11 Habits to Avoid When Building a Lean Muscle Mass

Published On:

Building lean muscle mass is no child’s play. You need to be one persistent hard worker to look in the mirror and watch the reflection of a lean body.

Like there are a lot of tips and tricks to achieve your dream of adapting lean muscle mass, there are an equal number of bad habits that can restrain you from achieving this dream. Just one bad habit can flush down all the hard work you put in the gym every day.

This article will learn about 11 of these habits to avoid building a lean muscle mass.


Habits to Avoid to Build Lean Muscle Mass

Habits are a part of our life. Some are good, while some are harmful. To build a lean muscle mass, you should avoid these 11 habits.

1. Spending Time on Less Efficient Exercises

Building lean muscle mass is a challenging task. To do so, you have to perform high-intensity exercises at the gym. This requires a lot of energy.

It would help if you spent your energy wisely to gain the maximum benefits from your workout session.

If you focus on single muscles by performing single-joint exercises, there are chances that you won’t have the energy to complete all the muscle groups.

Save energy, save muscles. That is why you should choose multi-joint exercises over single-joint exercises. Through multi-joint exercises, you will be able to target multiple joints at once with much less expenditure of energy.


2. Small Meals


The trend of eating 6 small meals throughout the day is increasing day by day. In this lifestyle, people cut the 3 important meals of the day into 6 parts.

Even though it has a lot of benefits regarding weight loss, the same benefits can fire back at you.

Some people don’t get hungry that often. When such people adopt this habit of eating 6 small meals throughout the day despite average breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they overeat.

Because of their lifestyle, they have to eat small meals at odd times. But as their stomachs are not empty, finishing their plates leads to consuming unwanted nutrients and calories.

This causes weight gain and takes you far away from your goal of building a lean muscle mass.


3. Eating at the Speed of Light


Some people do eat at the speed of light. We all have seen humans empty their plates while their eating partners are still halfway through.

If you are a fast eater, you need to change this habit of yours. The reason?

When we eat quickly, we overeat. Our mind thinks that we have eaten less because the receptors present in the stomach need about 20 minutes to tell the brain that we are full.

And because you are emptying your plate in much less time, overeating is natural. Soon this becomes a habit that causes frequent weight gain, keeping you away from your goal of bearing the child called ‘lean muscle mass.’


4. Improper Sleep

Improper Sleep

Killing your muscles every day to gain lean muscle mass is essential. And that is why adopting the proper habits so that the muscles can recover is an integral part of this goal.

Improper sleep schedule and less amount of sleep can hinder the process of muscle recovery. Those who don’t take 8-hours of good sleep complaint about slower muscle recovery, muscle pain, lack of energy to hit the gym the next day, etc.

Sleeping for an adequate amount of time helps in muscle recovery, mind relaxation, energy building, and many more. An 8-hour sleep is a must to get lean muscle mass.


5. Too Much Cardio

Too much Cardio

Cardiovascular exercises are proven methods of losing weight, but too much of them can take you far away from achieving lean muscle mass.

The reason behind this is that cardio requires a lot of energy. Hitting the treadmill every day in the greed of losing weight can steal your energy that could have been used to lift weights.

Plus, when you are on the journey of achieving lean muscle mass, you require calories and other nutrients for your muscles to grow big.

If your goal is to build lean muscle mass, burning valuable calories, proteins, and other nutrients through cardio is not wise.

Try to limit cardio to under 45 minutes 2-3 times a week. 


6. Following The Same Routine


Nothing good comes out of our comfort zones. To achieve something, it is mandatory to step out of comfy bubbles. The same applies to your gym sessions.

To gain lean muscle mass, it is impossible to keep on changing your exercises to achieve maximum results.

This is because when your muscles become familiar with an exercise, they don’t pump up the same as they were during the initial days.

That is why you should keep on changing your workout routine. You can even take the help of a gym trainer while beginning.


7. Not Eating Before the Session

Many people follow the routine of starving themselves before hitting the gym to shed a maximum amount of fats.

While studies show that fasting before working out is beneficial, fasting will only hinder your gym session if you are a frequent eater.

Also, studies have found that intake of protein before a workout is as essential for the muscles as consuming it after the workout. According to research, there should be a minimum of 3-4 hours of gap between pre-workout and post-workout meals to gain maximum benefits.


8. Heavy Lifting


There are two types of muscle fibres – the slow-twitch and the fast-twitch. Both of the fibres are responsible for lean muscle mass. While the slow-twitch is for slow stuff such as endurance or lasting energy, the fast-twitch is for fast stuff such as bursts of short energy.

Heavy lifting targets more of the fast-twitch fibres, leaving the slow-twitch fibres in shadow. That is why always lifting heavy can lead to no results.

It would help if you had a mixed routine of lifting heavy and doing more reps with lifting light.


9. Staying Dehydrated

Staying Dehydrated

Staying dehydrated is never a good idea. As much as calories and other nutrients are essential for the body, fluids and electrolytes should be consumed in adequate amounts to keep up with the proper functioning of the body.

If you are dehydrated before starting your workout, nausea, headache, and fatigue will kick in soon because of the high-intensity training.

This will become a setback when you cannot perform as many sets as you do. That is why always drink adequate amounts of fluids before kicking the gym.


10. The Myth of Large-Sized Items

Your mind is brilliant. But it can be tricked easily. When you put food on your plate or order large sizes of food items at restaurants, you tell your mind the exact amount of food that will be going in your body.

Your mind then transports the message throughout your body. This is the myth of large-sized items. You will have to finish whatever’s on your plate because your body has made the space according to the food on the plate.

By putting small amounts of food and buying small-sized food items outside the home, you can generate the habit of eating less, consuming less amount of calories, and thus gaining more lean muscle mass.


11. Netflix and Chill


Netflix and chill is the new eating trend. Some people’s food doesn’t travel down their guts without something good streaming on the TV. This habit forms a distance between you and a lean muscle mass.

The reason behind this is a lack of mindfulness. Because your mind is focused on what is streaming on the TV, you end up overeating.

The distraction causes the brain to avoid the signals of the fullness of stomach receptors. In the end, unwanted food travels down your gut, which results in weight gain and goodbye to lean muscle mass.


You May Also Like To Read:

Whey Protein vs Mass Gainer – What is Better for Your Health?

How Much Protein do You Need to Build Muscle?



To conclude, focusing on what is going on in your stomach is as important as what type of weight is in your hands. Whatever you do, your diet is connected to it. To achieve lean muscle mass, work hard both inside and outside the house.

Do you have any other habits you want to share with us? Let us know by commenting down below.

Leave a Comment