Struggling to bulk up? Know fitness mistakes causing muscle loss

Some people make fitness mistakes that cause muscle loss instead of muscle gain! Let's see if you are one of them.
Woman working out
Know why you may be losing muscle despite working out. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 21 Nov 2023, 12:31 pm IST
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If you have been sweating out at the gym and watching your weight, but are still unable to get the muscles of your dreams, read on. We may not realise it sometimes, but common fitness mistakes can lead to muscle loss.

Muscles play a fundamental role in the human body, serving as the powerhouse behind all movements. Essentially, the brain’s primary function is communicating with muscles, instructing them to carry out diverse tasks, says fitness expert Aminder Singh. Without this coordination, our bodies would remain immobile. Whether it’s the subtle act of blinking or engaging in daily activities, everything depends on muscle contractions. In essence, without muscle contractions, movement will become impossible.

Strong woman
Are you making fitness mistakes causing muscle loss? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Common fitness mistakes causing muscle loss

Muscle loss is a natural process that occurs with age. Beyond the age of 40, there is a gradual decline in muscle mass, a phenomenon attributed to ageing, says the expert. Furthermore, the rate of muscle loss accelerates with age, declining at approximately seven percent per decade after turning 40 and more rapidly at around 15 percent once a person reaches 60. Here are some fitness mistakes that can result in people losing muscle!

1. Overtraining

Working out is one of the ways to be healthy, but excessive exercise can lead to muscle breakdown. Intense activities or overexertion can also strain muscles.

2. Calorie deficiency

Muscle loss can happen due to deliberate efforts to lose weight via extreme calorie restriction. When the body is deprived of the necessary nutrients, it breaks down muscle tissue to compensate for the energy deficit.

3. Inactivity

Prolonged periods of inactivity or sitting for too long can result in muscle atrophy. This can occur if you are recovering from injuries or you just lead a sedentary lifestyle.

4. Too much cardio

About 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise every week is good to stay fit. But if you consistently going beyond this, and not eat much calories, it can make it difficult for you to maintain muscle mass. So, find a balance between cardio and strength training if muscle gain is on your mind.

Amrinder Singh says if and when a person suffers a severe illness, the body requires substantial protein for healing. If the necessary nutrients are not supplied through the diet, the body may break down muscle tissue to compensate for this. In fact, muscles can also deteriorate significantly when a body part is immobilised due to bone fractures or the use of a cast.

Squat exercise
Squat is good for muscle gain. Image Courtesy: Freepik.

What are the best exercises for muscle gain?

Any strength training exercise is vital to increasing muscle mass. Some of these include:

• Chest press, which works the chest muscles and aids in pushing movements
• Exercises like overhead dumbbell presses enhance upper body strength
• Activities such as rowing can help to develop posterior muscles.
• Squats, chair stands, and similar lower body movements are crucial.
• Incorporating rotational exercises like twisting enhance muscle diversity.


Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

Check BMI

Since protein is the building blocks for muscles, you need to eat accordingly. Go for foods such as eggs, chicken, milk, mutton, sprouts, pulses, beans and paneer, which provide the necessary amino acids contributing to muscle growth and repair. Along with protein, overall nutrition from carbohydrates and fat are essential for a overall muscle growth.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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