T Nation

Cutting with Low Muscle Mass

If an individual has gotten him/herself royally out of shape… dropped a tonne of muscle mass and gained a bunch of fat what would be the best course of action? Would he/she really want to be in a calorific defect when they are weak as a kitten? Would maintenance intake simply result in spinning of wheels?

Me for example:
22 years old
5’9
210lbs
22% bodyfat

My strength and muscular size has withered away - the only part of me that looks big now is my belly/ass!

Training would be 3 lifting sessions a week with metabolic finishers. Additional light steady state cardio on off days. The training cycle I will be using lasts for 12 weeks.

At least 2-4 weeks at maintenance are given as a chance to repair metabolism.

From there I have two options:

  1. Eat at maintenance throughout, recalculating every few weeks if weight changes.
  2. Progressively drop calories, recalculating every couple of weeks also.

Just start lifting and eating well again. Assuming you were muscular before you shouldn’t have too mcuh trouble getting back to your previous size, then cut.

[quote]toby_w wrote:
Just start lifting and eating well again. Assuming you were muscular before you shouldn’t have too mcuh trouble getting back to your previous size, then cut.[/quote]

I do have a LOT of fat to drop however.

Actually Ive had a think… I shall perhaps use a moderate deficit, nothing too extreme. This will allow me to focus on dropping fatty tissue whilst still performing some corrective work and also developing my work capacity.

Also if I were to focus on gaining at this body composition the ratio of fat to muscle gain would be horrific!

Lowest weight I am willing to drop to is 80kg. This gives me 15kg to play with.

[quote]benmoore wrote:

[quote]toby_w wrote:
Just start lifting and eating well again. Assuming you were muscular before you shouldn’t have too mcuh trouble getting back to your previous size, then cut.[/quote]

I do have a LOT of fat to drop however.[/quote]

Then it will take longer.

There’s no miracle if you want to lose fat. You can either go the long, steady approach or the drastic, shorter term approach such as the V-Diet. There are negatives and positives to each.

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

[quote]benmoore wrote:

[quote]toby_w wrote:
Just start lifting and eating well again. Assuming you were muscular before you shouldn’t have too mcuh trouble getting back to your previous size, then cut.[/quote]

I do have a LOT of fat to drop however.[/quote]

Then it will take longer.

There’s no miracle if you want to lose fat. You can either go the long, steady approach or the drastic, shorter term approach such as the V-Diet. There are negatives and positives to each.[/quote]

Would you care to elaborate on the pros and cons of each?

[quote]benmoore wrote:

[quote]HK24719 wrote:

[quote]benmoore wrote:

[quote]toby_w wrote:
Just start lifting and eating well again. Assuming you were muscular before you shouldn’t have too mcuh trouble getting back to your previous size, then cut.[/quote]

I do have a LOT of fat to drop however.[/quote]

Then it will take longer.

There’s no miracle if you want to lose fat. You can either go the long, steady approach or the drastic, shorter term approach such as the V-Diet. There are negatives and positives to each.[/quote]

Would you care to elaborate on the pros and cons of each?[/quote]

Seriously? This has already been discussed many, many times here.

It should be obvious that a super-strict caloric deficit takes far more discipline for most to follow, but the benefit is that it doesn’t need to be maintained very long in most cases.

The slow, but steady approach is easier to adhere to on a daily basis, but tends to test willpower due to the duration it must be maintained. Some people lose motivation/focus simply because of the time it takes to see significant changes.

I assume you have a weightlifting background.

http://levronereport.com/

Though its mostly just levrone showing off.

Ben, you’ve started a million self-deprecating topics over the last month about how unhappy you are with your physique. Coming on a forum and asking opinions and seeking sympathy isn’t going to change your appearance. It sounds like you really don’t know how to get started or the best way to get there isn’t what you want to do.

If you’re mostly concerned with your appearance, go into fat loss mode ONLY, forget the “oh shit I’m going to lose muscle” reaction (as it sounds like you don’t have much to lose now unfortunately)…restrict calories to 10-12 X’s bodyweight (lbs), low volume/heavy weight training, and intervals for cardio.

I guarantee it’ll get the ball rolling.

[quote]phatkins187 wrote:
Ben, you’ve started a million self-deprecating topics over the last month about how unhappy you are with your physique. Coming on a forum and asking opinions and seeking sympathy isn’t going to change your appearance. It sounds like you really don’t know how to get started or the best way to get there isn’t what you want to do.

If you’re mostly concerned with your appearance, go into fat loss mode ONLY, forget the “oh shit I’m going to lose muscle” reaction (as it sounds like you don’t have much to lose now unfortunately)…restrict calories to 10-12 X’s bodyweight (lbs), low volume/heavy weight training, and intervals for cardio.

I guarantee it’ll get the ball rolling.[/quote]

If it has come across as looking for sympathy - it hasn’t been intentional. Its certainly not what I am here for - I was literally trying to paint as detailed a picture as possible of my current situation so as to assess the best possible route forwards. If I took it too far or something I’m sorry.

Im going to run the program/nutrition plan as outlined before at the top of this thread. I need to pick something and just DO IT. If fat loss is too slow - I shall try an approach like you outlined.

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

Eat a low carb, high protein, moderate fat diet. Eat at weight maintenance or just below it. Do complexes, sprints and such for cardio 1-3 times a week, and lift 4-5 times per week. When you’re feeling damn exhausted and like total shit, take a day or two off to get back on track mentally, then continue.

Not that complicated really.