T Nation

Heavy vs light when dieting

Ok, how many of you guys dieting train along the lines of Meltdown/Fat to Fire/German Body Composition and how many train heavy along the lines of 5x5 to stay strong, etc. I’d assume the latter group would be doing a bit more cardio as well.

The reason I ask is that I am doing a modified Steroid Diet, along Bill’s recommendations (about 210g pro/110g carb/45g fat and about 1700 calories at a bodyweight of 225lbs) I started doing Meltdown for the first week, but I just dont enjoy training if I have to do that. I dont mind the hard work, but its just not fun. I train for result, but also because I love to train.

As a result, I want to switch to more of a strength training workout (ie 5x5) and do some additional cardio. I realize the training wont burn nearly as much calories as Meltdown training. So will it make that much of a negative difference if I change up my training for the second and third week? (going to go 3 weeks on this diet at 2/3 serving of Mag10/day) Thanks for your input

When dieting, I find lifting at maxium poundages within the 5-7 rep range seems to work best for me. I stick with training each body part once per week and cut the volume down a little. I usually only do about 2 working sets for each excercise with about 3 excercises per body part. I go to positive failure without any forced reps,but I do like to add in a drop set at the end of the second working set. This seems to work best for me in terms of maintaining as much strength  and lbm as I can while dieting. I don't try to burn calories with my strength workouts, I try to accomplish that with diet and  a little cardio(higher intensity as well). I know this type of program isn't for everyone, but it seems to work well for me.

I too keep reps low and rest periods long when dieting. I’ve found it to work quite well for me, and, as you bring up, it’s a lot more pleasant too.

Saying that this or that regimen of training is the best for fat loss is more or less hype. Of course, your mileage may vary, but your goal is to preserve muscle loss, achieve acceptable caloric deficit and not slow down a metabolism to a halt, while keeping perspective of things in a long run and of course hold on to your lean mass. Therefore, every diet that is sufficient in protein, carefully planned in terms of macronutrients and adequately low in calories will do, and so will every training system. Meltdown this, GBC that - it is all just a hype like I said. I did everything, from GBC to 5x5 and lactic acid training and I have never noticed that fat sheds better using this or that training regimen. It is all in the diet and supplementation, really. Training is just icing on the cake. Of course, this is highly individual - you have to find a training cycle you can stick to for predetermined duration of time. If you can do GVT while dieting, great, but what if you burn out after 3 weeks and have 15 weeks to go?

First of all Chris, I think 1700 calories is way too
low for a guy your size. Ten calories for each pound
of BW should get the job done fine. I 'm suggesting
2250 calories daily; if that doesn’t get the job done
you can always cut from there. I would also recommend
a program like melt-down - Reason being, when on
such a strict diet your power numbers will eventually
suffer MAJOR …which will leave you depressed …
added on top of that, eating only 1700 calories a day,
you will be miserable …On melt-down everyone’s
numbers suffer, so there’s nothing to be depressed about
… And if you eat a little more (2250 calories) you won’t
be so miserable! P.S. I know this is a silly reply, but it
fits my present mood…Oh, BTW, life’s too short, so don’t
be miserable and depressed … BE HAPPY!!! - Boley

I really cant understand why people would raise their repetitions while dieting. If anything you should be lowering them so you can hopefully keep onto all the muscle you have, and maybe build a pound or two. Doing high reps when restricting calories is a recipe for disaster IMO.

Personally I have done well with both approaches. I’m on week eleven of a 12-week cut cycle right now. First three weeks were German Body Comp 3x/week, then I switched to a 4x/week Olympic/5x5 based lifting routine for seven weeks provided by another forum member (thanks Cam!). I wasn’t doing a ton of sets and reps, but I consistently lost fat and certainly got stronger and faster despite a sub-maintenance calorie level (Berardi’s Don’t Diet protocol). I went down from ten to six percent during the Olympic portion, and then fat loss began to stall a bit, so I’m now in week two of Meltdown training and it’s working like mad as I approach the heralded “5 mm. ab skinfold.” I truly believe that as important as training is, it is completely secondary to proper diet protocols.

Chris any reason your choosing to take 2/3 serving of Mag 10? Just interested on your reasoning since I haven’t seen anybody else post that serving size yet.

I just now saw your calorie intake after reading the replies…GET YOUR DAMN CALORIES UP!!! The guy that said 10xbw in daily cals was dead-on, and actually for a lot of people even this is too low. I’d say go up to 12xbw, but it’s dependent on your activity level, metabolism, etc. You may lose a lot of weight initially, but guess where that weight is gonna be coming from? And yes, you can use heavier weights/low reps to get cut, but you’ll likely want to add some cardio as per Berardi’s recommendations if fat loss is your primary objective.