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Deload/ Refeed During a Cut

Hello all,

At the moment I am cutting for 3.5 months. I use my 5/3/1 BBB training schedule + 20 min cardio at the end of the training. K have made good progession and lost 6 kilos and my fat percentage is now 11% myy goal is 8%.
Strength has remained almost the same, only with bench presses I lost 5 kilos. The rest of the exercises about 2.5 kilo.

My body has now reached the point that it needs rest. My joints hurt and feel weak and tired.

Is it an idea to have a deload and refeed for 2 weeks? In the 2 weeks I will eat 100 kcal above maintenance and reduce the weight of the compound exercises by 10% and the assistance exercises from 5 sets to 3 sets. The assistance exercises will be at full weight.

What are your thought on this? And will I lose weight/power or regain what I lost?

Thanks a lot!

What sort of caloric deficit have you been running?

Also, what is the goal of this cut? Are you trying to look better? Make weight for an athletic event?

That’s called ‘being on a cut.’ If you ‘deload and refeed’ every time you feel weak and tired, you will never reach your goal.

I’ve never run 5/3/1, but…aren’t deloads built into it?

Thank you for your reply!

I am in a 300kcal deficit. I have heavy work, so 300 is more then enough for me.

The goal of the cut is to look better and preparing for my next bulk. I was 16-17% and that is too much for me to feel good. Eventually I want to end at 8% then bulk to 12-13 and then back to 8.

I understand. I also think that there is a diffrence between week and tired and sometimes broken. I’ve been cutting for 8 weeks in a row now and it is getting pretty hard and i am losing strenght.

Yes there are. But i am afraid to implement a deload in a cut. Afraid to lose mass and strenght. That is why i started this topic. To hear what you guys think of a cut/deload week(s)

If you’re losing strength and not even sub 10% yet, you’re doing something wrong.

I am 10.7 now

This is my feeding Schedule:

To borrow a question, slightly paraphrased perhaps, from @T3hPwnisher, if whatever you use to track your fat percentage told you tomorrow you were at 8% would you be done?

This is so true

But this implies there isn’t really much of a rush either. So, if your joints are feeling shoddy, take two weeks off from your deficit and eat at maintenance. Or however many weeks it takes for your body to feel up to snuff. Don’t refeed though. Just, eat at maintenance for your new weight.

That way you won’t risk injury and can resume your deficit later.

If you run a program with deloads built-in to the program you should do the deloads as the success of the rest of the programming is partly predicated on getting that deload.

5/3/1 BBB was never designed to be used in a calorie deficit.


If you lose mass and strength over the course of 1 week, seek immediate medical attention as you may have some sort of muscle wasting disease.

Yes, then i am done. 8% is lean enough for me.

That is a good idea. 2 weeks on maintenance. The only risk is that i dont know exactly how much calories i burn at work. So the risk is always that i burn more and still in a bigger deficit. Maybe eat 100kcal more then maintenance.

Yes i know, but i thought i lose my strenght and mass in a deload, because i dont lift heavy then. Maybe i should eat at maintenance and then deload. And then after deload back to deficit.

I am aware. The problem was that i followed the 531 program for almost 9 months. I gained good muscle, but also fat. I’ve read that you should use the same program for cutting as you used with bulking. That is why i use the 531 for cutting too.

Probably not. But I thought if I keep the deload week and then eat in a deficit. That it would then be much more likely that it would happen.

Also, I’ve never done a cut up to 8%. So I don’t know what to expect when it comes to keeping mass etc…

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If that is the case, again, seek immediate medical attention. I cannot express this enough. This happened to a buddy of mine and it turned out he had leukemia.

Ok. Got it. It will not be the case. What i am gonna do is eating 100kcal surplus. Cut back 531 sets to 40/50/60 and assistance to 3x10. This for 2 weeks and then go back to deficit.

If you can judge 100 kcal surplus you live the most homogenous life I’ve ever encountered and is ironic given that you wrote

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Then I suggest checking under different states of hydration (eventually, an ‘8’ will appear). Or get a careless/slacker trainer to caliper you. Or post a pic of yourself holding a shoe, and we’ll all unanimously agree you’re at 8%, at which time you can stop cutting. Because if all you need for validation is an 8, there are easier and faster ways to get it.

I kid, I kid. But what I am saying is, you have missed the point of @Voxel’s question, which is that when it comes to determining how you look (and how you feel about how you look), a number on a machine is a poor stand-in for a mirror and a moment of self-reflection.

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I meant that when I go for maintenance and have had to carry a lot at work, I still burn too much kcal and then I don’t fully recover.

But I am probably overthinking it.

I did missed the point. And i understand what you mean. I am very focused on the 8% but maybe I am satisfied at 9% who knows.

You should know. You need to have a goal to know if you are achieving it.

What makes 8% better than 10? Ab veins? Quad veins? Strats in the shoulders? What is the end game of your cut?

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Indeed, perhaps what you should do is cut until you are happy with your appearance, and only then check your Magic Meter to see what it says. In other words, let your appearance determine the BF% you attain, rather than your BF% determine the appearance you attain. (The same holds true for body weight, BTW.)

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Speaking of validation…@T3hPwnisher , in your capacity as current occupant of the ee cummings Chair in Wordplay here at TNU, I’m anxiously awaiting your acknowledgement of my twee cleverness several posts back.

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I think it looks overall better. Veins and the strings for sure. That looks amazing.a big reason too is that in can bulk up to 12% and then cut back again to 8. Then i stay pretty lean all the time.

I do not feel you are understanding me.

On YOU, personally, what does 8% look like that 10% does not? Why are you aiming for a particular number vs a particular look? If your goal is “cut until I see ab veins”, then the bodyfat% is entirely inconsequential. In proof of concept, I have recently lost bodyfat until I could see quad veins, ab veins, lines in my shoulders, etc etc. I have NO idea what my bodyfat percentage is. I didn’t need to know it. Hell, I didn’t even know what my bodyWEIGHT was until I was done.

@Eyedentist You have such a strong signal to noise ratio as it is that I would end up polluting it if I acknowledged every time you made a post that brought me delight, haha.