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Getting lean without losing too much muscle

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  • maverick4x4maverick4x4 Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member
    billkansas wrote: »
    Hi Maverick,

    I have no useful advice but just wanted to say I'm with you. I'm 50, currently weigh 203 lbs, 6'-2", and cutting on about 2000 cal/day (after reading your post think I need to cut my calories further). Struggling to maintain strength while losing weight. I've found to be very difficult but I've been nicely corrected by several persons here that it's probably my fault for my crappy 2 day per week workout plan, poor diet, and poor sleep habits. I agree and am trying to do better but it's hard especially with small kids at home and too busy at work. Hopeful to get a garage gym established so I can deadlift, squat and bench at home a bit while kids play outside. My goal is to join the 1000 lb club and who knows... maybe 2019 is the year.?.? Best wishes.

    Hi fellow 50ish guy! What are your current totals? What is your workout plan?
  • billkansasbillkansas Member Posts: 259 Member Member Posts: 259 Member
    My recent totals for squat, deadlift, and bench are 315, 360, 230 lbs for a total of 905 lbs. I've been better at the squat in particular as 320 lbs previously was my best as a 3 sets of five. The past few weeks I've tried to keep my calories to 1700 per day and am now down to 200 lbs. My two workouts per week consist of workout 1: squat, bench, deadlift assistance ad workout 2: deadlift, press, squat assistance, close grip bench. I try to fit in some chinups, rows, arms, calves and stuff like that whenever I can (which has been almost zero lately).
    edited April 2019
  • maverick4x4maverick4x4 Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member
    Those are decent numbers, in fact, while not my current maxes, I rarely go higher than the amounts you listed. Heaviest I've handled recently was 275 bench, 405 squat, 385 deads. While not 1RM, I haven't been heavier for a very long time. I did a walk out with 455 the other day when I thought I was feeling strong and it wanted to crush me.

    What do you do on the other days? Each of those workouts would be a long workout for me (too long). Both bench and squat take 3-5 sets before I'm fully warmed up and into working weight, then the work sets. But if that's what fits your schedule, you're getting the important stuff in.

    My general approach is 4-5 days. 1) chest/back (each set supersetted), 2) legs (squat), 3) shoulders/back (supersetted), 4) arms, 5) "goofy legs" (not sure why I gave it that name) which is sprints, heavy sled, maybe deads if I haven't done them yet, and any other leg work needed. Sometimes I add a 6th day, usually not, that's Saturday and outdoor stuff (skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, jeeping, etc) I do 10min warm up each day, and try to get at least one 30minute cardio each week. I'm also going to add running a mile at least once a week. I hate running.
    edited April 2019
  • pierinifitnesspierinifitness Member, Premium Posts: 2,265 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,265 Member
    @maverick4x4, I remember my yesteryear travels to Europe with my wife. We were the vagabond type of travelers and walked alot. Always came back with a weight loss despite eating big. Something to be said, maybe vagabond vacations need to be in the weight loss tool box for those still trying to drop the lard.

    I've got you by a baker's dozen years and was where you are at a couple months ago. Hang in there because you will arrive as I have and it's a wonderful place to be. Keep marching forward.
  • maverick4x4maverick4x4 Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member
    Yeah, it seemed to do me well. I'm excited for the next push, though I'm vacationing in Moab, UT for the next 9 days. Not nearly as much walking...well, actually, that can change out on the trail. There is a gym close to the house that I go to. Other than a couple of the dinners, I'll have a pretty clean diet all week.

    This morning was 201.6. Current target is 195, but I think I'm getting close to my actual goals of losing the moobs. The handles are shrinking, obliques are coming out and just a hint of abs. 195 might be enough? We'll see. It's gonna get pretty subjective from here on out.
  • billkansasbillkansas Member Posts: 259 Member Member Posts: 259 Member
    You're not only stronger... you have a better job- vacationing right after vacationing?

    I go fast in my two days per week in the gym and range from 1.25 to 1.5 hours (no shower). I achieve that by warming up my next exercise while completing work sets. So while hitting my last few squat sets I'm underway in warming up my bench. It works well since I hit my gym when empty and I don't have to get in line for the rack or bench.

