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Old 02-11-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
Dakota Base
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

You might take a read through Matt Fitzgerald's "Racing Weight".

I have it downloaded on my Kindle App, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. It's focused on creating low body weight endurance athletes (cyclists, runners, triathletes) without sacrifices.

An Ironman that I train with is using the principle, he said it's not too far off from what I've described for myself, but more structured and programmed. He came from a wrestling background and dropped 30lbs of mass over the last 5yrs to convert to endurance triathlon.

He keeps banging on me to drop my weight down to around 150-155lb racing weight, but I keep telling him that Ironman triathlons are "fun" for me, not something I'm going to give up 40lbs of bodyweight for. We'll see how fast I am at Cozumel's 140.6 this year then maybe we'll talk about cutting some weight. I like being in the 185-195lb ballpark for jiu jitsu Absolute Division, and having the mass sure helps keep my lift numbers high
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:34 AM   #12
Adam Shreim
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

Just doing a lot of LSD running stripped my body of about 18# of mass over the course of 8 weeks. 3 days a week, 5-10 miles per session. The focus was also to always run faster.

So I would do sprint intervals at least once per week, as well.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:49 PM   #13
Joshua Murphy
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

Interesting and timely post on from a Games Athlete on this subject

Jeremy Kinnick
http://jeremykinnick.wordpress.com/2...rong-as-an-ox/
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:45 AM   #14
Dakota Base
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

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Originally Posted by Joshua Murphy View Post
Interesting and timely post on from a Games Athlete on this subject

Jeremy Kinnick
http://jeremykinnick.wordpress.com/2...rong-as-an-ox/
W/F Safe
I'll be interested to see how his weight looks at Games time, and how well he performs.

He's also making these cuts DURING the competition phase, so I'd be very interested to hear how he might do it differently if he weren't prepping for competition at the same time, and interested to hear how or if he'd change his strategy after going through it this time. Then again, a Crossfit competitor might be stubborn enough to always lift weights, since slipping in skills and strength has bigger consequences for a Crossfitter than being a couple pounds above target.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:20 AM   #15
Chris Mason
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

If you want to lose lean muscle reduce your caloric intake and don't train in a way which stimulates significant hypertrophy AND train with higher than normal volume. You will lose muscle, no worries there.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:25 PM   #16
Tyler P. Jones
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I got something out of pretty much every response, so I'm gonna cobble together a plan and ride it out for a few weeks and see if I make some progress.

In particular, thanks Dakota Base. It was a guy like you that I was hoping would weigh in, sounds like you've BTDT and had some success. Let me know what you think of this plan:

1) 60+ min cardio sessions starting at 6x/week with 5 days on, 1 day off. So one 2-a-day. I plan on adding a workout a week (ie another 2-a-day) until I hit goal or 8 workouts a week, whichever comes first.

2) No eating meat, except once a week and in a small dose.

3) 1 interval workout once a week to prevent metabolism crashing

4) Fasted runs in the morning to start the day
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:03 AM   #17
Chris Mason
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

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Originally Posted by Tyler P. Jones View Post
Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I got something out of pretty much every response, so I'm gonna cobble together a plan and ride it out for a few weeks and see if I make some progress.

In particular, thanks Dakota Base. It was a guy like you that I was hoping would weigh in, sounds like you've BTDT and had some success. Let me know what you think of this plan:

1) 60+ min cardio sessions starting at 6x/week with 5 days on, 1 day off. So one 2-a-day. I plan on adding a workout a week (ie another 2-a-day) until I hit goal or 8 workouts a week, whichever comes first.

2) No eating meat, except once a week and in a small dose.

3) 1 interval workout once a week to prevent metabolism crashing

4) Fasted runs in the morning to start the day
This sounds extreme an unwarranted.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:39 PM   #18
Brad Allen Jones
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

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Originally Posted by Dakota Base View Post
I spent 15yrs in a singlet before I started fighting barefoot, been over 20yrs as a combative competitor at this point. In a matter of speaking, I can say with confidence that I have an outstanding ability to manipulate my bodyweight and composition. I used the same techniques last year to burn down from a walking 195lb/fighting 185lb to get down to a walking 175lb/fighting 160lb that I used over 10yrs ago to get down from 189lb class to 160lb, then 152lb class. Takes about 2 months for me to cut down ~10lbs of mass, which is 8-9lbs of muscle.

Cutting muscle is more about diet than any workouts. Limit protein intake, your 1.2g/kg is likely too much, as it has been proven that 0.60g/lb (or 1.32g/kg) is as effective at GAINING muscle mass as 2g/kg or 1g/lb. In general, I'd cut out meat except for one meal per week. If I cut meat out entirely, I'd start getting drained and lethargic.

