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Old 08-05-2011, 09:38 AM   #1
Matthew Verlinich
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Too much Muscle Loss?

Hello all!

Some background on me:
I'm 5'9" tall. February of 2010 I weighed 140lbs. approx 7.5% body fat(BF). I could be described as weak, out of shape...basically emaciated.
November 2010 I weighed 170lbs about 12% BF. I gained the weight and joined the 1000lb club between bench, deadlift, and squat.

That's when I started to do some CrossFit WODs (about 2-3 times a week) with my regimen of heavy, low-rep sets of bench, dead, and squat. My MetCon and various other exercises improved a lot, but I lost tons of muscle and even more off my 1RMs.

I'm now stuck at 9-10% BF and I want to get back down to 7% at 160lbs, but I just checked again after losing a few more pounds and it seems like it was all muscle that I lost.
6/20/11: 160 lbs, 9.5% BF
8/5/11: 155.5 lbs, 10.9% BF

Any advice? It almost seems like the CrossFit workouts are too diverse for me to maintain enough progress in the major muscle groups to keep up my muscle mass.

Thanks,
Matt

PS: I've been tweaking my diet a little bit, but i've been sticking approximately to the 4 block per meal zone diet plan.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #2
adam adkins
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Verlinich View Post
Hello all!

Some background on me:
I'm 5'9" tall. February of 2010 I weighed 140lbs. approx 7.5% body fat(BF). I could be described as weak, out of shape...basically emaciated.
November 2010 I weighed 170lbs about 12% BF. I gained the weight and joined the 1000lb club between bench, deadlift, and squat.

That's when I started to do some CrossFit WODs (about 2-3 times a week) with my regimen of heavy, low-rep sets of bench, dead, and squat. My MetCon and various other exercises improved a lot, but I lost tons of muscle and even more off my 1RMs.

I'm now stuck at 9-10% BF and I want to get back down to 7% at 160lbs, but I just checked again after losing a few more pounds and it seems like it was all muscle that I lost.
6/20/11: 160 lbs, 9.5% BF
8/5/11: 155.5 lbs, 10.9% BF

Any advice? It almost seems like the CrossFit workouts are too diverse for me to maintain enough progress in the major muscle groups to keep up my muscle mass.

Thanks,
Matt

PS: I've been tweaking my diet a little bit, but i've been sticking approximately to the 4 block per meal zone diet plan.
How are you measuring your body fat?

Why are you so concerned about it?

What's the difference between 160@9.5 and 160@7? I know it is four pounds but how does that four pounds make your life better?

What are your lifts now?

What were your lifts when you were in the "1000# club"?

Why are you zoning?
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

I don't see anything odd going on--you added CF to your existing strength work and are continuing to eat 4 block "meals" of approximately 400 calories each for some reason. So your body is tapping into muscle mass to fuel the additional activity. Does that surprise you? Getting strong is hard enough without severely undereating, so why would you want to make it any harder?

What's so magical about 7%BF, other than the fact that getting there is probably going to cost you quite a bit of your strength?
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

Your being a little too precise about all this. The actual word I would use is barred on this board. Unless you are getting dunked to test your body fat anything you use will be imprecise enough that you should not fine tune by it.

Your body and your goals.

For myself I'm trying to maintain or improve strength while increasing met-con capacity. I am fully aware that if I want absolute maximum strength gain I must give up the met-cons. I don't worry about body fat much at all. When I got too low (10% or less) my performance dropped off. Not enough food and your body thinks it is starving and take action to protect itself.

If you want to do met-cons and not lose your strength eat more and let your body fat land where it needs to be for maximum performance.
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
Steven Low
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

Eat more and lift heavy
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
Matthew Verlinich
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

Thanks everyone for your contributions! See below for answers to the various questions that were asked of me:

How did I measure BF%? 7 sit skinfold caliper test and a rudimentary hydrostatic weighing method which I developed myself (http://www.instructables.com/id/Meas...ater-Weighing/). I am aware of the inaccuracies of all the various methods, but I like to quantify things. I am also going based on simple observations of my body; though the numbers may not be perfect, they do change in agreement with changes in my body.

Why 7%/Why do I care so much? Mainly because I now have a good understanding of what my body needs to do the gain size and strength, and I now want to test/learn my abilities going the other direction. I aim for 7% because in general that is the point where just about any body type will show muscle definition without flexing (I've never been that way while actually having significant muscle), and because the ACSM says that for my age the 90th percentile has 7.4% BF.

What were/are my big three lifts? At my peak they were 240 lbs for bench, 370 for squat, and 395 for deadlift (though I must admit at the time the bench and squat would likely have not passed in a meet). I am not sure what they are now especially deadlift as I just broke my finger, but if I had to guess I would say (now with perfect form): Bench 205 lbs, squat 255, deadlift 335.

Why zone? I tried zone because that's what the crossfit website prescribes, and it seems to claim that you can use that to both get stronger and lose fat.

In summary, I guess I'm wondering if the claims of gaining strength and losing fat this site makes might not apply to someone like me; coming in specially trained on a few lifts with a relatively low body fat already.
My general impression is that I need to cut back on crossfit workouts, increase strength workouts, and maintain or slightly increase my calories.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

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Originally Posted by Matthew Verlinich View Post
Why zone? I tried zone because that's what the crossfit website prescribes, and it seems to claim that you can use that to both get stronger and lose fat.

In summary, I guess I'm wondering if the claims of gaining strength and losing fat this site makes might not apply to someone like me; coming in specially trained on a few lifts with a relatively low body fat already.
My general impression is that I need to cut back on crossfit workouts, increase strength workouts, and maintain or slightly increase my calories.
The anecdotal evidence here on the forum suggests that the Zone block prescriptions are pitifully inadequate for most athletes, and that the Crossfitters who have success with the Zone actually tweak it so substantially that it no longer resembles Dr. Sears' recommendations.

Clearly it isn't working for you, so why would you want to stick with it?

Eat more.

Katherine
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:16 AM   #8
Adam Kryskow
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

Matt,

Have more patience with everything. Allow a steady diet to slowly bring you down in bodyfat while retaining strength. You cannot do both quickly but over long periods of time you can increase strength and maintain a very low bodyfat percentage(within reason). The biggest key to this, as with any goal, is steady driven patience. Don't limit your calories to starvation and sacrifice your strength gains. Don't eat everything in sight to the point where body-weight exercises are needlessly more difficult.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:53 AM   #9
Brett Dartt
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

ditch the zone focus on strengthwork.

maybe do 70's big? its focus is on the lifts and prescribes 2-3 short metcons per week after a lift
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:48 PM   #10
Andrew N. Casey
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Re: Too much Muscle Loss?

pick a goal. do you want to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, be good at crossfit, or achieve a certain look? stop trying to accomplish them all at the same time. eat and train for one goal. 7% bodyfat is very low. you can't "generalize" your diet and exercise to 7% while also attempting to gain muscle and get stronger, all the while not losing any conditioning. choose a target so you know what to aim for.
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