T Nation

Expert Advice Needed On Range Of Questions...

Hi all,

GOAL - to drop 2Ibs of fat per week from now until January:

(1) Although the accepted wisdom is to lose no more than 1-2 Ibs per week of flab over the cutting cycle, am I right in thinking that, as an experienced trainer, my first week of cutting will drop closer to 5Ibs of fat, falling to 1-2Ibs thereafter? I do about 20 miles of walking in my job, so I can probably dispense with the cardio until a few weeks in;

(2) How many stomach crunches should I do per session? Like anyone else, I want to gain strength and (in time) definition here, but not size;

(3) Muscle mass - as an experienced bulker, I seem to have ‘muscle memory’, which means that, even after long periods without training, my muscles can be nearly back to peak size within a matter of weeks. Is this usual in people with long training histories?

(4) Shoulder cartilage - I’m hearing some faint clicking noises in my shoulders, I used to train them heavily in my 20’s. Any chance I’ve lost the cartilige in them?

(5) Total body workouts - I hear they are the best for cutting! Is this true, and if so, how do you avoid overtraining?

Thanks in advance,


Losing 5lbs of fat per week is extremely hard, virtualy impossible. I’m not talking about weight loss here since obviously you lose water weight when you start cutting.

I suggest you read on carb cycling techniques.

How fast you can lose depends on your BF% and your natural bf setpoint. If you’re at 25% you can try to loose 2-3 lbs per week, between about 12 and 20 about 1.5lbs and under 12 about 1.

Bottom line is, when you stop losing fat, don’t cut calories more or increase the cardio, do a refeed instead. This will boost your metabolism and leptin.

The abs are just like any other muscle and need to be trained with the same principles - overload, periodization.

There are several theories about muscle memory. The most likely imo is the deconditionning effect.

If your cartilage is damaged, it should hurt. Does it hurt? Do you feel your joints between your workouts?

Full body workouts are optimal for hypertrophy because of the high frequency - most of the hypertrophy response happens within 48 h of a workout, and the extent of the hypertrophy is not very dependant on the volume done-.

To avoid overtraining, you don’t go to failure, and you control the volume.

When you cut don’t do too much volume or you may overtrain.

Do searches on the web site. There is a lot of good info. if one searches long enough.

Some tricks:
Drink water - lots of water - a gallon or more every day.

Pick some time in the evening say 6pm and do not eat anything after that. As soon as you wake up, drink a protein drink.

Eat a green apple before your meals. The apple fructose gets into the liver and it does something in the liver to make the meal GI lower by as much as 27%.

Eat carbohydrates with lots of fiber. Beans are an execellent choice. (Note: Rinse the beans after cooking to remove the part that causes gas.)

Treat everytime you eat as a separate event. Do not overeat carbs at any one meal. Any extra surge of sugar in the body goes into storage. Treat post workout differently.

I wish you luck!