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  • Posted On: 08-12-19, 6:06 am (EDT) #1

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 12, 2019, 6:06 am


    Hi there,

     

    I've been training for several months now, and I am struggling to gain muscle mass. I gained a bit of muscle mass, but it feels difficult to progress. I would greatly appreciate some help on how to improve on this!

     

    I believe that my form is in general correct, and I have been trying to use progressive overload. I've been watching several videos from Scott, in addition to reading a few books to gain more knowledge on tactics to encourage muscle growth. I started possibly in the worst muscle condition that anyone has ever heard. For instance, deadlift with 25kg was very hard. I managed to significantly improve -- I can now deadlift 60kg. I know that this will still sound like a very low weight for most guys, but at least it was an improvement :-)

     

    However, I feel tiredness and lack of energy at the gym, and I've been feeling extremely tired after training too. After each set of deadlift, I tend to even feel dizzy. And the tiredness frequently prevents me to push my training harder. When I train in the morning, it also feels like this tiredness can even impact my ability to concentrate on my work for several hours. Should I bring some protein + carbs shake with me to the gym, to take a few sips while training? Or could it be that I'm training too long? After warming up, I've been spending 1.5-1.6hs at the gym. My exercise program is shown at the end of this post.

     

    I bought a scale that can check the muscle mass and body fat percentage. I have only used it for a bit more than a week now, but there seem to be some interesting patterns. For example, I change my body fat percentage by 1% up or down quite easily. At first I thought that maybe the scale wasn't good enough. But then my wife said that her stats are very stable from one day to the next, varying by only 0.1%. So, it may not be a problem with the scale. Another interesting pattern is that it seems I tend to loose 300gr of muscle mass in the morning after training while gaining some 300-500 grams of fat. It seems that over the next 2 days after training, my muscle mass starts to increase back again, but very slowly, and much more slowly than the rate of loosing muscle right after training. Does it mean that I should be increasing my protein intake while perhaps reducing my carbs? I always ensure that I get 1.5 x my body weight grams of protein on my training day.

     

    I'm a bit afraid of increasing my carbs or calorie intake because even though I have very low body fat, all of it accumulates on my lower abs. Possibly, I am on the skinny fat category. When I started training, my biggest goal was to get my abs better defined. However, since I started training, it seems that I actually gained more fat over my abs, and thus my abs became more difficult to show than before training. So, getting rid of the fat around my abs is another point that I am struggling with.

     

    Overall, I'm really struggling with the issues above, and I hope that there is some light at the end of the tunnel. 


    Age: 36
    Height: 165cm = 5'41''
    Weight: 51kg = 112.44lbs
    Bodyfat: 7.5%
    Goal: Muscle Gain
    How long you have been exercising: 10 months
    Daily calories: 1840 to 2040
    Daily macros in grams: protein 100-150gr, carbs 180-270, fat 40-80gr
    Training 2 to 3 times (not always possible to do 3x a week due to long working hours)


    Workout plan (changed around 3 weeks ago to the following):


    Day 1:
    Stretching
    Cable crunches 3x12reps
    Plank: 3x45 seconds
    Pull ups: 3x7reps
    Barbell bench press: 15reps warm up, pyramid 12, 8, 6 reps.
    Chest flys: 15reps warm up, 3x12 reps.
    Deadlifts: 15reps warm up, piramid 12, 10, 6 reps.
    Row: 15reps warm up, 3x12 reps.
    Bodyweight dips (focusing on triceps): 3x15 reps.
    Stretching

     

    Day 2:
    Stretching
    Cable crunches: 3x12 reps
    Wood chopper: 3x15reps
    Standing barbell shoulder press: 3x8reps
    Cable laterals: 2x8 reps focusing on rear deltoids
    Face pull: 5x10 low weight reps (trying to fix rounded shoulders)
    Incline leg press: 15reps warm up, pyramid 12, 10, 8 reps
    Leg extension: 3x10 reps
    Leg curl: 3x10 reps
    Drag curl: pyramid 12, 10 8 reps
    Barbell curl: 2x8 reps

    Stretching


    Day 3 (whenever possible):
    Stretching
    Stability ball pass: 3x12 reps
    Oblique crunches: 3x20 reps
    Standing dumbbell push press: 15 warm up reps, pyramid 12, 10, 6 reps
    Lateral raises: 3x12 reps
    Barbell chess press: 15 warm up reps, pyramid: 12, 10, 6 reps
    Close grip barbell press: pyramid 12, 10, 6 reps
    Inclined bench bicep curls: 3x12 reps
    Glute bridge: 3x12 reps

    Stretching

  • Posted On: 08-12-19, 10:53 am (EDT) #2

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 12, 2019, 10:53 am

    Hi !

