T Nation

First Time Ever on a Cut


#1

Hello guys.I've been lifting for a few years now, mainly olympic lifting when I started, then moved to powerlifting about 2 years ago. For the last 6-8 months I've been training just to get bigger and stronger, with no particular interest in the powerlifts, and right now it's time to try to get lean. So here's what i've came up with.

Lifting wise I think I can keep the same split I've doing, something like this:

Day1: Chest and tris

A.Bench press 1xAMAP, 3x10
For the AMAP set I just start with a weight I can get for a hard 12-13 reps, and increase 2.5kg every week, until I can only get 2-3 reps, then I start again, with 5kg more than the previous cycle.
B.Incline DB's 4x8-12.
C.Incline Hammer Strenght press 3x12
D.Cable flyes 3x15
E.Overhead cable extensions 4x10
F.Rope extensions 4x12

Day 2: Back and bis
A.Pull ups 1xAMAP, 3x10, Just like the bench
B.Reverse grip pulldown 4x8-10
C.Hammer strenght high row 4x10
D.Cable row (wide grip) 3x12
E.One hand low row 3x15
F.Cable curl 5x12 (30 secs rest between sets)
G.Straight bar curls 3x6-8

Day 3: Legs
A:Squats 1xAMAP, 3x10 Same as bench, but I increase the weight by 5kg every week instead of 2.5.
B.Front squat 3x12
C.RDL 4x8
D.Quad extensions 5x12 (30 secs rest between sets)
E.Seater ham curl 5x12 (30 secs rest between sets)
F.Walking lunges 2 burnout sets. Here I grab some dumbells I can get for 12 good reps each leg, then I drop the weight in half and do as much as possible, then drop the weight again and perform as much as I can squeeze, then sit somewhere to breath lol. That's one set.

Day 4: CGBP and shoulders
A.Close grip bench press 1xAMAP, 3x10. Same as bench.
B.Sitting lateral raises 5x12, I try to control the weight on every rep, even pause it at the top for a second on the first 6 o 7.
C.Standing lateral raises 3 burnout sets, same as the walking lunges.
D.Machine rear delt fly 5x12 (30 secs between sets)
E.Rear delt fly on a bench, 3 burnout sets, same as lunges.

I can't really do any overhead work, I've tryed doing it instead of the CGBP and after 3 or 4 weeks my shoulders are in terrible pain.

Diet wise, I usually eat just enough to not be hungry and try to get at least 200 grams of protein. It has been working well, I've been gaining about 1kg per month, but since I've gotten a bit fat I guess it's time to start tracking that shit.

So, I weight about 85kg now and I'm trying to get to 75-77kg for, april or may?.
I guess about 2500 kcals on training days and 2200 on non-trining days, while keeping the protein at 200 grams, should be a good start.

For some reference, my lifts are:
-Bench 100kg x8
-Squat 140kgx5
-Pull-up 40kg x 5

Any help on the plan would be appreciated, lifting or diet.

-


#2

[quote]HatersGunaHate wrote:
right now it’s time to try to get lean.
[/quote]

This was the only thing I didn’t like about your OP :confused:

Other than that you look to be on the right track. It comes down to personal preference, but a few things I personally would modify here for a cut would be

  1. Consider training legs a little more frequently. Those workouts are going to be the most metabolically demanding. Perhaps you could just do a push/pull/legs 3-way cycling them over 4 or 5 days lifting a week. I just don’t like “small” days on a cut like a delts+CGBP day, because I like to be able to eat more.

  2. I’d get some more protein in there, like around 250. I think it’ll prove to be more muscle-sparing over the duration of the cut.


#3

Don’t pick a diet or eating style because studies show it’s .9875% better than what you currently do. Go with what is the easiest to stick with for you. With a diet, compliance is the crucial aspect. If you try to “optimize” your diet in ways you can’t stay accountable to, you’ll be loosing 50% of your results rather than gaining that 1%. You can do IF, or carb backloading, or skip loading, or the anabolic diet. They can all work if you stick to the plan.

I’m also a believer in keeping calories in as absolutely high as possible. Meaning I think increasing expenditure is superior to reducing calories (with the understanding that there is a limit to the practicality of doing more).


#4

How about bona fide conditioning work or cardio? I don’t see any mention of this.

Everyone is different, so your mileage may vary, but I absolutely have to incorporate some conditioning work in order to get optimally lean. I’ve tried both routes (little to no conditioning vs conditioning exercises 3-4 times per week), and incorporating a reasonable amount of cardio always shows ME better results without sacrificing strength.

You could try briskly walking 2-3 miles for 2-4 times/week, perhaps even in a fasted state first thing in the morning (low intensity, steady state cardio) or incorporate some sprinting or HIIT training 3-4 times per week for 20-30 minutes, increasing or decreasing the frequency, intensity or length to fit observational results on a weekly or biweekly basis.

Finally, if you get to a point where another stall occurs, there’s no harm in considering a manipulation of macros one way or another, i.e., keep caloric intake at a consistently set level based on your goals, but manipulate the amount of those calories that come from carbs versus fats. This seems to work for some people.


