How to lose muscles

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #51505
    KBZ
    Participant

    Probably not the most popular topic when most of the people work hard to gain muscle mass 🙂
    Anyways I have a long history of gym training while esince a few years I have redirected my training to endurance sports like running or skimo.
    Thanks to the gym I still have some excessive muscle mass which is not desirable now, at least 5-6kgs. My fat is 7% so not much left.
    I was wondering how I can ged rid of the muscles without declining my fitness?

Posted In: Nutrition

  • Keymaster
    Scott Semple on #51552

    It will be a popular subject here. Who wants useless muscle hanging around that slows you down?

    Why do you think you have an excess of muscle? How are you determining this?

    Participant
    KBZ on #51578

    It’s quite easy to determine that when I compare the size of my quads, calves, bicepses to the guys who regularly wins the competition. They are just a lot thinner.
    My BMI 23.87 what is close to overweight. I know that BMI is not accuarate and sometimes irrelevant but if I weighed 18 kg less I would be still in the lower limit of the correct weight for my height.
    I just want to get rid of ~5kgs of the muscle mass what I suppose would translate to much better results.

    Participant
    Colin Simon on #51599

    Take a Himalayan expedition and eat whatever looks good

    Moderator
    Thomas Summer, MD on #52002

    Are you still doing strength training? Most of the adaptation comes with specific training. Of course, body shape is individual. Some have more muscle and gain muscle easily. Some are thinner and almost can’t gain muscle. Some are small and don’t grow, some are tall and don’t shrink;-) So you can change your constitution with training. Train like a runner and you will look more like a runner, train like a bodybuilder and you will look more like a bodybuilder. Of course, there are individual limits. We can’t play basketball and expect to grow;-)
    I hope you get the point!?
    I wouldn’t recommend cutting calories, because you are already really low in body fat.
    A question you have to ask yourself, is why you are comparing yourself with the guys who are winning the competitions? Do you want to win, or do you want to have fun? And even, if you want to win, I know some very good runners with big muscles.
    Anyway, I like Colin’s advice. You should follow that!;-)

    Participant
    Steve on #52003

    I agree with both Scott and Thomas.

    Lean muscle mass at baseline (ie without being on a muscle building routine) is a prized commodity. I would not give it up lightly. It not only makes you more of a powerful athlete, it can keep you healthy through strength, as well as lean due to its high thermogenic effect. And, if I’m not mistaken, it will also boost your VO2 max, because of all that muscle consuming oxygen. As Scott points out, I would truly review your need to reduce muscle mass, perhaps talk to some trusted friends to see if they think it would be reasonable.

    If you would like some prescriptive advice on how, specifically, to lose muscle, try the following ~6 month cycle:

    Put a pause on any dedicated strength training.

    Start building an aerobic base with progressive, long, Z1/Z2 distance running/hiking, as delineated in UA books.

    Prioritize 2 long workouts per week, building up to 4-8hrs each, all at low intensity (eg hiking, long bike rides, run/walks).

    Key workouts will be those over 3hr long, because past this point your body, in general, will ramp up using your own muscle as an energy source, in order of up to 1/10 – 1/5 of the calories you burn.

    I want your body to be like: “hey, if I had less muscle, all this constant, easy movement would a lot easier!”

    Paradoxically, I would continue to eat plenty of protein, say the usual rec of about 20-25G per meal or per 3hrs. I don’t have any specific science saying this will help or hinder muscle loss. I presume for rapid muscle loss you could cut out most of your protein, but this is not recommended, and is likely unhealthy.

    Regarding overall calories–would just keep the same amount you are now, or just eat to hunger with wholesome foods, if your have the resources and time to make it work.

    (unique goals like this may warrant consultation with a nutritionist, because sometimes it hard to know when to stop, once the muscle loss gets ramped up, and you may need an objective outsider to tell you when to sop or slow down)

    Plan B: just drink tea with a little milk for a few months (and chain smoke cigarettes)–I think this is what christian bale did to lose 60lbs for the machinist. (JK–don’t do this)

    Participant
    Steve on #52021

    Having read a little bit more about muscle loss, my above recommendation to keep eating a high amount of protein is incorrect. To lose muscle mass one needs to have a negative nitrogen balance. To achieve this your protein intake has to be relatively low, that is in relation to the amount of endurance exercise you are performing. I would suggest the standard RDA protein intake of 0.8g/kg, which would establish a negative nitrogen balance if you have a good amount of endurance training load. As mentioned, endurance exercise in itself can promote a negative nitrogen balance, and a lack of resistance training can do the same.

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