T Nation

Does The Programme I Do Matter if I'm Cutting?


Basically I bulked up just doing random weights for my sports, I want to cut down a bit of fat now (200lbs currently) but does the programme matter? I normally just go in the gym and faff around with certain exercises for each body part. My head says no point training for hypertrophy if I’m on a deficit, it won’t do anything, and strength is pretty boring for me.


This is usually a recipe for losing muscle when cutting. A legit, well-designed plan always matters, because your body always needs a reason to use/keep (or in an ideal situation, build) muscle when dropping fat.

You may not break PRs or add an inch to your lats, but simply screwing around with weights is barely, barely better than not lifting at all. Just winging it everyday in the gym is pointless, unless you’re like the top 10% of experienced lifters who can honestly self-assess on the fly and basically improvise a workout set by set.

I’m confused. Two weeks ago, it was “I do like lifting heavy (well, heavy for me)”. Are you still doing/did you ever start 5/3/1?


Yes, it does matter. In order to maintain muscle while on a caloric deficit you have to lift heavy (high intensity 3-5 reps). Give the body a reason to keep the muscle. Also, don’t train to failure. It is counterproductive on a cut.


Oh geez, looks like I did it WAY wrong.

@Coffeets: I tend to gain the most strength while losing fat because it forces me to have my diet as dialed in as possible, meaning I’m getting everything I need. You may find that, with a structured approach, you make substantial gains while losing fat.


I think, as long as you’re not doing anything stupid, like Smolov, you’ll be fine. Although I think something a bit more focused and structured than “faffing” on a few exercises might be a good idea.