T Nation

Cut Results (w/ DEXA!)


I just finished a relatively long cut from 194 to 168 lbs and thought I might as well post about it, especially since I had 2 DEXA scans done so have some hard data to compare which might be interesting to people.

Basically, I over-bulked over the winter even though I really should know better at this point, and ended up at 194 lbs at the beginning of April. This is the heaviest I had been in years and I was definitely getting fat-ish.

I started cutting gradually at first just by reducing calories and got a DEXA scan in May, really just out of curiosity. The results -- that I was carrying 43 lbs of bodyfat, 22.7% - surprised me, but also served to motivate me to get a lot leaner, as quickly as possible. So that's what I did.

Summary of DEXA results: in 12 weeks I went from 189 lbs 22.7% bodyfat to 168 lbs at 10.2%. The most surprising factor to me was that I actually gained 4.4 lbs of LBM in this time. I was not expecting that at all, first because I was in a big caloric deficit, and also because I had been training hard trying to maximize muscle growth in the previous 9 months... so figured I had kind of "maxed out" potential. Apparently I was wrong, though I should point out that of the 4.4. lbs, 3.7 lbs was in the legs. Which I guess is plausible, since I hadn't been training legs that hard in the previous few months and started doing high reps squats (10+ reps) for the first time in a long time during the cut.

Before and after pics below.














Great work…your shoulder structure is nice.


Awesome results.

Any insight into how you went about doing this?




22.5% might seem high, but a dexa scan also measures visceral fat.

Good work.

Put some arms on that thing


nice work mate! Life’s better with abs


Thanks guys. I’m quite pleased with the results.

dt79 you crack me up. Nice pic.

As far as what I did… as mentioned, I started just by lowering calories to a moderate deficit, and was losing about 1 lb / week, perhaps a bit less. After the DEXA I realized that if I continued at that rate it was going to take me 5 months to drop the weight, way too long for my taste. I then did 12 days of Lyle McDonald’s “Rapid Fat Loss” protein-sparing modified fast and lost about 5 lbs. I had to travel for a week after that, including a bachelor party, so I did a diet break where I ate whatever I wanted, including booze and ice cream. When I got home I started with the plan I used to drop most of the weight. That plan was:

2 on / 1 off lifting schedule with the following split: Chest/Biceps, Legs/Abs/Power Clean, (off), Shoulders/Triceps, Back.

I lifted heavy as usual but tried to gradually lower rest times between heavy sets, from 4-5 minutes to 3, even 2 sometimes. With the assistance / not heavy work I kept rest times short and reps high, and incorporated some constant tension / occlusion work. Sometimes rest-pause on the final sets. I also would finish each workout except leg day with loaded carries – bearhug walks, overhead walks, farmer walks as recommended by CT. In the last few weeks I added 10 minutes HIIT intervals on the stationary bike at the very end of each session. I also walked to and from the gym every day, which is 20 minutes each way, incline/decline walking. Diet for lifting days was based on Jordan Feigenbaum’s recommended fat loss macros – 1.25 g/lb protein, 1 g/lb carbs, .27 g/lb fat.

On “off” days I did cardio, usually a long hike in the morning with 4-8 sprints, either uphill or flat. I’d also modulate the calories down on off days, usually by dropping carbs to 100g or so, sometimes decreasing fat or protein a little, and occasionally doing something extreme like a MAG-10 pulse fast. I believe I did 3 of these during the entire cut. Toward the very end I added post-dinner walks as well, just for 30 minutes or so.

This plan worked very well for me in that hunger was really never an issue at all. It did require a lot of time, though – I’d say I averaged over 2 hours of exercise every day.


[quote]Yogi wrote:
nice work mate! Life’s better with abs[/quote]

I’m quickly finding that out!