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  #1  
Unread 05-12-2017, 05:45 AM
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Fivetissimo Fivetissimo is offline
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Default Same bodyweight, same strength, not as lean

Every spring I diet for 6-8 weeks to get to around 10-12%bf (visual estimation). This has always coincided with my bodyweight hitting 180.

This year, I've hit 180 and I don't look as lean as I used to. I seem to be holding on to more lower ab/back fat. What's up with that?

My 5RM poundages in all my lifts are basically unchanged.

Possible reasons I can think of:

Stopped squatting and DL'ing this year in favor of leg press and weighted back extensions. Also dropped leg extensions and curls because my new gym's machines don't comfortably fit my long legs.

Started taking a betablocker for a heart palpitations this year. Slight lethargy is a side effect.

Moved across the country a year ago, and I hate my new gym (a poorly maintained college gym that blasts annoying music). I still go just as regularly but my zeal for training isn't what it used to be.

I'm getting old (I'm 46 now -- been training/dieting non-retardedly since I was 39). I'm guessing it's largely this.
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  #2  
Unread 05-12-2017, 06:56 AM
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kyoun1e kyoun1e is offline
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Originally Posted by Fivetissimo View Post

I'm getting old (I'm 46 now -- been training/dieting non-retardedly since I was 39). I'm guessing it's largely this.
I blame everything on this. I'm turning 49 in a month and feel like all of Lyle's wonderful recommendations are 5-10% less effective now.

Producing the same results with the same effort as I did 10 years ago seems impossible. Body just aint cooperating.
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  #3  
Unread 05-12-2017, 11:27 AM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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"Stopped squatting and DL'ing this year in favor of leg press and weighted back extensions. Also dropped leg extensions and curls because my new gym's machines don't comfortably fit my long legs."

This contradicts your initial claim that your strength is the same. It isn't. Go try squatting and deadlifting now, then tell me your strength is the same.

I'm roughly the same weight as you most of the time, and have experienced exactly the same thing. I abandoned squats and deadlifts, and my body fat for the same weight gradually went up over time.

For COMPETELY LOGICAL reasons: nothing to do with any magic, GH or whatever. It's as simple as this: we lost muscle. We didn't find a way to maintain it. We didn't find a real alternative for keeping that muscle. We tricked ourselves into thinking we did.

I brought back squats and deadlifts, and my body composition gradually improved. Now I've regained the lost muscle and am as lean as I used to be for the same body weight.

No magic. No growth hormone effect. None of that. A simple case of less muscle maintained at the same weight.

Of course it's also possible that age related muscle loss has some role, but try bringing back the big lifts first before writing yourself off

Last edited by BigPecsPeter : 05-12-2017 at 11:29 AM.
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  #4  
Unread 05-12-2017, 11:30 AM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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^^^

Please don't read the above as me saying squats are superior to leg press. That isn't what I mean.

What I'm saying is, YOUR leg press/whatever you've done to replace squats and deadlifts has not done an effective job of doing so for muscle maintenance
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  #5  
Unread 05-12-2017, 01:19 PM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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Sorry, triple post. Appalling.

But I think an anecdote is worth adding: staying at the same body weight, I've even seen gradual decrements in leanness from doing no more than giving up calf training (and the related atrophy to the gastrocnemius and soleus etc).

The moral is, anything that will lead to muscular atrophy may well require some drop in body weight if equivalent leanness is to be maintained. Otherwise, body recomposition will go in the direction of higher bf%.
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  #6  
Unread 05-12-2017, 03:31 PM
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Fivetissimo Fivetissimo is offline
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Interesting, BPP, thanks.

Frustrating to think that I've lost muscle due to giving up squats and DLs. I'm long legged and always struggled to progress in those lifts (plateaued at 260lbsX5 and 400x5 respectively), and finally switched to leg press and back extensions hoping they'd be better muscle builders for me...

(I also did Lyle's calf protocol for a few bulking cycles years ago, but gave up on that body part. I could calf-raise the whole weight stack all day but my lower legs still looked like chopsticks.)
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  #7  
Unread 05-12-2017, 03:38 PM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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Originally Posted by Fivetissimo View Post
Interesting, BPP, thanks.

