unable to lose fat without sacrificing a lot of muscle
- 08-17-2008, 04:53 PM
unable to lose fat without sacrificing a lot of muscle
im currently about 195lbs, 6'2 and around 11% bf. i've been lifting for about 6 years and i have no problem bulking, but ive always been very reluctant to run since it always costs my size. even running for about 5 minutes will make me look significantly smaller, and im not sure how to get around this. i eat pretty well, and right now im at about 2500-3000 calories a day, usually at least 300g protein and under 100 carbs (with some exceptions) im also taking usp recreate and anabolic pump (neither of which seem to do anything).
im unsure of a cardio routine, as both hiit and low intensity cardio still significantly decreases my size. i was splitting up my lifting into twice a day just to maximize this, but even this is not as effective or practical as cardio. im taking plenty of vitamins and bcaas and eating every couple hours but the problem is the same, i dont think im gonna lose anymore bf withoutactual cardio.
what im doing now is cardio in addition to lifting for the first 3-4 days of every week, and then just lifting for the next 2 or 3 to regain my size. this seems inefficient though, and i am still losing a good deal of muscle mass.
if anyone knows a possible solution to this problem or has any advice i would appreciate it.
- 08-17-2008, 05:14 PM
You can lose bodyfat without cardio, you can always try CKD, do a search here on AM or on google, keep a calorie deficit and the fat will come off, you will most likely lose a bit of muscle, which isn't a big deal, you "look" bigger when you cut some bf off.
Around 11% to get lower bf, I would recommend cardio, I'm just really not buying the significant size loss thing, only way to significantly lose size after 5 mins of cardio is if I'm running behind you with a chainsaw and cutting your limbs off, but I don't do that anymore.
- 08-17-2008, 05:19 PM
08-17-2008, 05:23 PM
Dropping fat without losing muscle is a tricky thing. The main issue is diet. Not just calories, proteins and carbs, but the type of carbs, fat intake...etc. I would consider a carb cycling diet in which you have a high, medium, low carb day and depending on how well you feel you maintain your muscle mass possibly extend the high carb day into two or even three days. This carb cycling is used by quite a few BB'ers who cut body fat while maintaining mass. Also, those carbs need to be the correct type of carbs. As for your cardio, I'm a BIG proponent of interval/sprint type cardio for no longer than 20-30min. Just look at the difference in body type between and a true sprinter and a distance runner. The sprinter is constantly doing cardio, but the type of cardio is more conducive to maintaining lean mass.
Anyway, that's my .02 and I'm sure others will have some more and possibly different and better advice.
08-17-2008, 05:32 PM
my body seems to be extremely receptive to change, i can lose or gain size very quickly. from as much as a night of poor sleep or low calorie intake i noticeably shrink. it seems to be a pretty big problem, and i havent met anyone who is this affected by it. i have a friend who is about the same size with the same diet except that he does cardio daily and mantains his size, where as i fluctuate on a weekly basis. he even went so far as to tell me that i should see a doctor about it, as its not normal. im thinking that my diet may be the best way to solve this, but even a carb deficit will alter my size (though not nearly as drastically as cardio)
i think the carb cycling sounds like it might help a little, thanks, ive been doing something similiar but with less variation, its more of a low carbs during the week with an increase over the weekend.
im thinking of starting hiit again too, i think itl cost me more size but i may see better results from it, plus i really dislike fasted cardio. About how often would u reccommend i do hiit a week?
08-17-2008, 05:34 PM
It's in your head, man. There's no way your weight/ size fluctuates that much, that quickly.
Celtic Labs Rep
08-17-2008, 05:41 PM
im not sure man, i thought that at first but other people seem to notice it too. i keep getting comments that im shrinking or growing, and it happens just a few days apart. granted im sure its not quite as bad as i may have made it sound, but its still noticeable, im kinda unsure where to go from here, i cant reallydrop below 11% without losing my size. i dont really want to be skinny just to lose some fat haha
08-17-2008, 05:44 PM
Are you sure you're not just looking.... what's the word-- "flat?" Are you doing a keto diet or something?
