Cutting, 5x5, Meltdown: A Summary

Guys: I sort of wanted to start a “summary” thread of the great discussion and debate that’s been going on, and to make sure that I (along with many others, I’m sure!)have it clear in our minds:

1)5x5 is a excellent program to utilize during a fat-loss phase because of it’s ability to afford someone both strength gains and LBM gains during such a cycle. Meltdown may give you faster overall fat-loss, but strength and lean body mass gains would be questionable. Some thoughts to throw out:

a)Would this be somewhat analogous to comparing Fat-Fast with Massive Eating "Don’t Diet? (To keep it “simple” in my head, I’ve looked at it that way).

b)What about some thoughts from the “MAX-OT” adherents? In this program, fat loss and muscle and strength gains are part of an overall continuum. In other words, you increase bulk and strength while at the same time slowly decreasing calories for fat loss. (“HITT” type of cardio is also part of the overall scheme).

c)Meltdown is most effective as a tool to bring someone down, in a more rapid fashion, from higher body fat levels? (Have I read the debate correctly?).

Again…certainly, all refer to the “Alessi” thread, but I would like for this do be a sort of “bottom-line” or “summary” thread of the debate. Please put in any additional thoughts you may have.


I agree. I recommend 12% be the cut off. If starting over 12%, go with Meltdown and moderate intensity cardio and then switch over to a strength-based program (i.e. 5x5) with HIIT.

If starting <12%, go ahead with 5x5 and HIIT from the get-go.

A big, huge, “Yup”. After all the discussion on the forum over the benefits and disadvantages of Meltdown, I do agree. Especially with your “c” assessment. Meltdown is more suited for individuals with a higher BF%.

As I've stated in other threads on the forum, I'm moving into week three of the 5x5 program and experiencing excellent gains. However, take note: I have NOT cut my calories. There's been really no need. As long as physical activity level is maintained, I'm A-Okay.

Here’s my final take on the issue:

1) You must match up your diet and exercise programs very specifically.

2) Work within the energy systems that are still working correctly, i.e. - avoid significant anaerobic work longer than 20+ seconds while on a ketogenic diet due to lack of glycogen.

3) The leaner you are, the more careful you need to be with training and diet. If you're overfat, you can get away with eating less and training more because you are carrying a lot of extra energy.

4) Poundage should be maintained during a cutting cycle, but not volume.

Please remember that these are my thoughts and are not etched in stone whatsoever.

I neglected to state the cut off (IMO) for females should be 17%.

Just one thing to add: Enzymes. These are the little catalysts your body makes to help you burn fat or store fat (they also help build muscle, but that is another threat). Enzymes have about a six week live cycle, so to do away with fat storing enyzmes you must be following a six meal a day program for at least seven weeks. Then the effects will start to appear. Then you can to reduce calories slowly being careful not to activate the survival mechanism that causes these suckers to be made.
You must also slow increase the time you spend fat burning so that you body has time to create these enzymes.
A program that has had excellent results for my clients is a 21 day, new habit program. Where each new positive step is added every 21 days. I am currently working on an article and hope to be able to present it soon.