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How to lose muscle mass? (Serious)

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Guest

Hello GB! You can skip down to the line across the post, everything before that is just background.

 

A few of you may know me, but here is background info: 16 y.o. male, ~140 lbs (63 kg). I run competitively in fall and spring, and train for respective seasons in winter and summer. I started doing F1/F2 in March, and made some good progress, however did not see the times I wanted to in my track races. Continued Foundation and added H1 in August. 4x a week Foundation, 6-7x running. 

 

I had a very bad season (a few inappropriate words come to mind), only dropping 18 seconds off my 5k best, 17:49 to 17:31. Needless to say, I was embarrassed and frustrated. I think overtraining comes into play, too much strength training, and lack of structure to my running due to bad workouts by the coach and chaos in my life (not asking for training advice for running, excuse my lack of modesty, but I know what I'm doing).

__________________________________________________________________________________________

 

I have made the decision to quite Foundation for quite awhile, until maybe the end of track, and even then go on a 2-3 day cycle (I would be running 2x a day, 3x a week). I will still continue H1 until I get a handstand, and then it will just go on maintenance.

 

This leads me to my question, how can I lose muscle mass? I have large pectorals (sorry, don't like the word 'pecs') and can make them "dance" to the amusement of my friends. My arms are pretty large as well, and my back muscles when my scapulae are retracted are defined. This is just to paint a picture, no bragging. I don't like this! Right now my plan is this:

 

-lower my caloric intake/overall eating

-continue drinking lots of water (I get about 100 oz or so a day)

-less fruits, more vegetables

 

Any other suggestions? Training would continue as normal, with pretty much ZERO strength training, minus 3x a week squatting and 3x H1.

 

Thanks so much, and any questions please ask! :)

 

TL;DR: Poor running season, how do I lose muscle mass/weight?

 

 

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Joseff Lea

It's all about your goals, you've correctly surmised that you're not going to be an elite runner by pursuing gymnastics. The way I see it you have 3 options:
1. Continue with the running you are currently doing and use H1 and F1 as purely supplementary work, some strength training may be useful depending on what type and distance of running you are doing.

2. Not pursue becoming an elite runner and focus on becoming a good all around generalist. You can then continue to train as you have been but you seem to say already that this isn't at all what you want.

3. Re-evaluate the type of running you're doing, it sounds from what you say that you have a phenotype that is suited to gaining mass, maybe you should focus on shorter distances where your power can really come into play.

If you're after losing weight then backing off training is the way to go, I'd keep doing some mobility but no high rep work. Unless you want to lose fat eating less isn't going to make a huge difference and could very well be detrimental to your running. It'll take some time but just make sure that your main focus is your running and the rest will (mostly) take care of itself. 

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Guest

@ Spinelli,

 

I'm going to give you my thoughts on all three options:

 

1. I am primarily a 1600 runner, and am going to dabble a bit in the 800 this year. I run XC in the fall. This is probably what I am going to do.

2. I love this idea and have been obsessed with it for quite awhile, after studying Ido Portal's philosophy. It is pretty cool being the only one on my team who can bench press their bodyweight and hold a full back lever, but in the end I want to be the best of the best at running (obviously not National, but maybe at the state level.

3. Referring back to #1, I am best at the 1600. I can barely break 28 in a 200, and probably only have sub 59 400 speed, so I'm not very competitive. 

 

Thanks so much for your input, greatly appreciated!

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GoldenEagle

Your muscles will atrophy from not using them to the same extent you have been.

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Mark Collins

How tall are you and what is your bodyfat level? 63 kg is a low weight so it is hard to imagine that you have too much muscle. Test your bodyfat levels and you may come to the conclusion that is fat you need to loose rather than muscle.

Can you post a picture?

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Romulo Malta

Gosh, how can I put this without sounding rude... I don't think you have excess of muscle at all! On the contrary, I just see a skinny guy and without large pecs or arms as you said. Maybe you are overly concerned and need to take care with a tendency to have anorexic behavior (distorted self-image of being overweight)

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Cody Ward

You seriously don't need to lose anything. ..

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Andrew Long

I have to say I really agree with the others. You are muscular but by no means do you have remotely large arms or pecs. There really is nothing to lose there. I'd focus more on your running training and whether you have a diet to match the rigors of that training and completely forget about needing to lose muscle mass. When I was your age there was a 50 y/o guy in my running club who did 5km sub 16 mins and he had some seriously sculpted arms. He was by no means small.

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Mark Collins

I would not lose any more muscle as you don't have much. Your performance would be more related to your training and nutrition. How much are you eating?

