Lifting but losing muscles - need tips

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August 16, 2019


I started being consistent with exercise around the end of May this year and lifting from the end of June.

Nutrition is tight since August, with a proper plan and calorie counting.

However, I feel that I am not doing everything right as I fear I am losing fat and muscle mass. Some lifts have stalled in recent days while I should be gaining nearly at all sessions given my noob status (not yet at doing the same stuff for 2 months).

I am reading lots of different opinions online so I wanted to check with the MRP crowd.

My stats:

5"11 (179cm), 77kg (170lbs). I was 83kgs at the start. Body fat is 15% if ou believe the Navy (21% at first), 18% in a fat measurement machine at my gym (was 21% at the beginning). Goal is 75kg in one month (looks within reach) and then towards 12% BF to show some abs.

This is my routine:

5.45am: wake up, get dressed, skip breakfast

6.00am: lifting for one hour every 2 days, otherwise 45min yoga +abs or 1h30 road bike on the weekend.

7.15am: after shower and grooming, having breakfast (following the nutrition plan of my coach, so lots of eggs)

I like exercising early: it is done and puts me in a great mood.

In terms of calories, I have an average of gross calories around 1800 a day. Net would be closer to 1500-1600 (I also walk everywhere a lot).

My diet averages 140-150g of protein a day - I am struggling to go higher than 180g a day unless I take more than 2 protein shakes (which I do not like doing as this is processed food).

I also eat roughly 150g of carbs and 75g of fat a day. Sugar is below 50g. I don't digest carbs well (makes me constipated) so happy to have more fat than carbs.


  1. In your experience, lifting on an empty stomach eats the muscle mass?
  2. How do you go around it apart from eating something 45min before (tough to do to wake up even earlier as I won't be in bed before 10pm given my activities)
  3. Should I do cardio on empty stomach and move lifting to later in the day?
  4. Should I add more protein to my diet? Reach something like 180g on average a day?
  5. Any idea to increase the protein intake without being too processed?

Many thanks for your answers!

Post Information
Title Lifting but losing muscles - need tips
Author Betrootjuice
Upvotes 12
Comments 58
Date 16 August 2019 09:03 AM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Original Link
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[–]mrpthrowa12 points13 points  (14 children) | Copy

Your are cutting so progress will be slow. You're looking for body recomposition which is quite hard. That is, losing fat, and maintaining or improving muscle at the same time.

You also say you are walking a lot, so perhaps you are crashing yourself with a huge deficit. Track your calories and weight daily for a couple of weeks using the TDEE calculator spreadsheet and work out exactly what your TDEE is. Don't cut by more than 20%.

It takes more time. It's ok, cut until you are happy with how you look, then slow bulk (again, no more than 10-20% over TDEE). Don't overthink it.

You say nutrition is tight "since august", so practically a couple of weeks? that's nothing in terms of the time frames you should be watching for.

You say lifting since end of June, so about 6 weeks of work? only 2 of them with proper nutrition? have some patience dude.

A few things:

I do not like doing as this is processed food

Whey powder from a reputable source is not your typical "processed food". IT's effectively just left over milk protein. It's not bad. Although your protein intake is fine.

You are constipated because you are likely not eating enough fibre. Eat more fibre (veg, fruit) or just straight up get some lactulose.

Your meal times do not matter. Your routine time is ok where you are.

make sure you sleep 8 hours. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Next to diet this is your top priority.

I would try and get some carbs before the workout though. It's no an absolute necessity just my personal preference.

What is your routine... is the real question though? what are you doing?

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 2 points3 points  (13 children) | Copy

wow thanks for these answers.

Yes, I am impatient - big flaw. But hopefully lifting will give me the delayed gratification spirit.

Constipation: I think I eat enough fibres. This is something I discovered with doing a low carb high fat diet a few years back - I am a bit gluten intolerant. And gluten free options are often full of crap. Actually the nutrition plan has more carbs than I am used to.

I sleep at least 7h a night.

My routine: I am in a calisthenic gym. So lots of dips, pull-ups, chin-ups, push-ups... Weighted or assisted. There are also a few free weights to isolate some muscles.

