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Cutting Weight & Maintaining Muscle?


I'm trying to cut weight and get down to about 150 lbs, without losing muscle. I was 175 and I'm currently at 160. I lost the weight through running and biking and I have not cut calories yet. What would be the minimum calorie intake or amount of protein I would need to maintain muscle? I think I'm going to have to cut calories to burn any more fat. I don't want to cut too many because I won't have enough energy to exercise and do daily activities.

Any suggestions?


ruh roh...


Well you probably wont listed, but first off you shouldn't be cutting weight at all. (Not at 160)

Also, if YOU are going to cut, you should be cutting back on the volume but increasing your intensity.

-Running is OUT
-Biking is OUT
-Cardio all together is OUT

You should be lifting 3-4 times per week, going heavy with lower volume, and lose the weight VERY GRADUALLY or even MAINTAIN WEIGHT as you get stronger.

This will be a FAR LESS THAN OPTIMAL ROUTE but if you are dead set on "cutting" this is how you SHOULD do it.

If you take your route, by doing more cardio, and cutting calories, and try to get "cut" you are going to lose weight AND strength, and muscle, and are going to look like crap.



Thanks for the advice, but... yes I need to be cutting weight at 160. 150 would be ideal for me. Its not at all an optimal weight for what I do. I'm a Ranger and we hike up to 30 miles with 80 to 100 lbs on our backs. Any extra weight we carry is just dead weight we have to hall around. In the military the best weight is to be very light. The more mass you have, just means the more you have to lug around.

So you're saying I should not do any more cardio to lose weight? I should lift weights? I do bodyweight exercises for calisthenics but, I'm not trying to gain weight... I'm trying to lose!


dude dont worry about losing muscle, this is a myth that when you do cardio + weight lifting you lose your muscle mass..

its not true unless you are an ultra runner or a triathlete.

now.. here the thing, no matter how you do it, the best cardio for weight loss while weight lifting is HIIT(high. intensity. interval. training) no matter if its with weights, on the bike, walking/running, etc..

there is a few articles on this site about HIIT, but basically you do a light jog/walk for 1 minute, and then you amp it up to a actual heavy run for 2 minutes.. and this goes on for 5 more times, equaling about 10-15 minutes depending on how long you want to do it with.

conclusion: dont listen to these guys saying you will lose all your muscle if you actualy do your cardio, these people who say " you will lose all your muscle dont do cardio!!!" , these people are fat(not literally obese, but.. yuh know), and bulky idiots who know nothing..

they may be big, but they are not cut.

hope this helps man!


Cutting down to 150? How tall are you?


If youre going to ask about cutting weight, you need to give us your height and how many time s you work out per week.


You DO lose muscle mass with cardio.

Just like you gain fat while you gain muscle... Every pro has its cons.


That is the problem with the military's ancient PT protocols. They think being skinny is ideal.

You can be strong and lean without being skinny. At 5'6', 160lbs I would barely make the weight requirement for enlistment, but I jog around at 7:00 pace. I'm not even that strong but I bet I can outrun and outlift most of those in basic.

If you want to be in the best athletic shape possible for the military: lift weights 4-5 days a weke, run sprints twice a week. None of this humping around crap. Cardiovascular conditioning is cardiovascular conditioning whether it's with long slow humps or weight training.



Telling someone to not worry about losing muscle when dieting is retarded. Our entire eating protocol and lifting regimen is geared towards trying to prevent muscle loss when dieting because losing muscle is the greatest threat when dieting down. If you don't increase protein or gear your training to holding onto the muscle you have, it will EASILY be lost if you drop calories while adding in a ton of cardio.

When the hell did this become a "myth"?

Wait...so the hundreds, if not thousands, of bodybuilders who use steady state cardio to lose fat while holding onto muscle have it all wrong?

Do you really think Ronnie Coleman should have ditched the 60min incline walking sessions on the treadmill for HIIT? He just wasn't ripped enough, huh?

LOL. I'm dieting now. I am not using HIIT....because my goal is to hold onto as much muscle as possible if not try to build some.

There is no one way perfect for all people.


If he's a Ranger, dropping the weight may be best. If he just wants to know how much protein to take in, he should be getting in at least 1-2gr per pound of body weight depending on how many cals he is eating.

As far as how many cals is too little, that depends on way too many factors than just body weight.