Celtic Labs Rep
08-17-2008, 05:47 PM
naw not entirely, im on a very low carb diet but its still between 50-100 g a day. i do look more cut after cardio but i can tell that my clothes dont fit the same and i measured arm size, after about a week of cardio it had shrunk by almost an inch
08-17-2008, 05:50 PM
Ignoring the fact that 50-100g is pretty freakin' low, I'm just gonna' suggest that you take a picture tomorrow before you leave your house, then get to the gym and do some cardio, take another picture, then lift, and take another picture. Look at the pictures and see that it's in your head. If the pictures look all that different, post them.
Celtic Labs Rep
08-17-2008, 05:57 PM
hmm ok that sounds pretty reasonable. il give it a shot. ive been meaning to get some pics anyways
i also used to eat waaay more carbs, but ive been cutting it by alot as i figured itd make for more significant fat loss. i eat about 20-30g first thing in the morning and pre and post workout. thats a big reduction as i eat between 6 -8 times a day,
08-17-2008, 06:12 PM
Here's your answer. 50-100gs /day? Are you kidding me? You're just thinking you are loosing muscle because you are "flat" from your low carb diet man, you're carb depleted, prolly low glycogen. Do yourself a big favor and carb up, your muscles will look much more full. Everyone looks smaller when they are carb depleted man, but that is not cause you actually lost a bunch of tissue it is cause your muscles are not full, they are there but you have not been filling up the tank bro....
08-17-2008, 06:20 PM
08-17-2008, 06:21 PM
08-17-2008, 06:37 PM
50-100 is one out of my 3 meals. And I may be pushing that number with my PB + Toast + Bananas snack in the afternoon as well.
Cutting carbs is not the answer, cuttign the bad carbs could be. Go for whole weat foods, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. Up your intake on those, lower the bad fat and increase good ones like PB or so. Then just maintain the calorie number at a healthy level and you should be money.
08-17-2008, 07:12 PM
well i stick to only healthy carbs, fats etc but i assumed that u could get by with that while cutting, i guess not. il up my carbs to around 200-250 and see if it helps minimize this size loss, thanks
08-18-2008, 01:32 AM
I'm quite a bit higher bodyfat than you (24%ish), and I definitely noticed that my muscles looked a lot "flatter" when I was trying a 20g carb a day diet. Not only did my muscles look smaller, they also didn't perform as well. I'm trying about 150g of carbs a day now, some at breakfast, and then bracketing weightlifting, and it's working much better for me.
Your mileage may vary
08-18-2008, 01:46 AM
stop taking that AP if you ain't carbing with it. you're wasting it. and also, don't be OCD about this stuff. just calm down and eat and lift. jeez, you remind me of me during my first year at this game.
08-19-2008, 10:03 AM
how do you guys get away with eatting such small amounts of carbs and intaking 3400 cals + without starving...not you low carb/ cutting guys...but i see alot of bulking ppl talkin about 200g of carbs today and such...wth, my breakfast of oatmeal,milk and a banana is about 90g+ easily
08-19-2008, 10:14 AM
Glad someone else noticed the low carb/ AP not working link.
Did you read anyting about AP before you started using it? Almost any thread related to it mentions its need for carbs. Either eat more carbs and stick with AP until you get the balance right, or stop the AP as your just not using it.
08-19-2008, 11:09 AM
Thereís a lot of good info in this thread, so Iíll try to add my 2 cents without too much repetition. A lot of what you say in the above quote (maybe not to as great an extent) applies to me, too. Iím a hard gainer and an easy looser (muscle that is).
Sleep - Sleep issues can make it real hard to maintain strength or maybe even size. Iíve had insomnia most of my adult life, fortunately, thru a lot of research, trial and error, and advances in science I have a good enough handle on it. Iím pretty heavily medicated at night but I get by.