My coach prepared the plan. Objective is losing weight and "toning" - I know you MRP guys hate that term. Then I can switch to muscle growth through different exercises. He is himself quite big.

I go to this gym because it is at the bottom of my block of flat and open 24/7.

For the moment, I am a weak fucker. When I start to be bigger and stronger, I will consider a proper lifting gym (I will move from where I live within 3 years anyway so this current gym will be gone).

[–]mrpthrowa5 points6 points  (12 children) | Copy

Well post your routine. It's almost certainly bullshit.

I know plenty of "big guys" who make a living advising clueless people with these "toning" plans. They are playing to their market - guys like you who aspire to "tone" but in reality don't have the stomach for a proper routine. They have to live you know so they give you bullshit routines and i don't blame them. Mr My Country is as big as it gets and makes a living giving these coaching lessons and plans to middle aged women and scrawny men.

What I can tell you for sure is that none of them "bug guys" got big doing calisthenic exercises and bullshit programs.

Also hate to break it to you... but... crap routine, crap gym = crap results. You choose what you want to do.

Can't help you on gluten intolerence, I get the feeling you need to treat that much more seriously. Just do 100% what your doctor says, it's not something to be fucked around with.

7 hours... not sure if it's enough, you need to sleep early and sleep until you wake up naturally and don't need to sleep anymore.

Anyway I get the feeling you are half assing all of this what can I tell you.

[–]FoxShitNasty831 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I can confirm toned <> ripped...gays think differently.

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 0 points1 point  (9 children) | Copy

Yes, it could be a crap gym. But I want to get into a habit. There are no other gyms within 20-25min of where I live which are open at 6am and 24/7. Once I have the habit (need 3-4months and I'll see with winter coming), I can consider changing. I think doing something is better than potentially doing.

I have been on/off at the gym (clue: because I had no staffing power) and saw a few people develop and got fitter / bigger / stronger. The bigger came only through nutrition.

So routines

There are 3 for 3 days of workout. 2min rest in between sets.

I am not doing much leg exercises at the moment (knee sprain still there).

Day 1 - Strength

- Tabatha of jump lunges and Burpees push/pull: 5min

- Pull-ups supported 4 sets of 6-10

- Push-ups legs raised 3 x 8-11 reps, slow

Line sprints. 3 sets of 1min

Hardcore leg curl 3x 8-11 slow

Elevated side lunge squat 3x 9-12 slow

Day 2 - endurance

Tabatha 5min of burpee frog jumps / jump squats

then 2 rounds of 2min per exercise, 30sec rest

Cross jacks

bench up/down

push up to bars

mountain climbers

stand ups

burpee push/pull

Day 3 - strength

Tabatha 5' of side jumps, burpee jump box

pistol squats 3x 8-11 reps, slow

calf raises 3x14-17 reps/leg, fast

bar rows 4x 10-14 reps, fast

dip bar flutter kicks 4x 30sec

skater squat 3x8-11reps slow

single hip leg extension 3x10-14 reps/leg, slow

[–]itiswr1ttenRed Beret6 points7 points  (1 child) | Copy

Fire your trainer immediately.

Amrap means as many reps as possible. This is a variant of Greyskull, a simple linear progression program.

You are doing 1950s jack lalanne horseshit. I am mad just reading that you paid for this routine.

See below, start here until your form is tight. Add 5 to 10lbs per week on everything. Once your (reps) bench is 1x bodyweight, squat and deads are close to 1.5x, you can switch.

Until then this is a 40min or less routine that will change everything.

Week 1


Overhead Press: 2×5, 1×5+ (AMRAP)

Squat: 2×5, 1×5+


Bench Press: 2×5, 1×5+

Deadlift: 1×5+


Overhead Press: 2×5, 1×5+

Squat: 2×5, 1×5+

Week 2


Bench Press: 2×5, 1×5+

Squat: 2×5, 1×5+


Overhead Press: 2×5, 1×5+

Deadlift: 1×5+


Bench Press: 2×5, 1×5+

Squat: 2×5, 1×5+

[–]umizumiz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


[–]mrpthrowa7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

yeah you're not going anywhere serious with that, practically no compound lifts. You need good compound lifts to push your body to produce the hormones necessary to develop muscle.

yeah any gym that doesn't have a proper squat rack is seriously lacking.

