We all know building muscle is difficult but sometimes we forget that it’s the maintenance of that muscle afterward that is the difference between good and great. Maintaining muscle after is not as difficult as building it and there as some easy inexpensive ways to achieve that goal:
1.) Intermittent Fasting:
This comes as a surprise to many people but fasting for a period of time actually has a muscle-sparing effect. The trick is just not too fast for longer than 24 hrs., the recommended fasting window is 16 hours (8 of which you are asleep) and an eating window of 8 hours. Using this practice can save you both money and muscle. It is also good to note that any food you eat after the fasting period would be absorbed more effectively with a greater release of hormones which of course helps our cause.
2.) Light Rep Weight Training:
If your goal is only to maintain muscle, then lighter weights with high reps to increase blood flow in the area will suffice. Bodybuilders do this during their cutting phase to maintain muscle whilst minimizing the risk of injury before their show. You can go easy on those heavyweights if a minimal effort is one of your goals.
3.) Eat a Complete Protein Source:
Make sure that the 2 meals that you do eat in the 8-hour eating window both have some form of a complete protein source (have all the essential amino acids). All animal-based proteins make the requirement, if you are vegan however then you have to make sure that you combine 2 plant proteins that complete the amino acid profile. This is because the presence of amino acids stimulates the mTOR pathway which is crucial for protein synthesis and regulation.
4.) Take the Supplement GABA:
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid is a Human Growth Hormone secretagogue, which means that it helps release natural HGH from within the body. HGH is a crucial hormone for the maintenance of muscle and can help preserve the tissue far beyond its scheduled catabolism. This supplement also improves your sleep (So take it before bed) and sleep is crucial for healthy muscle maintenance as well.
If you are happy with your current physique and no longer want to bust your chops at the gym, then following the 4 tips in this article will help you reach the goal of keeping your hard-earned gains with minimal effort (Notice how I said ‘minimal’ and not ‘no’).