T Nation

Cutting Routine


#1

I just moved to a new city where I have no friends/responsibilities/distractions, so I decided to go on a hard cut (~1-2 lbs/week) until I at least find a job.. doing this because I need to lose the weight, am not going to have a better opportunity, want to see if I can, etc. etc...currently 6'2" 255.

Current Maxes:
Bench 215 x 1 x 4
OHP 170 x 1 x 5
DL 150 x 1 x 5
Squat 95 x 3 x 5
BB rows 150 x 5 x 5
I can also do a couple chins.

My squat/DL are so low because I am recovering from an injury. As my strength increases, I know I won't want to cut, but I think I can continue making nearly linear gains here, even on a cut.

Nutrition is another aspect, but I adjusted the cutting routine from Marzouk's threaD in Bigger, Leaner, Stronger because it was about the only routine I saw that was strictly for cutting.

I'm considering one of these two variations:

A)
Day 1: Push
Legs
Lunges, 2 x 10
-Backsquat : 3 x 10, 3 x 5
-Leg extensions : 2 x 15 with a 1second hold at the top
-Flat dumbell chest press : 4 x 10
-Inclined barbell press : 3 x 8
-Side lateral raises : 4 x 10
-Reverse pec deck (for rear delts) 3 x 10
-Rope pushdown : 3 x 15 flex 1sec at the bottom
supersetted with
-Assisted dips: 3 x 3 (~3 reps to start. Use a 3seconds negative

Day 2 : Pull
-Lying legcurls : 4 x 12
-Reverse Hyper: 3 x 10
Barbell Row: 5 x 5
Inverted Row: 2 x 10
-Lats pulldown 1sec squeeze and 1sec stretch : 3 x 12
-Chest supported rows : 3 x 10 KEEP YOUR ELBOWS UP AND DONT JERK THE WEIGHT BY MOVING YOUR
BODY AWAY FROM THE PAD. WE WANT TO HIT RHOMBOIDS THERE
-Barbell shrugs : 3 x 15
-Seated hammer curls : 4 x 10 - keep the biceps contracted, dont just go thru the motion

Day 1: Push
-Back squat: 3 x 5
-Leg Press: 4 x 20
-Inclined dumbell pres : 4 x 10. Dont go up all the way, only 3/4 to keep constant tension
-Decline barbell press (in smith if you can) : 3 x 12
-Pec deck : 3 x 15 - squeeze each rep 1 sec and KEEP YOUR BACK ON THE PAD
-Dumbell shoulder press : 2 x 10
-Bent over lateral raises : 4 x 15 - try to squeeze at the top
-Side lateral raise machine: 3 x 25
-V-grip pushdown : 4 x 12 - no need to squeeze but dont use your pecs/delts either..
-DB Supine roll: 3 x 12

Day 2 : Pull
- Seated legcurls : 4 x 12
- Dumbell stiff legged deadlift : 3 x 10 - dont come up all the way.. we use this to hit your HAMS
- Barbell row :5 x 5
-DB row: 2 x 10
- Reverse grip pulldown (if you got a HS machine use this) : 3 x 12 - squeeze at the bottom
- Dumbell shrugs : 3 x 10 - hold each rep 2seconds on top
- Dumbell curls (palm facing up) : 4 x 10
- Reverse EZ bar curl : 4 x 15

B)
LEGS Every workout, except maybe Pull 2
Lunges: 2 x 8-12
Back squat: 3 x 5
Knee ext: 3 x 5

Day 1: Push
"Push"
Reverse Hyper: 3 x 10
-Flat dumbell chest press : 4 x 10
-Inclined barbell press : 3 x 8
-Side lateral raises : 4 x 10
-Rope pushdown : 3 x 15 flex 1sec at the bottom supersetted with
-Assisted dips: 3 x 3 (~3 reps to start. Use a 3seconds negative
-DB Supine roll: 3 x 12

Day 2 : Pull
-Lying legcurls : 4 x 12
-DL: 1 x 5
-Dumbell rows (pull with ELBOW) : 4 X 10
-Lats pulldown 1sec squeeze and 1sec stretch : 3 x 12
-Chest supported rows : 3 x 10 KEEP YOUR ELBOWS UP AND DONT JERK THE WEIGHT BY MOVING YOUR
BODY AWAY FROM THE PAD. WE WANT TO HIT RHOMBOIDS THERE
-Barbell shrugs : 3 x 15
-Seated hammer curls : 4 x 10 - keep the biceps contracted, dont just go thru the motion

