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Working out regularly but still not gaining some muscle? The choice of workout you’re doing may be responsible for it. Before jumping to conclusions, let’s understand how our muscles function and what they are capable of.
Muscles play an important role in the daily functioning of your body. Muscles allow us to breathe, lift, stand, balance, and walk. Focusing on building muscles is important for both men and women as they help our body to perform well, avoid pains, prevent falls, and wear and tear. Muscle mass plays a vital role in dense bones, increased overall energy levels and optimal calorie burn rate.
For all types of fitness routines we follow, change occurs depending on how our bodies perceive it. As we workout, our bodies go into growth mode.
Firstly, it wants us to replenish all the energy we have used during the exercise, then use the remaining for muscle build-up. We train our muscles through the activities we put them through. But not every exercise or workout will essentially result in a mass buildup. Some may reverse muscle formation and do more harm than good.
Practicing muscle training exercises is important for people of all age groups to prevent and delay sarcopenia, a term used for gradual muscle loss due to aging.
Sourabh Arya, a New Delhi-based fitness expert and nutritionist, tells HealthShots about the exercises we need to limit to prevent muscle loss.
“Recognise that too much endurance activity and bouts of exercise that are too long can cause loss of lean muscle mass, especially, during periods of caloric restriction or if you are Ectomorph (too skinny),” he says.
While running is touted as one of the best workout routines for overall health, losing muscle mass from running is a possibility. Running too much may be responsible for muscle loss if you don’t have enough energy reservoir in your body to support the high-intensity runs. So, you do indeed use a certain amount of muscle as fuel for running.
Doing weight training is a good idea if you wish to tone up your muscles. But, if you’re overexerting your body by lifting too much weight, it may lead to loss of muscle. Weight training workouts can burn since it burns calories when lifting weight. Therefore, it is always related to burning muscle, since it strips your muscles of the energy it needs to build them up. A great idea to store muscles is to switch to low-impact weight training to reduce stress to your joints and muscles.
Doing sets and reps of workouts and high-intensity laborious jumping exercises to the point of total collapse is bound to cut off muscle from your body. Picking up more weights or doing high-intensity training may look good due to the instant pump, but you’ll reap no lasting gains.
Stretching increases a body’s range of motion and speeds up recovery in case of muscle damage. Doing muscle-building exercises and lifting weights without stretching first will limit your ability to move athletically and limit new muscle formation, no matter how pumped up muscles you got.
The fitness expert says that cardio should be a tool used to enhance overall fitness, or to facilitate fat loss in the form of caloric expenditure.
“Running long distances and jogging will most likely chip away at the muscle if you go overboard and the overall caloric intake is not matched,” he adds.
Taking these things into consideration along with consumption of lean protein 15 to 20 minutes before, during, and shortly after exercising, may help you gain muscle, according to a study. However, protein isn’t the only factor to consider!
It’s about adding a variety of meals to meet your caloric demands and provide the nutrition you require as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet that will aid you in gaining muscle, losing fat, and increasing strength.