Frustrating to think that I've lost muscle due to giving up squats and DLs. I'm long legged and always struggled to progress in those lifts (plateaued at 260lbsX5 and 400x5 respectively), and finally switched to leg press and back extensions hoping they'd be better muscle builders for me...

(I also did Lyle's calf protocol for a few bulking cycles years ago, but gave up on that body part. I could calf-raise the whole weight stack all day but my lower legs still looked like chopsticks.)
Dude. 120kg squats for reps and 180kg deadlifts for reps. Plateau or otherwise, those are highly respectable lifts, and a considerable amount of muscle was built in getting you to those numbers. It is little wonder that one might experience muscle loss by totally bailing on lifts of that calibre.

Provided you have no injury issues, I strongly advise you to build back to those numbers. Watch the composition improve before your eyes
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  #8  
Unread 05-12-2017, 09:26 PM
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Hectic Hectic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPecsPeter View Post
"Stopped squatting and DL'ing this year in favor of leg press and weighted back extensions. Also dropped leg extensions and curls because my new gym's machines don't comfortably fit my long legs."

This contradicts your initial claim that your strength is the same. It isn't. Go try squatting and deadlifting now, then tell me your strength is the same.

I'm roughly the same weight as you most of the time, and have experienced exactly the same thing. I abandoned squats and deadlifts, and my body fat for the same weight gradually went up over time.

For COMPETELY LOGICAL reasons: nothing to do with any magic, GH or whatever. It's as simple as this: we lost muscle. We didn't find a way to maintain it. We didn't find a real alternative for keeping that muscle. We tricked ourselves into thinking we did.

I brought back squats and deadlifts, and my body composition gradually improved. Now I've regained the lost muscle and am as lean as I used to be for the same body weight.

No magic. No growth hormone effect. None of that. A simple case of less muscle maintained at the same weight.

Of course it's also possible that age related muscle loss has some role, but try bringing back the big lifts first before writing yourself off
agree with this

how are back extensions a good substitute for deads?

your putting your torso (maybe 40kg?) through your lower back and glutes compared to putting 180 through your entire body

180 is nothing to be sneezed at, have you tried deadlifting sumo with your morphology?

If you want to cut out those excercises because of your age your probably going to need a few less kg to be the same bf.

Last edited by Hectic : 05-12-2017 at 09:32 PM.
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  #9  
Unread 05-12-2017, 09:36 PM
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Fivetissimo Fivetissimo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hectic View Post
agree with this

how are back extensions a good substitute for deads?

your putting your torso (maybe 40kg?) through your lower back and glutes compared to putting 180 through your entire body

180 is nothing to be sneezed at, have you tried deadlifting sumo with your morphology?
Sorry I probably should have said weighted back extensions. I've worked up to doing them with an 80lb dumbbell in each hand and I alternate between doing them straight backed and rounded. Not an exact sub for deads, but they seem to hit glutes, hams, lower back, etc. pretty hard without wiping me out like heavy deads can.

Never tried sumo...hmm...though I have considered trap bar deadlifts (but I travel a lot and it's hard to count on finding a gym with those bars).

Last edited by Fivetissimo : 05-12-2017 at 09:38 PM.
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  #10  
Unread 05-12-2017, 11:28 PM
BigPecsPeter BigPecsPeter is offline
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Originally Posted by Fivetissimo View Post
Sorry I probably should have said weighted back extensions. I've worked up to doing them with an 80lb dumbbell in each hand and I alternate between doing them straight backed and rounded. Not an exact sub for deads, but they seem to hit glutes, hams, lower back, etc. pretty hard without wiping me out like heavy deads can.
It's not just "not an exact sub for deads"; it's not any sort of sub at all. Of course it doesn't wipe you out like heavy deadlifts do: it's accomplishing probably less than half as much!

A trusted PT friend of mine once suggested that to truly replace deadlifts, one might need to consider adding 5+ separate isolation exercises. Whether or not this is going too far is not the point. The point is, a great amount of stimuli is sacrificed with abandoning well developed heavy deadlifts, so better have a solid backup plan.
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