Day 1: Push
-Legpress : 3 x 20
-Inclined dumbell pres : 4 x 10. Dont go up all the way, only 3/4 to keep constant tension
-Decline barbell press (in smith if you can) : 3 x 12
-Pec deck : 3 x 15 - squeeze each rep 1 sec and KEEP YOUR BACK ON THE PAD
-Dumbell shoulder press : 2 x 10
-Bent over lateral raises : 4 x 15 - try to squeeze at the top
-Side lateral raise machine: 3 x 25
-V-grip pushdown : 4 x 12 - no need to squeeze but dont use your pecs/delts either..
- back hyper extension: 4 x 10

Day 2 : Pull
- Seated legcurls : 4 x 12
- Dumbell stiff legged deadlift : 3 x 10 - dont come up all the way.. we use this to hit your HAMS
- Barbell row : 5 x 5
-Inverted row: 2 x 10
- Reverse grip pulldown (if you got a HS machine use this) : 3 x 12 - squeeze at the bottom
- Dumbell shrugs : 3 x 10 - hold each rep 2seconds on top
- Dumbell curls (palm facing up) : 4 x 10
- Reverse EZ bar curl : 4 x 15

Workout A would prolly go push, pull,rest, push, pull, rest, rest
whereas B would be every other day.
The only differences are a little less biceps, and I threw in some DB supine rolls, and a heavier leg/row scheme.

My prescribed knee rehab from the PT is as follows every other day:
5-8 min. elliptical
squats, 3 x 5
lunges, 12 reps
single leg press 20 reps
wall squats 30 reps
curls 20 reps
single extensions 3 x 5
+ stretching

I can leave out one of the pushes, but extensions and hamstring work should stay. I can also manipulate as needed, but I need to ease into it, and have. Any feedback as to how this looks or which one is appreciated.


#2

Either this is too long for folks or silence is affirmation:

In any event, here’s what I had lined up nutrition wise:
Cals: 2250 Total
Carbs: 100 g
Protein: 225g

2 fruit a day + (post workout carb shake on workout days)
rest from veggies and healthy fats… mostly olive oil w/ a 15-20 almonds


#3

I’m assuming people are too busy banging their heads against the wall… This is WAY TOO MUCH volume to be sustainable in a caloric deficit, especially with low-ish carbs. At least in my book. You’re trying to maintain muscle, not build it; why this much volume?


#4

Try a basic 5/3/1 template with complexes for assistance/finishers


#5

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
Either this is too long for folks or silence is affirmation:
[/quote]

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
I’m assuming people are too busy banging their heads against the wall…[/quote]


#6

What type of injury allows you to barbell row as much as you can deadlift and much more than you can squat?


#7

I thought it seemed like a lot too, but it is basically Zraw’s template for hard cutting, and he seems pretty knowledgeable around here… Not to mention Marzouk’s success.

I couldn’t find any routine besides complexes and sprints for fat loss, except that one. I just know that what I was doing (texas method) is very clear about not working for a cut, so it didn’t make sense to just throw in some complexes.

On top of that, I was having trouble doing complexes and sprints because of the emphasis on effort and explosiveness, which my injury doesn’t play well with… I have to make the conscious effort not to go too hard because I can lift a lot more, but it will just reignite my injury.

It’s a knee injury (diagnosed and went through PT), so I can do all the upperbody work I want. I’ve also found hamstrings aren’t affected much.

At this point, I’ve done the first push and pull of the 2nd routine posted. I can’t say that recovery seemed to be much of an issue, but I’m ignorant if it’s not based on max strength.

Nutritionally, I decided 2250 is too much of a cut right now, and I’ll try 2700 calories for a week and see how that goes.

I appreciate the input thus far guys.


#8

We are aware that lifting weights for weight-loss is extremely inefficient, right?


#9

Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?


#10

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?[/quote]

Because out of all the tools you have for ‘weight-loss’, anaerobic exercises are not efficient in that regard.

I’m assuming you are familiar with why fat gets burned off the body in the first place.

