T Nation

Choosing a Program for Cutting.


Begin a 12 week cut somewhere in the next few weeks once uni exams are out of the way and I need to chose my training program for this!

Diet will be intermittent fasting, lowish carb, P+C workout drink and some BCAA's during fast. Calories reduced to 11 per lb bodyweight on average.

Torn between two programs:

"Built For Show" (Nate Green) or "Built Like a Badass" (Defranco).

Built for Show winter program will be used... or possibly the spring one but with the olympic lifting variations pulled out in favor or something else.

Anyone have any input here?

Can you suggest a better 3 day program?


Built like a Badass is awesome, give it a go.


Just keep lifting the same way you lift when bulking. What put muscle there in the first place will keep it there when cutting


Haven't lifted for a couple of months due to a couple of reasons so looking for something new.

Problem I have with BLAB is selecting weight for assistance work that changes weekly. I have always found it nicer in the past to stick with the same assistance work for maybe 3 weeks or so to give me a chance to find the right right and push my limits on that exercise.

Considering writing my own split with the following pattern:

Week 1:
Max effort upper
Max effort lower
Repeated effort upper + conditioning

Week 2:
Max effort lower
Max effort upper
Dynamic effort lower + conditioning

Which compares to BLAB's split of 2 upper to 1 lower each week.

I quite like the Upper/Lower alternation of BFS but I miss doing max effort work... anything wrong with a program like I outline above?

Week 1 and 2 will be alternated of course.


Knowing who both Defranco and Nate Green are, but not having read the programs, I advise you to do built like a badass. Defranco simply has much more experience in coaching and knows what works and what doesn't while nate is simply a guy who writes well. As far as another three day split, I am currently doing: shoulders and arms, chest and back, and legs... such split has been working nicely for me lately


Literally JUST remembered today why I originally thought Defrancos plan wouldn't suit me... Benching is what originally wrecked my shoulder and something I would ideally avoid. DB bench variations, dips etc. make my shoulder much happier! I imagine that would screw up the program which is built around BB benching for the upper body pressing.

Considering knocking up something with an OH BB press emphasis.


Does incline benching or decline benching hurt your shoulders? you could simply do db bench instead of bb bench too.


Substituting with military or incline press should be fine


Incline has been better from experience but havent tried it with with ME lifts yet.

ME DB bench isn't something I've considered before.

Will try theses out when Im in the gym next!


Aye was thinking about looking at the structure of BLAB and swapping a couple of things so that military press becomes the ME lift with some straight bodybuilding style sets for DB bench on friday. Will check it out after todays exam!


Benching should not "ideally" be avoided. You should ideally fix your form and whatever structural issues you have so that you can bench press with no injury to your shoulders. I don't care what anyone says. ME DB bench is not even close to the same as ME BB bench.


I was going to focus on ME OH pressing and then perform heavy chest work for straight sets in exercises such as DB bench variations, dips, etc. ... perhaps 4x6-10 range with a fair 2-4 min rest period.

I injured that shoulder a few years back during a heavy bench cycle when I hit my PR of 135kg on the bench. Was training WS4SB3 style... no sudden pain - just one day realized that it was a little tender. Rested a week and tried to train again but it just got worse when I tried it again.

I spent a long ass time going between doctors and a couple of specialists with minimal success. NHS doctors refused to diagnose it as something other than a "sprained bicep" despite my protests (and the fact that rowing/curling caused no discomfort!). I was even told to take paracetemol to "speed up the healing process" and to stop lifting weights.

In the end after trying to work around the problem I simply had to let the area rest for maybe 3 months before I could even do a pushup without pain.

Could not afford a private doctor so visited a sports therapist who had some good reviews. This chap diagnosed it as something related to where my pec hooks across towards my shoulder (I forget specifics!) after a couple of months of bi weekly sessions. Massage/myofascial release/etc. helped a little but ultimately it came down to me having to rest it for a couple of months before I could perform upper body horizontal pressing (and bizarrely vertical pulling also).

I have always enjoyed benching - one of my stronger lifts!


135 is no joke! Your problem is more serious than I anticipated. You seem to be taking the right approach. My entire first year of training I never did any pressing other than with db's. Fortunately, I had a close friend who's a very qualified personal trainer who gave me a postural eval before I ever started training. I had so many upper extremity issues, he didn't even let me do any barbell pressing for the first year. I was able to get stronger with db. And you certainly can within that rep range.

I still believe long term you should do everything in your power to get yourself able to do them again if you enjoy them that much. Personally, I would recommend focusing on maintaining a neutral grip on your db pressing.