T Nation

Cutting and Strength

Hey guys,

Recently, I noticed myself huffing more than I’d like after a few flights of stairs. Also, my waist is getting rather unaesthetic. I’ve been doing 5/3/1. I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks eating extra clean, reducing my calories to RDA and running 3x/week.

I just started a week ago and my strength has plummeted, I’m talking about a 10-15% drop in 1RM for all 3 major lifts.

I’m not starvation or low carb dieting. My energy is normal. WTF? I’m hoping this is related to reduced glycogen stores and not actual myoglobin demise. Has anyone else experienced this?
Thanks,

Matt

if rda means a 2000 calorie diet, good luck keeping your strength. i was eating about 2500 a day then switched to an eat everything in sight diet and my lifts went up almost immediately. plainly, nutrition is, more often than not, more important than training. cut out the fat and excess carbs (which promote water retention that would explain some of your waist problems) but keep the cals up. good luck.

I Really doubt that it is Myoglobin demise, is that a condition that you have to worry about btw?

If you had a abrupt drop in cals, expect an abrupt drop in strength; I don’t know what your cals were before and what they are now, so I cannot say for sure.

Myoglobin shuttles oxygen into the mitochondria from the bloodstream, and should have no effect on strength as it is largely aerobic. The drop in strength could come from a number of things though.

If your reducing carbs, there wll be a decrease in water retention and strength, or there could be a loss of fuel (glycogen),but that could easily be replensished by utilising para workout nutrition

But if your reducing calories, it makes sense that recvery will not be optimised, and therefore strength will be lost due to muscle breakdown

[quote]snoopabu3 wrote:
if rda means a 2000 calorie diet, good luck keeping your strength. i was eating about 2500 a day then switched to an eat everything in sight diet and my lifts went up almost immediately. plainly, nutrition is, more often than not, more important than training. cut out the fat and excess carbs (which promote water retention that would explain some of your waist problems) but keep the cals up. good luck. [/quote]

Cutting out fat from a diet is a horrible idea for anyone looking to lose fat and/or get stronger.

OP if you plan to get big you’ll need to accept what it feels like to get used to weighing more. Keep your calories up and add some fasted cardio a few days and possibly a HIIT session or two per week. You are on the verge of entering the vicious circle of the simultaneous bulk/cut that will get you absolutely no where.

Eat your fats and protein normally, reduce your carbs GRADUALLY. Don’t just cut the calories, that’s the reason you’re feeling like shit. When cutting, AFTER SOME WEEKS your energy levels should be the issue, not your strength levels. Cronic fatigue can be another reason for you to feel bad, so backing off (research a bit in here about autoregulation) a few days could be the option.

myoglobin is the transport system for oxygen in muscle tissue. Your body will upregulate myoglobin in response to more aerobic training; thus, your strength (crash) has nothing to due with “myoglobin demise”, but rather factors such as reduced glycogen and cellular hydration, etc.

Crowbar

Give it awhile, in any study I’ve ever read performance always dipped initially when going on low carb diets.

I’ve been cutting (for the first time) for 4-5 weeks now, lost 10lbs and 2.5" off my waist so far.

Lost a little strength, but only around 5lbs from what I would normally rep on the big lifts. This didn’t happen before 2-3 weeks into the cut, I actually gained some strength the first week.

Initially I felt shitty and had little energy, because I cut out too many carbs, and I couldn’t get a pump to save my life. Added back in some carbs, energy is back to normal and I’m still losing. Eating around 2400-2600kcals/day.

Maybe you are cutting out too many carbs and/or eating too little in general?

[quote]snoopabu3 wrote:
if rda means a 2000 calorie diet[/quote]

No, for a male my size, exercising as often as I do, RDA is ~3000

[quote]silverhydra wrote:
I Really doubt that it is Myoglobin demise, is that a condition that you have to worry about btw?
[/quote]

Sorry, I meant to say myofibrillar. I’m glad about 3 people caught that, though.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:
Don’t just cut the calories, that’s the reason you’re feeling like shit. When cutting, AFTER SOME WEEKS your energy levels should be the issue, not your strength levels. Cronic fatigue can be another reason for you to feel bad, so backing off (research a bit in here about autoregulation) a few days could be the option. [/quote]

?? I don’t feel like shit. I feel great. My lifts have just deteriorated. Seemingly, overnight.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
OP if you plan to get big you’ll need to accept what it feels like to get used to weighing more. Keep your calories up and add some fasted cardio a few days and possibly a HIIT session or two per week. You are on the verge of entering the vicious circle of the simultaneous bulk/cut that will get you absolutely no where.
[/quote]

I don’t buy this. No one needs to accept a 35" waist and the CV capacity of a three-toed sloth. Lots of people are big, lean, and fast. Typically they are called athletes.

Beyond that, I think I’m pretty well doing as you say. Eating a maintenace amount of calories and focusing on the cardio for a few weeks.

Yo man im in the same boat as you with a 35 in waist and cardio being horrible… im planning on losing like 10 lbs and then slowly gaining again. Once you up your calories again i think your stength will come back and then some.

[quote]Muskulls wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:
Don’t just cut the calories, that’s the reason you’re feeling like shit. When cutting, AFTER SOME WEEKS your energy levels should be the issue, not your strength levels. Cronic fatigue can be another reason for you to feel bad, so backing off (research a bit in here about autoregulation) a few days could be the option.

?? I don’t feel like shit. I feel great. My lifts have just deteriorated. Seemingly, overnight.
[/quote]

maybe it was the beginning of the diet. But in my training years I still don’t see when I feel great and my strength plummets.

[quote]Muskulls wrote:
BONEZ217 wrote:
OP if you plan to get big you’ll need to accept what it feels like to get used to weighing more. Keep your calories up and add some fasted cardio a few days and possibly a HIIT session or two per week. You are on the verge of entering the vicious circle of the simultaneous bulk/cut that will get you absolutely no where.

I don’t buy this. No one needs to accept a 35" waist and the CV capacity of a three-toed sloth. Lots of people are big, lean, and fast. Typically they are called athletes.

Beyond that, I think I’m pretty well doing as you say. Eating a maintenace amount of calories and focusing on the cardio for a few weeks. [/quote]

I never said a word about increasing your waist size or losing your cardiovascular capability.

Gaining muscle will make you weigh more. I dont care who you are, when you add 60 pounds of muscle after you stop growing you will feel different.

I even explicitly stated that cardio should be done while trying to gain weight. Are you purposely misinterpreting what I’m saying? Please do not imply that I am advocating people get fat and slow. Anyone with basic reading skills can easily see that I have never said that, anywhere.

OP, every time I’ve ever dropped weight (twice), my strength has plummetted as well, especially on pressing movements. I hate it, but it is what it is. Some people claim they get stronger while cutting; I am not one of those people, and it looks like you’re in the same boat.

Make sure you lift heavy all the way through, and when you finish it up, your strength will come back quickly enough.