T Nation

Designing Cutting Program


Hey guys

Need your help. I don't know if any of you have had this problem......


my head is swimming with info and I'm kind of lost as to where to begin.

Current: 6'4" 234 @ 11% b.f. measured this morning. (about 209lbs. of LBM)

would like to lean down to about 7-8% b.f.

My eventual goal 230 @ 8% (about 212 lbs. LBM)

Note: to all the size monsters out there before you flame me please consider that as I am a competitive rower anything over 230lbs. at my height (unless you are over 6'6", 6'7" is pretty much dead weight) so the goal is to be at the upper limit for my height (around 230) but as lean as possible.

My questions:

  1. What training program to use? This is the confusing part - a lot of attractive programs on this site - I see what CT did with DaFreak, and I have also used CW programs in the past with great success. Can CW's programs be tweaked with fat loss / mass retention as a goal?

I was thinking of either emulating what CT was doing with DaFreak or just kicking off again with ABBH 1.

Any of you guys have any advice?

  1. Since I am in school this year, competitive rowing training is out (too time consuming) - so I am contemplating cardio sessions of no more than 20 minutes on the rowing ergometer. I'm thinking of using HIIT protocols for the most part.

basically my idea is to let the iron and the diet do the work - the cardio sessions are a gentle nudge in the right direction.

My plan is to lift in the AM (when I have the most time) - cardio in the PM

My question is frequency?

  1. As for diet - I'm thinking of using CT's "Carb Cycling Codex" can't really argue with the DaFreak's results - but I was also thinking of fusing with Berardi's P+F and P+C parameters.

  2. Do I even have to do a cut phase then a bulk phase - or can I just gradually burn fat while replacing it with those last 3-5 lbs. of muscle mass?

I guess I'm confused because I've never really tried this before - rowing burns so many calories that "dieting" per se is never an issue. If anything, it's not enough calories with many rowers. However, long distance cardio can only take you so far without becoming a skeletal POW looking endurance athlete. Luckily, rowers lift a lot of weights as well and their workouts shift to primarily interval based training in the spring, so it doesn't get that bad.

However, given my ultimate goals I want to do this correctly - so for the next 6-8 months I am willing to give up my traditional rowing training in order to give this a proper go. I don't think it should take me that long but with the fat loss and then the inevitable bulking that will have to follow - I just wanted to get some outside input before I began.

Thanks in advance for any input, I really appreciate it.


Any and all of the "cutting" programs work. Any resistance one uses below a certain level(typically 80% of 1rm) will result in mass loss(muscle mass that is) after a certain time frame(the time it takes to adapt to the program). In other words 30-40% of 1rm will work for about 2-3 weeks until one notices a distinct mass loss then one has to switch to a heavier resistance typically 8-12 ala Poliquin's German Body Comp(not the Advanced Version). CT does not believe in using resistance for fat loss maybe for this very reason. A good plan w/out loss of mass would be Afterburn by Cosgrove.
Brandon Green