It takes a long damn time, and you'll feel hungry the entire time, and likely crave meat, then entire time.

I also generally throw randomized fasting days into the mix. They're terrible for you, but it does throw your system for a loop. If consistency is key for gaining mass, then inconsistency would logically help destroy it, right? Sure seems like it helps to me, at least. Same deal with hydration. Swing yourself from properly hydrated to slightly under-hydrated. It wrecks your system, but sure seems to help self-metabolize muscle.

Plyometrics, resistance training, Crossfit, etc will help sustain your muscle mass, so don't do that. You need to create calorie deficit by controlling your diet, and focusing in on long, moderated workouts. The only "intense" workouts I do are sprint intervals one day per week to keep my metabolism high. Boxing can be alright, and low speed sparring like BJJ rolling would be fine, but don't work over your muscles. I played hell getting my mass down during wrestling seasons/pre-seasons if I was sparring hard.

If I even LOOK at a weight during a cutting phase, I'll gain back 3lbs. If I even LOOK at meat during cutting phase, I'll gain back a pound.

Plan about a 2wk recovery phase before any competition after your cutting phase. You won't be able to go back to your normal routines, but you can build some strength back, and get some protein back in your diet.

All that said, I'm not sure it's a really long term solution unless you make a pretty serious lifestyle/diet change. It seems like once my body got used to having a certain lean mass, it would always trend back to that number. Of course, my protein rich diet and weight lifting habits tend to help me gain mass, but it's super hard for me to "stay light". I CAN get down to 155 (which is about 168walking for me) to fight, but it'd be a full time, year round job to keep my lean mass in check so I could get down.

That's a lot of random bullet points, hopefully it helps you a little on your quest.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Base View Post
Reread this post after typing my last one, and oddly enough, your words here basically describe the last 20yrs of my life, to a tee...

I grew up a wrestler and powerlifter, converted to MMA, spent the last 10yrs as a professional bull rider, and now I'm finding my way into Ironman Triathlon and marathoning.

It's hard to put concrete programming onto cutting lean mass because 1) it's a dangerous practice if pursued blindly, 2) not all athlete's bodies respond the same nor do they have the same goals, and 3) a lot of guys THINK they know how to do it, but haven't ever actually done it themselves.

There are common "formulas" flying around out there for losing weight (calorie deficit of 3500-4000cal per week = lose 1lb per week) or gaining muscle mass (calorie excess and 1g/lb bodyweight of protein per day), but it's pretty dangerous to make rules about cutting muscle. I suppose if I look at my program, I lose about 1/2 to 1lb per week of muscle mass, and was only taking in basically one serving of protein per week. No strength training (you'll be strong based on your current strength and mass), just touch up some heavy weight once you get down to weight.

My system is very effective and efficient for me, I worked it out by trying a few different methods in the late 1990's and have been up and down for different reasons many times since then. My body fat % is NEVER over 10% over this time period, generally haning 7-8%. So I'm not just gaining and losing fat. Through High School and collegiate wrestling, I slid up and down between 152lbs up to 250lb class (had to weigh minimum of 190lbs to wrestle 250lbs). Freshman year was 160 then 152lb, Junior year I was powerlifting a lot so I went at 215 and 250, senior year I cut mass back down to 160 and 171 (played football at 190lbs that fall). I fought BJJ in 2009 at 185 and 170, dropped to fight 155lbs for 2010 and part of 2011, then I went back up to fighting 185 in 2012 to have an advantage in Absolute Divisions (no weight restrictions). I generally walk around about 12ish pounds heavier than fighting weight.

I had a training partner that was cutting weight beside me in 2004 or 2005 that went with the "lift weights to break down your muscles and maintain, but starve yourself of protein" method. It didn't work. I lost the weight, and he didn't make weight that winter. Plus, his strength numbers plummeted, and he seemed to be more prone to injuries during that time.

The method above in the thread that's littered with the Navy Seal propaganda is misguided. The diet recommendations there are based around guys "trying to lose weight", not trying to lose muscle mass.
Are you saying that your weight fluctuated from 152-215 (ish) lbs and you stayed at 7-10% body fat? I'm sorry, but this sounds like one of those wild exaggerations that wrestlers tell non-wrestlers in order to sound hardcore. Either what you are saying is inaccurate or I'm misreading something.

