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  1. #1
    Senior Member phoshizzo's Avatar
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    In my teens and into my late 20's I had always worked out to gain muscle mass. Now that I'm 35, I'd like to lose some of the bulky muscle on my upper body and get leaner/thinner.

    Can you give me some advice as to how to go about it? I've still been going to the gym, but I stopped lifting for the upper body. I do mostly cardio at the gym and I still put in as many hours as possible training on the road bike. The only weight lifting I do is for the legs and calfs.

    I'm a good climber and can hold my own in the sprints. I just think that losing some extra muscle weight in the arms, chest, and shoulder areas will benefit me on the bike.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Perhaps not. Your core muscle group (back and stomach) are particularly important in maintaining a stable position on the bike. The neck, shoulder, triceps, and forearm muscles require great stamina (if not raw strength) to maintain correct racing form. Emphasize moderate to low weights and high reps for upper body conditioning.
    I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said whatever it was.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Just don't do any upper-body exercises and the muscles will atrophy to be the minimum needed for the exertion level. This takes a lot of time, months, years.

    The other thing you can do is use up muscle for energy. This requires riding to completely deplete your glycogen and not eating much for the recovery. However, this has detrimental effects on your legs muscles as well. I'm not sure which muscles the body decides to tear apart to replenish your glycogen stores. I would surmise that it does it even all around. However, the muscle that are torn and worn, like the leg muscles, probably get rebuilt more than the upper body ones.

  4. #4
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    The other thing you can do is use up muscle for energy. This requires riding to completely deplete your glycogen and not eating much for the recovery. However, this has detrimental effects on your legs muscles as well. I'm not sure which muscles the body decides to tear apart to replenish your glycogen stores. I would surmise that it does it even all around. However, the muscle that are torn and worn, like the leg muscles, probably get rebuilt more than the upper body ones.
    What's more important is your heart--a muscle, too. In a highly glycogen depleted state, the protein for gluconeogenesis can come from any and all lean body tissue not just muscle.
    Last edited by NoRacer; 02-02-06 at 07:27 AM.
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoshizzo
    In my teens and into my late 20's I had always worked out to gain muscle mass. Now that I'm 35, I'd like to lose some of the bulky muscle on my upper body and get leaner/thinner.

    Can you give me some advice as to how to go about it? I've still been going to the gym, but I stopped lifting for the upper body. I do mostly cardio at the gym and I still put in as many hours as possible training on the road bike. The only weight lifting I do is for the legs and calfs.

    I'm a good climber and can hold my own in the sprints. I just think that losing some extra muscle weight in the arms, chest, and shoulder areas will benefit me on the bike.

    thanks

    I am trying to do the same thing. I'm 42 yrs old and have a "thick or dense" upper body. I have espescially large abs. I am simply changing my program to lighter weights and higher reps..up to 3 sets of 20. Not sure how long it will take to change. I understand Pilates will help to stretch and "lengthen" the muscles thus creating a leaner appearance.

  6. #6
    Senior Member spunky's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DannoXYZ]Just don't do any upper-body exercises and the muscles will atrophy to be the minimum needed for the exertion level. This takes a lot of time, months, years.

    +1
    Last year I was doing tri's and spent a lot of time working on my upper body/swimming muscles.
    I used to do tons of high rep weights on the pecs, lats, triceps, etc.....
    I quit that about six months ago to focus on cycling only and I'm amazed at how much upper body tone I still have. At least it's not bulk though. Just lean mass.

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    The thing that helped me with my biking was upper body muscle mass. I used to have such bad pain in my neck shoulders and traps when biking long distances. When I started weight training involving these muscles I found that the neck and shoulder pain dissapeared
    Catastrophe: Knowing you are about to die and there are still three beers left in the fridge!
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  8. #8
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    My skinny arse hates you.
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  9. #9
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    seeing as there is no such thing as spot reduction, I'd say not so fast when you say you want to lose the muscle/bulk. That will happen as you age naturally. I am 41, and did a lot of weight lifting in my day. I began road biking/racing in earnest at 36, and I value my strength.
    I focus on bosu and pilates, to temper the muscle loss with more agility. As I finished my 4th decade, I find that muscle losses happen naturally.

    You can't pick your parents, so the same genes that blessed you with the ability to add bulk/muscle as a result of exercise is the same genes that now 'curse' you.

    After 5,000 miles a year for 6 years, I have lost 25 lbs and while my upper body will never be 'lean' I have evolved into a leaner overall body.

