Muscle loss

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    Unhappy Muscle loss


    Does running burn muscle?

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    yes
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjdalegend View Post
    Does running burn muscle?
    Running is catabolic, yes (the most catabolic form of cardio, IMO), especially if you exceed 30-40 minutes.

    However, whether or not you are going to "burn muscle" is going to be dependent on your NUTRITION, and if your nutrition is set up for you re fat loss and is good throughout the day (post-training nutrition the MOST important meal of the day), then there is no reason why you should lose any muscle mass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    Running is catabolic, yes (the most catabolic form of cardio, IMO), especially if you exceed 30-40 minutes.

    However, whether or not you are going to "burn muscle" is going to be dependent on your NUTRITION, and if your nutrition is set up for you re fat loss and is good throughout the day (post-training nutrition the MOST important meal of the day), then there is no reason why you should lose any muscle mass.

    ~Rosie~

    What would you say is the most effective duration/form of post workout cardio for fat loss? 30 minutes of low intensity?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon View Post
    What would you say is the most effective duration/form of post workout cardio for fat loss? 30 minutes of low intensity?
    That's very dependent on the individual. I personally ALWAYS do HIGH INTENSITY cardio (yes, even post-weights, if I do it then), and I generally only ever do 10-20 minutes re cardio (especially if done post-weights), but that's just me.

    I definitely recommend high intensity over low intensity cardio for fat loss. However, post-weights, it's up to the individual, because they need to take into account how their body is feeling and what they can handle, etc.

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    I think doing cardio post workout is the worst thing you can do. If you want to do cardio, do it on a separate day. Doing it post workout is only going to put you in a more catabolic state. Low intensity cardio has been proven more effective at fat loss. Sure you may lose at little muscle but you have to take the good with the bad. Thats life.

    The thing is with this subject your going to get a lot of different opinions. I actually enjoy cardio, don't know why some people don't. If it wasn't for the muscle loss I would do low intensity cardio daily. I always get upset when I lose even a little bit of strength and that is why I end up quiting doing cardio. I plan on starting up again though and will do low intensity for 1 hour 3 times a week. This time I'll be adding Xtend intra and beta alanine pre cardio though to hopefully cut down on muscle loss. I hate sprints and interval type cardio, just not enjoyable to me. I find something thats bearable and that I enjoy and usually stick to it till I get upset about losing maybe 2-3 reps on any of my weight training exercises. I don't know maybe thats just me because I get upset easily. This time I won't stop though!. I promise myself that!.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon View Post
    What would you say is the most effective duration/form of post workout cardio for fat loss? 30 minutes of low intensity?
    This is a good question ... because, for me, I can only do cardio immediately after my workouts. I just don't have time the rest of the day. I can spend, and do spend, 3 hours in the damn gym M-F but everything I do has to be packed into that time.

    I started out decades ago lifting and then running, then when my knees gave out - tried the treadmill ... when ellipticals came along - did those. Usually always for 40 - 50 mins at a good intensity. It was great for getting into shape and staying lean - but I could only build so much muscle.

    Then ... I started ROWING.

    I don't know - but for me - rowing seems to be a lot less catabolic. I can't justify that all except by saying that it works for me and I can still gain weight. I've recently cut down from the 40 min workouts and I'm now experimenting with Tabata protocol ... 10 mins at mod intensity - then 8 intervals (20 secs "on" and 10 secs "off"). I'm still playing with it to get something I am happy with but it may hold some promise.

    I also LOVE the physiqe that rowing produces combined with my weight training. My delts have blown up along with my lats and the lat spread is awesome. I'm a tall guy ... and the trimming on my waist has made my torso look elongated. Rowing also involves a lot of "core" muscles - so my abs and obliques get cut nicely. I really like rowing - but you have to do it with proper form.
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    Fat loss isn't the only good thing about Cardio. Its absolutely great for lowering blood pressure.
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    Schools gonna be in the way when i start my cut so i can either do cardio in the morn and weight lifting in the afternoon or weight lifting and cardio together in the afternoon which ones is the least catabolic combination? BTW weight lifting in the morn is an option but i prefer not having to wake up at 5 am!
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    Have you thought about HIIT? As your form of cardio. works better for fat loss while retaining muscle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newtonselite View Post
    Have you thought about HIIT? As your form of cardio. works better for fat loss while retaining muscle.
    Debatable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    Debatable.
    As is your claim that low intensity is better for fat loss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjdalegend View Post
    Schools gonna be in the way when i start my cut so i can either do cardio in the morn and weight lifting in the afternoon or weight lifting and cardio together in the afternoon which ones is the least catabolic combination? BTW weight lifting in the morn is an option but i prefer not having to wake up at 5 am!
    As already mentioned, how catabolic you are is going to depend on your NUTRITION. You can do either combination as long as you're eating for your goals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Newtonselite View Post
    Have you thought about HIIT? As your form of cardio. works better for fat loss while retaining muscle.
    Definitely - not to mention that it's far more convenient! However, everyone is different and prefer different things, even if it's not the most effective and efficient way of doing something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggfly View Post
    As is your claim that low intensity is better for fat loss.
    True but we can go back and fourth all day. Its best to just do the kind of cardio you can live with and enjoy. When you stop enjoying exercise thats when it becomes a chore and not something you look forward to.
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    Basically, the type you do is FAR less important than you actually DOING IT ON A CONSISTANT basis.

