T Nation

Combining Strength, BB, and Conditioning


#1

Hi CT, Im coming to the end of my cut and I seem to hit a plateau. I've lost about 17bs and trying to lose the last bit of stubborn fat in mainly my chest and lower abs. I wanted to stay with heavy strength training combined with bodybuilding movements and since I've hit a slight plateau, I wanted to add some conditioning in as well.

I like the way you set up the athlete lean, athlete strong workout. Do you have any workouts or advice on combining all three and continuing to lose weight and make progress? And should I cut my carbs or just add more conditioning? Thanks CT


#2

[quote]seank22 wrote:
Hi CT, Im coming to the end of my cut and I seem to hit a plateau. I’ve lost about 17bs and trying to lose the last bit of stubborn fat in mainly my chest and lower abs. I wanted to stay with heavy strength training combined with bodybuilding movements and since I’ve hit a slight plateau, I wanted to add some conditioning in as well.

I like the way you set up the athlete lean, athlete strong workout. Do you have any workouts or advice on combining all three and continuing to lose weight and make progress? And should I cut my carbs or just add more conditioning? Thanks CT[/quote]

I have no idea what you have been doing since the beginning of your “cut” diet or training wise. So I can’t make any specific recommendations.

I will say that with the athletes I work with I…

  1. Prefer to add work before cutting calories. Reducing calories when you are already in a deficit (which I suppose you are since you lost 17lbs so far) can lead to muscle loss which should be avoided as much as possible. Being lean is fun but to me losing a significant amount of muscle to get just a little bit leaner is not acceptable. That having been said if you are already doing a lot of work then adding more might not be a good option. BUT a lot of people are afraid to do enough work… my Crossfit athletes train between 15 and 25 hours a week and my two who went to the Crossfit Games train over 30 hours a week so the body can handle a lot more than what most people believe.

  2. Always keep peri-workout carbs in. They use PLAZMA and if I decide to have them go low carbs (which I sometimes do, but only as a last resort) I actually increase their PLAZMA dose pre-workout. So they might get 100-120g of carbs peri workout and close to zero for the rest of the day. This helps preserve muscle mass.

  3. Add loaded carries medleys as my first “fat loss solution”… something like farmer’s walk 50 yards + Sprint 50 yards + prowler pushing 50 yards / rest 3 minutes x 5


#3

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated! The reason I cut so hard is because I kind of dirty bulked because its fairly easy to do while living at college ( wasnt my intentions) but now im trying to get lean so I can attempt a lean bulk this time around.

Heres the workout i’ve doing since my cut and my strength has been going up a lot actually ( never trained purely for strength before) I kind of use Westside’s idea of using a different variation each time I do the specific lift and I seem to respond to it very well. Though, as Im cutting more and more the volume is starting to take a toll on me.

Saturday- Bench Day ( Flat, Incline, Floor Press, Pause Bench)
Sunday- Squat Day ( Back, Front, Pause, Box Squats)
Tuesday- Shoulder Press Day ( Standing, Seated, DB, Pause, BTN, Push Press)
Wednesday- Deadlift Day ( DL, Sumo, Rack Pulls, Deficits, Pause, Snatch Grip)

Week 1-4 Work up to 3RM then backdown to 75% for 3x5-8
Week 5-8 Work up to 2RM then backdown to 80% for 1x3-5 then AMRAP
Week 9-12 Work up to 1RM then backdown to 85% for 1xAMRAP

Bench Day
Bench Variation up to 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM
1a) Pullups 2x8-12
1b) Chest Supported Rows 2x8-12
2) DB Shoulder Press 2x8-12
Flat or Incline Flyes 2x8-12
3a) Preacher Curl 2x8-12
3b) DB Skullcrushers 2x8-12
4)Side Raises 2x8-12
4)Shrugs 2x8-12

Squat Day
Squat Variation up to 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM
DL 3x5-8
Clean Grip Reverse Lunges 2x8 Per Leg
Hyperextensions 3x8-12
Abs 4 Sets

Military Day
Military Press Variation up to 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM
DB Incline, Floor or Bench 3x8-12
2a) DB Row 3x8-12
2b) Face Pulls 3x8-12
3a) Overhead Tricep Extensions 2x8-12
3b) Barbell Curl for 2x8-12

Deadlift Day
DL Variation up to 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM
Squat variation 3x8-12
Leg Press 3x8-12
Good Mornings 2x8-12
Calf Raises 2x8-12
Abs 4 sets


#4

[quote]seank22 wrote:
Week 1-4 Work up to 3RM then backdown to 75% for 3x5-8
Week 5-8 Work up to 2RM then backdown to 80% for 1x3-5 then AMRAP
Week 9-12 Work up to 1RM then backdown to 85% for 1xAMRAP

[/quote]

That’s the only part of your program that I like. The rest is pretty far from my own beliefs. I’m not saying it’s not good or wont work, it’s not how I like to do things.

I also am not one who like the bulk/cut approach. I believe in eating enough to fuel your workouts and recover optimally… eat for performance and muscle will follow. You can’t force feed your way to more muscle. It only gives the illusion of adding muscle rapidly because your body weight is going up faster. But when you drop the fat you’ll find out that you will not have gained any more muscle than if you focused on peri-workout nutrition and eating for performance. Nobody has to get fat to put on muscle.

Even if “bulking” led to more muscle growth than eating for optimal performance (it doesn’t) any benefit would be nullified by the fact that your progress would stop while you are trying to drop the fat… you might even likely regress. For example if you have to “cut” for 12 weeks, that’s 12 weeks where you wont be progressing and for about 6 of those you might even regress.

Bulking/cutting works for drug-using bodybuilders: the drugs increase their body’s capacity to use the ingested nutrients to build muscle. In a natural body you cannot build more muscle than your own physiology will allow. And during a cut, drug-using bodybuilders can be a lot more drastic because the drugs protect their muscle mass.


#5

Im going to try and take your approach on eating for performance and focusing more on peri workout nutrition because I’ve always hated cutting for the simple fact that I lose motivation because I know I can’t progress or build muscle for however long it takes to cut.
I know you dont like my workout much but could you give me a few tips on how to change it to make it better?