Anyone had experience getting their body to "lean out"?

  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 06, 2008 9:03 PM GMT
    Yeah I know this is the opposite of what most guys would want, but I'm always in a struggle with my body to NOT put on more muscle mass than I already have. In fact, I've committed myself to leaning out over the next couple of months... and putting in the work to go beyond a 6-pack to 8 if I can. icon_cool.gif

    I'm attempting to do this by diet coupled with increased cardio via the various ellipticals at my gym. I'm trying not to do any major lifting, because even the lifting of light weights causes my body to add mass.

    So far I have lost about just over 10 pounds of excess mass, but it's been tough. I have pushed my body hard at the gym to facilitate burning calories and raising my metabolism. I have also pushed myself hard dietarily by cutting out most carbs and excess sugars, increasing my fruit and veggie intake, cutting down my protein intake to just the barest amount of lean protein my body needs.

    It's been a multi-level approach... all hopefully in a healthy way. And still my body just doesn't want to let go of the muscle mass. I could drink water all day, go to the gym, lift not even a lot of weight on a couple of machines, and I'm sure I would still gain 2-3 pounds of muscle mass. icon_eek.gif

    Has anyone else gone through this and succeeded in leaning out a body that is not wanting to give up its' mesomorphic status??? Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 06, 2008 10:59 PM GMT
    Are you trying to lose muscle? I am trying to lean out a bit too, but I want to keep the muscle I have.

    I love the way I look when I first wake up. Skinny morning body. try eating earlier in the evening and no carbs past 4pm. I am super sensitive to carbs.

    Let me know what you fine. I want to shed about 10 lbs.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 06, 2008 11:09 PM GMT
    I've already lost about 10 pounds so far. And actually do want to lose some of the muscle mass. I play lots of tennis and so having it doesn't help me or my knees on the court. Reduced caloric intake, reduced carb and protein intake, and increased veggies/fruits (presumably more fiber) have helped with the initial sculpting. If I need to snack I usually grab a handful of raw almonds or some flavored rice cakes... or both.

    Good luck on your 10lbs. DJBens77. icon_biggrin.gif
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Feb 07, 2008 11:40 AM GMT
    The easiest way is basically a modified adkins type diet
    No breads or simple carbs of any kind
    Fruits and vegetables are ok
    lean meats...you need to up the protein intake
    and absolutely no fats and/or alcohol
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    Feb 07, 2008 11:56 AM GMT
    the zone diet worked for me and i did 2 hours of cardio a day.1 hour in morning and 1 hour around 5 to 7pm. I would suggest no friut. It is still sugar.
    Let us see beofre and after pics when you at your goal.
    good luck
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    Feb 07, 2008 12:23 PM GMT
    DO NOT CHANGE THE DIET

    The atkins diet's notorious for ABSOLUTELY SLAUGHTERING your muscle mass... it basically keeps you in a state similar to high blood sugar (here). Because your body's deprived of a direct source of carbohydrate, your muscles will start by dumping glycogen initially, then slowly wasting away in order to feed your starving body LONG BEFORE your body will start using fat tissue. The main reason for this is because your muscles are the hardest tissue to maintain, and your body would rather lose the six-pack, pecs, and ass than its precious, easily-maintained fat stores.

    When you finally do start cutting into the fat stores, your body has to do it using ketone acid. This puts you in a state of ketoacidosis and is very very hard on your liver(?) and kidneys.

    Basically, you'll lose MOST your muscle mass, then SOME of your fat mass. Anorexics, bulemics, and atkins fans will be surprised to find out that their fat mass is frequently higher than 30% (just read up on starving yourself of carbohydrate).

    You'll also find you're exhausted all the time because ketones are a shitty energy source icon_wink.gif

    Just cut back on the calories a bit while keeping up on your cardio after weight-training, or do the same calories while doing some moderate interval training--the fat will come right off while dropping a little muscle mass to compensate for calorie intake.
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    Feb 07, 2008 12:39 PM GMT
    Dood is right on target. Reduce your carbs too much and you'll deregulate your thyroid, as well as consume your lean mass. So you'll be not only thinner, but your body fat percentage may actually go UP, not down.

    Joey
    NSCA-CPT
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    Feb 07, 2008 2:18 PM GMT
    "Dood is right on target."

    Really? I get the impression he doesn't know the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis.
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    Feb 07, 2008 2:41 PM GMT
    I don't get it.