    For instance, someone who can sustain 30 min of low intensity every day for a month straight, is going to IMO experience better results than someone who does high intensity but only sticks to it 2 or 3 times a week.

    You need to pick something that you are going to be able sustain on a consistant basis, as consistancy is the key with cardio, not the type you do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon View Post
    Basically, the type you do is FAR less important than you actually DOING IT ON A CONSISTANT basis.

    For instance, someone who can sustain 30 min of low intensity every day for a month straight, is going to IMO experience better results than someone who does high intensity but only sticks to it 2 or 3 times a week.

    You need to pick something that you are going to be able sustain on a consistant basis, as consistancy is the key with cardio, not the type you do.
    Yes, but doing high intensity cardio 2-3 times a week for a month is still consistent. Consistency is the key to anything.

    As far as fat loss, one does not even have to do cardio to lose fat effectively and successfully - as long as they are resistance training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post

    As far as fat loss, one does not even have to do cardio to lose fat effectively and successfully - as long as they are resistance training.

    ~Rosie~

    That is so true Rosie. I was worried I wasn't losing any fat on my high volume training routine I recently started. I mean I was but thought I was at a sticking point. My wife was telling me I was looking skinnier and what do you know for the last two weeks I have been losing 2 pounds a week. Thats the perfect amount to me. Anything over that and you start to lose muscle. So I think I may hold off on the cardio and little while longer. My strength has even gone up in the gym on some exercises and at least maintained on others. Of course I believe diet has a lot to do with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    Yes, but doing high intensity cardio 2-3 times a week for a month is still consistent. Consistency is the key to anything.

    As far as fat loss, one does not even have to do cardio to lose fat effectively and successfully - as long as they are resistance training.

    ~Rosie~

    Would you still recommend a ~500 cal below maintenance diet if doing both resistance training AND cardio?
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    That is so true Rosie. I was worried I wasn't losing any fat on my high volume training routine I recently started. I mean I was but thought I was at a sticking point. My wife was telling me I was looking skinnier and what do you know for the last two weeks I have been losing 2 pounds a week. Thats the perfect amount to me. Anything over that and you start to lose muscle. So I think I may hold off on the cardio and little while longer. My strength has even gone up in the gym on some exercises and at least maintained on others. Of course I believe diet has a lot to do with it.
    Diet plays the most important role in fat loss for most people, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon View Post
    Would you still recommend a ~500 cal below maintenance diet if doing both resistance training AND cardio?
    Then again, that depends or not your Maintenance includes resistance training and cardio. If you don't usually do cardio, but are adding it in, then that is going to create your caloric deficit and diet does not need to be changed too much, IMO. If you usually do cardio, then you can decrease your caloric intake a bit, but I recommend starting out at ~200 below Maintenance, instead of jumping straight to 500 below, and adjust your calories on a weekly basis depending on your results for that week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosie Chee Scott View Post
    Diet plays the most important role in fat loss for most people, yes.




    Then again, that depends or not your Maintenance includes resistance training and cardio. If you don't usually do cardio, but are adding it in, then that is going to create your caloric deficit and diet does not need to be changed too much, IMO. If you usually do cardio, then you can decrease your caloric intake a bit, but I recommend starting out at ~200 below Maintenance, instead of jumping straight to 500 below, and adjust your calories on a weekly basis depending on your results for that week.

    ~Rosie~

    Well, for instance I do both. weights 5 days a week, cardio all 7 days a week....without fail, I haven't missed a day of either in about 6 years probably. But I know this sounds somewhat weird, but when I get a bit heavier and my bf is up around 17-18 percent, I can keep my cals REALLLY low, like just over 2k and do weights and cardio just fine and lose weight at a 2lbs a week rate, everything is just great. And then everytime without fail, when I get down to around the 10-11 percent bf mark, everything changes. I have to keep my cals at around 3k (my bodyweight is around 185-190) if I'm going to be doing weights plus cardio every day just to keep my metabolism going, and keep my body from shutting down my metabolism. Which I'm sure you know you can tell when that happens. Just seems odd to me because at 3k cals, that's basically not even really a calorie deficit for me. That's about maintenance.

