May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am #1289744
curious to know…
does anyone else find it challenging to maintain muscle mass when either "sedentary" or injured? i find my body is ridiculously efficient (or beautifully inefficient) at keeping pace with my regime. meaning when i'm strong and fit, i burn fat quickly (disadvantageous sometimes even), and when "dormant"(i notice differences in a week even), i lose muscle super quickly. is this a consequence of technique? an endurance athlete-specific phenom, genetic, or physiological response which is frame-specific? who else experiences this and how to remedy? an observation i've made is that unless it's weight-bearing exercise i quickly lose mass. it's always been this way, though not necessarily right?
ltMay 10, 2012 at 7:26 am #1876196
drowning in spamMember
Creatine is supposed to be very helpful in minimizing muscle wasting, even to immobilized body parts.May 10, 2012 at 7:30 am #1876199
without continued resistance training , the body begins to shed what it considers excess muscle quickly. Just a couple of weeks can make a marked difference.
Of course, hormones, rest, diet, all play a critical role even with resistance training.May 10, 2012 at 9:22 am #1876236
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
yes… you stop working and you will lose muscle tone. As noted, Creatine is documented to help, though my memory is that it's more about speeding the building of muscle mass than maintaining. Creatine is naturally produced in the body from amino acid. Making sure you are getting enough amino acids like glutamine & leucine is another help. One other tidbit, Women tend to lose more quickly, and gain more slowly then men.
–MarkMay 10, 2012 at 9:34 am #1876244
who here can speak to regularly using braggs liquid amino acids?
i'm not vegetarian, but do limit my meat and dairy intake
i question how braggs could help?May 10, 2012 at 9:47 am #1876249
@jrozesLocale: Pacific Wonderland
1. Eat enough calories so that you don't lose weight.
2. Eat an adequate amount of high-quality protein.
3. If you really struggle with a decreased appetite, BCAAs have a muscle-sparing effect and will slow the rate at which you shed lean mass, but without enough calories, it's still a losing proposition.
Also, there's evidence that if you've recently put on a decent amount of muscle (or fat, for that matter), it will be the first thing the body sheds as you lose weight. The longer you hold a given body weight and composition, the easier it becomes to maintain it.
Lastly, find ways to train. Very few injuries are so debilitating as to render all exercise impossible. Focus on what you can do with the working parts rather than what you can't do with the injured parts. Time and place need not be factors, either. Think brief and intense. Get creative and the world suddenly becomes your gym.May 10, 2012 at 10:17 am #1876263
@jrozesLocale: Pacific Wonderland
Personally, I wouldn't touch Bragg's. Soy protein has an inferior amino acid profile. It's made by boiling soy in hydrochloric acid, then neutralizing it with sodium hydroxide. Not really my cup of tea.
Consider eating more eggs and whatever animal sources of protein you enjoy. They have far better amino and fatty acid profiles than vegetable sources. If you really want protein from vegetables, hemp appears to have a better amino acid profile than soy.May 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm #1876385
Leslie- not sure if this helps or not, but I've relatively recently changed my weight training/exercise regime up where previously I was lifting higher weights, lower reps w/ more rest in between sets- lifted like that for many years. That type of regime yielded high muscle mass- nothing overly surprising really. I've since gone to predominately body weight exercise, with some weight training, but with lower weights, higher reps and w/ little to no between sets. I lost quite a bit of muscle mass with this change (also started running which I'm sure contributed as well)- again nothing overly surprising. What I have discovered that is a little surprising is that this "new" muscle mass is lost at much slower rate. My old lifting regime if I laid off for a couple of weeks, I'd lose mass and strength fairly quickly- not so w/ this regime.
What you might consider is throwing in some lower rep, higher weight lifts to boost muscle mass and balance that with some higher rep, lower weight stuff. The body does "like" to be surprised, mixing things up keeps the muscles guessing and have personally found it very beneficial.
I agree that adequate protein intake is also very important, especially important soon post exercise.
MikeMay 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm #1876435May 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm #1876474
^ interesting- looks like my protein intake is pretty close to that- a little low, probably on average closer to .8g/#
agree about compound exercises for mass/strength, I still incorporate them- I just don't do them in very low numbers w/ high weights any longer :)May 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm #1876481
drowning in spamMember
Gaining muscle mass while active is a lot easier than keeping it when you're sedentary or injured. To gain, the answer is to move a lot of weight and eat more, and then eat more. I'm sure all of us would love to easily keep it while inactive so that we could take breaks and pick up later where we left off…more of us would look like bodybuilders if we could pull that off.May 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm #1876488
For what it's worth – Elite cyclists, even while racing, will head back to the gym for some heavy duty strength training mid-season to add back mass/strength/reserves that they have lost since winter weight training. Riding alone, even at their level, is not sufficient to challenge the system. So, you are not alone or unique.