Diet + cardio = weight loss tools
lifting weights (Whether its high rep or low rep doesnt matter) = building muscle

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use weight-lifting as a tool to lose weight. It makes NO sense.

If you want to lift weights, while trying to lose body-fat, that’s fine, but it would be an extreme waste of time trying to lose body-fat through lifting weights.

Does that make sense?


#11

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?[/quote]

Because out of all the tools you have for ‘weight-loss’, anaerobic exercises are not efficient in that regard.

I’m assuming you are familiar with why fat gets burned off the body in the first place.

Diet + cardio = weight loss tools
lifting weights (Whether its high rep or low rep doesnt matter) = building muscle

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use weight-lifting as a tool to lose weight. It makes NO sense.

If you want to lift weights, while trying to lose body-fat, that’s fine, but it would be an extreme waste of time trying to lose body-fat through lifting weights.

Does that make sense?[/quote]

That’s interesting you say that, because the general consensus around here has actually been the opposite.

To summarize, the view I’m used to seeing:

Lifting weights + diet = weight loss.
Cardio can be useful, but isn’t necessary. In periods of long-term planned weight loss (e.g., contest prep), cardio is often added in, but not until late in the game. A number of people have said that adding cardio too early is actually a problem (as is, cutting carbs too much too early).


#12

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?[/quote]

Because out of all the tools you have for ‘weight-loss’, anaerobic exercises are not efficient in that regard.

I’m assuming you are familiar with why fat gets burned off the body in the first place.

Diet + cardio = weight loss tools
lifting weights (Whether its high rep or low rep doesnt matter) = building muscle

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use weight-lifting as a tool to lose weight. It makes NO sense.

If you want to lift weights, while trying to lose body-fat, that’s fine, but it would be an extreme waste of time trying to lose body-fat through lifting weights.

Does that make sense?[/quote]

Lifting weights + diet = weight loss.
[/quote]

So you’re actually not disagreeing with me because the ‘diet’ there would stand for the weight-loss tool, and the ‘lifting weights’ would obviously help you build muscle and not necessarily focus on weight-loss as well.

Obviously there are 1000 ways to do something, but my original point was:

If you are trying to lose weight, perhaps over a period of 2 or 3 months, it would be more efficient to combine diet+cardio instead of diet+weight-lifting.

If you wanted to change your body-composition, and time is absolutely not a concern, then you could lift weights(do no cardio), and eat healthy, and over a period of 2 or 3 years, you would eventually “have dropped the fat”, yes.

It would just be a shame for someone to actually think high-rep or fast-tempo-lifting is specifically targeted to ‘cutting’ or ‘weight-loss(fat loss)’. That, in my opinion, is incorrect. However, You can obviously run a ‘high rep routine’ and still lose weight,but that’s despite the ‘high-rep routine’ and not because of it…


#13

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?[/quote]

Because out of all the tools you have for ‘weight-loss’, anaerobic exercises are not efficient in that regard.

I’m assuming you are familiar with why fat gets burned off the body in the first place.

Diet + cardio = weight loss tools
lifting weights (Whether its high rep or low rep doesnt matter) = building muscle

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use weight-lifting as a tool to lose weight. It makes NO sense.

If you want to lift weights, while trying to lose body-fat, that’s fine, but it would be an extreme waste of time trying to lose body-fat through lifting weights.

Does that make sense?[/quote]

Lifting weights + diet = weight loss.
[/quote]

So you’re actually not disagreeing with me because the ‘diet’ there would stand for the weight-loss tool, and the ‘lifting weights’ would obviously help you build muscle and not necessarily focus on weight-loss as well.

Obviously there are 1000 ways to do something, but my original point was:

If you are trying to lose weight, perhaps over a period of 2 or 3 months, it would be more efficient to combine diet+cardio instead of diet+weight-lifting.
[/quote]

I’m pretty sure most of the physique and BB competitors on this site would disagree with that statement.

That’s what I was saying.


#14

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]jtownlax wrote:
Claudan- How did you come to that conclusion?[/quote]

Because out of all the tools you have for ‘weight-loss’, anaerobic exercises are not efficient in that regard.

I’m assuming you are familiar with why fat gets burned off the body in the first place.

