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Advice on a 17lb Cut?

Hey Coach,

Today I’m standing at 187lbs.
Im 5’9" and I estimate my BF is around 18+ (visible upper abs with decent lighting)
I’m 31 years old and a 2A

My training right now is a Conjugate method approach. 4 days per week with no cardio.

My goal is to cut down to 170, which should get me to about 10% which is we’re I’d like to be.

What would you advise as a general plan? I know you have paying clients so I don’t expect massive details but anything you are willing to share with me would be amazing.

My questions initially
(maybe I’m not asking the right questions?)

What recommendations would you make for starting calories and how aggressive should I be? I am a 2A through and through.

Also, how should I utilize conditioning. Should I wait until progress stalls? Should I start right away and ramp up?

Thanks for any advice you can give me for my situation. You’re a legend

He wrote an article about this not too long ago.


Thanks for the link. I’ve read that article a couple of times before. Along with most of his blog stuff. However, I was hoping for something a little more tailored specifically to my situation.

Last year I went for a big cut and did something very similar to this. Eventually I was down to 1600-1700 Cal for 3 weeks and could not loose any more weight. I became very miserable and depressed. Not really worth it.

I was hoping to get some feedback on how a 2A should rotate through for the sake of variety. As well as cardio. At 1600 calories I had to choose between lifting or conditioning, I was not capable of recovering from both.

While I do appreciate all of his “best damn” stuff. And have seen many people on the forum have great success. I’ve not found them to be incredibly successful for me.

Sounds like you need to hire a coach.

I followed the BW x 11 recommendation and lost 40 lbs.

You’re definitely right. That’s what I need, unfortunately not possible.

That’s amazing, congratulations! BW x11 for me is a touch over 2k Cal. I can definitely get to around 15% BF at that amount, it’s not hard and I’ve done it successfully on several occasions. Down to the 16-1700 Cal got me to an estimated 12-13%. Nothing I’ve tried has gotten me further than that.
It’s not the end of the world tbh, my inclination is powerlifting, so being really lean is a disadvantage for me in that regard.
But I want to see if I can actually do it.

Are you really concerned about body fat numbers or did you have a specific look in mind?

The biggest and most disappointing thing I learned while losing the weight is that I was carrying way more fat than I thought. It took longer to get the physique I wanted and I ended up lighter than I anticipated.

I’m guessing that I’m at 10-12% body fat now. It would take a lot of work and it would be unpleasant to cut any more. I decided that it’s not worth it. I’m not stepping on a stage and I want to enjoy life.

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Lowering calories only work to a certain point. I suggest you start higher, like BW x 11, and you start increasing training, and losing the garbage/cheat food. Especially if you are a 2A; you can tolerate more volume. Go to 5,6 or even 7 sessions. These don’t have to be hard ones, you can keep 4 hard sessions and add maybe one pump/hypertrophy for stuff like arms, shoulders, abs… Or energy system sessions, stuff like Carry variation 30 m, abs variation 8-12 reps, curl variation 10-12 reps slow tempo, x 6 rounds (3 with a variation, 3 others with different exercises). Or just plain cardio stuff, whatever you like.

Also, adding walks, even if 30 min, preferably fasted in the morning. And eventually adding some cardio, abs shredder etc at the end of your sessions. Just add all these things slowly, and lower calories slowly.

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And for variety you should switch training every 3-4 weeks. It helps with fat loss as well as your body has to adapt to a different stimulus… Cardio I just varied as much as I could, because cardio bores me usually anyway. (I’m a 2A)

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That’s probably a better way to describe it. I’m not at all concerned about numbers of BF, I’m not stepping on stage. The look I’m after would be Brian Alsruhe (pre parasites), Larry Wheels, or Ben Pollock (not show ready). I don’t have dilutions of reaching their size and strength. But that level of leanness is what I’m trying to get. Because it’s not so much that it would be impossible to maintain most of the time but it still looks good. My problem is freaking getting there in the first place. That last little bit just doesn’t want want to leave.

Well, regardless of your starting point you’re going to have to be consistent and disciplined. Start by going into a calorie deficit. When weight loss slows, decrease calories again. If/when you reach BW x 10 for calories then increase activity to continue losing.

I think the key is to take baby steps. Don’t drop cals and increase activity all ask once. If you do that then you’re out of tools when you hit a wall.

You will not lose weight some weeks. Just keep going. It might be best to pick one day of the week to measure progress. I use Mondays. I weigh myself every day but I write Monday’s weight in my training log and evaluate my progress.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess I’ll just have to give it another shot. I like the idea of adding conditioning as apposed to just continually cutting. 1900 Cal is enough to add some lighter Strongman medley days between my conjugate days I think as long as I keep my max effort days in check

Some carb cycling should do you good then to be strong on conjugate! 100% on ME days, 75% on other lifting days, 50% on non-lifting day (so calculate your macros on a weekly basis

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Thanks for the tip. I had honestly never thought about that before. Have you ever tried to manipulate total calories in the same way?

Yeah I have, but honestly for my last cut I didn’t bother to count calories. I had an aproximation of calories because I eat roughly the same things everyday. On non-lifting days I would just cut carbs in half

@JMaier31 I’m going to rephrase this, just a tad to reframe it. I’d advise that he starts with an energy deficit. That he starts eating more, and that he starts exercising more - simultaneously. This, of course, is not my idea. But it works: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/g-flux-redux and it is more pleasant than a straight reduction in calories.

“Get The Most Out of Each Step of a Fat Loss Phase” is another great article on CTs site.

And another thing, @jcmcnorton, you can stave off the mental issues related with dieting if you do so in shorter bouts. 2 weeks dieting, 2 weeks maintenance. But this demands discipline and calorie counting and weighing just about everything even during your maintenance phase. But if you mealprep that drawback is mitigated as its just one day of weighing things.

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