But I am curious about your concern. How does this loss inhibit your activities? What are you trying to accomplish by building and maintaining mass?May 10, 2012 at 8:12 pm #1876489May 14, 2012 at 6:15 am #1877439
one resonating theme here is incorporating weights into fitness regime.
to answer: not sure i'm trying to accomplish anything per se; simply needing a barometer. unless i'm truly taxed — in intensity, duration, and consistency of activity– then it's a constant defying of gravity. out of curiosity, do most of you perform better/worst with some extra weight on? (3-5 lbs.) these elite runners and such, as fit as they are, just seem so lean to me. how do they perform so well if they're constantly defying the caloric meter? note: i've often been told that, contrary to popular belief, athletes needn't boost their protein intake?! provided daily requirements are being met, there's essentially no different requirement in this regard. hence, my raising the thought on amino acids. sounds like COMPLETE proteins are key?! as mike stated, i'm further convinced that proper post-exercise nutrition trumps bolstering overall protein intake. in other words, it's what you eat, yes, and when you eat it that most counts? just dabbling with theories here. :)May 14, 2012 at 6:40 am #1877442
I'm sure there is a lot of individual variance, but I definitely perform better w/ a little extra weight for endurance related endeavors, not a lot, but a little :)
imo strength training is just as an important pillar of fitness as aerobic activities, stretching and nutrition- when done properly it will enhance whatever activity you participate in
when I picture total fitness I don't picture a football player or a marathon runner; more like something in between, along the lines of a Tarzan figure- run, jump, wrestle crocs, climb and swing from a tree :)May 14, 2012 at 7:21 am #1877454
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Muscle increases require resistance training with adequate rest afterwards (especially if "cross training" with aerobic activities) with and getting enough protein (meat, eggs, beans n'rice or beans n' corn). Supplements may provide an excess and just make expensive urine. I'd wait on supplements to see if any have a clinical effect. I'm sure the more successful ones would be picked up by sports medicine.May 14, 2012 at 7:58 am #1877465
Resistance training that utilizes the full range of motion of your muscles. Exercises that incorporate a greater percentage of the muscle fiber should result in greater gains. I love P90X because it focuses on a variety of full motions as well as the variability introduced by free movements not machine grooved movements.
On diet, I am not sure if your vegetarian diet prevents you from considering Milk and Egg based proteins (Whey, Casein). Everyone (but particularly vegetarians) should incorporate some high quality protein supplementation. Your kidding yourself if you think you are taking in adequate protein purely from vegetables if you are trying to reach max muscle mass as your original subject line indicates.May 14, 2012 at 8:02 am #1877466May 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm #1877659
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I dont know if comparing body mass with elite edurance athletes is the best comparison. The elites are trainingvery hard for a very specific task with a very specific genetic code to support them. Overall health or ability outside their chosen sport doesnt matter. Everything is geared for a performance on one day.
Looking at say the top 5% of recreational participants might be a better guage of a healthy body type for a particular activityMay 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm #1877728
@aviddkLocale: SW Oregon
Find a coach and learn the Olympic Lifts. I have read that in the Olympic Village the fittest, highest jumping and most flexible athletes are the Olympic Lifters.
Oh yeah, you must eat right as well. If you are afraid of milk allergies look for high quality Whey protein and it will have very little lactose. A trainer I used to see said that building a great body is 80% diet and 20% proper exercise. That is a scary stat considering the way most people eat.
Bottom line: progressive resistance training is the answer if you want to grow muscle.May 14, 2012 at 11:08 pm #1877782
Jeremy and AngelaParticipant
@requiemLocale: Northern California
i've often been told that, contrary to popular belief, athletes needn't boost their protein intake?!
Of the times I've seen this mentioned, it's always been contextualized by the idea that said athletes are already consuming more protein than the RDA, rather than that the RDA value is sufficient. Thus, no need for them to supplement.
Protein is not a purely structural component; it also has a role in energy metabolism. At least for elite athletes, adequate protein intake may be about 0.7 g per pound, or about 60% more than the RDA. Endurance athletes generally show performance gains when some protein is added to their (carb) recovery drinks. On the weight loss side, diets that increase the proportion of protein usually show greater fat loss while helping preserve lean mass.May 16, 2012 at 7:09 am #1878162
^ I agree w/ that assessment, based solely on my own experience. David recommended as high as to 1 gram/lb of body weight. It varies obviously, but I'm pretty close to .7-.8-ish and that has worked well for me in both maintaining and building muscle mass and keeping fat off. We're all very much individuals and finding what works best is going to take at least some trial and error.
I'm sure if you were on a very high protein diet as a norm, then you may not have to boost your protein intake. It's pretty easy to figure out how much protein your ingesting daily and if your in the 0.6+/# you might not need to boost it. A "smoothie" (plain yogurt, egg, banana, frozen tropical fruit, orange juice and a scoop of whey protein) after a workout helps boost protein intake for me and appears to be beneficial in my recovery- ymmv :)May 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm #1878276
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
I'd second (or third, really) the protein intake recommendations of David and Mike. That has worked very well for me when I am lifting heavy.
I'd also like to add that for me raw spinach was extremely helpful with recovery after heavy lifts. I noticed a fairly dramatic effect after eating a large baby spinach salad the next day. It's now a regular part of my diet for that very reason.May 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm #1878286
^ hey- if it was good enough for Popeye :) actually had never heard of that beforeMay 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm #1878312
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
Maybe it has something to do with all the iron in the spinach? Not sure, just something I stumbled on. I've gotten to the point that I really crave spinach and other similar greens. I usually eat them without dressing these days.
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