    I thought "leaning out" and "losing muscle" were opposite undertakings.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 07, 2008 4:06 PM GMT
    Hey OW, I'm actually trying to do a bit of both. I'm trying to reduce my musculature a bit as well as make sure my body fat % is low too.

    Thanks all for the advice. It's all good input to figure out what works best on my body. I also found this article/blog yesterday posted by a nutritionist: http://nutritionhelp.blogspot.com/2007/08/losing-muscle-mass.html. It's basic gist is that to do any reduction of muscle mass, you basically do nothing. And no amount of diet change will help facilitate that.

    So there's a lot of info to consider and digest with it all. And I know many guys must think I'm nuts to want to lose size. But for my lifestyle and the wear and tear on my joints, slightly smaller and leaner with less muscle is what I want.

    (wildboyorl, you can take a look at my profile now for before pics. The after pics won't be extremely different I think... but hopefully the overall trimmer leaner build will be noticeable.) icon_razz.gif
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 17, 2008 11:52 PM GMT


    It's been about 5 weeks since I set out to lose about 10-20 pounds, try to lean out and reduce my muscle mass, and regain a long-lost 6 pack as I try working towards an 8 pack. Pretty extreme I know, especially since my starting point was well above average for most guys in general, let alone most guys at my age (44). But it was something I wanted to see if I could do to begin my 2008 with a clear goal... and to see if I could reach it in the timeframe I wanted.

    Overall I'm pretty happy with the progress. I started at about 210-215, and can't seem to get below 200. That's a little frustrating given my total diet change and reduced fat/carb/caloric intake. But overall I have reduced and leaned out. So can't complain too much on that front.

    I was asked by bfg1 how I did it... Through ALOT of experimentation. I'll list some of the diet and workout stuff below:
    Diet
    - drastically reduced carbs,
    - increased vegetables and fruits,
    - reduced protein quantities.
    - Snacks consist of fruits (grapes, apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears), mini-rice cakes, beef jerky and raw almonds.
    Supplements
    - Jet Fuel, added to my daily routine of Fisol, Flex-a-min and Male Power (for prostate health).
    Exercise
    - 2 hours of tennis (1 to 2 times a week depending on post-surgery shoulder crankiness),
    - increased cardio on various ellipticals (both increased max resistance, elevation if applicable, and total time),
    - crazily increased ab workouts varying daily from crunches (both on and off physioball), sets on the Abench at Golds, crunches using my blue resistance tube hooked to a stable post behind me, the RJ Accessorized Abs routines (http://www.realjock.com/slideshow/1016), standing cable pulls on a bosu ball, various leg lifts/circles, medicine ball crunches on inclined ab bench, knee raises at the military dip station (my surgically repaired shoulder can't handle the compression of the shoulder straps or "rocket pack" elbow rest/grip combo)... well, you get the picture.

    In terms of repetitions, I rarely go beyond 100 reps of any crunch variation. I may do 3 sets of 100 for easier crunch routines like on the Abench or just on a mat. Anything with weigh gets 3 to 4 sets of 20. It just all depends on the exercise AND how my body feels like it's responding at that time.

    It's been a crazy tough regimen. Some might not think that it's worth it. But after surgery in Sept. with only lifting rehab, I wasn't happy with having a body that thick. And since I'm a single guy, I have been able to put a lot of time and energy into this that I would not be able to do with a partner.

    Thanks for all who have given advice over this period of time... hopefully I'll have even more development to show in another 5 weeks.
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    Feb 18, 2008 12:43 AM GMT
    Frankly I think you have reduced your BF%, not actually reduced muscle per se. You are looking very good! Congrats!

    A ketogenic diet should be VERY closely monitored by a doctor.

    My doctors have, at my instructions been deliberately inducing (very closely monitored) ketosis through a low-carbohydrate diet periodically for the last couple of years.

    I was a Jock, I triple lettered in HS and College. I used to play Football (Division I-A) in the 'bad old days', and basically treated my body like a machine. Without knowing all of the problems and consequences I was encouraged to, and used, steroids.

    I played at 285# (albeit at a very low 13-15% BF for a football player), by my 30's I was nearly 300#, by my 40's nearly 325#.

    Even 285 is not a 'healthy' weight IMHO. You weigh that much and you WILL have medical problems. Keeping up that much muscle mass without working out for several hours a day is impossible. Eventually it will turn to fat. Recent studies of football linemen, who undergo intensive weight training to make their muscles extremely large, show that they frequently suffer many of the same problems as people ordinarily considered obese, notably sleep apnea, diabetes, etc.

