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Cutting Cycle, Help!

I’m 52yo, 5.8, 176 pounds, 20% bf (endomorph) and have been lifting for 8y naturally.
Currently doing low intensity cardio 40min 3xweek and lifting 3xweek.
My goal is 167 pounds @ 10%bf. But every time I try to drop my bf%, my muscle goes too. I’ve tried ECA for help, but could only achieve 151 pounds with 16% bf :frowning:
The cutting cycle I’ve planned would be: clen week 1-3. Then t3 and var(20mg to spare muscle) weeks 4-6. And again clen and var weeks 7-9.
Ramping up and down both compounds, dropping the cheat day and increase cardio.
Eventually a “small” sus cycle to bring me up to 167 pounds at 10-12% bf.
Thanx for any comments!

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I must have “THE PERFECT” plan :wink:

If you’re losing muscle when dieting you’re probably going too low in calories.

Regarding you “cutting-cycle”, forget it. You’re 20% Bf ffs, you don’t need that stuff now, when you want to reach single digit BF, THEN it’s time to start using this stuff. Not now.

[quote]Mr. Moose wrote:
If you’re losing muscle when dieting you’re probably going too low in calories.

Regarding you “cutting-cycle”, forget it. You’re 20% Bf ffs, you don’t need that stuff now, when you want to reach single digit BF, THEN it’s time to start using this stuff. Not now.[/quote]

Not only that but your 176lbs?!? what the hell do you need steroids for at 176lbs and 20% BF unless your like 4’10"?

The OP is 52. That changes the expectations and the normal rules of thumb just a little bit, in my opinion.

Clen and T3 are some serious, serious compounds. If you are not an the gear while taking them - especially the T3 - you will lose LBM and fat - just making yourself a lighter version of your current self.

I think you have the goals backwards. Trya adding the LBM before cutting back to the desired BF%.

I hate sustanon - but it will work. If I were you I would go with straight test E for 10-12 weeks - drop the cardio back to 1 - 2 days a week, and train heavy for the duration of the cycle.

You should see some nice gains in LBM, and probably drop your BF% by a couple of points.

THEN cutback. It is much easier to cut when you have more LBM then it is when you have less.

[quote]viriato wrote:
I’m 52yo, 5.8, 176 pounds, 20% bf (endomorph) and have been lifting for 8y naturally.
Currently doing low intensity cardio 40min 3xweek and lifting 3xweek.
My goal is 167 pounds @ 10%bf. But every time I try to drop my bf%, my muscle goes too. I’ve tried ECA for help, but could only achieve 151 pounds with 16% bf :frowning:
The cutting cycle I’ve planned would be: clen week 1-3. Then t3 and var(20mg to spare muscle) weeks 4-6. And again clen and var weeks 7-9.
Ramping up and down both compounds, dropping the cheat day and increase cardio.
Eventually a “small” sus cycle to bring me up to 167 pounds at 10-12% bf.
Thanx for any comments![/quote]

Whatever your currect cardio is, just double it. You’ll lose fat.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
The OP is 52. That changes the expectations and the normal rules of thumb just a little bit, in my opinion.
[/quote]

rainjack,

i totally understand the 52 years old thing but at that age doing large amounts of test, etc. can be very dangerous heart/cholesterol/BP wise especially in a subject that is already 20% BF with who know;s what kind of medical history.

My honest recomendation would be to get some medical tests done before starting ANYTHING. Get at least an EKG or better yet a stress test, cholesterol, BP and especially find out what his current test and thyroid levels are. Maybe he could benefit from some HRT. But until the testing is done it would be very dangerous IMHO to go on any real cycle.

I think that he could make all the progress he would like with a good training program and diet unless his test or thyroid levels are shit. In which case he could look into HRT and maybe some thyroid med’s.