Well OP, I disagree with you that carrying "extra mass" around is going to hurt you. Carrying 80-100 lbs on your back is going to be much harder at 150lbs as compared to someone that is bigger and stronger at 170lbs.

But you are the Ranger, so you probably know what is best for you. If this is the case, and 150lbs is an ideal weight, then you'll want to maximize your strength AND performance at that weight.

This really doesn't mean anything that different, but:

Lift to get stronger

Limit the cardio (and in your case, if you do use cardio, take a peformance based approach) Dont look at cardio as a way to lose fat or weight, look at cardio as a way to improve your conditioning/endurance.

In your case, you'll probably need a mixture of HIIT and longer steady state type stuff (Im not saying HIIT is better, but may be specific to some of your requirements)


The key point I would stress is that STRENGTH is going to be top priority for you, and cardio/conditioning will come second.

And a lot of this will depend on whether you are a ranger now, or training to be one, and how long you have to prepare, etc.

Your best bet, is to contact someone that is experienced with training for the military and special forces and see what they suggest (lets just hope they know what they are talking about).

Otherwise, you could train similar to an MMA fighter or a Strongman competitor.......

***And make sure to focus on performance, not having HOT ABZ!


Oh man - that's fucking awesome!

Priceless - dude, please post some pics of your HUGE and CUT physique. You know, obviously you must have the perfect combination of massive size with sub 5% bodyfat. I looked in your profile, and was flabbergasted to see that you have no stats and no pictures.

Bummer, because I was really hoping to learn something from you, being that I'm a "bulky idiot who knows nothing"....


Assuming this isn't a troll, you don't specify your height. Even if you're short, 150 pounds is probably far too small.

It's not true that "any extra weight we carry is just dead weight". Change that to "Any extra fat we carry is just dead weight". Extra weight due to muscle is a good thing.


Thanks for the responses guys.

I'm a little over 5' 10"

I'm naturally skinny and weighed about 125 at 5' 10", before I put on some muscle weight. I look a little bigger then I weigh. I had 16 inch arms and calves at 150 lbs with a 28" waist. I have a light frame and a weird body I guess. My younger brother is an inch shorter and also weighs 150, but he has a 32" waist and no muscle at all; probably 13" or 14" arms and calves. 175 was actually pretty fat for me. I just want to lose the dead weight in fat not muscle. Losing muscle would do me no good. Its easier to run, hike, do pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups at a lighter weight like 150. I dropped 15 lbs of mostly fat already, probably some muscle by just doing cardio. I didn't want to cut calories; in fact I was going to increase them so I had more energy to do cardio and boost the metabolism. I really don't want to add any more muscle although that would help boost the metabolism. I'm just trying to figure out how many calories I should be eating in order to not slow the metabolism, burn fat, and maintain the muscle I already have.

I figure I will just have to sacrifice a little muscle in order to burn 25 lbs. I was hoping I could maintain the muscle, drop 25 lbs of fat, and keep the metabolism where its at or increase it. I wasn't sure of the exact way to go about it. I may drop down to 145 then build back 5 to 10 lbs of muscle. I may not be able to get to a lean 150 anymore without losing some muscle on the way down. Seems like I'm leaned out at maybe 155 now. Used to be 150. All I know is I'm stalled out at 160 and not really budging, I was thinking maybe my calories are too high. I'm still eating what I was eating at 175. Anyways... thanks for the responses.


Well you are either a troll, or or country is screwed. If this is the mentality of our special forces, we are fucked.

No offense, as your goals are your own, but I dont believe you are 5'10 at 150 with 16" arms, and if you are, you dont have anything to lose. You could easily add strength and performance by eating, lifting and building muscle. But if it is more important for our troops to look good and be able to do pullups, then be manly and be able to drop fools, then we truly are screwed.

***NOTE: the sentance where you lost me was "I really dont want to add any more muscle although that would help boos my metabolism." This is the language of trolls


This probably would have been better in the Beginner forum. Maybe the War Room forum.

Basically, you need to train like a girl who's afraid to get "too bulky". (don't worry, you won't).

Lift heavy weights
Eat a lot of protein
If you're fat, cut calories


If you added 25 pounds of muscle, do you still think it would be easier to run, hike, do pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups at 150 than at 175?

Sorry dude, but 150 at 5'10" is not going to give you muscle of any significance. Eat more and hit the weights hard, and I guarantee you will feel better at 175 than you do at 150.


Gen Fit Forum


I treated quite a few Rangers in the military. I don't remember any of them being that damn small.