These muscles need water, glycogen, fat, and protein to regain strength and build new muscle fibers. When you do not follow a particular routine or schedule for your muscle recovery, your muscles do not recover properly. Hence, you tend to lose your muscle gains.
Below mentioned are a few things that you need to stop doing in order to gain muscle mass and avoid muscle loss.
Things Killing Your Gains:
No Post Workout Stretching
Stretching increases muscles’ flexibility, which makes more room for new muscle fibers. After the workout, muscles that are used tend to be pumped. It would be best to relax those muscles by doing some cool-down exercises.
Stretching the muscles before and after a workout is a must, especially for someone who is into weight training. Before a workout, you need to do dynamic stretching where the muscles wake up. After the workout, you need to do static stretching where the muscles cool down and relax—stretching decreases the recovery time. The tendency of sore muscles reduces to a certain extent by following a pre and post-workout stretching routine.
Static stretching is a type of stretch where you stretch a muscle or group of muscles and hold it for a few seconds. This helps the muscles relax. The muscles fibers that were very close to each other found some room. Now the new muscle fibers built over the next few days have more space which helps to increase muscle size.
Skipping Post Workout Meal/Drink
Post-workout meal is the most critical meal if you are someone who does medium to high-intensity workouts. After the training, the muscle glycogen almost depletes. To replenish the muscle glycogen, we need simple carbohydrates in our post-workout meal.
Similarly, the muscle fibers break during the workout, for which we need to provide protein for the body. Carbohydrates and protein are the only macronutrients that are essential after a workout session.
Skipping this important post-workout meal is one of the main things killing your gains. This meal is most effective within 30 minutes after a workout. You can have around 30 t0 40 grams of carbs and 20 grams of protein post-workout. (1)
Eating Junk food
Junk food slows down your metabolism, which is not healthy for anybody. Junk food has significantly fewer nutrients and more unwanted stuff, which our body flushes out by itself. So, there is no good reason to eat those food items that the body denies.
Junk foods have contents that do not digest properly. Digesting these foods takes a lot more time, making you sleepy, and eating junk food before or after a workout is never recommended.
They contain a lot of calories in a small amount of food compared to natural and healthy foods. Healthy foods digest quickly and faster than junk foods. Fruits and vegetables keep your digestive system healthy. They contain water, vitamins, minerals, and fibers suitable for hea
Muscles contain water as a major part. If you are dehydrated, you will naturally not have enough water to fill the forces. Especially during a workout, drink at least a liter of water. You can have a natural rehydrating drink also.
If you are dehydrated throughout the day, the nutrients will not absorb properly. The food that we eat needs water to absorb the nutrients from food. Just drinking water is not enough; you have to eat fruits and vegetables containing minerals and electrolytes that help hydrate the body. (2)
Too Much Cardio
Cardio is for the heart. Doing too much cardio does not help you in any way in building muscles. In fact, it will reduce the size of your muscles. During cardio, our heart rate is high. We sweat putting out water from our body, and the body’s overall energy gets depleted. (3)
This makes our muscles fatigue and shrink. Doing cardio more than required slows down our metabolism, which doesn’t help in fat loss or muscle gain. The body starts to store fat and use muscles as a primary energy source when you go beyond a specific time and intensity during cardio.
So, avoid doing too much cardio. Cardio once or twice a week is enough.