    I pulled 360 yesterday with double overhand grip (no straps)... so you only got me by 95 lbs..... I think I might hate you (lol).
  • Fit_Chef_NEFit_Chef_NE Member, Premium Posts: 109 Member Member, Premium Posts: 109 Member
    I maintain my muscle mass during a cut by lifting as heavy as I can in that period. I still lose some muscle, since that is how it works when you are dropping weight, but I usually don't see much loss of strength, if any. I also alter my macros to be at least 30% protein (35% is better) and I eat at least 40g of that protein directly after I lift so my muscles are immediately getting the nutrition they need to begin to repair themselves. Source: personal trainer and amateur lifter.
  • _Figgzie__Figgzie_ Member Posts: 3,494 Member Member Posts: 3,494 Member
    Do some sort of resistance training 3-4 times a week. Whether the caloric deficit is big or small, using muscles is the only way to keep them. I do push ups one day, pulls ups another day and my own leg workout the third day. I have lost 100 pounds and according to the calculations, I went from almost 315 pounds to 210ish and I only lost about 22 pounds of muscle which considering is pretty good (187 pounds LBM to start)
  • DevilsFan1DevilsFan1 Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member
    Another 50 YO checking in. Unlike you, I started strength training when I was 47. I was weak, fat, and on the road to a painful life. Powerlifting changed my life for the better. I'm around 18% BF right now and weigh 178. Twenty months ago I entered my first PL competition at a fat, but strong, 203. Most I've ever weighed in my life. My goal is to compete in the 75kg class next year which means I need to be under 165.

    Right now, I'm on a 1750 calories a day diet and target macros are 40/30/30. Still making progress on my lifts so I'm pretty happy about that. Seems like your progress is excellent and I wouldn't change what's working for you if you feel good and are on track to meet your goals. There are many ways to get from A to B. Good luck!
  • maverick4x4maverick4x4 Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    Another 50 YO checking in. Unlike you, I started strength training when I was 47. I was weak, fat, and on the road to a painful life. Powerlifting changed my life for the better. I'm around 18% BF right now and weigh 178. Twenty months ago I entered my first PL competition at a fat, but strong, 203. Most I've ever weighed in my life. My goal is to compete in the 75kg class next year which means I need to be under 165.

    Right now, I'm on a 1750 calories a day diet and target macros are 40/30/30. Still making progress on my lifts so I'm pretty happy about that. Seems like your progress is excellent and I wouldn't change what's working for you if you feel good and are on track to meet your goals. There are many ways to get from A to B. Good luck!

    Fantastic, glad to hear it! Are you still losing weight at 1750/day? I seem to plateau at 1800, which is honestly a little disturbing to me, since my base rate used to be around 2200-2300/day (based on losing 1.5lb/wk at 1600day for the first 6 months)

    What are your PRs? What are you working on? What's your approach (set/rep structure)

    Like I said above, my bench is in the toilet, but I'm trying to get incline up a little closer to where it used to be (it's at about 75%). I'd be happy with 80-85%. Squat is only 68%, and my goal is to get it to 75% consistently.

    I'm still 25carb/25fat/50 protein at 1600cal/day...though a couple days a week I'm closer to 1800-1900. You'd think that I'd still be dropping but I don't. But...I think subconsciously I'm pretty happy where I'm at and my body seems to cling to 195. Still pushing for sub-190 just to see what it looks like.
  • maverick4x4maverick4x4 Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member Member, Premium Posts: 79 Member
    _Figgzie_ wrote: »
    Do some sort of resistance training 3-4 times a week. Whether the caloric deficit is big or small, using muscles is the only way to keep them. I do push ups one day, pulls ups another day and my own leg workout the third day. I have lost 100 pounds and according to the calculations, I went from almost 315 pounds to 210ish and I only lost about 22 pounds of muscle which considering is pretty good (187 pounds LBM to start)

    Fantastic progress! That is very impressive, what a journey and transformation! Keep up the good work.

    I agree about use it or lose it. I hit the weights 5-6 days/week, with a jog/hike 1-2 days. Most working sets are 70-90% 1RM in varying set/rep structures and exercises to keep my body guessing. I'm going to try and add a little volume and structure to squat day for the next few weeks to push my max back up.
  • evilokcevilokc Member Posts: 248 Member Member Posts: 248 Member
    when i started getting my annual cut together i was at 204lbs. i had ab shadows and figured i needed to loose about 10lbs to be "cut". however like all men i was hiding a lot of fat around my organs. im down like 12lbs and while im tight im not "there" yet. takes more than we think.
  • IAMFFLIAMFFL Member Posts: 58 Member Member Posts: 58 Member
    evilokc wrote: »
    when i started getting my annual cut together i was at 204lbs. i had ab shadows and figured i needed to loose about 10lbs to be "cut". however like all men i was hiding a lot of fat around my organs. im down like 12lbs and while im tight im not "there" yet. takes more than we think.

    Agreed. I've noticed as I'm getting older I've had to tweak my macros a lot more to achieve the desired cut but maintain my weight. Things I've done in the past, both nutrition and workout wise, helped me tighten up but I wasn't as cut as I wanted to be. More than anything, nutrition has played the biggest part.
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