T Nation

Cut Down Timing

I PM’ed this message to Timbo and Thunder, and Thunder asked me to post it here as it would be a good learning experience for all. This question deals with a previous thread call ‘Strut Yo Stuff.’ If you need to cut down for a photo shoot or competition (or just to look good for a big event), I would suggest you pull up this thread in addition to Swole’s “7 Days . .” article. Additional thanks to Swole for answering my question so promptly. Here it goes:

Thunder and Timbo:

I recently got asked to do a photo shoot for a new magazine that is being started out here. The photo shoot is going to be for an ab article the first issue, but we are doing whole body shots so they can be included for any subsequent articles. The photo shoot is scheduled for this upcoming Wed. evening (Nov 12th, I think) at 6 pm. This is my first shoot, and my first time really cutting down this low. As your program is written up assuming an 11:00 start from prejudging, and my shoot time is 6 pm, I just have a couple of questions on how to deal with the timing of the meals over the last two days:

  1. Mon - Start of Carb-up: Your workout is scheduled for 8 am. Should I move the workout to the p.m., and if so, how should the meals follow.

  2. Subsequently, how should the meals be changed for day 2 if timing is changed for day 1.

  3. Cutting off water and the “big meal”: Assuming cutting off water 18 hours out, this would mean 12 midnight, with the meal being consumed at 3 am. Should I follow this strategy, or change it?

** Note: If I should stick with the program as written up and just switch the times, I am totally prepared to set my alarm every couple of hours to wake up and eat if need be.

Additional info: I only had two weeks notice for this shoot, but was already at a pretty low body fat to start. So although I won’t be as low body fat % as I wanted to be, I’ll still be pretty cut up for the shoot. Three weeks prior to the shoot date, I did a bunch of body measurements for an kinanthropology lab, and although I realize how the problems involved in body fat measurement techniques, I?ll give you the data just to give you some additional information.

Ht: 5’9"
Wt: 189 lbs
Yuhasz: 6.3%
Sloan: 4.8%
D & W: 7.4%
BMI: 28.2

Since that point, I have dropped to 183 lbs from the cut-down/glycogen depletion, with a concurrent loss in body fat %. I am keeping water at approx. 12 litres per day, and my salt intake is incredibly high as per your recommendations. My serratus anterior and external obliques are now clearly visible, although the bottom of the obliques are slightly obscured by some body fat that I wasn’t able to drop in time. My muscles are looking a little flat, but from previous experience with overfeeds, my muscles fill to the point where they feel like they are going to explode, and I become highly vascular to the point where my RA and quads look like road maps from all of the veins that are exposed. I haven’t been able to stay off my legs, as I work as an assistant strength coach at the university and have been having to do a lot of demonstration of Olympic lifts over the last couple of weeks for the athletes that I have been teaching.

Thanks for any advice or help that you can provide.