I have been eating as a strength athlete to grow or maintain for over two years. It worked, on put on over 70lbs, most of it lbm. I now need to drop fat mass to enter a lower weight class and for professional reasons.
I have been adjusting diet for the last few months, running a more ‘detox’ version of t-dawg that just incorporates more cruciferous veggies and leafy greens, and to compensate for increased daily carbohydrate consumption, I have a carb-up biweekly (instead of every 5 or so days). My metabolism has adapted surprisingly fast, and I can’t continue to milk dropping the calories and still maintain muscle mass or a metabolism (as is, I’m loosing ANY appetite whatsoever when I’m already eating 1000s of calories BELOW maintenance).
I am familiar with the large variety of fat loss plans and diets here on T-Nation, all aspire to maintain (or even gain) muscle mass, but none that I know are geared towards maximal strength maintenance (or gain).
During this time, I have been training with a periodized Starr/Pendlay 5x5/3x3 TBT 3x a week. On off days, I walk, do sled work and a recuperative work out, or rest, depending on recovery.
I would like to hear from those that have walked this path before to find an optimal pathway for continued fat loss while keeping PRs. I see my two options as
continue to cut calories, but also continue to depress metabolism and quality of training or
G-flux style living, in which I maintain calories, but increase my body’s expenditure of them through EPOC with something like the lactate acid producing workouts like ‘fat to fire’ or ‘German body comp’ and HIIT complexes/Tabata.
Extensive ground work still is not an option for me, I am still too heavy and my knees take too much of a beating already with all my squatting and Olympic lifting. I am also flexible to train heavy only 2x a week if necessary while increasing the ‘other’ sessions. As I said above, this is also for professional reasons, otherwise I would do as wrestlers and lifters have done for decades, ‘sauna training’ for a weigh-in.
In summary, I have been on calorie restricted diet for roughly three months, diet has reached the point of diminishing returns due to metabolism adaptations. I still have about 15lbs to go.
What is the way to go for continued fat loss (metabolism be damn, keep cutting calories vs. g-flux/lactate acid training/Tabata) with big caveat is that maximal strength levels must be maintained.
I appreciate your responses and the time you took to read my Dickens-length post,