T Nation

Advice for Failed Cutting Phase?


So I went on a cutting phase 6 weeks ago. My plan basically followed Thib in that I had 3 days of heavy lifting, and two days of lactic acid training. My nurtition involved a carb day with mostly clean carbs (fruit and fiber one) and the rest of the days I kept carbs at 30g. By calculation my calories were 500 below maintenance.

Still, after six weeks, the scale reads every week at 185, I don't appear any more lean, and the measurement on my waist stays at 33 in.

I supplement with HOT-ROX, take BCAAs during lifting, and protein + insulinogenic amino acids (per Thib's article) like glutamine, glycine and leucine after working out.

Any advice for things I could adapt here? I'm due to run out of my supplements and finish up the routine in two weeks, so I would appreciate any adjustment suggestions I could make during that time. In addition, would it be best to give it another shot afterwards or go on a clean bulk phase to gain more muscle for a few months to make it easier to cut after. I'm at 5'9 185, about 12-13% BF.


calories in vs calories out.

remember those fruits your eating also have alot of sugar in them. try the anabolic diet, its almost the same except you get to eat real food.


simple answer: consume less. Bodywheight not going down...consume even less.


A picture would help because if you kept your carbs that low and you really are in the 12%ish bf area then your composition should have changed. If your plan hasn't worked though I'd ditch it now, not wait two weeks when it hasn't worked for six. I'd check out the V-Diet if you think you can handle it and are willing to put large gains on hold for a month or the cheat to lose diet.

At the very least a differnt carb-cycling plan. At this point your personal goals besides the general notion of cutting would dictate which path you take. Just my 2cents.


1) Measure more accurately with regards to bodfat, try calipers or an impedance handheld.

2) If you're not losing fat, it could be all kinds of things, but if you're not losing scale weight, it's always a calorie issue. Drop your calories 10% and see what happens in two weeks. Zero calories always results in weight loss, so somewhere between where you are now, and zero is the correct place for you to lose weight, make slow adjustments until you get there.


I only eat fruits during carb-up day.

I use calipers.

OK, I'll look through my food selections and see what I can cut out. I'm really not sure what, here's a typical non-carb-up lifting day:

morning(I get up at 8, have breakfast round 8:30): 5 slices bacon, 2 eggs, 4 egg whites, a bunch of cabbage
noon: 2 slices cheese, 2 ground beef patties, about 2 cups of broccoli, 6g fish oil
about 3:30: can of chunk light tuna and walnuts
5:30-pre-WO: glutamine+protein+creatine
during WO: BCAA+glutamine
after WO: glutamine+protein+leucine+glycine
8:30ish: grilled chick with either cauliflower or garlic/onions/mushrooms mix+2 tblsp flaxseeds
night (usually between 12:30-2): quarter cup cottage cheese+1 serving Metabolic Drive

This should be about 250 g of protein, 150g of fat, and 30g of carbs, that's around 2400 calories, and maintenance for me should be around 2900...
what would people recommend changing?


I may be wrong, but those calories look a bit high for a cutting cycle for 185 lbs. and 12% bodyfat. I'd drop around 250 or 300 calories and try to get in some more NEPA.


I agree eat less, pick up some chromium slow release, it helps when your hardcore cutting. Do more running and sprinting, it is extremely under rated. Try throwing in 500-1000 kcal of light cardio every day you don't lift. If you have a PS2 you should consider picking up a dance dance revolution game and pad. Its a fun way to burn some calories.

My opinion of lactic acid training is this. If you do take it to the absolute limit, do it as hardcore as you can, you cannot avoid fat loss. The more burn is better, you need to be screaming out your last 3 reps out and when your done you need to open your eyes to a hazy world of blackness and dizziness after every single complex.

If all else fails run, run until the entire world is pain, then keep running, run until you almost vomit or pass out.

look up the tabata workout, start your workout with that, then force yourself to move on to the rest of it, don't give up you can lose 5-10lbs in two weeks if you put your mind to it.


eat less


For 185lbs @ 12% you're eating too many calories for a cut. Don't worry about what maintenance "should" be, pay attention to what it actually IS. Cut 10% calories and check your progress every two weeks. Keep reducing until you hit your target loss rate.