You need to:

  1. Solve your gym issue - find a good one with a squat rack.
  2. Follow a program that has compounds. 5x5 for beginners or 5/3/1. stick to it.
  3. Work on your nutrition - find out your TDEE, and therefore what your goals should be.

Yes all of this is hard work but that mirrors the toughness of the result you want, you can work your excuses around it or continue fuckarounditis until you come back here asking the same questions in 6 months.

Unless you do all of this you're not getting anywhere serious.

[–]RPeed3 points4 points  (2 children) | Copy

A lot of trainers get people to flop around like a retard. It looks and feels like the client is doing... something. And maybe even most of the trainers believe in it after the two day seminar they got their certificate at.

No athlete, bodybuilder or even Redditor trains like that.

That is all I can type without mockery.

Please visit the r/fitness wiki or hang out on r/weightroom for 30 seconds.

[–]RoccoPinkman1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The trainers I see at the gym are fucking awful, they have people doing the dumbest shit that is not going to build muscle. Not only that but I’m there week in week out and I see the same people being trained their body composition never changes and they still come and pay the money it does not make sense to me, there’s so much free info out there on how to lift and they’re paying some dumbass to show them.

[–]tom-anonymous0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

lol RPeed is right. I see so many personal trainers with guts having their clients perform all this functional training shit. After 2 years they don't look any different.

[–]DoctorMoneyStacks0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You can do a lot of that with a weight vest, if you want size you'll need to throw more weight on.

[–]tom-anonymous-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

You should be embarrassed for posting this faggot routine. This has got to be a troll posting this.

[–]DoctorMoneyStacks-3 points-2 points  (0 children) | Copy

I put on 50 pounds of weight in the upper body partially from doing dips, push-ups, & pull-upps. You just need to use a weight vest + a dip belt. The routine he's been given can probably be adapted for hypertrophy, otherwise if their giving him specific exercises, it's probably cause he has muscle imbalances that need to be addressed first.

[–]RedPill-BlackLotusRed Beret5 points6 points  (14 children) | Copy

Your 5'11 170 and your already down to 1800 calories a day. Your metabolism has adjusted to compensate and now your fucked.

Stop dieting.

Get your hormone levels checked, make sure it's not that.

Your body will compensate for any stimulus you throw at it.

There are only 4 ways to lose fat.

Eat less, move more, take drugs, and surgery.

I'm going to assume your not a drug user or else the word tren would have been in your post. Also, surgery is dumb and only for the most desperate cases. That only leaves eat less and move more.

You cant eat less, and your so depleted you cant move more.

I think you should put your calorie number to 3000 and continue to train hard AND put in 30 min of cardio every workout, and 30 min on your off days. That's 7 days a week you are pushing this agenda. You already know how to diet, should be easy.

Weigh yourself every day and adjust until you are at a maintenance number for your current calorie count and training program. Once everything is at maintenance (with that 7 days of cardio) you can slowly make adjustments, one at a time, and wait for the change to take effect.

So on a cut, if your base calories lands on 3200, you chop out 300 calories and change nothing else. Watch the weight, once it stalls out you add another change, say sprints 2 times a week. Ley that take effect and wait for your body to adjust. Repeat, chop out 200 calories, again, wait, then once you stall out make another change.

It works for bulking aswell. You can add calories or rest pause reps, change the temop, add in exercise.

It's always the same. Small changes then your body adjusts.

You push your body to hard in one direction it bucks and pushes back. You just give it a nudge, over time, the distance you move it is much further.

And tren is magic

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy

Ok so looks like I am cutting too much at 1800.

I am still losing weight at the moment (weighting myself every morning).

TDEE suggests 2650 as maintenance so I would need to move up calorie intake towards 2200-2300 to keep cutting the fat and not the muscle.


[–]FoxShitNasty831 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Try 2100 for a few weeks then adjust I was at 1700 for a year (death came for me mentally)... the needle rarely moved below 15%... lookup refeeds and do every few weeks to reset.

