What I'm going to ask here may be flamed. My choices may be questioned. I understand that, as in nearly all circumstances, gaining muscle comes with physiological advantages, and that what I'm asking could be seen as blasphemy, idiocy or worse....!
That being said, my goal is actually to lose muscle. I'll explain why.
I've been weight training, on and off, since I was about 15, currently 29. The biggest I've been is about 17.5st, with some reasonable lifts to boot.
I've come to a point in my life where I want to focus more on aerobic activity. I would like to race triathlon, do some long distance hiking; in doing so I'd like less body load to transmit through my chronic injuries (both knees, lower back issues, some vertebrae damage). To be perfect honest, it'd also be nice to be able to wear 'normal' clothes without my shoulders busting out, thighs not getting in jeans etc.
To do this, I'll need to trim down. I've always gained muscle easily; not so for leaning out. To do this sensibly, I'm looking for soundly reasoned, scientifically based advice. I've searched fairly far on the internet; as you can imagine, this topic isn't much discussed, although there are some articles out there. They talk of calorie deficits, marathon cardio, less protein etc, but I'm not sure on the physiological aspects required for this type of goal. I'm expecting this process to take 1-2yrs, but that's just a guess.
My biggest concern: what happens to fat metabolism in an environment of significant and protracted muscular atrophy? No weight training would cause the little muscle buddies to exit the body enmasse. Can they be used for energy in the process? No one wants to lose muscle and keep body fat, looking like a f'ing marshmallow.
I'm hoping to be able to use the collective knowledge of this forum, arguably the best resource on the webs! I need some input on calorie requirements, optimal macros, exercise programming etc. Some stats to help:
Weight: 98kg (215lbs)
Height: 179cm (5ft 10in)
Bodyfat: approx. 17-18%
Weight: 85kg (187lbs)
Bodyfat: approx. 12%
I suppose it something like 'bear mode' -> 'otter mode' (swimmers physique, but probably bulkier given my genetics).
I hope all that makes sense. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, cheers!