T Nation

Doing My First Real Cutting Phase Ever


Posted this in the Conditioning Forum, No Responses, Here It Is.

Ok, so i just got done bulking about 1 month ago. i was at a lean 180, id say about 12% bf. Not shredded to the bone, but was in damn good shape. I wanted to gain mass at that point, get up 200, and ended up 8 weeks later at 205, so i was pretty happy the results and saw some great strength gains in the process. Now, i want to get ripped, shredded, sculpted, w/e you want to call it (7-10% bf range).

My Numbers are:

Bench- 285 lbs.
Squat- 405 lbs.
Deadlift- 405 lbs.

Doing 2 a days to lean up faster of course.

I start work at 6:30 am, so i wake up at 5 am for fasted cardio dont 6 times a week. I do H.I.I.T. for 20-25 mins. Meals 1,2, and 3, are all prepared the night before, including the 6 am shake. First 3 meals of the day are protein & carbs, last 3 meals are protein & fats. Most of the time i never get to the third meal at work, and will go home and make a shake with Water, BCAA's, and 1 Scoop Whey Before i go Lift.

My Diet:

Upon Waking at 5 am:

1 1/2 scoops BCAA's and 1 serving HOT-ROX
1 Litre Water

6 am: 1 /12 scoops whey, 1 scoop BCAA's 1 cup Orange Juice, A few Strawberries
(45g protein, 30 g carbs)

Meals 1, 2, and 3) <--- (At Work)
6-8 oz. chicken, 1/2 cup black beans, 4 fish oil capsules
(35-40g protein, 25g carbs 10 g fiber, 5 g. fat)

Pre-Workout: 1 scoop whey, 5 g BCAA's, 1 serving HOT-ROX
Post Workout: 2 scoops whey, 10 g BCAA's, 1 Cup Orange Juice, A few Strawberries, Sometimes 1/2 a banana

Meals 4,5, and 6)
4 Whole eggs, 2 egg whites scrambled, 4 fish oil capsules
(35g protein 23 grams fat)

Steak and Salad with 1 Table Spoon Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil, 4 fish oils
(40g protein 24g fat)

Protein Shake w/ 1 scoop mixed w/ Water, 1 serving Mixed Nuts
30g protein, 18 g fat)

Trying to retain muscle, or build some even, while cutting, so i'm lifting heavy as heavy as possible.

My workouts are 3 days on, 1 day off, repeat. Exercises are always full body to maximize calorie expenditure, i do:

Dumbbell Chest Press
Shoulder Press
Weighted Dips
Rack Pulls

With usually 3-4 sets of each, minimal rest, Working with 80-95% of my 1RM on all exercises forcing my body to retain muscle whether it like its, or not.
^ These are done 1-2 times within that 3 day period, with 1 other day doing nothing but conditioning work which include:

Pull ups
Push ups
Abdominal Exercises
Push Presses (Very light)

With usually 3-4 sets of each, minimal rest, Working with 80-95% of my 1RM on all exercises forcing my body to retain muscle whether it like its, or not.

Ok now...

If anyone has any suggestions, at all, please feel free to tell me what i can take away, or what should i add, or what i can tweak or change. I am taking this cut very seriously, and i'm willing to put in whatever work i need to do to make this a successful cutting phase.

So far i have been doing for 2 weeks, have starting at a weight of 201 (weighed in the morning in the buff, empty stomach, after peeing). Currently at 198 on the scale, but waay leaner, close looser, ab definition is coming in very fast for a 2 week period. Constructive Criticism please. Thank you.


Damn, no responses? Guess This Protocol is perfect then =)


I don't know what to tell as i have no actual experience with fat loss other then i heard that HIIT isnt the best thing to do fasted even with the BCCA's, but i don't know for sure.

Im gonna try a fat loss phase from july-august which will be my first time cutting ever, I'll probably make my own thread like this in a few weeks

goood luck to ya


Everything I've read indicates fasted HIIT = muscle loss. If you want to lose fat fast, read some John Romaniello stuff. If you want to hold onto your muscle more than anything and not end up back where you started at 180 read Stu's most recent contest prep.


Also you should stay at 205 for 3-4 months or your newly gained muscle will just disappear faster than it came.


So you're saying in any 5 day period you have done the following on a calorie deficit:

squatted 365+ for reps twice
Pulled 365+ for reps twice
Benched 250+ for reps twice
Done HIIT FASTED each morning
And a conditioning day full of complexes
other shit too?


Sounds excessive. You squat and deadlift in the same day? IMO, either your intensity sucks or you are asking to ger hurt


My first thoughts:

-The diet looks good, but obviously the same numerical breakdown every day will ensure your metabolism slowing down (try SOME type of cycling, even if just slight alterations)

-Interval work is very taxing, and I wouldn't suggest it on an empty stomach. When I make use of morning cardio, it's always very easy stuff, usually just walking on a treadmill while I zone out and watch TV.

-I like your food choices for the most part (not a fruit guy, so I'd opt for better choices personally), but it doesn't look like you have a lot of carbs, which may be a serious factor in how much LBM you ultimately retain.



Actually i listed them both because i do both of them, just not on the same days. If i do squats one day, ill do deads not the next day, but the day after. As far as intensity goes, i am very intense and focus on my workouts.


Pretty much man. I am extremely motivated, but realized i am overdoing it. I have now cut my cardio days to 4-5 days a week and will now alternate between low intensity for 30-45 mins. and HIIT for 20-25 mins. Yes, im on a calorie deficit. I am just really eager to get lean. I know with time and consistency it will come as far as squatting and pulling, i have lowered how much weight i am doing to around 315. As far as conditioning days go i do complexes, but i only do about 3-4 sets, and then do very light clean and presses to push-ups, abs, burpees, light lush presses. I have a high work capacity man, i always have. When i was a 10 i worked on my grandfathers farm for a few years doing full days of strenuous work. When i was twelve i wanted to work so badly for my uncle i would walk from 169th and Prairie to 116th and Hawthorne just to get to work and do then do 10 hours of strenuous work in the sun all day just to make money. Step dad had a bad back growing up, so anything heavy that had to be lifted, i HAD to do it rather i liked it or not. Those are just some of the things i did as a child. Plus i played sports. So i dont know man, i can do alot of stuff without really feeling to worn out i guess.