T Nation

Cutting Program for a Muscular Guy

I know that around here, carbs are out of favor and fat is good.

However, back in the 80’s and 90’s, there were big, ripped bodybuilders whose cutting diets consisted of egg whites, canned tuna, chicken breasts, and white rice. Fat was shunned like the plague.

They would also do tons of cardio while cutting.

(I’m not claiming to know what the elite competitors were doing. These were my perceptions and what some of the relatively big and lean guys I knew were doing when I was getting started.)

So, does ANYONE do the high-carb, low-fat cutting diet any more? If not, why not?

The reason I’m asking is on behalf of a friend. “Bob” is a big muscular guy, 6’2", 320 pounds. Former football player, mid 40’s, powerlifted “all his life” (probably 30 years). Wants to lose weight. Doesn’t look that fat to me. Hired a fitness professional to write him a program. Fitness guy wants him to drop to 260, losing 60 pounds on the following plan:

Diet:
~1900 cals/day in 5 meals and 1 PW drink
160 g protein, 10 g fat, 145 g carbs
all fat = MCT oil
carbs = potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal
protein = chicken breast, white fish, egg whites
PW drink = maltodextrin

Cardio: 60 minutes of cardio 4X per week in fat burning zone of 60% max heart rate (106-124 bpm)

Lifting: MWF, all with “light weight” for 18-20 reps

Bench press
Smith incline bench press
kickbacks
triceps pressdown

seated rows
lat pulldown
barbell curl
preacher curl

front raises
lateral raises
rear laterals
leg extensions
hack squat
leg press

Now I know that the whole program is far from the party line here. So I DON’T need to hear

  • carbs are bad
  • needs healthy fats
  • there are better PW drinks
  • etc.

But as stuck in the 80’s as this plan is, if Bob does it he will certainly lose weight, which is what he wants.

What changes would you make, and more importantly, how would you convince him to make them?

i think that the diet may be alright to start off with, but will inevitably need a lot of tweaking to get optimal results. that said, eating lots of fibrous vegetables, the carbohydrates listed above, and lean protein is never a bad idea. cutting out refined carbs and all of that crap should work wonders for this guy.

as for the lifting regimen however, wouldn’t it be better to be using complexes or a circuit using large compound movements?
where are the back squats and why is the freakin’ Smith machine in there?

[quote]andersons wrote:
I know that around here, carbs are out of favor and fat is good.

However, back in the 80’s and 90’s, there were big, ripped bodybuilders whose cutting diets consisted of egg whites, canned tuna, chicken breasts, and white rice. Fat was shunned like the plague.

They would also do tons of cardio while cutting.

(I’m not claiming to know what the elite competitors were doing. These were my perceptions and what some of the relatively big and lean guys I knew were doing when I was getting started.)

So, does ANYONE do the high-carb, low-fat cutting diet any more? If not, why not?

The reason I’m asking is on behalf of a friend. “Bob” is a big muscular guy, 6’2", 320 pounds. Former football player, mid 40’s, powerlifted “all his life” (probably 30 years). Wants to lose weight. Doesn’t look that fat to me. Hired a fitness professional to write him a program. Fitness guy wants him to drop to 260, losing 60 pounds on the following plan:

Diet:
~1900 cals/day in 5 meals and 1 PW drink
160 g protein, 10 g fat, 145 g carbs
all fat = MCT oil
carbs = potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal
protein = chicken breast, white fish, egg whites
PW drink = maltodextrin

Cardio: 60 minutes of cardio 4X per week in fat burning zone of 60% max heart rate (106-124 bpm)

Lifting: MWF, all with “light weight” for 18-20 reps

Bench press
Smith incline bench press
kickbacks
triceps pressdown

seated rows
lat pulldown
barbell curl
preacher curl

front raises
lateral raises
rear laterals
leg extensions
hack squat
leg press

Now I know that the whole program is far from the party line here. So I DON’T need to hear

  • carbs are bad
  • needs healthy fats
  • there are better PW drinks
  • etc.

But as stuck in the 80’s as this plan is, if Bob does it he will certainly lose weight, which is what he wants.

What changes would you make, and more importantly, how would you convince him to make them?[/quote]

Carbs are not negative for losing (or gaining) weight. But, you have to know how carbs affect weight loss/gain and how to manipulate that to your advantage. I’d suggest checking out Justin Harris’s stuff. He has some fantastic info on carb cycling and how to use it to both lose bf and gain muscle mass. Check out the previews of his seminar DVD (which I highly recommend, along with his book) on youtube.

Also, 160 grams of protein is NOT enough for a 320 lb individual (unless only 160 lbs of his weight is muscle) and 1900 kcals is most likely way too little as well.

I can’t say that I disagree too much with his food choices (though I think he’d be better off with fish oil rather than MCT oil and adding some protein to his PWO nutrition). Nor do I disagree with his suggestion for lots of cardio.

The workout on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired.

It makes me laugh to picture a massive 320-lb guy doing kickbacks with “light weight.”

I absolutely agree that 160g protein and 1900 cals is way too little, but convincing him of that, I don’t know.

I’m now at 175, on a cut and consuming 1900cal/day!!

He needs to up those cals to at least 3000cal/day and start from there…lower it progressively by 100-200cals every couple weeks!

And Yes more protein (I take in about 180g).

cutting myself (currently 170) my calories are just under 1900, protein is between 250-300 aday. Been able to keep size and strength levels high. I agree, diet seems a little harsh for a guy his size.

Thanks to responders so far.

Please keep the opinions coming.

One of my challenges is that he said he wants to lose fat AND muscle. Shocked, I said, Why would you ever WANT to lose any muscle? That’s crazy. That’s like wanting to lose money. (He’s rich as well.) He reconsidered and said he doesn’t want to gain any muscle.

So maybe a primary difference in your cutting approaches vs this one comes from wanting to retain muscle vs his not caring.