T Nation

Cutting Options


Just wondering what everyone?s thoughts are on various cutting methods. I want to drop a few pounds and get VERY lean and these are some of the approaches I'm considering:

Training options:

(1) Training to lose fat (e.g. Poliquin's Lactic Acid Training For Fat Loss or Alessi's Meltdown); OR

(2) Training to retain muscle/strength (e.g. CT's Lifting For Fat Loss or CW's 10 x 3 For Fat Loss).

Diet Options:

(A) Low carb - only eating carbs for breakfast and post-workout (e.g. T-Dawg 2.0); OR

(B) No carb (with periodic carb ups) - eating only protein and fat and then having a large carb up every fifth day (e.g. similar to Cosgrove's green faces diet, the Anabolic Solution or Poliquin's recommendations); OR

(C) Carb Cycling i.e. high, moderate and low/no carb days (e.g. similar to the diet outlined by Tampa Terry a while back or the upcoming CT article).

I?m thinking of trying (1) and (B) but concerned it may burn up too much muscle. I know everyone responds differently and ultimately I need to ?try it and see? but I?m interested in what you guys think. Which combination would you recommend?

Any thoughts appreciated.



Alot depends on an individuals metabolism and genetic body type. I've been slowwwwly losing fat and gaining muscle and strength since I started lifting 4 years ago. I think if I had alternated periods of focused muscle gain and fat loss rather than trying to accomplish both at once I would be better off now.

For me, I agree with the "lift heavy (to maintain muscle), increase cardio and reduce calories in stages" approach for cutting; and "Eat big along with volume training" approach for building mass. There are so many great articles and advice on this site it's hard to choose a method sometimes. Keep studying and experiment until you find a system that works for you. Don't forget to periodize and change things up every month or so to force your body to adapt and grow (or shed fat). Good luck and stay at it!


1 & A
Either cut or bulk, you can't really try to cut and build muscle at the same time, unless you're new to the weights.
If you do Meltdown, give it your all--don't do it half-assed. It's tough, but good for fat loss.
Don't do a no carb--you won't last. Just limit the carbs. P+C during the day, P+F at night. Stick to that and you'll be fine.
Also try HOT-ROX if you can. Works good for me.
One last thing: it takes time. Don't expect results in a couple weeks. Give it a couple months and other people will notice the change.



what is "a few pounds"?

is it 5lbs?



what are your CURRENT stats?
age,ht/wt,training exp,current program,etc?

what is your bodyfat% at right now (ball-park)?

where is your bodyfat level in relation to your "normal" physique--have you just bulked up and gained a bunch of strength and muscle along with some unwanted fat or are you "skinny-fat" and just want to show your abs to some hookers?

let us know,
ryan b.


Thanks guys.


My stats are:

27yrs old
BF approx 15% (I?m NOT skinny fat. I?m blessed with a solid looking physique and I carry the fat very evenly.)
12 years training (strength focus)

Bodyfat is highest its ever been owing to most of this year out with a back injury. Current training is 3x week full body focusing on put pounds back on the bar and building up work capacity.

My goal is to retain as much strength and muscle as possible while getting below 10% BF (and ideally about 8% which is uncharted territory for me).

Thanks for your input.