We are all on a journey when it comes to health and fitness and it is a good one to be on. However, depending on your aspirations and goals, it can be a dangerous one. Many of us reading this may wish to build muscle mass to increase our fat burning capacity, but for some, in their relentless pursuit of more muscle, ‘doing more’ is not the key to their success.
In fact, by adopting this attitude, we can become our own worst enemies. When it comes to bodybuilding you have to think more about being disciplined, then training to excess. Many lifters go overboard, when actually ‘less’ is more.
I can help save you months of trouble by avoiding the following training and dietary mistakes, as you work towards building lean muscle, whilst torching your body fat at the same time:
- Skipping Breakfast – Make breakfast a meal that you never skip. It is a very important in keeping your metabolism up, and burning efficiently.
- Excessive Cardio – Never let Cardio dominate your training. To fight fat, a good idea would be to engage in weight training and to build muscle. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which constantly burns calories. Therefore the more muscle you possess, the more calories you will burn. However, cardio is great for the ‘fine tuning’ aspect to your fitness regime. It is good for trying to rid your body of stubborn pockets of body fat.
- Cutting out dietary fat – Healthy fats help you a lot more than they can hurt you. Saturated fats are needed in the production of your natural testosterone levels. To try and keep any muscle gain, I would suggest that you aim to get 20-30% of your total daily calories from good fats such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil. Some of these saturated fats can aid your workouts. Red meat is high in creatine, which naturally helps boost your body to move more weight in the gym. Also these fats actually promote fat loss, so consuming them really a ‘win win’ situation.
- Carb eating late at night – Your metabolism is pretty important in preventing your body from storing fat. When you wake your body craves carbohydrates because your body is fasting overnight, and will in turn deplete muscle glycogen. However, the first few meals of the day will help to replenish your fuel tank. As time passes and the day endures, the glycogen in your body will peak, plateau and start to deplete. This in turn slows down your metabolism and so any carbohydrate consumption later in the day, will more than likely be stored as fat. So it is best to consume your carbohydrates in the morning or around workouts. I would personally advise that you consume the majority of your carbs in the morning and at lunch, to taper them off into the afternoon, thus ensuring that any carbs that you eat are not stored as body fat.
- Continuing to do familiar workouts – A lack of stimulation of the muscles will happen if you do the same workouts time and time again, stopping any progression you may hope to have.
- Not getting enough rest, recovery and sleep – Will hinder your workout and fitness development. Muscles need time to replenish and grow, so you need to allow suitable rest periods in between your training sessions. This will enable good recovery, before the next onslaught of exercise. Sleep is necessary for all your body processes to take place, and should never been compromised. Sleep deprivation can really hinder your progress.
- I will endeavour to discuss this in further blogs, written by myself.