[–]gameoflibidos0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

can't do that without drugs bro.

You cannot gain muscle on a calorie deficit without roids. Can't be done. You can maintain and MAYBE get a tiny tiny bit, but for any real gains you HAVE to eat a calorie surplus with lots of protein or drugs and even the drugs are much more effective with a calorie surplus.

[–]umizumiz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I'm 5" 7' and when I was 140 lbs my TDEE was 1800.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy

How much you weigh in this pic? You look like you have 4% bf, holy fuck.

[–]RedPill-BlackLotusRed Beret0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

How much you weigh in this pic? You look like you have 4% bf, holy fuck.

About 186ish I'm on the cusp between 7 and 8% bodyfat. Dexa scans are inaccurate sub 10%. I'm a bit leaner than that atm. At this point in the summer I cant out eat the tren.

That scan says I'm overweight.

[–]umizumiz0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Height? Lol

[–]RedPill-BlackLotusRed Beret0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy


[–]umizumiz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

That's what I was guessing. Very similar body type at 5'7", although I will admit you are crushing it.

[–]redninja77Fat, but working on it0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

When you say to get hormones checked, which ones specifically? Testosterone?

I'm trying to figure out exactly which tests to take - checking out letsgetchecked dot com.

I'm working on losing weight and it's going slowly even though I'm at 1800 calories/day very consistent, pretty active between walking/bjj and lifting 3x per week (lifts are going up consistently).

[–]gameoflibidos0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

How old are you?

Yes, you get Test levels checked just to make sure they are in normal ranges. You wont get anywhere if you have low Test levels. Go to the doctor to get it checked accurately.

Without gear... everything is super slow... especially if you are over 40 like me. It's taken me 4 years to go from overweight blob to still overweight guy that looks like he hits the gym. It'll take me 10 years to get to where Tren could get me in 2.

[–]redninja77Fat, but working on it0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Late 30s - gotcha makes sense

[–]SuperCrazy070 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Jesus dude. I’m not a chick, so I guess I don’t really know, but that seems to be taking it too far.

Like it’s what people mean when they say I don’t want to be too muscular (which is dumb because 99.99% of people never come close to putting in the effort you did).

Serious question...does that look work better for you with women than if you added maybe 10 lbs of fat evenly distributed?

[–]RedPill-BlackLotusRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

No my wife likes me fatter, just like you said. I like looking like that, it's about me. The way the drugs work is very person specific, one person reacts one way, it works a bit less or better for others. The cutting drugs work really well for me. The fat melts off me, it's insane.

And ya, I take it a bit to far, but that's how i have always been. I brought that level of effort to video games at one point aswell. I own that, yuck.

[–]red-sfpplusHard Core Red2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Cardio burns muscle dum dum.

[–]FoxShitNasty834 points5 points  (6 children) | Copy

You are lifting in a deficit, you will lose fat and maintain muscle.. at best

You need to be careful of getting too skinny... I got to 15% and 143lbs before the anorexia police caught up with me... thanks u/hack3ge

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 0 points1 point  (5 children) | Copy

I get that. But I want to maintain muscle.

So I am wondering if I am not setting myself to lose muscle anyway given my timings.

Which is annoying because the more I cut, the more I need to cut!

[–]stoicstephen1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

Try to increase protein intake.

Are your workouts for strength or hypertrophy?

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy


The workout and nutrition plan is targeted to make me "ripped" by lowering the body fat and keeping the muscle mass.

I'll try to gulp another protein shake every day to see if there is a difference.

[–]mindfulbutgutlessRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


From your breakdown of your workout I would say your workout is hypertrophic/bodybuilding not strength. No compound movements. You didn't list weight for each exercise, but by the set/rep you posted I can only assume it is on the lighter side. I would suggest sticking to the big 4, 3 days a week and do your bodyweight stuff on the other days. 5x5, starting strength 5x3, 5/3/1, or GSLP are all great starts. All better at gaining strength than what you are currently doing

[–]Cam_Winston21[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I get that. But I want to maintain muscle.

It has been proven that the most muscle sparing way to lose weight is fasting.

Typing anecdotally as someone who has lifted for more than 20 years & done every program imaginable, I can confirm.

