How To Maintain Muscle During Lockdown/Pandemic

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If you’re scared of losing your gains due to the lockdowns and gyms being closed then these tips will definitely help you out. It’s important to do the right things at home when it comes to maintaining muscle during lockdown. You need to look at your diet, supplements, at-home training routine, or should I cut or bulk first.

All of that is going to be discussed in this post!

Check out these related articles:

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Should I Bulk or Cut During Lockdown?

People ask me this question a lot.”Should I cut or bulk first in general or now during a lockdown”.

Quite a few people are gaining weight during the lockdown, but when you’re into fitness it might not be a problem.

Cutting while not being able to really challenge your body with serious resistance training could harm your progress. 

If you should cut or bulk first does depend on your current body composition. For example, if you just started out with resistance training and don’t have that muscle and a tiny bit of fat then it’s probably best to continue your lean bulk.

I wouldn’t recommend a proper bulk, because you’ll gain too much fat due to not enough progressive overload

Because cutting body fat while not having all that much muscle isn’t going to do you any good. As you will lose muscle some muscle when cutting down, especially when you’re diet is not on point.

The amount of muscle you lose also depends on how big of a calorie deficit you’re in, and how advanced of an athlete you are.

I suggest doing a lean bulk, eating around maintenance. Doing a proper bulk while not training could lead to gaining too much fat. Gaining too much weight can obviously have serious health issues, but one downside is the loss of natural testosterone.

should I cut or bulk
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Cut or Bulk When Bulky

Should I cut or bulk when you have more body fat but also a good amount of muscle?

This depends on multiple aspects. How high is your daily caloric intake, how intense are your at home workouts, and your body goals.

If you feel uncomfortable with your current body composition, you can choose to do a mini cut. A mini cut is when you try to cut body weight in a shorter period than a serious cut. 

A mini cut is usually for around 8 weeks, and an actual cut is for 12-14 weeks depending on your level of body fat. The benefits of a mini cut are that you won’t lose as much muscle as a normal cut as it’s for a shorter period of time.

But you do cut back on calories faster. So the normal reduction of calories for a cut is 300-400 per day, and for a mini cut you can start at 500 deficit per day. 

Since we’re in a pandemic, I suggest doing a mini cut for around 8 weeks or until you reach your desired weight or look ( but no longer than 8 weeks). After those 8 weeks start eating at your maintenance caloric intake.

Should I cut or bulk
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Conclusion

I would recommend for the majority of the people it’s best to stay within your maintenance caloric intake as your body isn’t getting the stimulus or muscle overload.

When you’re bulking and you’re not getting that overload you’re going to gain way too much fat.

Cutting down while not putting your muscles under not enough stress could and probably will lead to muscle loss.

That’s why eating your maintenance calories and training at home is going to be your best bet!

Supplements To Maintain Muscle During Lockdown

Your diet is key to maintaining muscle during lockdown, but supplements are a smart way to assist in muscle gain or maintenance.

There are many supplements on the market but which ones are actually beneficial are a select few. Here are a few that are great for maintaining your muscle mass and to keep you looking full as well.

maintain muscle during lockdown
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Creatine

Creatine is the number-one supplement for improving performance in the gym. Studies show that it can increase muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance.

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. It takes about 1kg of meat to achieve 1 scoop ( 5 grams ) of creatine!

Therefore makes this supplement perfect for maintaining muscle during lockdown.

Whey Protein

It doesn’t matter if you’re bulking or cutting, you always need to hit your daily macros, especially your protein intake.

You can do this through your diet and get your protein from meat sources like, fish, steak, chicken, beef, dairy, or you can add protein shakes to your diet. 

Some people find it difficult to eat multiple meals in a day, so, therefore, are whey protein shakes a convenient way to reach your daily protein intake.

The recommended daily protein intake to build muscle is around 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. Your lean body weight is your total body weight minus your estimated body fat percentage.

If you can’t get enough protein through your diet then supplementing with whey protein shakes is essential for maintaining muscle during lockdown

 

bcaa supplement
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Supplements for recovery

The following supplements may not be essential to take during a lockdown when it comes to optimal muscle growth. But, training less or less intense because of lockdown gives you a chance to let your body recover from all the hard training before lockdown. 

We all know rest is super important, so why not take a few supplements to enhance your recovery.

These items are 100% necessary when training in normal circumstances, but they could play a big role in keeping your body in shape and ready for when everything opens again.

Here is my the list:

Fish oil (omega-3s)

You probably think fish oils are only good for your health, and yes it is. But it’s also good for your overall health, bones, skin, and joints. 

When you’re training hard and heavy day in and day out you’re joints go under a lot of stress as well. So you want to make sure you keep your joints healthy so you can train harder and longer.

Fish oils are essential fatty acids which means that they are essential to get in your diet. Now, you can get your omega-3s by eating fatty fish or other meats or fish, but you can also supplement with fish oils.

Essential fatty acids are super important when it comes to muscle growth. Fats are also important for hormone production, especially for testosterone. 

If you’re not consuming the right amounts of fat you won’t have optimal levels of testosterone and you won’t build optimal muscle.

 

maintain muscle during lockdown
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Multi vitamin

Yes, vitamins and minerals are super important for your health, but also play a big role in muscle growth. They also play a big role in protein synthesis. 

There are many kinds of vitamins and minerals and they all play a crucial role in the bigger picture. You have got:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
Hitting your macros over the day is very important, your protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
But to perform at the optimal level and build the most muscle as possible, you also need to look at your micros.

No matter how good your diet is it’s going to be super hard to get in all of your vitamins and minerals.

That’s why it’s very important to supplements with a multi-vitamin.

I recommend going for the multivitamin from Naturelo because their multivitamin comes from whole foods and not synthetically made!

How To Train At home For Maintenance or Make Gains

I get it, training at home isn’t the best. You can definitely make gains while training at home, but you just have to be creative!

Creative options can be:

  • your body weight
  • free weights, like dumbbells or barbells
  • resistance bands, also known as resistance tubing or workout bands

If you haven’t seen any of my other at home workout articles, then check them out below:

Also check out what the best equipment or supplements you need for optimal at home muscle growth:
 
 
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Muscle Memory

Maintaining and regaining muscle is so much easier than building muscle. Many studies have shown that by going for longer periods of not training you will regain your muscle in a matter of weeks.

Studies showed that if you took one month off you could potentially regain your lost muscle in a week or 2. 

So don’t worry, everything is going to be all right 🙂

 

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Progression Focussed

You want to progress focussed, especially when training at home!

What do I mean with progress focussed? Well, you want to make every rep count and do more reps than the previous day.

If today you did 20 pushups then tomorrow you’re doing 30. High reps are key for at home training.

You also want to make your workouts intense, as you can’t really put too much stress on the muscle with heavyweights, you’ll have to work with intensity.

At Home Workout Guidelines

Follow this easy guideline to maintaining muscle during lockdown
  • Train to failure
  • 3-4 sets (at least)
  • 2-3 Exercises per body part
  • Minimal rest time
  • Full body workouts
Vincent Sorel

Vincent Sorel

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