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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    109

    Gluteal muscle wasting - inadequate protein/nutrition?

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    Over the past month I've noticed the appearance of significant muscle wasting in my back side -- I mean, the gluteal muscles and the back of my thighs are turning to watery Jello!! I don't mean a little -- I mean a LOT, as if I've been on bed rest for 6 months.

    I'm 58 and fairly active, riding about 100 miles+/week, plus some walking and gardening, and sometimes swimming and a little weight training. Nothing excessive, just consistent with 1-2 days off each week. I'm slender and maintain my weight through healthy eating and exercise. I don't sit around a lot, but in the early morning I enjoy reading at my computer while eating breakfast and drinking my coffee until about 7:00 when I change into my bike clothes or get busy around the house or garden. I enjoy knitting in the evenings after dinner, starting around 8pm until I go to bed about 10pm. This amount of sitting does not seem excessive, especially compared with the amount of sitting I did in my 25-year desk job which ended in 2011.

    About two months I began waking up around 4am and having trouble getting back to sleep. Now I just get up and have my coffee and breakfast earlier and get on with my day. In addition, I also wake up around 1am to empty my bladder but usually fall back to sleep right away. So, I have a short and interrupted night's sleep almost every night.

    As I stated above I began noticing this about a month ago, yet I am more active now than when I was working. I feel strong while riding and continue to make improvements in my strength and endurance.

    I am wondering if this muscle wasting is due to lack of sleep to aid recovery, and/or lack of enough protein or other nutrition. It is significant enough to cause concern over my health - not vanity - and wonder if it could be a red flag.

    Has anyone else experienced a sudden loss of muscle tone without explanation? What could be the cause of such a sudden change?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    I am the same age, I have been attending a "crossfit" type of workout 2 to 3x's a week for just about two years now. An intense 30 minute workout during the week and an hour on saturday. It has been wonderful for building and toning the glutes and thighs. I have a bad knee so I don't even do the lunges and go light weight or no weight when doing squats and I still have seen a change. I have even been complaining that my behind is getting to big. So with that, I would research a different work out routine that will strengthen and tone the backside.
    Ain't it fun, we get to work twice as hard to just keep muscle as we get older.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,828
    For a sudden change, I think I would check with a doctor to make sure there's no underlying problem. Though offhand, I have no idea what kind of problem it would be. But I think if it were related to diet or lack of sleep, you'd see the effects all over and not just one part of your body.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    +1 on seeing a doctor.

    Something neurological is the only thing I can think of that would be localized to one part of the body.

    OTOH, you say you feel strong on the bike, which wouldn't be the case if you were really losing muscle or muscle tone. You'd know in your body, not just in the mirror. So it's hard to tell. Are you sure it isn't just an issue with fat distribution, which can change after menopause?
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    109
    Thanks everyone.

    My concern is due to the fact that this seemed to occur rather suddenly, over the past month or so. I wondered about something neurological but I don't have any other symptoms, at least not any ominous red flags.

    I've started doing some exercises to target this area and see if that helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Sudden onset glute wasting is a concern. I'd second going to the doc. Having said that, probable culprits are age related muscle loss (though I'd expect that to be more gradual), wasting related to arthritic changes in the hip joints or wasting due to nerve compression in the low back (the compression can come from disc issues, degenerative changes in the spine related to wear and tear or a combination of those two things).

    No matter what the cause, working on glute strength is an important part of addressing the issue. Squats and lunges are great but proper form is very important to prevent knee or back irritation. And there are a ton of other glute exercises out there. Working with a PT or personal trainer might be the best answer.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    +1 on seeing a doctor to rule out anything serious. Pilates might be a good alternative to Crossfit. Pilates strengthens and works on flexibility. My backside is much stronger (visibly so) since I started Pilates, and my lower back and hip issues are resolved as long as I do Pilates regularly. I am a big advocate of classical Pilates taught by people trained in classical Pilates. Many gym "yogalates" type classes are downright injurious. I prefer mat to apparatus but that's probably because the apparatus classes are so expensive and I'm so cheap.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    109
    Pilates is a good suggestion, and also Yoga. I definitely need to be more aggressive about strengthening this area, and I will consult a doctor if I don't see visible improvement. I do have some hip issues (recurring tendonitis of the hip flexor, and more recently IT-band) stemming from an old injury many years ago but they are healing. However, that has gone on for the past few years, while the visible appearance of gluteal muscle wasting is very recent. Admittedly, I have been sitting for longer periods in the mornings with my coffee and laptop, and it's become a bad habit -- it is true that a body out of motion stays out of motion! I should set a timer for a short period and get up when it goes off, since 30 minutes easily becomes 2 hours if I'm not paying attention to the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    +1 on seeing a doctor to rule out anything serious. Pilates might be a good alternative to Crossfit. Pilates strengthens and works on flexibility. My backside is much stronger (visibly so) since I started Pilates, and my lower back and hip issues are resolved as long as I do Pilates regularly. I am a big advocate of classical Pilates taught by people trained in classical Pilates. Many gym "yogalates" type classes are downright injurious. I prefer mat to apparatus but that's probably because the apparatus classes are so expensive and I'm so cheap.

 

 

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