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Shia

5'10ish, BF is probably around 8-9% or so, using this picture as reference (not sure if reliable): http://www.builtlean.com/2012/09/24/body-fat-percentage-men-women/

 

Here is a video of me shirtless, I'll upload a picture tomorrow:

At the peril of sounding vitriolic, you are not muscular at all. You are your average ectomorph body with small bone structure. Again I dont mean for this to sound harsh, but if anything gaining some muscle and strength would help you.

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Mikkel Ravn

I think Awareness got the message...

Dude, you definitely dislocate way more weight than I do! :P

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Antranik

Offtopic, but what is the benefit of doing weighted dislocates?  If a PT saw you doing these, they would freak! :P

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Guest

Hahaha, thanks guys! This is not sarcasm: putting it bluntly is the best way. I want all the advice I can get It is difficult to see in the video, but please trust me when I say I am muscular. Nothing crazy, but it's there (sorry for lack of modesty :mellow: ). I am most likely more cut than I am bulky, but I would still like to lose some of it.

 

@Romulo, I have no problem with my body image.

 

@Mark, I don't count calories too much, but keep a general figure in my head throughout the day. Here is a general day for me:

Breakfast: Small energy bar, run, vegan energy bar, chocolate milk, apple, some type of whole grain (pancake-no syrup, biscuit, it's what the school is serving, and somewhat healthy if the nutrition facts online are correct), nutri-grain bar.

 

Snack: Protein bar or beef jerky

 

Lunch: Some type of school protein, as many vegetables as possible, sometimes none because I'm the last lunch, fruit, chocolate milk.

 

Snack: Oatmeal with honey, almonds, peanut butter

 

Dinner: Some type of meat, fruit or vegetable, and another side.

 

@Ravn, thanks! I tried 30# the other day and got it the first half, but couldn't get it back over :lol:

 

Once again, please state your minds as honestly as possible. Thanks so much!

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Mikkel Ravn

Offtopic, but what is the benefit of doing weighted dislocates? If a PT saw you doing these, they would freak! :P

1:Strengthening the posterior deltoids and building strength in an under-utilized ROM

2: Gaining flexibility by stretching the chest and the anterior deltoids

3: Making PT's freak

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Cody Ward

Honestly, you don't have really anything to lose. If you do attempt to get smaller it would only ruin your performance.

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Shia

Hahaha, thanks guys! This is not sarcasm: putting it bluntly is the best way. I want all the advice I can get It is difficult to see in the video, but please trust me when I say I am muscular. Nothing crazy, but it's there (sorry for lack of modesty :mellow: ). I am most likely more cut than I am bulky, but I would still like to lose some of it.

 

@Romulo, I have no problem with my body image.

 

@Mark, I don't count calories too much, but keep a general figure in my head throughout the day. Here is a general day for me:

Breakfast: Small energy bar, run, vegan energy bar, chocolate milk, apple, some type of whole grain (pancake-no syrup, biscuit, it's what the school is serving, and somewhat healthy if the nutrition facts online are correct), nutri-grain bar.

 

Snack: Protein bar or beef jerky

 

Lunch: Some type of school protein, as many vegetables as possible, sometimes none because I'm the last lunch, fruit, chocolate milk.

 

Snack: Oatmeal with honey, almonds, peanut butter

 

Dinner: Some type of meat, fruit or vegetable, and another side.

 

@Ravn, thanks! I tried 30# the other day and got it the first half, but couldn't get it back over :lol:

 

Once again, please state your minds as honestly as possible. Thanks so much!

 

 

 

Seriously, if you attempt to lose mass you will end up looking anorexic. You honestly have nothing to lose. You're not msucular, you're just very very lean with good muscle definition. Not muscle mass.

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Mark Collins

It looks like you are eating too little for the amount of exercise you are doing. In my opinion you are already doing all of the things that slow muscle gain.

If you still think you have too much muscle you should ask as many people as possible what they think.

I would count calories and macronutrients for a week so you can really know what you are having then you can adjust accordingly. You may find by increasing your intake your running will improve regardless of your lean body mass.

Try reading Advanced Sports Nutrition by Dan Bernadot, the Australian Institute of Sports nutrition web page and some Josh Natermans posts. I think once you get your nutrition right your running performance will improve and you will be able to keep doing F1 and H1.

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Keilani Gutierrez

It looks like you are eating too little for the amount of exercise you are doing. In my opinion you are already doing all of the things that slow muscle gain.

If you still think you have too much muscle you should ask as many people as possible what they think.

I would count calories and macronutrients for a week so you can really know what you are having then you can adjust accordingly. You may find by increasing your intake your running will improve regardless of your lean body mass.

