4 Nasty Habits That Undermine Your Gains
Attempting to build muscle mass can be a challenge for some, but the right tips and techniques can ensure that you make the most out of your time at the gym. It is equally important to make sure that you do not pick up habits that will negate all of your hard work. Here are four nasty habits that can undermine even the most well-planned goals:
Too Much Cardio
Although cardiovascular exercise delivers immense benefits to the body, too much of it can burn an excess of calories. Adding bulk can be extremely difficult if your body is constantly fighting a calorie deficit. Long and sustained aerobic exercise will eventually force your body to use muscle to fuel itself. Although cardiovascular work is great in moderation, too much of a good thing can derail your plans to build bulk.
Your body craves protein to fuel its muscle recovery. Without adequate protein, you will be missing out on delivering crucial amino acids to your body. If your body lacks a steady supply of amino acids, you will begin to experience muscle fatigue and loss of strength. Insufficient protein intakes will force your body to turn to existing muscle fibers to harness the amino acids that it needs to properly function. As this cannibalization of the muscles continues, muscle mass loss will begin to set in. Be sure to consult with a nutritionist or other expert to determine how much protein your body needs to keep up with the demands of your weight-lifting routine.
Vices and Addictions
It may seem obvious, but it is important to understand the full scope of the negative effects that alcohol, opioids, caffeine, and other drugs can have on your goals to build muscle. Alcohol and other addictive substances can impair the process of protein synthesis, stunting the growth of new muscles. The Recovery Village cautions, “although it may seem benign when you first begin using, prescription opioid addiction can lead to more serious addictions like heroin.” New muscle growth will continue to be stunted the more you subject your body to the negative consequences of various addictions.
Poor Recovery Habits
When it comes to building body mass, too much of a good thing can indeed be a bad thing. Resistance training works because it breaks the muscles down in an effort to build even more mass. However, not enough rest between weight training cycles will not allow the muscles enough time to fully recover. Without adequate recovery, your bodybuilding efforts will never reach their full potential. Rest days allow your muscles and connective tissue the chance to reset and repair themselves so that you push forward in achieving your fitness goals. Yuri Elkaim recommends, “taking off days doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing exercise or other fitness related activities. Rest days don’t mean you’re sitting on the couch doing nothing. Active recovery is a combination of stretching, myofascial release, light cardio, and other light activities like that. Now, there are times you should take an off day as opposed to a rest day, but that depends on your workout routine, and your goals.”
By taking care to ensure that you do not fall into these four bad habits, you will be doing your body a great service. With the right mindset and focus on developing good habits instead of poor ones, you can work toward achieving the body that you have always dreamed that you could have.