One of the most frequent complaints of athletes in marking phase is the one that has to do with the loss of muscle mass. Apparently, there is an unsolved problem; when you are at muscular creation stage, you eat more calories, you have more energy, you lift more weight, break more muscle fiber, and as a result, your muscle tissue is recomposed becoming larger in shape and stronger. It occurs during this stage that it is not possible to have muscles look marked and defined, so you look thicker and bulkier. When marking phase begins, the muscles look bulkier, but as you eat less because you are in hypo-caloric diet, you have less energy, work with less weight, and therefore, you reduce your muscle mass. Here are three simple tricks to help that will make your muscle loss minimal.
1 – Have Protein
You cannot create or maintain muscle mass without ingesting protein. As you are now in restricted diet, you have to eat less carbohydrates and you should take care that your protein intake does not falter because this will cause your muscle mass to be reduced. Eat at least one gram of protein per kilogram of muscle weight; ideally, you should eat two to three grams, depending on your weight and fitness level. You must have protein in every meal and do not eat less than six times a day.
2 – Supplements
It is not always possible to make a formal meal, so you should have on hand supplements like protein powders to mix quickly with water or skim milk or unsweetened juice for a quick and useful protein intake. The supplements aid in your training and diet, but do not consider the supplements your whole diet. Supplementation does not replace food, but it allows you to achieve your quota of protein during the day. You should not stop eating because you find nutrients in food which are not replaceable by any supplements.
3 – Train Smart
A mistake of athletes in marking phase is to try to continue lifting weights in the way they did in the phase of building muscle mass. By simply lowering the amount of calories, it is impossible to maintain the same workload and you can be exposed to injury if you try to do so. Add the number of sets and reps but with low weight: if, for example, you were doing the 3 bench press sets of eight repetitions with 60 kg, reduce it to 40-50 kilograms but gradually and make four or five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each and you will look sharper and significantly more attractive with better muscle definition.