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Hard Habits to Break – How to Get Better Muscle Development

You hit the gym religiously, get in your deadlifts, drink your protein shakes and stay away from Sbarro, but you still aren’t seeing the gains you want. Something seems to be holding you back.  There is more to muscle mass than reps in the gym. Other factors, like diet and lifestyle, can determine whether or not your muscles grow by leaps and bounds.

Here are some common mistakes that may be getting in the way of your fitness goals and keeping you from optimal muscle growth:

Skipping Breakfast
Eating the first meal of the day is good for the muscles and for your metabolism. Starving your body of nutrients causes your body to look internally for energy sourced. While fasting has certain benefits, it can lead to muscle catabolism, loss of muscle mass and strength.

The feast or famine philosophy isn’t going to provide the nutrients that breaking your fast will. Plus, eating in the morning is believed to boost your metabolism which will last throughout the day, helping to reduce fat and support a clear mind. Not only that, but individuals who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer calories overall because they aren’t starving at lunchtime. A balanced meal in the morning with healthy fat, lean protein, and no sugar, save for fruit, is the best way to help your body build before you have even touched a free weight.

Replacing Food
Loading up on a lot of supplements is not a proper replacement for food. You are strong to the finish if you eat your spinach and other healthy foods, including a balanced diet of proteins and healthy fats. Supplements added to this diet is the correct way to aid a nutrition regimen. Skipping food and using the supplements to fuel your body will leave you depleted in the long run.

The supplements you choose also makes a difference. A high-quality protein supplement may up your muscle mass. Protein can be converted into sugar at a rate that has very little impact on insulin, making it a clutch component to have. Knowing exactly what is in your supplements and if it can supply your body with those extra nutrients, is key. Additionally, eating a healthy snack and avoiding the ones that are high-glycemic, along with taking your protein, can help the muscle recovery process.

Overtraining
Exercise is like the gift that keeps on giving for your muscles - they grow after your session even when you aren’t working out. However, they need the time to do this so if you are constantly at the gym your body doesn’t have time to repair and rebuild. Plus, if you push yourself too much you open yourself up to injury, which will sideline you and set your progress back. It isn’t uncommon to experience DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, about six to eight hours after exercise, and peaking anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after a tough workout. However, if you are in pain you’re doing it wrong. There is no reason to hang tough if your body is requesting downtime. Work hard, but be smart and know your limitations. It is important not to skip rest days. Reward your body and allow the excess energy to go toward muscle recovery.

Sleep
Sleep is important to the body for many reasons, aside from being a fun thing to do. Not many realize how important sack time is when it comes to muscle growth. While you are sleeping your body releases HGH (human growth hormone) somatropin. This essential element regulates your metabolism and helps you grow, two important things when working towards peak fitness. If you give the Sandman the slip, you miss out on precious hours your body can be creating HGH. An adult needs 7 to 9 hours of slumber for prime production, so if you are burning the midnight oil you may not experience the muscle gains you are looking for. If you prioritize getting proper sleep, your future physique will thank you.

Habits may be hard to break, but with a few adjustments to your daily workout and nutrition regimen, you will gain ground on muscle growth and soon see major improvements.