     

    I am just gonna try and get right into it. Yes I believe one and a half hour of training is to much. This is because you will completely drain your body of glycogen which means you will lose energy which means you will feel dizzy and / or tired. Since you are eating what I would call a very low amount of calories for a male in addition to your training lasting so long = you not feeling so good.

     

    Solution - Train 1 hr max each session.

     

    You say you want to gain muscle and get bigger, in which case you will most likely have to sacrifice some abs definition. When you try to get bigger you will naturally gain mass which may cover up areas like your abs.

     

    Also if you are 7.5% bodyfat, that is a problem for quite a few reasons. Low bodyfat will make it difficult for the male body to keep a natural and healthy level of testosterone = you feeling tired, low sex drive, not getting stronger in the gym etc. Second, such a low bodyfat will make it so you are not carrying that much mass which means getting stronger is going to be harder. Low bodyfat also means your body does not have a lot of energy storage and therefore not any spare energy to use and again this will make you feel dizzy and weak while training.

     

    As for this part: "So, it may not be a problem with the scale. Another interesting pattern is that it seems I tend to loose 300gr of muscle mass in the morning after training while gaining some 300-500 grams of fat. "

    I am no expert but I would say that this is simply not true. You can not just gain and lose muscle and fat randomly throughout your day like this. Digital scales and most scales actually are fairly inaccurate. So it is either the scale or the fact that you drink a lot of water and eat a lot of salt which means lots of water retention and that will feel like you have more fat and lose muscle definition. HOWEVER it is possible that what you say is true and you are indeed "losing" muscle and "gaining" fat that is because of your low bodyfat %. The body will naturally hold on to as much fat as it can especially when you are that low. That is because fat is essential for protecting the organs and keeping hormone levels normal. So you may be experiencing what is called "starvation mode" in your body.

     

    Overall advice from me. Pick a goal, as you say muscle gain - Bump the calories up to at least 2500 calories, stay there for a while untill you achieve maintenance weight and then increase calories once more, repeat.

     

    Your training plan seems ok, remember to vary it up tho. I would personally suggest gradually moving to more intense workouts which means you will not be able to do as much in your sessions as you are currently doing because you increase intensity.

     

    Hope this helps mate !

  • Posted On: 08-12-19, 12:24 pm (EDT) #3

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 12, 2019, 12:24 pm

    Many thanks for the advice! I'll reduce the length of the training session then. It does make sense that the long training session in addition to the low amount of calories and body fat is resulting in this extreme tiredness. Part of the reason for my long training session is that I'm not always able to guarantee a 3rd training session in the week. However, trying to squeeze in this third session may be a bit less problematic if it is not so long and if I can select some exercises that can be done with dumbbells at home.

     

    I dont drink or eat particularly large amounts of water or salt. So, yeah, it could well be that the issue with the scale is due to my low body fat. I may loose quite a lot of muscle mass during training because there aren't enough calories to spend, and then when I eat my body holds as much fat as possible for being in starvation mode. The scale is not a too bad one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0033AGBVQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

     

    Regarding the 7.5% body fat, is the 7.5% problematic only because my overall weight is low (112lbs,51kg), meaning that the amount of fat in grams is too low? Coz some people with 7.5% body fat or even lower (like Scott for example) have great muscle definition. However, their 7.5% body fat is much more (in grams) than mine. So, they have some storage of fat that can be used when needed despite their 7.5% body fat percentage?

     

    I'm a bit concerned with bumping my calories up to 2500, because my basal metabolic rate at rest is only 1344. In motion, considering light exercise 1-3 days a week, it's only 1815. So, the calculator in the meal planner of the website is suggesting me only 2065 calories for lean gain. If I match the results with Scott's video on nutrition, this seems to already include the 500 extra calories for lean gain. Could this result in a larger body fat percentage that would be very difficult to loose later on, so that I can gain more definition? Should I try to increase it to perhaps 2150 first? And should the amount of carbs be the one to increase?

     

    When you say varying the training plan by gradually moving to more intense workouts, do you mean reducing the number of reps so that I can lift more weight, _and_ increasing the number of exercises per body part?