[–]hack3geRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

It’s cool bro I get it - you want to audition for the lead role in Machinist 2.

Good luck with that and if it doesn’t work out you can maybe get a role as an extra playing a concentration camp member.

[–]40mullet1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

You are glycogen depleted. You need more carbs to fuel so intensive workouts. Do one carb loading day (600+ grams of carbs) look in the mirror and if difference is big, do it more often.

[–]hydrastas0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I've been keto with <20g carbs from vegetables only for the past 3 months. I've gained 60 lbs on squat and maintained single digit bf. I only take creatine. Can confirm you don't need glycogen to get swole.

[–]suprathepeg1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

5’-11 and 170 with 18% BF means you have 30lbs of fat. If you are losing 2lbs a week in 4 or 5 weeks you’ll be easily at your goal then you’ll be reversing for about 6 weeks.

Body recomp takes a long time, there are no shortcuts. I would highly caution against any steroid use although the temptation will be real.

Frankly I think you may be going a bit too hard, too fast, the best program is the one you do for the rest of your life, not for the next few months.

Some things to consider when cutting. Your cortisol levels will elevate ultimately depressing your testosterone and halting any muscle gains as well as depressing your overall mood so be careful. Going through the anger phase on a deficit is no joke.

What naturally boosts testosterone? Heavy lifting in the hypertrophy range especially large muscle groups so heavy squats, deadlifts and my personal favourite heavy hip thrusts (I’m a huge fan of the Glute Drive machines) also heavy on the incline leg press is great for overall leg engagement.

Fasted lifting is, in my mind advanced level training. You need to fuel the muscles if you want them to work hard, they need to work hard in order to grow. You are not advanced.

To me personally your caloric intake to your activity level is low and your not lifting. So yep you’re going to go catabolic (burn muscle).

You really should have taken the time to figure out where your maintenance caloric level was before you started dieting. This makes setting your cut and bulk levels easier, right now you’re taking shots in the dark.

One key to burning fat is having muscle which you do not.

In my experience the body weight stuff is what you do when you’re on vacation and can’t get to a real gym. Also “toning” is a stupid concept that makes no sense. In body recomp you are either maintaining, growing muscle or cutting fat.

There is a ton you need to learn to make this a long term lifestyle so don’t get discouraged so early on. That said I would do the following.

  1. Start actually lifting heavy in the hypertrophy range. This will balance out your hormones as best you can on a cut. This means you lift weights, the body weight stuff can be accessory work.

  2. Lift later in the day when your body isn’t in its fasted (starved state). See how this works for you. I always lift like shit if it’s early am before eating.

  3. I’d probably stop cutting in a couple weeks and start a slow reverse in 2-3 weeks. The reverse at your body weight should be adding about 125cals a day per week till you hit your maintenance. If you do this right you’ll still be burning fat on your reverse however you’ll also be gaining back some water weight so the real goal is to be approximately the same weight when you start the reverse as when you are at maintenance give or take 1-2lbs.

  4. Eat just above your maintenance and eat extremely clean. Then lift heavy. The goal being to gain no more than 1.5-2lbs per month. In 9-12 months do a mini cut to shed off the excess fat. Repeat annually. In two years you’ll be a ripped motherfucker, if you keep it up you’ll be that way all your life.

Bonus step. Learn to meal prep. I meal prep 95% of the meals I will eat once every two weeks. This frees up a bunch of time, makes life simple and tracking my intake easy. I know my macros so once to twice a week I’ll eat out but keep within my daily macros range and not exceed my caloric limit. If I eat out it’s generally steak.

Also eggs, they bung me up if I’m eating too many every day. Especially boiled eggs. I don’t eat a lot of eggs, I do eat fish for breakfast every day.

Hope this is useful.

[–]FereallyRedHard Core Red1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Not eating enough.

Not lifting enough.

Really is that simple.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Have you gotten blood work done? Do you take vitamin D3?

If you want to build muscle and lose fat you need to lift heavy shit. Doing the stuff you are doing would work great if you already had muscle and wanted to lean up, but I don't think it's going to work as is.

Heavy compound lifts are your friend.

