Tips on How to Maintain Muscle and Strength While Working Out at Home
Good news is, your body worked really hard to create the muscle it currently has. The last thing is wants to do it let it diminish. These tips will help you preserve the hard work you have already done!
- Eat enough protein and maintain your maintenance calorie numbers. Few nutrients are as important as protein.
If you don't get enough through your diet, your health and body composition suffer. Though it's hard to give exact numbers, a good starting point would be about 0.7–1 grams per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of body weight and 30-40% of total daily calories.
We recommend getting most of your protein recommendations from whole/unprocessed foods, however, protein supplements can be added to reach your goal numbers.
- Increase Time Under Tension.
What does this mean?
Slow and controlled reps, it means increasing the time that your muscle or muscle groups are under stress. When using lighter weights, you can increase reps/volume (and decrease speed) to keep your muscles working for a longer period of time. When using lighter weights, you can also decrease the rest periods between sets.
Things like static holds can, also, create stress when the external load is low. Examples; wall sits, planks, L-sits, bottom of squat holds, chin over bar holds, handstands.
- Continue strength training 3-5x/week.
You need to keep your muscles working in order to maintain the mass you have built. Get creative, use odd objects like backpacks, bands, coffee tables, stairs, plates, dumbbells, sandbags, play grounds.
We will continue to program strength at Aerial and will provide modifications and scaling options for several different kinds of equipment options.
- Limit excessive amounts of long cardio. (30min+)
Although cardiovascular exercise is good for heart health and building endurance, excessive amounts without adequate fuel, can lead to muscle loss. Remember, when you lose muscle mass, your natural basal metabolic rate slows down, which means you will burn fewer calories per day.
Short HIIT intervals and other metabolic conditioning workouts (CrossFit WODs) will help keep both your heart healthy and your muscles strong.
- Get enough sleep and recovery.
Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night, with a consistent sleep/wake schedule.
Reduce blue light exposure 30-60 minutes prior to bedtime and sleep in a cool dark room.
Use a fan or noise app to produce white noise if necessary.
Your body needs adequate recovery and sleep to allow your muscles to repair and rebuild from the muscle breakdown of exercise.
- Reduce stress.
Too much stress, whether psychological, physical or simply mental stress will trigger a heightened production of the hormone cortisol. Although cortisol can be beneficial for building muscle in the right quantity, too much (high levels of stress) can lead to a breakdown of muscle tissue and a metabolic resistance to body fat loss.
Other negative effects of high cortisol levels include impaired immunity, reduced testosterone output, osteoporosis, impaired memory and learning and reduced glucose utilization.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog on how to reduce and manage stress.