How to Prevent Muscle Breakdown in Bodybuilding

How to Prevent Muscle Breakdown in Bodybuilding

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Building muscle tissue is actually a combination of muscle degradation, or catabolism, and muscle synthesis, or anabolism. The key then, in bodybuilding, is to have a greater rate of anabolism compared to catabolism. Your diet, training regimens and even your sleeping habits all affect the net rate of muscle-tissue growth. Avoiding excessive cardio enables your muscle cells to develop cellular adaptations that are best for building bigger muscles. Limiting your cardio also helps you conserve your energy for your bodybuilding workouts.

Step 1

Calculate the minimum number of calories you must eat just to maintain your current muscle mass by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 50 calories per kilogram of body weight if you are a man. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 44 calories per kilogram if you are a woman. Consume 350 to 700 calories in addition to your minimum requirement, every day, to ensure you are eating a sufficient amount of calories to prevent muscle breakdown.

Step 2

Include within your daily calorie consumption 2 g of protein per kilogram of your body weight so you have a sufficient amount of amino acids to build more muscle tissue than your body breaks down.

Step 3

Drink a protein shake immediately after every training session to prevent muscle breakdown in bodybuilding; the rate of catabolism exceeds the rate of anabolism until you consume a carbohydrate-protein meal after your workout, optimizing muscle tissue synthesis and repairing muscle damage. Make your protein shake using cow's milk, whey protein with 2 g of the amino acid leucine in each serving and a fast-digesting fruit like pineapple; this combination speeds the rate of muscle synthesis compared to a protein shake made with soy milk, casein and an apple.

Step 4

Get plenty of sleep to give your body time to rest and prevent muscle breakdown; sufficient sleep enables your body to produce an ample supply of growth hormone that repairs and grows your muscles.


  • Keep a diet journal to ensure you are eating enough calories and protein. Plan and make your meals ahead of time, reducing the likelihood you will skip meals.


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