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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-06-05, 04:19 PM   #1
crawfman
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How do I lose muscle?

Some of you are probably screaming at me right now for asking how to lose muscle. Here's my story: For 3 years or so of my life I lifted everyday...sometimes twice a day. I guess you could say I was a muscle fanatic. At that point or points in my life, (17,18,19 years old), I thought being muscular was a good thing. But then my dad picked back up on cycling, he use to do triathalons and ride all the time before he had children. So I followed in his footsteps and have now been riding religiously for almost a year. I'm down to a size 30 waist compared to a size 38 before cycling. I still carry around alot of muslce on me and i don't go to the gym that much anymore. What is a safe way to lose a little of that excess muscle? Is counting my calories the only way?

Wes
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Old 09-06-05, 04:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crawfman
Some of you are probably screaming at me right now for asking how to lose muscle. Here's my story: For 3 years or so of my life I lifted everyday...sometimes twice a day. I guess you could say I was a muscle fanatic. At that point or points in my life, (17,18,19 years old), I thought being muscular was a good thing. But then my dad picked back up on cycling, he use to do triathalons and ride all the time before he had children. So I followed in his footsteps and have now been riding religiously for almost a year. I'm down to a size 30 waist compared to a size 38 before cycling. I still carry around alot of muslce on me and i don't go to the gym that much anymore. What is a safe way to lose a little of that excess muscle? Is counting my calories the only way?

Wes

Just train hard on the bike. As your muscles acclimatise to endurance over strength work, they will naturally atrophy......but you may never end up looking like Lance Armstrong or Ivan Basso.

Check out Marty Nothstein.....now a fully fledged endurance athlete, but still massive in the thighs.....and his arms are nothing to be ashamed of either!

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-05, 08:55 AM   #3
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Hi, well one way to get rid of 'heavy muscle' is simply to go to the gym but instead of lifting 3 or 4 reps on a certain exercise, drop the weight and lift more reps.

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Old 09-07-05, 09:03 AM   #4
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Simply quit weight training.
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Old 09-07-05, 09:35 AM   #5
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It's all in the genes my friend. Yes it is possible to cause atrophy of the muscles but why would you want to do that? Also, if your genetics are anything like mine, unless I compleatly starve my self I will not lose any muscle. Even on a reduced caloric meal plan cycling will cause my legs to grow or maintain the mass they already have. Any workout that causes you to break down the muscle fibers will help maintain (if not cause growth) your current muscle mass.

If you train on the bike long enough, even with the extra muscle you will still be as fast as the "skinny riders" that do not train any more then your self. When I am at my racing weight, 235 to 242, I can keep up with and even beat most other riders who do not train any more then my self.

If you are worried about the hills, don't be. As you ride more and more they will get easier and you will get faster.

What you could try, don't consume to many calories and lower your protien intake (do not get ride of it compleatly though). Also, try not to consume any protien after a hard ride for an hour or so.

Again I ask, why would you want to do that?


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Old 09-07-05, 09:39 AM   #6
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[B][COLOR=DarkOliveGreen] Even on a reduced caloric meal plan cycling will cause my legs to grow

Nope.
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Old 09-07-05, 10:09 AM   #7
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Nope.

Question for you FX, are you living in my body? I do not think so. Over the last 21years of which I have been training (enough time to figure out how my body reacts) I have tried low cal. meal plans. The lowest was an 800Kcals/day. Did this twice. My thighs went from 27" to 28 1/4" the first time and from 28 3/4" to 29" the second time while I lost 10%bf. At 250lbs at the time and normally consuming 7500Kcals/day, that was a 6700Kcal deficit while logging 180mi/week on the bike and only upper body workouts in the gym.

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Old 09-07-05, 10:23 AM   #8
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You want to lose muscle? Stop using them. Ever see a limb that's been in a cast for a while?


Of course that's the extreme, but the same will occur if you stop weight training altogether and reduce the effort on the bike. Spin easy.
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Old 09-07-05, 04:42 PM   #9
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It's really hard to lose muscle-size and mass once you've built them up. You may lose a little, like 10% with not working them, but can take decades to lose more, and that's without working out even. After 10-years of not riding, not lifting weights, not running, not doing anything but working in an office and watching TV, my muscles have lost 75% of their strength, yet my 15" calves and 24" thighs are only 1" smaller than at my most fit phase.

The only thing I can think of to slim them down is to lose weight. Lose as much fat as you can by during endurance rides. The lower weight will tax your muscles less for the same amount of effort pushing your body around. Also spin easy gears and never strain your muscles. Stay above 90-95rpms on the flats and above 80rpm on the hill. By using primarily slow-twitch aerobic muscles, you recruit more of them into use and lower the usage of the fast-twitch anerobic muscle fibre. This in itself won't reduce the size of the muscles by much, but it'll improve your riding speed and endurace.
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Old 09-07-05, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterSezFaster
It's all in the genes my friend. Yes it is possible to cause atrophy of the muscles but why would you want to do that? Also, if your genetics are anything like mine, unless I compleatly starve my self I will not lose any muscle. Even on a reduced caloric meal plan cycling will cause my legs to grow or maintain the mass they already have. Any workout that causes you to break down the muscle fibers will help maintain (if not cause growth) your current muscle mass.

If you train on the bike long enough, even with the extra muscle you will still be as fast as the "skinny riders" that do not train any more then your self. When I am at my racing weight, 235 to 242, I can keep up with and even beat most other riders who do not train any more then my self.

If you are worried about the hills, don't be. As you ride more and more they will get easier and you will get faster.

What you could try, don't consume to many calories and lower your protien intake (do not get ride of it compleatly though). Also, try not to consume any protien after a hard ride for an hour or so.

Again I ask, why would you want to do that?



The resistance level of road cycling is not great enough on it's own to result in muscle hypertrophy. It requires a weight training program.

An indiviudual may be genetically predisposed to large thigh muscles or a large chest, but without a strucutred resistance program, further hypertrophy won't occur.
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Old 09-07-05, 11:11 PM   #11
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I'm in the same boat as you (and have been for a while). I was a division 1 hockey player, and since I was about 16 I lifted regularly. This last season I put in a little over 12K miles and my upper body never really away. During the peak I was doing 500 mile weeks, down to 5% bf and my upper body still did not go away. Look at Indurain, he probably never lifted upper body and he was still a fairly large guy. Imagine if he'd lifted regularly for several years.

The bottom line is that certain people are built more muscularly, and that muscle is never going to go away. It was hard to accept for me, but fighting physiology is a mostly losing battle. Your best bet is just simply to train that muscle for aerobic work instead of anarobic.
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Old 09-07-05, 11:18 PM   #12
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Look at Indurain, he probably never lifted upper body and he was still a fairly large guy. Imagine if he'd lifted regularly for several years.

Ever see him at the pre-Tour medical?

Has the chest development of a 13 year old boy.
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