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Cut Question, Learning Exercises?


I've decided to cut down and everyone tells me that I can't cut and build muscle or strength at the same time.

I've wanted to learn some more advanced lifts like the snatch, overhead squat, ect. Would this be a good time to learn these exercises, as I'm cutting? Just to learn the form?


Its always a good time.


When you say you're cutting, do you mean you're using a cutting-type nutrition plan? Or are you doing a fat burning workout program, but you want to learn some new exercises too?

Either way, like Airtruth said, it's never really a bad time to learn new movements. But I'd focus on just one or two new exercises per month, since your attention is divided.

What's your training and nutrition plan going to look like?


I'm on my tenth day of the anabolic diet, still in the transition phase (only three more days till my first feast!) and Monday I will be going directly from the transition phase to the cutting phase and will drop the calories. So far I'm suprised as to how much energy I actually have in the gym considering I'm only eating about 20 grams of carbs a day. I have more energy than when I tried a low carb plan with about 200 grams per day!

For the training I've been on a new routine the same time as I've been on the AD. 5 (short)days/week, all compound exercises, with new exercises being cleans, snatches, and overhead squats. Lot of work to do with the cleans(up to 150lb, but I'm sure the form is horrible), a bit tough to learn on my own I'm finding out, in my gym only biceps and pecs exist, and exercises that are difficult don't.

Just tried for the first time snatches and overhead squats Tuesday. I thought it was OK for the first time, was only using up to 80lb though... Still feel good soreness in my delts though.

I'd already started these exercises when I posted, just wanted to make sure I wasn't doin something wrong. I think I'm going to continue to work these, but light weight, high reps, and short rest intervals so I can try to perfect the form and boost my metabolism at the same time, what do you think?


Meh... high reps and short rest are good for a cardio effect, but not so great for learning the movements. Fatigue is too likely to interfere with proper mechanics. I generally like lower rep, not-so-heavy sets for learning a movement. Ideally something like 4x4, and do the exercise first in the workout.

You could also use the Dan John/Dan Gable method of incorporating some snatches, overhead squats, and/or cleans into the tail end of your warm-up every training day. A fairly easy 2x3-5 should help you get the technique down pretty quickly.

2x5 power cleans and 2x3 power snatch-overhead squat combo would be great after whatever you usually do as a general warm-up, then go on with your regularly scheduled training. Nothing too heavy at all, since it's "technically" still your warm-up.

If you haven't yet, pick up "From The Ground Up" ebook from Dan John's site (danjohn.org). It's sorta-free (pay by the honor system) and it's a great resource about all things lifting, especially learning the Olympic lifts.

He also has a dvd about the same topic. I haven't seen it (...yet. Ask me again after Christmas, ha.) But I've heard a lot of good things. If you're serious about learning these, you might want to invest in it.


I would say NO!

Mostly because during a cut you want to retain your muscle and strength, so you need to keep the weight heavy. Learning new exercises is going to drop the weight down so you can elarn form n stuff. I'd wait on that for a bit.


I agree that it's important to keep training heavy, however, with the method I suggested (4 sets at the end of the warm-up every session), you're only looking at maybe another 5-7 minutes of time in the gym doing light-ish weight exercises which won't interfere with recovery. And the payoff is three new exercises to incorporate into the next training cycle.


I like the warm-up idea, thanks man, better than the stupid bici...

Quick question though, how light is "light"? Like I said I did the snatches with 80lb tuesday, which I would think is pretty light, but my delts - especially the lateral delts - are still sore (today friday!), and my delts NEVER get sore. It's only because it's the first time? Or should I just be doing these with the bar?


It's just because it's the first time. Do them at least twice a week and you will get over it. Don't wait for the pain to go away completely before you do it again.


Here's the article I was talking about. You might want to give it a read to hear Dan John explain the concept better than I can.

As he explains, when he did this for front squats:

Dan John's best full clean and jerk is 385, so let's just say he used 50% 1RM, for both sets. I'd only increase the weight maybe once every 7-10 days. We're about the movement and the technique, not the weight necessarily.

And yeah, like Stuward said, the soreness is just what you get from any brand-new exercise. It should sort itself out soon.