[quote]gettinbigger wrote:
i totally understand the 52 years old thing but at that age doing large amounts of test, etc. can be very dangerous heart/cholesterol/BP wise especially in a subject that is already 20% BF with who know;s what kind of medical history.[/quote]

It can be dangerous at any age. I don’t know what you define as “large amounts” - but I would think low to moderate amounts of exogenous testosterone (100-400mg/week) would pose no greater risk to a 52 year old than it would a 35 year-old in good health.

Agreed. In fact - I didn’t recommend the T3/clen protocol on purpose. In all honesty - I think test is safer than those to chemicals. I think a good, thorough physical should be done regardless of age.

This is where we disagree. I am not saying it can’t be done - but if one is healthy, and is willing to assume the risk that is inherent in any AAS use, it can be a great equalizer for older folks that have a naturally slower metabolism due to age.

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[quote]rainjack wrote:
gettinbigger wrote:
i totally understand the 52 years old thing but at that age doing large amounts of test, etc. can be very dangerous heart/cholesterol/BP wise especially in a subject that is already 20% BF with who know;s what kind of medical history.

It can be dangerous at any age. I don’t know what you define as “large amounts” - but I would think low to moderate amounts of exogenous testosterone (100-400mg/week) would pose no greater risk to a 52 year old than it would a 35 year-old in good health.
[/quote]
The danger would be very small if used in HRT dosages either way but I would think that anything upwards of 250mg/wk of test would be more dangerous the older you get. An increase in BP or Cholesterol in a 35 year old is less importat than in a 52 year old since the older you get the more at risk you are for strokes, heart attacks, etc. due to the wear and tear of 50+ years of life vs 35. Thats not to say that a 35 yr old can’t be in worse shape than a 50 year old but thats not the norm. More than likely not the case with a 52 year old male with 20% BF.

I couldn’t agree more. That is a step I think far to many people skip. In all honesty I think steroids are very safe in healthy subjects. As long as you don’t start takeing 2000mg a week or something crazy. Sadly enough its the assholes who don’t get a full physical before cycling and who have some underlying medical issue that they don’t know about that give AAS use a bad name. They seem to be the one’s who fall over dead or end up in the hospital. The same one who start a cycle and have no idea what a PCT is or how to safely inject, etc.

I’m just not sure that the risk wouldn’t outweigh the benefits especially for this subjects needs (unless it is taken at HRT dosage). Its not difficult to drop fat until you reach maybe 16% even at his age. But that is all beside the point. If he doesn’t have his training and diet dialed in its unlikely that he will make much better progress with AAS. I very much respect your opinion on this and if his test was even a little low I would jump on some HRT ASAP since that could be the reason for all the fat gain in the 1st place. Either way health is number one.

Now, this is the response wich I was expecting from the T-Nation crowd!!! I’ve been reading this site from the beginning and basically, everything I know, I learnt here - with some biased towards J. Berardi’s teachings. Let me try to answer some of the questions:

Every 6 to 12 months I do a physical and the blood results are within medical parameters: ECG, Total T, Free T, PSA,TSH, T3, T4, Blood pressure, SHBG and Estrogen. Cholesterol at the top limit of “normal” and DHEA LOW (for this I take 25mg every other day).
My nutrition is based on JB’s seven habits - http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459493

  • and the total calories vary to avoid homeostasis.
    As I’ve mentioned on the original post, my goal isn’t to be huge, but to be around 176 pounds with about 10%bf. I was always fat and since I’ve started training, I’ve achieved a major transformation. But I can’t achieve my goal, maybe due to my age! Over the past 8 years, I’ve tried most diets and training protocols on this site, but the best I can reach is 16%bf. Less than that and I start loosing muscle, due to lack of calories or over-training. Hence my decision to use Clen and T3, with var just to hold onto the muscle. At the end, assuming that I’ve lost all the fat I wanted and maybe some muscle, use sus or even test E to bring back some muscle mass.
    Many thanx for all the advice.
    P.S. I forgot to mention that I take Avena Sativa, Urtica Dioica, Saw Palmeto, Tribulus, Zinc and Magnesium to support T levels, curb the effects of estrogen on the prostate and free some bound T.