Mark hit it spot on!

and to echo something that i recently had a conversation on.

WHO is saying you have too much muscle mass for your running? you? or someone who is apparently not equipped to make that assumption(or that you misunderstood where they were coming from)?

cause seriously have you seen a sprinters legs? massive!

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Guest

I am saying it and comparing myself to other runners in my district (skinny as hell). I am not a sprinter, I train for 1600 and up.

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Tristan Curtis

I agree Awareness. If running a fast mile is your first priority, you need to stay away from strength training that recruits the lactic acid system (>3 reps). This means F1 is not suitable for your goals. I would even be cautious about H1.

 

Losing some lean mass will definitely help your times. But, you may not necessarily need to lose a lot to reach your perfect running weight. I have seen 4:03-milers who are only a tiny bit slighter than your frame and weight.

 

I think your plan is good. Less calories and high volume training. This will train your aerobic system to do more with less. Mix that with stopping high-rep strength work - and only doing low-rep max effort lifts - your body's mass will gradually shrink down to follow this function.

 

The main advice I would give is - ironically - what we tell people looking to do the opposite (grow bigger with F1): trust the process and have patience.

 

PS. People in this thread need to understand that competitive middle-distance runners are extremely skinny in stature. The build is slighter than what is aesthetically-pleasing.

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Mark Collins

I agree Awareness. If running a fast mile is your first priority, you need to stay away from strength training that recruits the lactic acid system (>3 reps). This means F1 is not suitable for your goals. I would even be cautious about H1.

 

Losing some lean mass will definitely help your times. But, you may not necessarily need to lose a lot to reach your perfect running weight. I have seen 4:03-milers who are only a tiny bit slighter than your frame and weight.

 

I think your plan is good. Less calories and high volume training. This will train your aerobic system to do more with less. Mix that with stopping high-rep strength work - and only doing low-rep max effort lifts - your body's mass will gradually shrink down to follow this function.

 

The main advice I would give is - ironically - what we tell people looking to do the opposite (grow bigger with F1): trust the process and have patience.

 

PS. People in this thread need to understand that competitive middle-distance runners are extremely skinny in stature. The build is slighter than what is aesthetically-pleasing.

Olympic weight lifters rarely do more than 3 reps yet they develop muscle mass that is far greater than the average gymnast.

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Tristan Curtis

I haven't seen much Olympic lifting, but am often surprised at how small these guys are considering their huge 1RMs. Bodybuilders have more lean mass, and their bread-and-butter is 8, 15, 20, sometimes 30 reps.

 

Doing low-rep and avoiding high-rep strength work is recommended by many >800m running coaches to develop the right muscle fibers. All-out, low-rep efforts develop the fast-twitch fibers, and increase the power capacity of a contraction, which translates to speed. High-rep efforts are avoided as they develop mass for the ability to contract many times eg. nutrient insertion pathways, metabolic regulation pathways, vascularisation - functions which are better trained for running by running (long easy, up hills, intervals etc.)  Lifting weights for this mass is not directly related to strength/power for running, and is "deadweight" to a runner.

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Guest

@Weezer, I've never met someone who is as knowledgeable about running as me... haha but yes, I normally do heavy squatting (front/back) 5x5 or 3x5 three times a week. I do plan on slimming down to around 125-130 if I can. What I would do for my friends to gain an extra 10-15 lbs! Thanks for the P.S. as well, I didn't know how to get that across.

 

@Mark Collins, it is a misconception of the general population that heavy lifting paired with endurance training will build muscle mass. It will not.

 

To everyone, my plan is this: Continue with only core work (SL/MN/PE 1-6 FL) and minimal upper body pulling/pushing as long as my offseason is occurring. When the season comes into play, I will put core work down to a maintenance level (1-2x a week) and upper body eliminated. This is a HUGEEEE decision for me, as I like GST more than running, but XC/track at school has more friends and a wider base to train with (no friends to train GST with me...). Thanks for everyone who commented on this, and to end on a happy note: I just mastered SL/PE7 after 5 weeks of not doing any F1!

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Mark Collins

Best of luck with your training.

 

@Mark Collins, it is a misconception of the general population that heavy lifting paired with endurance training will build muscle mass. It will not.

There are plenty of sports that have proved that wrong. Look at Rugby League and Union players who can run for 80 minutes. They are all 100kg+ and they lift heavy low reps all the time. The same goes with competitive Crossfitters. They lift heavy with multiple repetition ranges and run different distances and they all carry significant muscle mass.

@Wheezer. Check out Dimitry Klokov for an impressive olympic lifter. There is some good you tube videos of him working out.

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