Low calorie Ė you really need to get a handle on your nutrition. Without it, youíre pretty much wasting your time. I didnít catch any numbers if you gave any, but a 2-3 lb drop in a given day happens to me all of the time. But a normal person cannot burn 6,500 to 9,000 calories in one day (well I know some of you out there are animals, but not typical). Most likely a lot of those pounds are water. If your fluids are low, this will affect how you feel and look. A high protein diet is necessary, but since youíre trying to loose bf, 300 gm may be more than you need. If you take the advice on upping your carbs but start gaining fat, then try lowering protein down to maybe 250. One important note, some people add up the protein from all sources, some only count what are essentially animal products or nuts. If your 300 gms is from all sources (grain, fruit, veggies, etc) then never mind what I just said.
Cardio - I do the stationary bike, mostly because my knees canít take the pounding. Iím not a good runner, itís more effort than I need to do. But after coming back from a layoff from the bike, my squats actually went up. So I think if you do it smart you can do cardio. For me more than 4 days of lifting and 2 of cardio just sets me up for over training. Your millage may vary. My cardio is done on their own day.
If youíve tried everything, then maybe you should see a doc. Good Luck and feel free to ask anything you need to.
08-19-2008, 02:53 PM
hey thanks for the advice, i usually have pretty poor sleep, and i wake up about 3-4 times a night just to use the bathroom, but its funny because i have no problem gaining size when im not doing cardio, so that may not be related.
i upped my carbs a couple days ago to closer to 200g a day, and while it seemed to help the first day, yesterday it didnt, and the same problem seems to be reoccuring. after a great shoulder workout i did 20 mins of hiit on an elliptical and later that night i had shrunk significantly. my shoulders look as if i havent worked them in weeks, i just can't understand it.
i thought i might be overdoing the protein too, when i was at almost no carbs i was consuming about 350-400 g protein, but i think thats overkill. in fact i read that if u consistently eat that much it may in fact train your body to digest protein for energy...which obviously i dont want.
oh as far as the ap goes, i read that u can get by using it as long as u consume at least 30 g carbs after taking it, which i was doing exactly. i still notice no difference from taking it tho even after increasing carbs to about 50 per pill. im not sure, maybe im just unreponsive to supplements, while changes in diet and training work immediately on me supplements seem to do the exact opposite.
i thought i had found a solution to this problem but it doesnt seem like i have, im still at a loss. im gonna keep my carbs higher and keep doing cardio about 4 times a week (20 min hiit after lifting sun-wed this week) and il see, maybe its just a short term thing and in a few weeks itl balance out. i hope..
08-20-2008, 07:34 AM
08-20-2008, 03:09 PM
- my shoulder workout was i think 5 different trap/shoulder workouts of about 3 sets and a warmup, i was still increasing strength through it, it was just the cardio that seemed to make me shrink. i didnt consume any protein right after but i had some glutamine/bcaas so i figured that might hold me until i drank a shake 20 mins later. i wasnt sure if i should have one before cardio as it seems to upset my stomach on hiit.
- i did lift on 4 consecutive days, i know it seems like im overtraining but ive been lifting like this for a long time, i think my body has grown accustomed to it. i still have high endurance, and i recover very quick. im still making significant strength gains, its just the cardio that seems to affect this.
- i think the cardio might be too much actually, when i do it once a week theres not much visible change, but ive done it for 3-4 days in a row, and its very noticeable. im not sure how efficient my cutting will be with only one day of cardio but maybe if i decrease rest time between lifts it can speed thingsup a bit. not sure...
08-20-2008, 03:53 PM
- 5'10" 176 lbs.
