So, you lose weight. Congratulations! You put your blood, sweat and tears into your workouts, getting your nutrition just right and making progress on your fitness journey to achieve your health goals. But you might be wondering, “Now?” After working so hard for so long, you’re probably used to having fitness goals to strive for. Now that you’ve reached your goal, it’s understandable to feel like you’ve lost your way. Fortunately, we’re here to help guide you. The next step on your fitness journey should be to increase muscle mass and build strength.
Why is this the best next step? Well, there are a few good reasons. In addition to making you feel more comfortable showing off your body at the beach, adding weight to your shape can have several health benefits.For example, strength training is said to enhance the body’s ability to process food, which can help prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases health news。 Plus, maintaining strength can promote healthy aging by slowing the loss of muscle mass, helping you live a longer, healthier life – research shows.
“Building muscle after losing weight is a good decision. When you’re in a calorie deficit, your body naturally prepares to gain weight,” says Rachel McPherson, CPT, an ACE personal trainer certified by Garage Gym Reviews. “If you use this time to focus on gaining muscle mass, you’ll limit the amount of body fat you gain and increase your lean body mass, which will help increase your metabolism after it becomes slower during weight loss.”
If you’re not sure where to start, we asked MacPherson to share some top tips for building muscle mass and strength after losing weight. Read on to learn how to gain muscle mass after losing weight, and when you’re done, check out 5 Exercise Routines to Improve Muscle Endurance as You Age.
Increase your calories slowly.
You’ve probably heard that you need to “gain weight” to build muscle, but that doesn’t mean you should start eating everything in sight. That’s where tracking calories with online tools like Cronometer or MyFitnessPal comes in.
“Don’t jump straight from losing calories to eating without knowing how many you’re consuming,” advises MacPherson. “Instead, try adding some extra protein and carbs each day. If you’ve counted calories before, try Add 100 to 200 calories per day, and then another 100 to 200 more. You should focus on slowly gaining 0.5 to 1 pound a week.”
Focus on hypertrophy based lifting.
Hypertrophy training prioritizes building muscle mass over strength. Instead of lifting weights or weights in the low rep range, focus more on moderate weights that you can perform in the 8 to 15 rep range.
“To build muscle mass with hypertrophy training, lift weights for each body part twice a week and slowly increase the size as you progress,” says MacPherson. Stick to this routine for at least eight weeks (preferably 12 weeks or more) long time for best results).”
Getting enough protein is essential for a variety of bodily functions, including muscle growth, tissue repair, recovery and a healthy immune system. While the current international recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for this muscle-building macronutrient is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, you may need more if you’re looking to put on a lot of muscle. Therefore, aim for 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for optimal muscle growth, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. “It’s important to get plenty of protein during weight loss, but if you don’t have it, now is also a good time to make sure you’re getting enough,” McPherson advises.
Consume high-quality carbohydrates post-workout.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, carbohydrates are an ideal source of fuel for your body to power your workouts. Without them, your body won’t have the energy to train hard and build muscle.
As for how much you need, MacPherson says, “Post-workout, make sure you’re eating 25 to 40 grams of protein and 30 to 50 grams or more of digestible carbohydrates. Of course, the amount depends on your calorie needs, but consuming post-workout protein The carbs in the shake will help your muscles use amino acids and replenish your lost glycogen stores, which are used to power your training.”
Reduce cardio (temporarily).
Fitness experts’ advice to cut back on cardio might sound counterintuitive—especially if you’ve long relied on it for weight loss—but overdoing it with cardio can prevent you from optimizing muscle growth.
“If you’ve been doing a lot of cardio during weight loss, now’s the time to cut back,” MacPherson says. “Consider cutting back on training once or twice a week. If weight training is challenging enough, you’ll still start with weight training. Reap the heart-healthy benefits of exercise. Plus, cardio hinders muscle recovery and doesn’t promote muscle growth, so it should give way to your weightlifting classes now.”