     

    Many thanks, man!

  • Posted On: 08-12-19, 4:01 pm (EDT) #4

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 12, 2019, 4:01 pm

    No problem mate, just glad I can help.

     

    Yeah training longer and trying to compensate for not training 3 times does not really work that well since you are simply depleting your glycogen. So indeed it would be better to train 3 shorter sessions.

     

    And it seems you definently understand the "starvation mode" - Thats pretty much how it is. Your body may end up using muscle for energy since you have used all your glycogen and your fat is so low so it cant use the fat either.

     

    The scale does not look to bad, certainly better than most standard scales. But yeah do not trust them blindly because most scales you buy like that are not 100% accurate.

     

    Now to be quite honest the question regarding bodyfat to bodyweight ratio is something i dont have a lot of knowledge on. But yeah id say thats about right. Because you are lacking in overall size and mass the low bodyfat in grams will be a lot lower than someone bigger with less bodyfat. However in general I would say bodyfat below 8% is not optimal for a male to keep over a longer period of time, I will site a study here that I quite like and trust along with some other usefull links:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23412685

    https://pennshape.upenn.edu/files/pennshape/Body-Composition-Fact-Sheet.pdf

    https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/15-negative-effects-having-low-body-fat-percentage

     

    Now I cant actually speak for Scott, he may very well be 7% BF for all I know. But I can only speak for myself, I am roughly 13-14% which is more than lean enough for my abs to show but also for my hormone levels and workouts to be at a good level. Works great for me at least.

     

    Yeah I can see your consern with the calories. Maybe you should start adding calories more slowly. Like doing 100-200 calories more each week untill you reach a caloric intake you are satisfied with. So yeah I agree, do as you said, try doing a little more first before you go up to 2500.

     

    Intensity in the gym can be much more than just weight. It is how you lift, how you perform the exercise. And also if you are using stuff like supersets, burn sets so on. I think Dorian Yates is great to look at for more on this topic. Because he only spent 4 days a week, 45 mins each workout and sometimes only did 1 working set pr exercise... and well he is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

  • Posted On: 08-12-19, 4:10 pm (EDT) #5

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 12, 2019, 4:10 pm

    Seems to be a problem with one of the links so ill just screenshoot them and post it here in case you cant open it aswell:

    https://pennshape.upenn.edu/files/pennshape/Body-Composition-Fact-Sheet.pdf

     

     

  • Posted On: 08-13-19, 5:36 am (EDT) #6

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 13, 2019, 5:36 am

    Thanks for the articles, man. Yeah, I also had some trouble with opening some of them, so the screenshots were helpful.

     

    I'll increase my calorie intake slowly and reduce the length of my sessions then. Fingers crossed.

     

    I see what you mean by increasing the intensity. Yeah, I've read about supersets and burn sets, but used them only a few times so far. I tried supersets of biceps and triceps exercises, and burn sets for lateral raises. Currently, I've been doing forced reps for some of the exercises where forced reps are possible without a spotter. Supersets and burn sets are better when one doesn't have a spotter available, so I should probably incorporate them more in my sessions!

  • Posted On: 08-13-19, 11:35 am (EDT) #7

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 13, 2019, 11:35 am
    Posted by: johnbart

    Thanks for the articles, man. Yeah, I also had some trouble with opening some of them, so the screenshots were helpful.

     

    I'll increase my calorie intake slowly and reduce the length of my sessions then. Fingers crossed.

     

    I see what you mean by increasing the intensity. Yeah, I've read about supersets and burn sets, but used them only a few times so far. I tried supersets of biceps and triceps exercises, and burn sets for lateral raises. Currently, I've been doing forced reps for some of the exercises where forced reps are possible without a spotter. Supersets and burn sets are better when one doesn't have a spotter available, so I should probably incorporate them more in my sessions!

    Yep, sounds good ! Would be great if you got back to me / us and gave an update on how it all works out !

     

    Yeah, for intensity look at Dorian Yates, this video for instance is quite good imo:

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hggkrZF-Bpw

     

  • Posted On: 08-13-19, 3:46 pm (EDT) #8

    Tiredness and loosing muscle mass after training

    August 13, 2019, 3:46 pm

    Sure, I'm happy to update the post with the results.

     

    Nice video from Dorian Yates. He managed to compress quite a lot of useful information in a short time! It seems that he and Arnold Schwarzenegger agree on quite a few points.

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