T Nation

Best Way to Cut?


#1

Hey guys, I've been eating a surplus and lifting hard for the past few months and have made some progress, but my bf% has reached the high teens (17-20) and i would like to trim up a bit before i continue gaining weight, but at the same time i haven't gotten to where i wanna be muscle wise so im trying to decide how to lose some fat before i start gaining more weight. i was just hoping some of you could weigh in on this question:

To get back in shape to make gaining weight easier/faster/look better, what approach would be best utilized? The ideas i had were:
carb cycling, hoping to gain and lose at the same time
mini cut phase for a week or two and do this every 6-8 weeks of gaining
a real cut phase for a month or so to get the bf% lower and start over again

Just for what its worth i was around 173 at 12-13% bf and now am at 200 around 17-20%. anyone tried these approaches and can recommend one, or have a better idea?


#2

I think you’d most likely retain more LBM with the carb cycling than mini-cuts. Others may disagree, but aside from Layne Norton, I haven’t seen too many BBers who can alternate the mini-bulk/mini-cut cycle and come out really far ahead. Just my own thoughts.

S


#3

I’d recommend training to reduce muscle loss as much as possible. Lift heavy and decrease your volume and frequency. It’s basically impossible to train naturally, cut, and gain or retain 100% of your muscle mass. Shoot for a 3:1 fat to muscle loss. There are tons of ways to drop fat, just make a decision that’s comfortable (or not torture) for you…but the bottom line is you must reduce calories below maintenance or increase your activity.

If you come out looking leaner and seeing some of that hard earned muscle you’ve put on in the recent months, and are AS strong as you were before your cut, you’ll be happy. Plus, you should be able to make decent gains once you up the cals again due to muscle memory.


#4

Soooooo

you went from 173@13% to 200@20% (with the bf% based on your own reasoning/measurement)

in other words:

  1. you gained 9] pounds of muscle - correction: I mean hard-earned muscle - and 18 pounds of fat!!! and you are likely a beginning lifter based on your questions.
  2. Even better, you consider that significant progress and feel the need to trim the excess fat not realizing that you will likely end up back where you started with such dismal progress?

#5

How did you measure your body fat? Do you look much fatter? Did your waist measurement increase significantly? Because 18 lbs of fat is a shitload compared to 9 lbs of muscle.


#6

#7

The first thing you need to do is establish one goal. Do not try to cut and gain muscle at the same time. Firstly it looks like you are carrying too much BF. So focus on losing the fat first. This would entail lifting heavy weights (4 to 5 times a week) to preserve lean muscle tissue.

Adding some interval work on off days would be a good idea (running sprints or elliptical trainer) and some long duration cardio once or twice a week after weight sessions (after upper body work). As far as diet is concerned…it is EVERYTHING. Proper training will certainly help but it is the diet that will get you there. I discovered this through trial and error.

I wanted it all…cuts and mass…and I trained hard but it wasn’t until I nailed down my diet that I was able to really lose body fat. Stick to a high protein, low carb diet. Use green vegetables as your source of carbs (no grains, cereals, oatmeal, etc.) and one meal per week indulge in whatever food you want. After you get lean, slowly introduce carbs back into your diet to slowly gain quality muscle mass with minimal body fat. Hope this helps. Good luck.


#8

The best way to cut will be based on how your bulking diet is . If its a super clean bulking diet try adding some extra mod cardio sessions and tapering off your carbs towards the night . I recently bulked up for 4 months and found by just cutting foods such as bread , potato’s and my cheat day i lost some quick body fat without having to do a mini cut or carb cycle.


#9

Hey guys thanks for the input. It seems like a lot of fat to me as well. I mean my stomachc has definitely lost SOME definition, not a terrible though, and I can easily see gains in my shoulder/arm/chest. I measured my bodyfat% using a one site (suprailiac location)skin fold test, probably not the most accurate way, especially since I used to be quite heavier and have a tendency to gain belly fat. Anyway, I looked at my log today, I was actually 183 at 14% and now am around 197 at 20% which would mean I gained 3 lbs of muscle and the rest fat, which I have a hard time believing.

Neck increased by 1 inch
chest increased by 4 inches
Stomach increased by 1.5 inch
Waist went up 1.5
Hips went up 2 inches
Arms increased by 1 inch
Legs up by 1.5 inch

My diet is pretty clean, and I eat around 3400(not much considering my weight)cals a day with 250-300g protein. however the past 2-3 weekends I slipped off the wagon and ate a good amount of crummy food. For whatever reason, when I binge on the weekends I usually gain 6 lbs by Monday.

I don’t know, thanks for the advice guys, I’m thinking currently use CT’s war room strategy on fatloss with high(er) carbs (still less than 100g) on the heavy days and <30 on the other days for about a month, drop 8-10 lbs and try and tighten up gaining again with carb cycling and go back to my upper/lower split.