    People will suggest to do shoulder workouts to create that tapered look, or work the core (that is really where its at) but I suspect your mind is wanting a result you can't reverse.

    Focus on firming yourself with pilates or bosu and bands and lighten up the lifting to range of motion workouts rather than all out muscle tearing/building ones.

    A lot happens at 40 (I didn't believe it, but that seems to be the dividing line)

    So revel in your mass and do your bike workouts so you get leaner (it might take several seasons. Oh sure, you can lose weight over a season, but it takes seasons of regular activity and eating right to effect a shape change at this point in your life)

    Work the fly machine with a minimum amt of weight and use it as a range of motion exercise for example. Use minimum amt weight dumbells that you saw only the scrawny guys use and emphysize range of motion.

    Enjoy the results if you do it right. You know your body the best. My joints like the new routine as well.
    Last edited by RiPHRaPH; 02-03-06 at 06:48 AM.
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  10. #10
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RiPHRaPH
    I am 41...As I enter my 4th decade, I find that muscle losses happen naturally.
    Um, I hate to break this to you. You're entering your 5th decade.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  11. #11
    Senior Member CTAC's Avatar
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    There is a way to lose your muscles with exercise. If you do things wrong your body starts using muscles itself as the energy source. I'd recommend to go to the weighlifters forum and ask that question over there.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=spunky]
    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Just don't do any upper-body exercises and the muscles will atrophy to be the minimum needed for the exertion level. This takes a lot of time, months, years.

    +1
    Last year I was doing tri's and spent a lot of time working on my upper body/swimming muscles.
    I used to do tons of high rep weights on the pecs, lats, triceps, etc.....
    I quit that about six months ago to focus on cycling only and I'm amazed at how much upper body tone I still have. At least it's not bulk though. Just lean mass.

    I was a meat head at one time. I haven't touch a weight in a 2 years and it's slowly coming off. It's a lean 185 lbs at 6'2". For me losing fat is easy but losing muscle is hard. Having had a brother with muscular dystrophy, I aint complaining.

  13. #13
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoshizzo
    , I'd like to lose some of the bulky muscle on my upper body and get leaner/thinner.
    i dare you to post this on the bodybuilding forum

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/index.php?

  14. #14
    lillypad
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    Very easy to do. Stop working out on the upper body (at least high weight, low rep wise) and get into an activity that requires a lot of aerobic and anaerobic ability such as running or cycling. The body will naturally lose the "mass". A friend of mine went from being a serious "body-builder" at about 185lb to one heck of a serious marathon runner at about 150lb during one approximately 6-month training season for marathon racing.

  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    How much of that 30-lb weight-loss is fat vs. muscle? So I take it that it's a correct assumption to say that you can lose muscle faster than you can build it?
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 02-06-06 at 01:47 AM.

  16. #16
    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Whatever advice you take, please do not try the Lance Armstrong Method for Upper Body Muscle Mass Loss. Expensive as hell, and it kind of messes with your friends' and family members' heads.

  17. #17
    Senior Member phoshizzo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies and advice. I still plan on workout my lower back and abs, and I'll stay w/ low weight and high reps for the rest of the upper body once a week.

    thanks

  18. #18
    Aluminium Crusader :-)
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    you won't lose muscle if you keep doing weights, even if you perform high reps, unless you're severely reducing your energy intake. Most people maintain leg muscle mass just from riding, even though cycling is super-high reps -- about 12,000 reps in a 3 hour ride.

  19. #19
    lillypad
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    He didn't have very much fat to begin with. He wasn't your typical NFL lineman type, he was more like a running back, therefore I would assume that it was mostly muscle mass that he lost. I would say that you can definitely lose it faster than you can build it.

  20. #20
    lillypad
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    what the hell is wrong with you? strength is good!
    Bulk muscle isn't good for long-distance athletes, carrying around all of that extra mass that you are not using only slows you down. Look at Lance, he doesn't weigh 225.

  21. #21
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoshizzo

    Can you give me some advice as to how to go about it?
    bed rest

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    what the hell is wrong with you? strength is good!
    Something tells me this guy won't be riding very fast or winning many bike races...


  23. #23
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Something tells me this guy won't be riding very fast or winning many bike races...

    this photo has been altered...where ever you got it from.

    and correct, since body mass is in the denominator of the VO2 formula, they are reciprocally related

  24. #24
    lillypad
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Something tells me this guy won't be riding very fast or winning many bike races...

    I notice that this guy cut off his photo above the calf muscles. Does he have something to hide?

  25. #25
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcyclist68
    My skinny arse hates you.
    +1

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