T Nation

Beginner's Routine for a Cut


Hey guys, I'm looking to join the gym and start losing weight and building muscle, I'm 21, 6'4 and 248lbs at an approximate 30% bodyfat, simply from what I've seen of pictures of other people at 30% bodyfat.

Anyway I honestly have no idea about training and was hoping you guys could help me, I've lost 20lbs from running and eating right, so my nutrition is alright but I want to lift weights to hopefully one day look good, I was wondering if anyone could recommend me a routine for a cut.

I've had a look around the web and All Pro's seems to be one people recommend, if anyone could provide any advice or articles I could read to get a better education on lifting in general that would be great. Sorry about the vast amount of text.


Pick a strength program from a reputable coach that you like the look of which is appropriate for your experience
Participate in a sport
Do mobility drills
Don't eat like an idiot

The rest will sort itself out


Really? It's that simple?

I thought it was much more complex than that with all the stuff I see online, it confused me.


Also I was told to avoid a strength program when cutting, but if you think I should, could you recommend any?


Yes, it's actually pretty simple - not always easy to commit to, but simple. Most people trying to say otherwise have some 'secret formula' they'd like to sell you.

Pick a beginner program that is neither low nor crazy high volume and has 3-4 workouts each week. A few ideas would be stronglifts 5x5, Westside for Skinny Bastards (it will still work for you, no worries) and Waterbury's Total Body Training. They're all available for free if you google them.

Then, make sure you get your heartrate up a few times a week. Run up hills, get on a bike, play frisbee... Whatever you want.

Lastly, make sure your diet is in check. Make healthy food choices, make sure you don't eat to much. This is the most important part for losing weight. The second point will help with it, the weights will make you look better and stronger at your new weight - but if you eat like crap, you won't get lighter.


I'd also add:

Be patient.

Losing 30 lbs will take about 4 months.


I'd like to thank you all for your advice, it's made things miles easier, I was just hoping to get one more piece of advice on a routine, Starting Strength, I've heard good things and bad things about it, the good things are apparently big strength and size gains but then people say you can become bottom heavy and it doesn't work on a cut. Does anybody have any input on this matter?


Generally speaking, I don't think about changing my strength-training regimen much when I'm on a cut, I change my food. I always walk into the gym trying to get stronger. If I want to focus on get bigger and stronger, I'll up my calories and up my carbs. If I want to focus on losing fat, I'll reduce my calories and reduce my carbs, especially non-post workout carbs. But the training plan stays mostly the same, with the caveat that sometimes reduced energy levels or reduced recovery may impact the training when on a cut.


It works. Not as well if you're cutting, but it works. I'd rather see you do stronglifts since it's basically the same program with a teeny bit more volume.


If you're brand new, starting strength for 6-8 weeks is fine... as is stronglifts. All Pro (never heard of it, but just looked it up) looks fine, though it's only a 5 week program, so you should have another plan (or be looking for one) for after these.

If you're BRAND new, you might also want to check out Colucci's getting a kid to lift 2 week prep routine just to get moving and get the body primed.


It's been said already but bears repeating: be patient. When you start a program, keep your head down and see it all the way through to the end. During that 6 or 8 weeks, there are no other programs. Do NOT let yourself get distracted. Many, many people have wasted YEARS (I'm one of them) jumping programs.

The only caveat to that is in the final week or two, figure out what you'll be doing next and jump right into it.

One other thing: weigh yourself once per week at most; and you might consider taking a waist measurement before starting (both first thing in the morning after you pee). It helps to know where you started.


Okay, I think I've decided to do SL on a cut while playing rugby and possibly taking up boxing or thai boxing. I'm just worried about stalling which everyone says I will do rather quickly.


You might stall in strength gains (although if you're new to lifting you shouldn't). That's not your primary focus right now though so that's fine, as long as it doesn't start going backwards.

Also, losing weight at over 30% bodyfat is not necessarily an indication that your diet is in order, it's just a sign it's not as bad as it used to be. Not to piss on your parade, it's an achievement for sure but it doesn't mean your diets perfect.


Don't worry about things that haven't happened yet.

Get on the program (start with the bar), be consistent and eat properly. See you in 4-6 months.


Okay thanks, time to actually get into the gym and get lifting I guess only time will tell what works best for me, thank you all for your advice and I'll be sure to keep you up to date with my progress because we all know you guys would love that haha!




There is a wealth of information already present in this thread but stick with a strength program, any strength program, and focus on making sound dietary decisions. Paleo is almost good except for the disrespect they pay to bread. (Cultivation of grain helped out civilization a good bit, did it not? Just saying)

Sufficient protein so you don't feel emaciated, small regular increases in strength, and a focus on non-catabolic cardiovascular activity. Wendler's 5-3-1 has worked well for me for years, it will work well for you also.

Aim to get your heart rate during your cardio somewhere between 110 and 140 beats per minute and do as much of that intensity level cardio as you want. Strength, cardio, and once you start to lose a little bit of weight then you can add more volumizing components to a trainer program.

Hope this helps.


track your calories/macros