I also am a fan of juicing. Not the red-sfpplus kind, like green juice. It does wonders for your digestive system and gut health. From what I have studied and experienced personally, gut health is critical for health and fitness. If your body doesn't absorb the nutrients you give it then you are aren't going to see the results you desire.

Lastly, I do intermittent fasting and have done so for 7 years now. Giving your digestive system a break so your body can do other things is very helpful. Digesting food puts a massive amount of strain on your body and uses resources.

I won't eat until 2 on lifting days and I work out on an empty stomach. I use preworkout, black coffee, weed and modafinil to cheat a bit with the energy.

I stop eating after 8pm typically.

[–]justpickanyusernameRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy


[–]2ndalRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I read over everything you said, including replies to comments left for you, and one things is clear: you are super good at making excuses to make your life easy.

What you want is hard and there are no short cuts, plain and simple. You are doing about 50% of what you should be doing, expecting perfection, and making excuses for the rest. No wonder you do not see the results you want. That is not how you get perfection. Yes, doing something is better than nothing. But doing "something" will not get what you want. Lower your expectations or work harder and stop making excuses.

You have the answers here in thread. Stop making excuses about why you cannot do them. Just fucking do them, or shut the fuck up and be content with where you are today.

[–]gameoflibidos0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

2 things;

  1. You cannot build muscle and cut fat at the same time. It is impossible unless you are on gear (Anabolics or TRT). To get gains naturally you have to eat a surplus of calories and you will gain weight. That is why the bulk/cut cycle exists.
  2. your routine is a cutting routine for girls / crossfitters. You will not gain muscle with that routine. You will as noted from your stated goals... tone what you have and drop some weight with that routine. You need compound lifts (Bench, Squat, Row, Deadlift, Military Press) and heavy lifts. 5x5 power lifts if you want to gain muscle and eat more. Again you will gain weight when gaining muscle.

Rotate between weeks of high volume sets at lower weight for hypertrophy (muscle growth) and low volume higher weight sets for strength. The dirty ugly truth is that without Anabolics or Test supplementation, theres a very hard limit on muscle growth for natural lifters and it takes a VERY long time. Someone on Anabolics will get the muscle growth in 6 months it will take a natural lifter as long as 4 years to build. The only positive besides overall health to natural lifting is your gains will be retained a lot longer if you stopped.

Lifting natural, you'll NEVER look like The Rock. Ever. After 10-15 years you can work to the King of the Spartans in 300. But naturally, that's about the best youll ever do if you aren't a natural genetic endomorph. Endomorphs can do better naturally.

It's important to be aware of the facts and realistic with goals or you'll give up.

[–]RStonePT0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Eat more or understand your cut costs you strength.

Also, you shouldn't cut for another 20 poinds

[–]FoxShitNasty830 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Listen to this man, the more you take off the longer it will take to put back on... two year slow bulk is a real thing for me right now.

[–]thatboyjeff0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You aren’t fucking eating enough.

Are you surprised by this?

And stop fucking skipping breakfast.

[–]iamdexter120 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You should know your body type well because i.e. if you're an Ectomorph, you will burn your calories faster.

Cardio(running & cycling) is making you lose some muscles mass.

Hence reducing the duration of Cardio and increase calories intake according to your Set objective is advised.

[–]RoccoPinkman0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I was about to give you some advice but I realised this is all still new to you and the workout your doing is pointless.

Some good advice for you to learn all the basics would be read ‘Bigger leaner stronger’ it covers all the basic shit and has some good examples of programs to get you started.

Fire your trainer, I see dudes like you every single day at the gym doing some crazy shit that looks good on instagram but will almost certainly yield no results.

[–]RoccoPinkman0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Not eating before your workout will not cause you to lose muscle, muscle building/fat loss takes place over weeks and months not meal by meal

[–]ReddJiveRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You have a good grasp of your macros. every one is giving you diet advice. That’s nice, but you’re not telling something. Where’s your workout? What exactly are you doing?

This isn’t rocket science. Fuck any diet will work really as long as you stick to a few things and are committed to it. fasting is the latest rage, but its all a male hamster.