#5

Hello, thanks for the answers,

@jskrabac I think I will increase the protein as you said, on the other hand I’m not too sure on the uping the frequency part. I’ve really only seen my shoulders grow when I started really hammering them with high volume, so I don’t think a p/p/l split will cut it. Right now i’m also limited to 4 days of training a week, but in about a month i’ll be able to train up to 6x week. So, how could I try to schedule it to do everything more frequently? Something like Chest+tris/Back+Bis/Shoulder/Leg/Rest/Repeat ?

@Doubleduce @JR249 The idea as of right now is just to start the diet without any cardio at all, so when I stall with this diet I can add some cardio and still lose weight without having to drop more calories. Well at least that’s the idea, if I can’t lose any weight without cardio I guess I haven´t other chance but start doing more lol.

On the cardio, I’m not sure how to go about it, I’m more incline towards just walking/cycling for 30’ or so, but I’ve heard amazing things about the high intensity techniques, like tabatas, hill srpints and all that jazz, and it seems to help save a lot of time. Can someone ilustrate me on this?


#6

[quote]HatersGunaHate wrote:
Hello, thanks for the answers,

@jskrabac I think I will increase the protein as you said, on the other hand I’m not too sure on the uping the frequency part. I’ve really only seen my shoulders grow when I started really hammering them with high volume, so I don’t think a p/p/l split will cut it. Right now i’m also limited to 4 days of training a week, but in about a month i’ll be able to train up to 6x week. So, how could I try to schedule it to do everything more frequently? Something like Chest+tris/Back+Bis/Shoulder/Leg/Rest/Repeat ?

@Doubleduce @JR249 The idea as of right now is just to start the diet without any cardio at all, so when I stall with this diet I can add some cardio and still lose weight without having to drop more calories. Well at least that’s the idea, if I can’t lose any weight without cardio I guess I haven´t other chance but start doing more lol.

On the cardio, I’m not sure how to go about it, I’m more incline towards just walking/cycling for 30’ or so, but I’ve heard amazing things about the high intensity techniques, like tabatas, hill srpints and all that jazz, and it seems to help save a lot of time. Can someone ilustrate me on this?

-[/quote]

I guess my thought process is that you’re not gonna be adding size during a cut so it’s best to optimize time in the gym using more bang for your buck movements. Don’t get me wrong, I think all your movements on delts day are great to incorporate throughout the cut, I just see no reason you can’t do them with chest/tris.

I’d keep intervals simple. Go with something like rowing machine or stationary bike. 15 sec hard/45 sec easy, 15 rounds. Start 1-2x/week. Add 1 session a week as needed. I wouldn’t exceed 4 in a week though.


#7

At your strength level, I’d /agree with jsk on doing legs twice a week.

Having an entire day for shoulders and triceps on a 4 day split seems misguided to me, particularly if you can’t do overhead work (though you can do overhead cable extensions?).

I’d probably go something like:

Chest/Shoulders
Legs
Back/Arms
Legs [or here double one of the other two days]

2500 seems low to start. If I were you, I’d get a base by tracking what you normally eat now for a day or two and then subtracting like 300-500 calories, then just let the mirror/tape measure/scale be your guide regarding manipulating your caloric intake.

/agree with jsk on 250g protein.


#8

Sorry for the delay answering, I’m starting the diet tomorrow.

My split will be:

A.Push
1.Bench
2.Incline db
3.CBBP
4.Flys
5.Laterals
6.OH extensions

B.Pull
1.Pull ups
2.Reverse grip pulldowns
3.Highrow
4.Closegrip row
5.Rear delt fly
6.DB curl
7.BB curl

C.Legs
Same as before

Right now I can only train 4x/week, so I will start with Push/pull/legs/push- and next week pull/legs/push/pull, etc. And as soon as possible i’ll add more days.

Diet wise I will start with 2500/2200 kcals and 250g of protein, and see where it takes me.

Thanks for all the advice guys, really appreciate it.


#9

If you want to keep it as simple as possible then just make sure you get enough protein in and then just make sure you go to sleep a little bit hungry every night (not too hungry lol). Then, whenever you’re feeling flat have high carbs for a day or two and then go back to eating the way you were before.


#10

[quote]HatersGunaHate wrote:
Sorry for the delay answering, I’m starting the diet tomorrow.

My split will be:

A.Push
1.Bench
2.Incline db
3.CBBP
4.Flys
5.Laterals
6.OH extensions

B.Pull
1.Pull ups
2.Reverse grip pulldowns
3.Highrow
4.Closegrip row
5.Rear delt fly
6.DB curl
7.BB curl

C.Legs
Same as before

Right now I can only train 4x/week, so I will start with Push/pull/legs/push- and next week pull/legs/push/pull, etc. And as soon as possible i’ll add more days.

Diet wise I will start with 2500/2200 kcals and 250g of protein, and see where it takes me.

Thanks for all the advice guys, really appreciate it.

[/quote]

What did you settle on for cardio? And don’t feel obligated to add extra days if you’re making steady progress at 4 days a week.


#11

No cardio just yet, but I will add it as soon as I finish my exams :). Weight down to 83.6kg this morning.