Diet + cardio = weight loss tools
lifting weights (Whether its high rep or low rep doesnt matter) = building muscle

I’m not sure why anyone would want to use weight-lifting as a tool to lose weight. It makes NO sense.

If you want to lift weights, while trying to lose body-fat, that’s fine, but it would be an extreme waste of time trying to lose body-fat through lifting weights.

Does that make sense?[/quote]

Lifting weights + diet = weight loss.
[/quote]

So you’re actually not disagreeing with me because the ‘diet’ there would stand for the weight-loss tool, and the ‘lifting weights’ would obviously help you build muscle and not necessarily focus on weight-loss as well.

Obviously there are 1000 ways to do something, but my original point was:

If you are trying to lose weight, perhaps over a period of 2 or 3 months, it would be more efficient to combine diet+cardio instead of diet+weight-lifting.
[/quote]

I’m pretty sure most of the physique and BB competitors on this site would disagree with that statement.

That’s what I was saying.[/quote]

What am I missing? I’m here to learn.

My advice is more oriented towards beginners/actual-over-weight-obese-mofos rather than you know 7%bf BB who wants to drop down to 5%


#15

While I understand and appreciate a healthy debate… I wasn’t asking for a primer on fat loss.

The texas method says to not even think about attempting it on a caloric deficit and a similar version of the above routines were posted with a caloric deficit in mind.

I’m still doing daily walks, cracking down on diet, etc. and will adjust activity and diet as needed to overcome plateaus… I’m just trying to get a standard routine down, as strength routines are not made to be done on deficits and I’m working around an injury.


#16

[quote]Claudan wrote:
What am I missing? I’m here to learn.

My advice is more oriented towards beginners/actual-over-weight-obese-mofos rather than you know 7%bf BB who wants to drop down to 5%[/quote]

Let me see what I can dig up. I was following zraw’s bb contest prep log [the one before the current one], jskrabac’s physique contest prep log, spidey’s prep log, and a few others. There were also comments here and there in a number of other threads.

The “common sense” view is for weight loss, you cut calories and do cardio. But after reading all of these varying opinions, I’m starting to think otherwise.

Personally, I’m on the fence, but weight loss has never been an issue for me… so I’ve never really needed to make my mind up one way or another.

But yeah, I’ll see if I can point you to some posts in specific.


#17

[quote]1 Man Island wrote:
While I understand and appreciate a healthy debate… I wasn’t asking for a primer on fat loss.

The texas method says to not even think about attempting it on a caloric deficit and a similar version of the above routines were posted with a caloric deficit in mind.

I’m still doing daily walks, cracking down on diet, etc. and will adjust activity and diet as needed to overcome plateaus… I’m just trying to get a standard routine down, as strength routines are not made to be done on deficits and I’m working around an injury.[/quote]

So I’m confused, originally you said that you had x amount of weeks before you find a job, and during those weeks, you want to focus on losing weight.

Losing weight, in a short period of time, is done efficiently with a caloric deficit and cardio(HIIT for example).

Lifting weight in a caloric deficit, AT BEST, would allow you to maintain your current progress(strength/muscle-size). So, to me it doesn’t make sense.

Why not, focus 3 weeks on losing weight(deficit+HIIT cardio) with no weight lifting,

then once the flab or whatever, is off your body

go back to eating in a surplus and implement any type of strength/size program?


#18

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:
What am I missing? I’m here to learn.

My advice is more oriented towards beginners/actual-over-weight-obese-mofos rather than you know 7%bf BB who wants to drop down to 5%[/quote]

Let me see what I can dig up. I was following zraw’s bb contest prep log [the one before the current one], jskrabac’s physique contest prep log, spidey’s prep log, and a few others. There were also comments here and there in a number of other threads.

The “common sense” view is for weight loss, you cut calories and do cardio. But after reading all of these varying opinions, I’m starting to think otherwise.

Personally, I’m on the fence, but weight loss has never been an issue for me… so I’ve never really needed to make my mind up one way or another.

But yeah, I’ll see if I can point you to some posts in specific.[/quote]

So, I mean weight-loss solutions for a BB is going to be completely different than a noob. There is an epidemic of ‘metabolic damage’ going on in the BB community(Layne Norton’s words obviously), and I’m aware of the whole 2-hours-of-cardio-plus-1700-calories-deficit-situation.