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Rep Power
carbs/cardio/whatever are not the issue here.
total calorie intake vs expenditure is (it always is).
do you know what your maintenance caloric intake is?
getting sub 10% is very difficult and needs to be done very carefully.
at such a low bf level, dropping your kcal to quickly or too significantly will guarantee your body will drop muscle and spare the fat.
fat is much more valuable than muscle for survival. not enough calories is a signal that you need to survive.
if you are working out hard in a significant kcal deficit, your body will probably then favor losing equal amts of muscle and fat. thus you end up looking the same, just smaller (this is what i'm assuming is happening to you).
here the physical demands you are requiring your body to perform tells your body to save some muscle for this activity.
the trick is to just going very slightly below maintenance and then gradually drop kcal a little each week and assess composition changes and adjust as necessary. this way your body doesn't freak out and send off a "warning i'm starving to death message".
the standard acceptable weight loss protocal is to lose around 1 lb per week. however, this recommendation is for a typical person.
if someone in good shape at 11%bf tried to lose 1lb in a week i will bet it will be almost entirely muscle they lost.
if you are trying to lose fat without hormone assistence i would shoot for no more than .25 lbs/week.
i know it sounds slow - only 1lb per month! but if you can lose 1lb of fat at 11%bf you will see dramatic physique changes i promise.
08-20-2008, 04:38 PM
easy answer..... eat 50-75 grams carbs 15 min after ur Pslin/AP whatever ur taking
Cardio should be done low intensity, on empty stomach and post workout,
you NEED fat in your diet to help spare the muscle if your carbs are that low, if your carbs are that low, and you train soo hard or run youll only lose muscle.
high carb meals are 15 min AFTER your anabolic pump.
every ones weight fluctuates
lower carbs with low fat intake will make u appear flat. and low carbs youll hold less water, so if u vary your carb intake everey day you can be 2-4 pounds heavier.
Try a carb cycle, non traditional one, which is how i do it when i bulk, high carbs the day i work out, the days i dont work out, cut carbs in half, and one day have a low low carb day and later in the evening (before 7) have a nice cheat meal.
08-21-2008, 06:23 AM
While lifting on 4 consecutive days works for now realize that as you develop more size and strength your wo become more intense and recovery times becomes longer. Some people blame this on age, but in my experience itís not. Itís not just muscle recovery but also the central Nervous System, which may take even more time to recover.
Donít go back to 1 day of cardio, try 2 days and see what happens. Having a six pack is easy for some people but for a hard gainer IMO it may be more trouble than itís worth.
08-22-2008, 05:12 PM
i was generally consuming somwehre around 15 bcaas/ glut a day but i just got some purple wraath so that is substantially higher now. - i know that i should spend much more time resting but for some reason the more i train the quicker i recover. that and i hate not lifting, i have to force myself to take a rest day. im still increasing weight every week or 2 by about 5 lbs, i just increased overhead press to 100 and db rows to 115 this week and i feel fine. so if i am overtraining its definately the cardio thats doing it to me. i think i am gonna stick with just 2 days a aweek of low level intensity.
- i think it is all tied to my overall caloric intake vs the amount burned. while i am for around 2800 or so a day, it often fluctuates as im not always home and awake for the same hours each day. given this i try to make it stick between 2500 and 3000. i believe i am burning too many calories each day however, and for this reason it may be costing me some muscle. i hadn't thought about my overall intakes that much up to this point, i was too focused on the breakdown. im not quite sure how much of a deficit i have, how is one to record this precisely? would i need to buy a monitor and wear it all day or is there an easier way to determine this?
-thanks for the help so far, i think i understand the problem now, i was trying to lose this far too quickly without realizing how much time it would take to drop below 10% and by rushing my fat loss it was costing me alot of muscle. im gonna limit my cardio and just wait it out.
08-22-2008, 07:01 PM
Iím not much of an expert on fat loss, but in my experience going below 10% takes a lot of work so you may be right about rushing things. Iím pretty close myself right now, but the last 10 lbs is taking months but Iím real careful about losing too much strength but itís hard to avoid.
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