You are currently at about 141 lbs of LBM. Your goal is to be at 158 lbs of LBM.

Regardless of which avenue you take, you are going to have to add 17 pounds of muscle to reach your goal.

My opinion is that you should add the muscle first, and then cut back to your goal. It will be much easier to lose the fat after building the muscle than it will be to add 17 pounds of LBM to a lean frame.

Like I said - just my opinion.

Keep in mind that you will have a tough rebound from the T3/Clen cycle. The weight will be very hard to maintain, especially with such a low amount of muscle mass. I would follow rainjacks advice and put some muscle mass on 1st. That will make any fat loss easier to maintain. Good to hear your keeping an eye on your health.

Guys, I can’t emphasise enough my appreciation for your advice! And what you’re telling me, is consistent with the general theory of bulking first and cutting later. But, as I’ve mentioned, I regard JB’s opinion very high and my plan to cut first came from one of JB’s articles, where - if I understand him correctly - he advises on cutting first if one doesn’t already have a very low BF%.

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/qa/afc/afc_jul272001.htm

I know that he was talking about “naturals”, which is what I’ve been doing for 8y! Do you think that if I was to take sus or test E it would be safe to assume that JB’s theory on bulking first wouldn’t aplly? Because, I’ve tried “naturally” and at my bf% levels, the most I put on is fat. Just like JB said! And on the cutting phase, I loose fat and muscle at about 1:1 ratio, “which is my original delema”!!
Cheers.

I have a lot of respect for JB. I did his consulting program for 6 months with excellent results. As per his recomendations I spent a couple months increasing my metabolism and gaining some lean mass BEFORE I dieted down. I had been dieting off and on for 8 months and my metabolism was in the shiter. I was natural at the time and after the short bulking phase I went from 16% BF --> 9% BF and managed to maintain at 10-13% BF depending on where I am in my training cycle.

Thats not bad considering I train exclusively for powerlifting now. The increased metabolism really helped my diet to be more efficiant. I think this would be even more important for you since you don’t have much muscle. There’s no point in doing all this if a year from now your right back where you started. My advice would be a long term solution.

Do a good bulking cyle (10-12 weeks) but keep the diet extremely clean, maybe even a little cardio. Then a good PCT and some time off or a 6-12 week cruise at a HRT level of test. Do not diet during the PCT or cruise. Then hit a good cutting cycle. The added muscle mass and your higher metabolic rate will give you the best chance of keeping your bodyfat at a low level for the long term.

The only way to cut is low to no carb. Carb cycling. All else will fail, in my view.

[quote]gettinbigger wrote:
I have a lot of respect for JB. I did his consulting program for 6 months with excellent results. As per his recomendations I spent a couple months increasing my metabolism and gaining some lean mass BEFORE I dieted down. I had been dieting off and on for 8 months and my metabolism was in the shiter. I was natural at the time and after the short bulking phase I went from 16% BF --> 9% BF and managed to maintain at 10-13% BF depending on where I am in my training cycle.
Many thanx! You convinced me, I’ll follow your advice.
Cheers m8.

Thats not bad considering I train exclusively for powerlifting now. The increased metabolism really helped my diet to be more efficiant. I think this would be even more important for you since you don’t have much muscle. There’s no point in doing all this if a year from now your right back where you started. My advice would be a long term solution.

Do a good bulking cyle (10-12 weeks) but keep the diet extremely clean, maybe even a little cardio. Then a good PCT and some time off or a 6-12 week cruise at a HRT level of test. Do not diet during the PCT or cruise. Then hit a good cutting cycle. The added muscle mass and your higher metabolic rate will give you the best chance of keeping your bodyfat at a low level for the long term. [/quote]