I don't mean to call you out here, but it isn't fair to the OP to get suggestions from you and you aren't being completely honest.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:16 PM   #19
Dakota Base
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

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Originally Posted by Brad Allen Jones View Post
Are you saying that your weight fluctuated from 152-215 (ish) lbs and you stayed at 7-10% body fat? I'm sorry, but this sounds like one of those wild exaggerations that wrestlers tell non-wrestlers in order to sound hardcore. Either what you are saying is inaccurate or I'm misreading something.

I don't mean to call you out here, but it isn't fair to the OP to get suggestions from you and you aren't being completely honest.
First, yes, you are misreading.

Second, it sounds like you've never worn my shoes. Your experience obviously does not include my life as part of your paradigm.

I will say that if you take the time to READ the post, it will make more sense to you. I never said I flucturated from 152lbs to 215lbs. Specifically, my max weight has been 198lbs, with a normal "heavy weight" at ~193lbs, and I would only be down at 152lbs or 155lbs for about 6hrs at a time. It was easy to stay under 160lbs walking to wrestle 152lbs a few days a week when I was young, now it's a LONG fight to get down to 155 for more than a day out of every 3-4 months. As I mentioned in my post, getting down to fight at 155 HURTS, and would require full time effort, which isn't on my agenda these days.

My WALKING WEIGHT has fluctuated up and down between ~163lbs and ~193lbs.

I suppose it's VERY fair to say that I get under 7% during "lean cycles" where I'm competing a lot, especially wrestling seasons. Back in high school, bioimpedance monitors (electrode systems) would measure me less than 1% fat, calipers would measure 2-3%, and "tank tests" showed me at 5% during wrestling seasons. When I cut down to wrestle 160lbs my senior year, I had chronic nosebleeds, blacked out easily, and had fits of "vertigo" pretty badly, so I focus on staying over 5% measured fat. 7% is a comfortable maintenance fat for me. I also notice a distinct loss in performance any time I get over 10% (I've been a pro-athlete for the last 10yrs, with an 11month per year season), so I can't let myself get too "chubby".

HOWEVER, pretty much anytime you go online and talk about being 5% fat, some nay-sayer like yourself ends up challenging that unless you came to their technician at their favored lab and did DEXA or BOD Pod with them, then you must be lying. So 7% is about average bottom end for me, and it doesn't cause fits for people that think it's impossible to run incredibly lean, so I don't talk about the super lean phase when I actually walk on the mat.

10% measured has been my top end typically (have had regular dex, bod pod, calipers, etc. I bioimped every friday for directional changes). Sure, I've been up in 11 and 12% at times, but nothing maintained for any amount of time. I usually have the luxury of being pretty lean when I start going up, and every pound of muscle dilutes your fat gains:

165lbs @ 7% fat = 11.5lbs fat, 153.5lbs lean
195lbs @ 10% fat = 19.5lbs fat, 175.5lbs lean

Give or take 8lbs of fat in there to play with, 20lbs of muscle to build. REALLY not that much to ask for in a year's time, and take bites of it in stages. When I start feeling sluggish while gaining, I cut the fat back down, and reset.

Going back the other way, the fat usually comes off faster than the lean muscle, which is why I focus so hard on avoiding protein during my "mass trimming" phases.

So you can doubt it if you want, that's your prerogative, and I honestly don't have to care what your opinion is (God bless America). I wear my shoes, and I gave my experiences, you are free to do the same.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:27 PM   #20
Dakota Base
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Re: Need advice on dropping excess muscle mass

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Originally Posted by Tyler P. Jones View Post
Guys,

Thanks for all the input. I got something out of pretty much every response, so I'm gonna cobble together a plan and ride it out for a few weeks and see if I make some progress.

In particular, thanks Dakota Base. It was a guy like you that I was hoping would weigh in, sounds like you've BTDT and had some success. Let me know what you think of this plan:

1) 60+ min cardio sessions starting at 6x/week with 5 days on, 1 day off. So one 2-a-day. I plan on adding a workout a week (ie another 2-a-day) until I hit goal or 8 workouts a week, whichever comes first.

2) No eating meat, except once a week and in a small dose.

3) 1 interval workout once a week to prevent metabolism crashing

4) Fasted runs in the morning to start the day
I agree with Chris, that's a pretty wicked training volume for a "fasting cycle". If you're limiting your calorie/protein intake, so you do have to consider that you're partially fasting. Too much volume will make you sick, and weak.

Maybe I missed it, but why are you wanting to cut so fast? I can totally understand getting mass down, but no reason to crash the beach that hard if you're just trying to get more lean and mean for rock climbing, even if it's at a competitive level?
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