    I guess I just attribute it to the fact that now that my body does not have so much extra bf to use up, it needs to be fed more for the amount of training I do to keep itself going and keep from going catabolic.

    It somewhat throws me for a loop because I was always led to believe that as you cut down in weight your maintenance calorie level also drops, you need less to maintain your current weight, so when i'm 185-190 i SHOULD need LESS calories to keep losing weight than I did when I am at 205-210. But it seems to be the opposite for me.

    Is that possible?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MakaveliThaDon View Post
    Well, for instance I do both. weights 5 days a week, cardio all 7 days a week....without fail, I haven't missed a day of either in about 6 years probably. But I know this sounds somewhat weird, but when I get a bit heavier and my bf is up around 17-18 percent, I can keep my cals REALLLY low, like just over 2k and do weights and cardio just fine and lose weight at a 2lbs a week rate, everything is just great. And then everytime without fail, when I get down to around the 10-11 percent bf mark, everything changes. I have to keep my cals at around 3k (my bodyweight is around 185-190) if I'm going to be doing weights plus cardio every day just to keep my metabolism going, and keep my body from shutting down my metabolism. Which I'm sure you know you can tell when that happens. Just seems odd to me because at 3k cals, that's basically not even really a calorie deficit for me. That's about maintenance.

    I guess I just attribute it to the fact that now that my body does not have so much extra bf to use up, it needs to be fed more for the amount of training I do to keep itself going and keep from going catabolic.

    It somewhat throws me for a loop because I was always led to believe that as you cut down in weight your maintenance calorie level also drops, you need less to maintain your current weight, so when i'm 185-190 i SHOULD need LESS calories to keep losing weight than I did when I am at 205-210. But it seems to be the opposite for me.

    Is that possible?
    That makes sense. If you cut your calories too low, then you are depriving your body, and this can actually be DETRIMENTAL for fat loss. Also bear in mind that once you reach lower body composition levels, your body does change a little in how it functions - I know mine definitely does.

    As far as Maintenance at a lower body mass - you have to take into account your muscle mass, as well as activity level. Just because you weight less does not mean that your Maintenance is going to be less.

    So yes, this IS possible. The leaner and lighter I am, the MORE I eat and can get away with as well.

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    Mak, when you body fat gets that low just cut down or eliminate cardio.
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    Have you ever given high intensity interval training a try? I personally run at a local high school track 2-3 time a week when I'm cutting. I sprint full speed on the straights and walk to catch my breath on the turns. This type of training has you expending a lot of energy, thus forcing your body to expend even more energy trying to recover, in turn burning more calories.

    Just look at Olympic sprinters versus marathon runners. HIIT works wonders for me and along with the right training and diet, should do the same for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
    I think doing cardio post workout is the worst thing you can do. If you want to do cardio, do it on a separate day. Doing it post workout is only going to put you in a more catabolic state. Low intensity cardio has been proven more effective at fat loss. Sure you may lose at little muscle but you have to take the good with the bad. Thats life.

    The thing is with this subject your going to get a lot of different opinions. I actually enjoy cardio, don't know why some people don't. If it wasn't for the muscle loss I would do low intensity cardio daily. I always get upset when I lose even a little bit of strength and that is why I end up quiting doing cardio. I plan on starting up again though and will do low intensity for 1 hour 3 times a week. This time I'll be adding Xtend intra and beta alanine pre cardio though to hopefully cut down on muscle loss. I hate sprints and interval type cardio, just not enjoyable to me. I find something thats bearable and that I enjoy and usually stick to it till I get upset about losing maybe 2-3 reps on any of my weight training exercises. I don't know maybe thats just me because I get upset easily. This time I won't stop though!. I promise myself that!.
    I disagree with this. As Rosie has already said, if your diet is on point, there shouldn't be any worries. If you are worried you could simply sip an isotonic sports drink towards the end of your weights workout to help stabilise your blood sugar levels during the cardio session.

    Protein shouldn't be a worry really. If it is, you could always consume a small amount either before or during your session.

    Even with the muscle loss, a lot of it could just be down to low muscle glycogen levels which are a result of going too low on carbohydrates over a period of time. Your muscles will appear smaller, when little actual muscle loss has occured.

    I've added on 40 minute moderate intensity cardio session to the end of the weights sessions with any problems whatsoever. Results have been very good and muscle loss hasn't really occured.
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