For the professional athlete and gym goer suffering from a physical injury working out at anything less than their full potential is never fulfilling. Seriously guys, who really wants to sit around the house just waiting for their injuries to heal not being able to push your training efforts to reach new set goals. Not to mention the gradual loss of the progress you've already achieved. So for those looking to maintain muscle mass during injury or even when you're sidelined here is a guide for you.
Tips on how to maintain muscle mass when injured
While this possibility may sound absolutely terrifying, the truth is there's a lot you can do to prevent the loss of muscle mass during the recovery period. We will be sharing with you some of the ways you can safely prevent muscle mass and loss of strength while recovering from physical injury. However before we begin we should stress that if your injury is of a serious nature requiring a significantly longer period to effect the recovery process there is not much you'll be able to do to maintain your total muscle mass before your recovery is complete. Nonetheless if you're prepared to closely follow, these guidelines you will be able to retain most of your muscle mass.
Set your Calorie Intake at a Maintenance Level
Most professional trainers will tell you that there are three things you can do with your diet relative to your calorie intake when recovering from a physical injury.
Calorie Deficit best used to stimulate the loss of weight in the individual is generally recommended if your injury forces you to take a break from your training of 3-4 weeks. While most professional athletes will almost never use this method, beginners who may be slightly overweight will subsequently find this extremely useful during the recovery period.
Calorie Surplus which has been frequently used by professional bodybuilders to improve muscle mass prior to training is often recommended during the recovery period as not only does it allow the individual to increase the ability to maintain muscular mass but also to create a small surplus which is useful in the recovery process and super-compensation.
The maintenance level is a key factor regardless of you using a calorie deficit or surplus calorie diet. If you've experienced a physical injury forcing you to take a 1-2 week break from your training routine then finding out just how many calories you need to include in your daily diet is vital in maintaining your muscle mass. Professional athletes when identifying their maintenance level is generally observed when the body burns the same number of calories consumed on a daily basis.
Maintain a High Protein Intake
Observably this is one of the best methods used to maintain your muscle mass during the recovery process and can be the single most determining factor between maintaining muscle mass and losing muscle. Scientific research has proven that consuming the right amount of protein on a daily basis is known for stimulating muscular growth which in the case of the individual who is unable to perform the exercise workout due to injury, maintaining the protein content as a sufficient level is essential in preventing the loss of muscle mass.
Train in a Safe Environment with Light to Moderate Exercises
If your injury is of an upper body nature, provided your local physician agrees then you might want to start thinking about safely performing some lower body training exercises or vice versa. Similarly if your injuries are not limited to either your upper and lower body there are still exercises you can perform which movements do not require any extension or flexion such as front and lateral raises.
The truth is regardless of your injury you should never try to train through it at your full potential or you'll undoubtedly just end up losing more than you bargained for. Most men who have employed the unfortunate mindset of going back to their training too soon have frequently found themselves subsequently exposed to the risk of the loss of muscle and possible even death of the muscle tissue from overtraining.
Our advice to you which is your best and only option is to follow the guides we have included within this article, allow your muscles to fully heal 100% and you'll be back to your normal workout routine in no time without any significant loss in muscle mass or strength.