    I also developed early type II diabetes and sleep apnea.

    I have been successful over the past 4-5 years in reducing my muscle mass and overall weight to around 225-230#; I am hoping to lose another 20+# this year.

    Though most people think I look disgustingly healthy,
    I would love to be under 200# again.

    It has been an EXTREMELY difficult battle.

    My health is IMO and my docs - much better overall though for it.

    Doing this required a carefully planned exercise program, closely monitored fluid consumption, energy intake and macro nutrient analysis.

    I basically have to have complete blood panels every couple weeks.

    It is EXTREMELY difficult and not for the faint hearted or those without a lot of discipline. Due to kidney and liver fluctuations we have had to 'plateau' several times.

    I highly recommend consulting a TEAM of physicians including an Internist, Nutritionists, and Physical Therapists at minimum.

    I should add that my blood work looks like something from A C Clarke anyway; I addition to all the vitamins and supplements, we have just started a HGH regimen to try to correct some of these imbalances.

    If you want to discuss this further feel free to contact me by email.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 12:53 AM GMT
    Master Dood, you learneth well. PSbigjoey is a lighthouse on a foggy night.

    11 meals a day. Eat, eat, eat.
    50 grams of protien each
    22 grams of slow carbs each

    20 minutes inteverals morning
    midday workout
    Fast carbs and 60 to 90 grams protein post workout. I eat candy.

    20 minutes interval evening

    Repeat for 18 weeks.

    Gives this:

    195# at 4% at 5'5"
    9730_132305.jpg

    and this:

    9730_176046.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 1:04 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidMaster Dood, you learneth well.

    11 meals a day. Eat, eat, eat.
    50 grams of protien each
    22 grams of slow carbs each

    20 minutes inteverals morning
    midday workout
    Fast carbs and 60 to 90 grams protein post workout. I eat candy.

    20 minutes interval evening

    Repeat for 18 weeks.

    Gives this:

    195# at 4% at 5'5"
    9730_132305.jpg

    and this:

    9730_176046.jpg


    Serious Question

    How can your digestive system handle eating over a kilo of protein a day without either crapping it straight out or throwing it up?

    A third of that and I feel bloated and sick all day

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 1:07 AM GMT
    Fiber, and water....anything but bloated.

    Your body just isn't used to being fed.

    Just FYI, no GH here. Just diet, intervals, time, and just a couple of tweaks.

    It's almost all mind control. Your mind, and desire, taking you where you want to be.

    Muscle mass does NOT turn to fat. In fact, muscle mass burns calories at rest. Excess calories, and poor insulin management, result in fat.

    Muscle mass causes you to be leaner, because it burns calories at rest.

    Think logically, folks, and don't believe some of the crap posted here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 2:30 AM GMT
    chuckystud said

    Muscle mass does NOT turn to fat. In fact, muscle mass burns calories at rest. Excess calories, and poor insulin management, result in fat.


    CS is of course correct and I mis spoke.

    "Put simply, muscle mass burns calories. Even when at rest, muscle mass burns calories.

    Although different sources quote different estimates, by the more conservative estimates each pound of muscle tissue burns around 100 calories per week.

    Therefore, if your weight loss includes loss of muscle mass or lean body tissue, your metabolic rate drops. Your body simply will not burn as many calories as it did before you lost the muscle mass." - Z B Zemel; AMA

    However over a certain point excess muscle is not only difficult to maintain, but can be almost as unhealthy as the fat. - The NGO HON of WHO; Jeukendrup, A & Gleeson, M. (2005) Sports Nutrition Human Kinetics; D Brown, Washington Post 1/2003; Michael Leahy, Washington Post 2/2008; NEJAM 6/2002; Lancet 8/19/2006

    Thus my long term attempts to reduce overall mass - a very difficult proposition.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:12 AM GMT
    Well unless you plan on staying off the carbs long time yuo are depleting your glycogen stores and can just expect a rebound effect the minute you start with a refeed. It also wont favour you with the tennis

    What you havent put is how many calories yuo are consuming? Although the amount of cardio you are doing would indicate you are creating your deficit that way you still need to know what level of deficit you are creating.

    Too greater deficit you will slow the metabolism down and more often than not a refeed and start again will reignite the furnace.

    So you are telling me apart from the cv, tennis and ab workouts you are doing no other lifting whatsover? You have either bloody lucky genetics (jammy buger) or unlucky depending on what way you look at it. I can only assume therefore you do a manual job that involves alot of lifting and strength.

