What is the best way to lose muscle? Most people want to maintain or gain muscle. It is important to know that your lean muscle mass is what drives the rate of your metabolism. So, unless you are a professional bodybuilder who doesn’t want to carry 300lbs of muscle it is really not advisable to want to drop muscle at any point of time.
Every decade after the age of 30 we lose 3 to 5% of muscle and the only way to combat that muscle decline as we age is lifestyle change.
What is the best way to lose muscle? Photo Credit: istock- Nobilior
But for anybody that wants to lose muscle there are several different ways to do it.
- Reduce your weight training activity down to 1 to 2 days a week.
- Consume calories that puts you in a caloric deficit and keeps your daily calories really low.
- Incorporate long daily cardiovascular activities and it would be considered marathon cardio. Increase your daily cardio up to 1 hour a day. The types or cardiovascular exercise can be long distance running, swimming, cycling, etc.
To lose muscle mass you need to be in a caloric deficit. And that is lowering the number of calories you eat in a day below the number of calories you burn in a day. If you stop lifting weights or working out and you follow a diet that is less calories than you burn than you will lose muscle.
There was a 2013 study that revealed that it takes athletes at least 3 weeks to lose muscle strength if they stop working out. Also, there was a 2018 study revealed that athletes who cut back their cardiovascular activity level their cardio fitness endurance dropped significantly after 4 weeks.
Following a high protein diet program and consistently lifting weights is what will help facilitate muscle growth. So, if your goal is to lose muscle then you have to do the opposite of that. You have to be inactive when it comes to lifting weights and you have to increase your cardiovascular activity.
And if you are on a low caloric diet then the cardio and the diet is what will put you in that deficit. And the end result of that is muscle loss. Muscle loss will make your metabolism drop so your muscle mass is linked to the rate of your metabolic rate also known as your metabolism.
Every decade after the age of 30 we lose 3 to 5% of muscle and the only way to combat that muscle decline as we age is lifestyle change.– Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike
The Bottom Line is losing muscle should never be a health goal. Because you need lean muscle to be functional and to help with preserving the rate of your metabolism. But if you do feel like you must drop muscle then stop lifting weights and increase your cardio. And make sure you put yourself on a low caloric diet that has you in a deficit. That is the best way to lose lean muscle mass.
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- McMaster DT, Gill N, Cronin J, McGuigan M. The development, retention and decay rates of strength and power in elite rugby union, rugby league and American football: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2013 May;43(5):367-84. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0031-3. PMID: 23529287.
- Pedlar, Charles, Brown, Marcel, Shave, E. Robert, Otto, M. James, Drane, Aimee. Cardiovascular response to prescribed detraining among recreational athletes. 1st, April, 2018,