Am I officially wrong in thinking that a NOOB would benefit(or it being unhealthy for him) to do HIIT in a deficit for 2 months in order to maximize/speed-up weight-loss as it specifically pertains to body-fat-loss?


#19

my plan is hard cut until I find a job or lose 20-25 lbs, whichever comes first. If I find a job prior to the goal weight, I will go into a softer cut… I’d rather get a job (career type, not just any old) sooner and move into a more sensible lifestyle while I cope w/ the stresses of a new job, but until then, I want to go hard.

I have no set time I need to lose the weight by, I just want to take advantage of the time I have knowing that as my knee improves, I won’t want to cut. Once I achieve the goal weight, I intend to maintain that weight for a couple months to adjust to it while recomping… this will happen sooner if I don’t find work or later if I find it quickly. My goal weight is not shredded or even ripped, it’s healthy.

I am prepared not to gain strength or muscle… though I expect to gain strength in the rehabbed knee and rows (something I haven’t done much of in the past), but I would like to preserve what I have.

EDIT: I also plan on incorporating HIIT, but don’t think it’s necessary for a couple weeks… just need a standard routine.


#20

[quote]Claudan wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Claudan wrote:
What am I missing? I’m here to learn.

My advice is more oriented towards beginners/actual-over-weight-obese-mofos rather than you know 7%bf BB who wants to drop down to 5%[/quote]

Let me see what I can dig up. I was following zraw’s bb contest prep log [the one before the current one], jskrabac’s physique contest prep log, spidey’s prep log, and a few others. There were also comments here and there in a number of other threads.

The “common sense” view is for weight loss, you cut calories and do cardio. But after reading all of these varying opinions, I’m starting to think otherwise.

Personally, I’m on the fence, but weight loss has never been an issue for me… so I’ve never really needed to make my mind up one way or another.

But yeah, I’ll see if I can point you to some posts in specific.[/quote]

So, I mean weight-loss solutions for a BB is going to be completely different than a noob. There is an epidemic of ‘metabolic damage’ going on in the BB community(Layne Norton’s words obviously), and I’m aware of the whole 2-hours-of-cardio-plus-1700-calories-deficit-situation.

Am I officially wrong in thinking that a NOOB would benefit(or it being unhealthy for him) to do HIIT in a deficit for 2 months in order to maximize/speed-up weight-loss as it specifically pertains to body-fat-loss?[/quote]

Without being able to back this up… based on what I’ve gathered… for a noob with no prior training experience, the best course of action will be to:

  1. clean up your diet
  • get rid of the majority/all processed foods
  • ensure you’re getting enough protein, anywhere from .8g to 1.5g/lb of bodyweight is good
  • increase the quantity of good fats in your diet; olive oil and coconut oil are excellent choices, butter isn’t a particularly bad choice either
  1. figure out what your current daily calorie intake is, and reduce it by ~200-500 calories
  • this should probably be done by reducing carb intake, but don’t cut carbs out completely… you still need a fair amount of carbs, especially for optimal brain function
  1. begin weight training with a program involving heavy compound movements; the idea is that muscle increases your resting metabolic rate. You want to involve as many muscles as possible, and you want to focus intensely on progression.
    – if you’re currently training, just keep doing what you’re doing, and keep pushing

Additional guidelines:

  • When you hit a stall in weight loss and haven’t lost anything for 1.5 to 2 weeks, then lower your carb intake a bit more

  • Every 7-10 days, use a “carb up”, where for 4 hours anything goes carb-wise. Use this to replenish glycogen stores and generally recover from the brain fog and irritability that can come from a lower carb diet.

  • If your general GPP sucks, cardio can be added. Prowler and sled work is ideal; complexes are pretty good; hill sprints are pretty good; steady-state stair climbing is not quite as good; running and elliptical is pretty low on the list. Treadmill work should ideally be at an incline. In this case, cardio is really only being used for increasing GPP… not for the purposes of increased caloric expenditure.

  • Drink lots of water. 1-2 gallons a day.

That’s sort of a piecemeal approximation of what I’ve gathered from this site. None of those points are things I can back up with personal experience or anything like that.

Personally, as a former distance runner… adding in some walking/running/elliptical would have normally been my first move.