    Thats a hell of alot of abworkout and probably alot more than you would need but if it makes you tick then keep doing it just not necessary thats all and not enough recovery by the looks of it.

    Would be interesting to see if you keep a food diary tho for the next 2 weeks and then examine it after all its notorious that weight gainers over estimate and weight losers unerestimate.

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    Feb 18, 2008 8:15 AM GMT
    AMT87 said
    Serious Question

    How can your digestive system handle eating over a kilo of protein a day without either crapping it straight out or throwing it up?

    A third of that and I feel bloated and sick all day



    Its like anything really and that is training and gradual increase. The stomach and digestive system will meet the demands placed on it if increased gradually.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 18, 2008 8:41 AM GMT
    Good point on the recovery bfg1. I probably should give my body more recovery than I do. Just a little too fanatical though. ;)
    As for calories, I haven't kept a food diary. It's not extremely high though. I am, as you put it so well, lucky in some ways and maybe unlucky in other ways. I think I have a fine build and capacity for muscle/muscle retention. But I used to be a professional repertory dancer (think Paul Taylor or Alvin Ailey companies) until I retired about 10 years ago. And in my mind's eye I still have that aesthetic driving me, though I know it's not really attainable unless I were to literally starve myself.
    Declaration: I'm not THAT nuts, and definitely not willing to do thaticon_exclaim.gif

    icon_eek.gif - One joke I tell some friends who know about my body obession is that it's a good thing I'm not a woman, because I would be ripe and ready for an eating disorder! icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 18, 2008 8:49 AM GMT
    yeh Im nullemic too I just dont do the puking ha ha ha ha

    I think you have answered your own question with regard to not achieving your results. In a way think of it like this: You want to buld your own ferrari from a mental picture but not following the instructions, you are either putting in too much metal or not enough either way it looks like you have come out with less of a ferrari more of a mustang. It still looks bloody good but without following the instructions it was pretty much guess work you didnt come out with an old banger.


    So yuo like challneging yourself here's a challenge keep a food diary for the next 14 days, like most you will probably manage 5 out of the 14 days so when you remember try and weigh the food and work right it down, I will do the number crunching for you when I get chance.

    People tend to think calorie counting is hard work and setting a rod for your own back. But humans are creatures of habit and seldom does our diet vary for more than a month so you know after a few weeks I am going to have X meal today and I know how much of each foodstuff I am going to use.

    Sometimes the eyes and the belly dictate the food over the brain :-)

  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 18, 2008 9:03 AM GMT
    I accept that challenge! icon_cool.gif
    But honestly, my body has always responded extremely well to the least amount of muscle-building stimuli. I firmly believe that if I ate nothing but a head of lettuce each day AND did light workouts at the gym, I would still gain muscle mass. I also realize that many guys WISH they had such a horrible problem. So I keep it in perspective. And thanks for the Mustang compliment. icon_lol.gif
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    Feb 18, 2008 9:08 AM GMT
    bigguysf saidI accept that challenge! icon_cool.gif
    But honestly, my body has always responded extremely well to the least amount of muscle-building stimuli. I firmly believe that if I ate nothing but a head of lettuce each day AND did light workouts at the gym, I would still gain muscle mass. I also realize that many guys WISH they had such a horrible problem. So I keep it in perspective. And thanks for the Mustang compliment. icon_lol.gif


    Genetic heritage and the way you respond to food and stimuli has a huge bearing in life. Landworkers are fit and healthy without fish oils, Innui or however you spell em can survive on diets of fat etc.

    Theres alot to be said about the diets and activities of your ancestors that dictates the way you eat and the way your body responds to it. At the end of the day biologicaly we go through the same process but the elements of how and why we respond are unique.

    Thats what makes some people great athletes and some people great thinkers :-) Damn Im neither my gene pool must have been fucked ha ha ha ha more caveman and the ugggggg philosohphy me :-)
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Mar 04, 2008 6:25 AM GMT

    Just wanted to post a video update at the 2 month mark. Down about 15 total pounds, and much leaner. Abs are more developed, and though I don't show the legs they are pretty smokin' too. icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 04, 2008 8:09 AM GMT
    jeeze I could play xylophone on them abs! Looking good Mr, let us know what you have been doing.

    The chest also looks better defined as well which is good to see
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    Mar 04, 2008 12:41 PM GMT
    starve! icon_twisted.gif

    j/k but that's how we do it here. icon_lol.gif