T Nation

Cutting Phase Advice


I'm starting a cutting phase and I was wondering if anyone could offer up a good maintenance program. I know I will lose some strength, but I would like to preserve as much as possible.

I'm 230 pounds at around 22-30%bf.

My Diet will be 2500-3000 kcals a day. It will consist mostly of yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, turkey, protein shakes, salads, and fruit.

My Cardio will be 250 jumping jacks, 3 400s, and 5-10 minutes of skipping rope. This will be done everyday except Sunday.

My goal is to go down to about 15%bf and lose as little strength as possible.


Ok...first of all, I really recommend you substitute 'vegetables' for fruit. You only need 50-100g of carbs a day for normal brain function (this is just what I've read, someone please correct me if I'm wrong)and if you're eating say, 250g of yoghurt twice a day, that should be about 40g right there.

As to maintaining strength, take whatever your total maximum is for a given set and rep range, and perform as many extra sets as necessary to reach that maximum. For example, 5x5 might become 6x4 or 2 of 5, 3 of 4 and 1 of 1. Whatever it takes to perform the same amount of work. I place even less emphasis on the negative when training like this, and split my workouts up more so that I'm spending the same amount of time in the gym as normal. I don't know if that's strictly necessary, I just kind afford the time.
Hope this helps.


Oh, and one more thing...what do you mean by 3 400's? Is a 400 some kind of callisthenic drill like a jumping jack?


400m sprints maybe?


Look at what Thibs did in his 'Beast Evolves' series.

Heavy weight and low reps will preserve strength and muscle much better than moderate weight and higher reps.


a 400 is basically a lap around a track. also i dont think you have to lose strength. i did a cutting phase and lost 28lbs. and im in about the same shape as you are weight and body fat wise. i was lifting heavy weights at a high intensity and was still able to lose 28lbs. and actually got stronger. and after that i had gained 8lbs. in lean muscle in about a months time. i was also on a shitter diet than you were. i ate nothing but tuna. i guarantee my body was dying for some nutrition but i definetly think you will have more success than me if thats your diet.


I don't personally believe you have to go no carbs or low carbs to lose weight. I personally don't respond well to those diets. I just increase my fat intake, and protein intake and cut out some carbs (ie: bread / grains) and rely more on vegetables and fruit (at breakfast).

I would say follow it for 2 weeks and see where your weight goes. Take measurements, tape measurements, of your waist, chest, arms, forearms, whatever you want to measure with and compare those week to week or every 2 weeks. That way you can say if you are gaining / losing.

That's the best way to try it. Just watch what happens, keep your intensity up with your running / jumping rope and report back in 2 weeks and tell us how you've done.


Ok thanks for the advice. I'm not planning on doing a no carb thing, just eating only healthy sources of carbs. As far as the fruit and vegetables thing, I hate most vegetables so i sustitute with as much fruit as possible. I only eat salad vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and the like; but I can eat carrots ,cabbage, corn, and some others if I have to. I'm starting this tomorrow on the 16th. I'll give everyone an update February 1st, February 15th, and March 1st. If all goes well I will cut about 10 pounds of fat or more.




Okay I know I'm 4 days late on the report. Its been ~2 weeks and I've only lost 3.5 pounds. I'm having alot of problems right now and managing my time means doing everything and cutting the extra time out of my sleep. I think I'll do better if I try to get at least 6 hours a night.

Once I added natural peanutbuter to my diet I definately felt a difference in energy levels and I was less hungry. I also didn't get to work out as much as I planned, I had to cut out Monday and Wednesday cardio. As it stands right now my academic schedule will relax a bit, but a legal problem may hurt me worse than my previous course load.

My main goal as of now is to add some sleep to my schedule so that I can workout more intensely. After that it's to add Mondays onto my schedule again.

3.5 pounds isn't horrible, but I feel it's unacceptable because I would have lost more had I stuck to my original cardio plan. Basically I failed because I didn't manage to adhere to my schedule. I also ate too many carbs.

I will report back again on the 15th as planned.


I agree with this 100%. The main thing is to make sure your in a caloric deficit and your getting enough protein and fats. With that being said I believe the higher quality the food the better your results are gonna be. Make sure your diet is clean and go from there.

Weigh yourself every two weeks and use the mirror as the final judge.