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Woman exercising with dumbbell

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One of the biggest lessons I have learned during my fitness journey is the importance of building muscle, especially if you’re going for that “toned” look. However, many fitness newcomers are clueless as to what it takes to actually BUILD muscle. One of the most common mistakes that people make is cutting calories during a building phase. However, just like plants, muscles required FOOD to grow. In most cases this means a calorie surplus.

Here are a few more common mistakes people make when trying to build muscle along with ways to prevent making them.

You don’t eat enough (for fear of getting fat). Although extra calories can mean extra fat, if you are lifting consistently, most of the extra food you are eating should go to your muscles.

You’re doing too much cardio. According to men’s fitness, there are three ways cardio can cancel out muscle gains: 1) doing it too often, doing it too long, and doing it on an empty stomach.

You don’t stretch. Although it can seem boring, stretching has been shown to speed up muscle recovery and increase a muscle’s range of motion.

Read about more mistakes to look out for and find helpful resources HERE.

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