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Keep the Lean Body Mass

Studying how to retain lean body mass.

Man with lean body mass

Many trained athletes struggle with retaining lean body mass when reducing caloric intake, and an international research group reviewed 15 studies to determine whether increasing volume or intensity could help prevent losses. Since the reporting lacked sufficient detail, researchers could not make a definitive recommendation. However, they concluded that higher volumes of resistance training with lower loads seemed better for female athletes for preserving lean body mass. Other issues that appear to impact muscle preservation during calorie restriction include training experience and pre-diet exercise volume, with women, on average, retaining more than men.

The study is published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology (2022; doi:10.1007/s00421-022-04896-5).

See also: Optimizing Women’s Strength Training

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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