So I am going to tell you that your workout fucking sucks and you are not committed to it. There are 4 reasons why you aren’t gaining muscle.

  1. Your gains will stagnate if you only weight train within the same rep ranges and loading patterns. Meaning you aren’t loading more weight every time you work. 5 pounds increase is a good growth. If you increase 60 pounds in a year that’s pretty damn good.

  2. Volume is key. Don't think a set or two per exercise will give you noticeable hypertrophy. If you are doing SL 5x5 you need to do all 5 sets and reps. Even if you have to deload. Do the work. Stress your CNS.

  3. If you want to build muscle, focus solely on doing so. Don't flip flop between fat loss strategies and muscle building strategies or you'll end up achieving neither. I suspect you keep flipping between them.

  4. You have to eat enough calories to build muscle. Prepare to have between 18 to 20 calories per pound of body weight to gain without blowing up. You aren’t. The lowest you should be Eating is 1850. Then again I don’t know your workout. You need to eat your body weight in protein. Stop making stupid excuses why you aren’t.

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Thank you everyone for the useful comments.

I am very early on in the process so this is good to correct now the mistakes I have been making rather than complain in 6 months.

So far I will adjust with the following:

- For the diet part, I have increased calories to 2,200 and will do refeed days.

- I will keep training in the morning most of the time but will wake up a bit earlier, eat something and go training. I did that this morning and surprise I had more energy towards the second part of the workout.

- For the lifting part, I am documenting myself thanks to all the inputs. Calisthenics is indeed not effective for the lower body. Upper body there are workarounds, such as weighted vests or dips (there are some in my gym) and many moves are compound lifts (pull-ups, dips, handstand push-ups). Lower body is the issue with no real proper workarounds. I'll see if the owner can bring a set of barbells with weights so I can do deadlift. If not, I'll start looking at other options.

- As for half-assing. I can see how you have the experience and want me to not waste time thanks.

[–]mrp_awakening0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

How do you know you're losing muscles? Are your lifts going down, or are you losing lean body mass (calculated from your weight and bf%)? If it's just LBM, it could be water weight. Also, where are you lifts at? BF% and body weight don't mean shit without knowing your main lifts. I'm talking BP, OHP, Squat, Deadlift.

Otherwise... only other recommendation would be to switch your diet up and go keto. I'd keep your protein the same, but limit carbs to 20-40g/day (whatever you need to maintain ketosis) and round out your caloric goal with fat. Studies have shown that keto is more muscle preserving than a standard cutting diet. Strength might go down for 6-8 weeks though as your body sorts itself out, but once you've gotten past the adaption phase it's possible to add muscle while losing weight. Last year I dropped 35 lbs off the scale, got down to 10-11% BF and increased my lifts. This year, the scales been pretty steady but I'm slowly adding muscle as my lifts are still improving. PR'ed 270 this morning on bench press at a body weight of 179.

[–]converter-bot0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

35 lbs is 15.89 kg

[–]Betrootjuice[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I have been losing lean body mass. Not much, maybe 1kg out of the 6kg I have lost so far.

Maybe it is water as you explained.

Anyway, I think this askmrp thread was great to get better ideas and more discipline.

As for Keto: I did a LCHF diet a few years back and I remember the "flu" phase as the body adapted.

I found Keto hard to maintain over the long run (the food became boring after a while) and very time consuming (I was cooking all the time and had no child back then).

[–]Faust1an-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

I would recommend splitting your breakfast in half and eating one portion before the gym and the other half after. Your lifts could be stalling because your muscles don’t have enough energy/glycogen in the morning to sustain such heavy loads for the amount of time that you’re lifting.

This is just anecdotal, but I always feel much stronger and less fatigued afterwards if I load up on carbs before a workout.

[–]i-am-the-prize-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

are you lifting too often? not sure if the same exercises/movements are being done 'every 2 days' or even every 4 (every other 2 day visit). to mix things up:

  • ensure you give yourself more rest between doing the same lifts
  • try lower reps/higher weights
  • try Time Under Load to failure, ignoring rep count, go for 90 seconds of slow reps
  • try caloric surplus the day after your heavy lift/big 5 days (compound muscle lifts)
  • how's your thyroid?

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