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9 common mistakes that harm muscle mass gain

Gaining muscle mass is the goal of many bodybuilders. In addition to promoting aesthetic improvement, building and growing muscles offers healthy aging, with a lower risk of sarcopenia — loss of muscle strength and function — and the development of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

However, the process of gaining lean mass can be quite challenging and requires adjustments in diet and training. Furthermore, monitoring with specialized professionals, such as a nutritionist and physical educator, is essential to avoid practices that, instead of helping, can hinder the increase in muscle mass.

By the way, do you know what these practices are? Then, with the help of experts, the CNN list 9 common mistakes that can prevent you from gaining muscle mass , both in food and training. Check it out below:

1. Only train the muscle you like

According to Anderson Pontes, physical educator and professor at Academia Gaviões, one of the most common mistakes that prevent gaining muscle mass is training only the muscle you like.

For a better hypertrophy result, it is essential to follow a training protocol with variety of muscles worked , separately and together, and with the correct periodization. This periodization can be done every 30 or 40 days, depending on your frequency at the gym.

2. Not getting a good night's sleep

Did you know that muscle grows when you rest? So it is! Therefore, the sleep plays a fundamental role in muscle hypertrophy . “It seems like a joke, but in sleep it is possible to produce hormones that help develop muscles. So, sleeping well is also part of the training”, says Pontes.

To do this, try to have at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night . Try practicing sleep hygiene before going to bed, avoiding the use of screens (such as cell phones, tablets or television) two hours before bed, avoiding stimulating drinks at night and trying to keep the bedroom environment comfortable, with good ventilation and low light .

3. Not getting enough rest between sets

Still talking about the importance of rest, the interval between sets of an exercise must be respected . For those who have little time in the day to train, the ideal is to at least wait 40 seconds to 1 minute between one series and another. For those who have more free time, it is worth waiting 2 to 3 minutes, also depending on the intensity of the training.

“This break time is important for the regeneration of the muscle, so that it has enough oxygen again for the next execution”, explains Pontes.

4. Not increasing the load in training

A load progression It is essential to challenge the muscle. By increasing the weight carried in an exercise, it is possible to stimulate the muscle to adapt for the next workouts, increasing in size and gaining more strength.

“If you don’t have a load progression protocol, you will be stuck in evolution”, says the physical educator. “Doing a protocol with a professional and knowing the week to increase weights and the week for muscle regeneration is essential”, he adds.

5. Not consuming enough calories

Diet to gain muscle mass should be focused on caloric surplus , that is, the greater consumption of calories than is expended. In other words, at the end of the day, you must have eaten more calories than you burned .

“To build new muscle tissue, the body needs a caloric surplus. The lack of this can prevent muscle mass gain”, says Karinee Abrahim, nutritionist at Instituto Nutrindo Idealis.

To do this, you can gradually increase your caloric intake through foods rich in nutrients, such as proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. It is also worth dividing your food intake into several meals throughout the day.

6. Not consuming enough protein

Proteins are essential for building and repairing muscles. “Proteins are essential for muscle synthesis, and an insufficient intake can compromise the process of recovery and muscle growth”, warns the nutritionist.

Therefore, it is important that this nutrient be present at every meal of the day . “Be sure to include lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and legumes,” he advises.

7. Avoid carbohydrates

For a long time, carbohydrates were considered the villain of diets. For those who want to lose weight, their consumption should be moderate. But for those who want to gain muscle mass, this macronutrient is as important as protein, when ingested in a balanced way.

“It’s important to balance macronutrients at each meal, including proteins, carbohydrates and fats, to provide the nutrients needed for muscle growth and recovery,” says Abrahim. “A lack of variety in the diet can also be harmful, leading to nutritional deficiencies and limiting the intake of different essential nutrients”, he adds.

8. Consuming ultra-processed foods

Ultra-processed foods can contribute to the accumulation of body fat and hinder muscle mass gain. “These are foods of low nutritional quality”, warns the nutritionist. Therefore, it is essential that they are avoided in the diet.

The main highly processed foods are: soft drinks, cakes and sweets in general, processed meats, fast food, processed biscuits, artificial juices, snacks, instant noodles, ice cream and industrialized ready-to-eat frozen meals.

9. Consuming alcohol excessively

For those who like to have a beer or two at the weekend, or a drink at night, here's some bad news: they are great enemies of muscle mass gain .

“Alcohol interferes with muscle protein synthesis and post-workout recovery, in addition to adding empty calories to the diet,” says Abrahim. Therefore, the ideal is avoid alcohol consumption during the process of gaining lean mass.

Source: CNN Brasil

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