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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hiking without losing muscle

    Hello, I am finishing up a bulking cycle and I will begin cutting. I love to hike and plan to hike 4-6 miles a day 3-5 days a week. The hiking will be in addition to my usual workout routine. I want to burn fat but retain all of my hard earned muscle. Any advice on what to eat before, during, and after my hike that will allow me to burn as much fat as possible while preserving my muscle?? I usually drink a protein shake before and after weight lifting, as well as some fruit juice after to spike insulin.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Moderator OptikaNET's Avatar
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    Keep the protein high and you shouldn't burn muscle as long as you keep up the gym workouts.

    Kind Regards
    Dave

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptikaNET View Post
    Keep the protein high and you shouldn't burn muscle as long as you keep up the gym workouts.

    Kind Regards
    Dave

    Thank you

  4. #4
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    Keep you’re hiking activates relatively light. Anything over 65% of your VO2 Max will cause you to burn lean muscle instead of fat.

  5. #5
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    jghight, that's a very misleading statement.

    Firstly, the 65% figure is fairly inaccurate, the optimum fat-burning rate varies a lot from person to person.

    Secondly, when you're not burning fat, you're burning glucose from the blood and a small amount of glycogen from muscles. Glycogen makes up only a very small percentage of the muscle. As long as you keep eating sufficient calories while you're exercising you can keep your blood glucose levels up, and sufficient calories in recovery will allow your glycogen levels to be replenished.

    If your claim "anything over 65% of your VO2 Max will cause you to burn lean muscle instead of fat" were true then pretty much any kind of endurance athlete would waste away during an event. (OK so most athletes - like runners and triathletes - do have less muscle mass than bodybuilders - but that's because having a lower bodyweight is an advantage in their sport, not because they've destroyed all their muscle through training!)

    Finally, I'd be surprised if you can hike at over 65% VO2 max anyway (fell running maybe).

  6. #6
    Moderator OptikaNET's Avatar
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    The biochemistry of anabolism/catabolism can be complex but it's worth considering that, in general terms, the body burns sugars by preference, fat when sugars become unavailable, and muscle only in extremis.

    So keep your blood sugar up and protein intake high and there is little reason why the body should start burning muscle.

    Kind Regards
    Dave

  7. #7
    More Experienced than a Senior mrwright's Avatar
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    I think everyones far to worried nowadays, i'm sure you could quiet easily go hiking all day long and stop to have a normal everyday picnic and not lose any muscle unless youve got a single figure bf% maybe

  8. #8
    I Am JEFIT Legend Deviation's Avatar
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    Not sure what kind of hiking you're doing, but it typically doesn't get your heart rate up high. The protein shake is good, but don't discount carbs either. Powerbar make a "Harvest Energy" bar that's full of grains, carbs, and 10g protein. There's other like that too. CLIF makes one as well.
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  9. #9
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    By stating he had just finished a bulking cycle I can assume he has no interest in becoming an endurance athlete.

    Needless to say, the diet and training strategies for endurance athletes varies greatly from that of a body builder. The same rules don’t apply for them. They train for a high Vo2 ceiling with little regard to lean muscle mass. They also eat large carbohydrate meals days prior to any events to take advantage of glycogen stores. He never stated he wanted to run a marathon, simply hike to help lose body fat while retaining as much lean muscle mass as possible.

    VO2 max varies greatly from person to person as well. Your theory on endurance athletes is WAY more misleading then my simple statement. Keep his goals in mind. 65% percent of my VO2 max isn’t much more than a 4 mph at a 10% incline, which is very similar to any type of hiking I’m aware of.

    To optimize your fat loss efforts the hiking activities should be done at a state when your body is depleted of glycogen. Directly after weight training or upon waking in the morning are times that are most efficient.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Wow, Thank you all for your input! I certainly have a lot to learn about losing fat and cutting.

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