T Nation

Cutting Down


Hi i'm new to T-Nation, I used to go on another site and took in a lot of bs and got to the point where I'm at because of it and a few other dumb pieces of advise but anyways I'm here and these articles and forums look like they'd do me a lot more good.

Im 5'11 at 183 pounds, 18% bf. I used to be 172 pounds 12% bf but due to medical problems, and then the bulking up advise where I was told to eat as much protein and carbs as I could basically gain a bunch of weight and then cut it down i ended up gaining a lot more fat than muscle.

I decided now to cut down to 10% body fat and then slowly gain the muscle weight, but I'm confused about to macros, and how much i'm supposed to be taking in. I have some lagging parts (e.g lower chest, and upper chest need more work, lats are too high).

I was thinking of a workout program like this (I have big shoulders genetically idk why they are 50 inches while chest is 40 inches, I don't need a shoulder day in my opinion) with 4 sets of 3-5 reps and switch the next week to 4 sets of 10-12 reps. Any feedback would be great thanks.

(HIIT 3 times a week)



My 2 cents:

1- find a training program on this site that you like. Do that. Don't try to make your own. You are new. You know that you don't know, right? Maybe TBT?

2- read the 7 habits of highly effective meal plans (or whatever it is called) by Bernardi ...make sure you are doing that. Then ask more questions about diets.

3- you are 20. Don't worry about cutting per se. Learn about nutrition and start to figure out what works for you. If you want to drop some bf, that's fine. But IMO you should be thinking about strength and athleticism primarily.

My 2cents


I completely agree with the post above, great advice.

"cutting down" will just make you weaker. If you stick with the advice above, you will lean out, while getting stronger/muscular, instead of "wasting time" doing one or the other.

Honestly, 18% is nothing... It would be counter-productive to "cut down to 10%" and then build muscle. If it's so easy to cut down to 10%, why don't you do it after you've gained 20 lbs of muscle, and not before?

Good luck!


Good info so far.

Is whatever the problem was 100% cleared up now?

What does your current diet look like?

For perspective, what's your current waist measurement?

As was said, you'd be much better served with a pre-designed routine. Just from the layout, this is funky. Training back on Sunday and then again on Tuesday, for example. No bueno. And if you don't want to train shoulders directly, that's one thing, but they'd still be getting a good amount of secondary work with the two chest and back sessions.

Check the Archives, or take a look at these:

Any point in posting this if you're planning on cutting?


Thanks for the input guys, I really did not want to cut, Im more into this more strength and putting on muscle, the article just really messed with me. I just don't feel like I'm growing unless I workout a body part twice a week . Also if I incorporate cardio am I going to have to up my calorie intake even more than the extra 500 I need.

"Is whatever the problem was 100% cleared up now? "

Well I was taking acutane and it caused my joints to hurt to the point where i couldn't write and I'm not on it but I have chronic sinusitis which Im getting an operation for sometime next year.

"What does your current diet look like? "

Breakfast: 3 eggs, 2 egg whites, banana, 2 slices whole wheat bread
Lunch: 6-8 ounce chicken breast, 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 slices whole wheat bread
Preworkout: 2 scoops GNC raw
Post workout: Instant noodles ramen full packet
Dinner: talapia, cup of brown rice, veggies
'Snack':2 bananas,1scoop whey isolate
Somwhere in-between in eat another chicken breast, or lean steak again.

"For perspective, what's your current waist measurement? "



One thing that jumps out right away: please stay away from any GNC brand supplements, highway robbery at its finest. Worked there for over 2 years, I'm a much happier person after quitting


Depends on your goals, once you figure out exactly what you want to shoot for in the short-to-mid-term, and it depends on the progress you see as you go. It could be a case where you stick with "the plan" (whatever plan you figure out) for a few weeks, track your progress on the scale, tape measure, and in the gym, and tweak the diet based on the results you are or aren't seeing.

Not too bad overall. To clean it up a bit and push towards fat loss without going into a major cut, the quickest way would be to shave off some carbs here and there, like one carb source per meal (instead of bread and rice or bread and fruit). Also, whole eggs. Just whites are unnecessary.

I'm not sure what's in the GNC raw thing, but make sure you're getting around 180 grams of protein per day. I didn't run the numbers on what you listed, so keep an eye on that.