T Nation

Help! Cutting Cycle Has Stalled

This is an appeal for help from T-Nation,. I’ve been a regular reader for around a year and got serious with training about 6 months ago after lifting fairly regularly for 6 years.

Height: 5’ 11"
Weight: 184 lbs
BF: Unknown, but about a Level 2 leanness on the Shredded In 6 Days scale (upper 4 abs visible, vascularity on arms, deltoids, calves, lower quads)

I had been training heavy for about 4 months to try and add some mass, when I began I was 187, and at the end was up to 194 with clean bulking of around 3100-3500 cals a day (3500 non-training, 3800 on training days): P - 240g, F - 125g, C - 270g (added 45g P & 40/g C on lifting).

My days are currently split: M - Chest/Triceps, T - Deadlift heavy leg training, W - off, Th - Back & Bis, F - off, Sa - Squat heavy legs and Shoulders, Su - off. All lifting was in the 4-8 rep range, with mainly large muscle group compound lifts.

Supplements:
Whey
BCAAs
Creatine (10g/daily)
Fish Oil - ~10g/day

Cutting Cycle
3 weeks ago I shifted into a cutting cycle. I kept the upper/lower split but began incorporating 4xs week cardio training (intervals, ~35 minutes). Training is now: M, Chest/Tris w/ cardio, T - deadlift legs, W - Cardio + Abs, Th - Back & Bis w/ Cardio, F - Cardio + Abs, Sa - Squat leg lifts & Shoulders, Su - Off.

I added 4 caps of HOT-ROX Extreme and dropped down to 2200 - 2500 cals daily (2200 on cardio/abs only, 2500 on lifting days). P - 250g, F - 80g, C - 90g. Lifts have been in the 12-15 rep range, 4-5 sets.

PROBLEM
In 3 weeks I’ve dropped down from 193 - 184 lbs, but since last week my losses have stalled out. I have about a week until I’m on vacation and was hoping to have leaned out even further. I’m planning on cutting out skim milk (~24oz/day in 3 protein shakes) to eliminate ~30g/carbs to push carb total down to 60/g, while only decreasing protein by 24/g and reducing cals by another 270c. Starting next M I was also going to start taking Taraxatone to help shed subcutaneous water weight.

I need to be at the pool and shredded next Friday, am I missing anything?!

Thanks for all help and sorry for the long post.

Don’t take taraxatone if you don’t know what your doing.

At ‘level 2 leanness’ it won’t make you look much leaner but it could fuck you up. Diuretics are really not something to be taken lightly.

Your organs NEED subcutaneous water. You aren’t in a comp. and not in comp. shape…DONT USE TARAXATONE.

Giving yourself a measly 4 weeks to get shredded was a bad idea. People grossly underestimate what it takes to get shredded, particularly if theyve never been shredded before.

Drop the milk. You would have progressed more if you dropped that 3 weeks ago. All you can do is cardio and diet.

I repeat, don’t use diuretics. Your resulting ‘look’ will be minimally be different because you aren’t lean enough for it to make a difference and it is potentially dangerous.

Thanks Swole. I thought 5 weeks and reducing cals by 1/3rd would have been enough, apparently I still have a lot to learn.

I’m just saying that because I’m working on getting truly shredded. Its its taking quite longer than expected. And I’ve got everything locked down, cardio, training, nutrition, supps.

But those of us who haven’t been shredded (me and you) are gonna have to work really really hard the first time. Its gets easier after than, but talk to bodybuilders and such and they’ll always tell you…the first time is just plain hard.

Good luck though, keep your head up and get to your goals, no matter how long it takes.

Thanks for the encouragement, I’m definitely planning on staying the course through the summer, after all, if it’s not early June, there’s always July 4th and the remainder of the summer to push the envelope.

I’m not looking for overnight results, though I wonder if anyone else had suggestions about kick-starting the stalling for weight loss. I would think that 6 days a week training w/ only 2100 cals as a 184lb man would place me squarely within the caloric deficit necessary for continued weight loss. I wonder if my BMR has just tanked due to the low cals and if I need to shock it further by either going super-low with the cals, perhaps 10 days of V-Diet or bumping back up to 3000 ‘dirty’ cals for 4-5 days (after next week’s vaca, of course) in order to stoke the fire again and force my metabolism back into gear.

As always, all advice is greatly appreciated.

I would suggest you start with lowering your reps. It never hurts to have a cheat meal a couple times per week too.

Thanks for the encouragement, I’m definitely planning on staying the course through the summer, after all, if it’s not early June, there’s always July 4th and the remainder of the summer to push the envelope.

I’m not looking for overnight results, though I wonder if anyone else had suggestions about kick-starting the stalling for weight loss. I would think that 6 days a week training w/ only 2100 cals as a 184lb man would place me squarely within the caloric deficit necessary for continued weight loss. I wonder if my BMR has just tanked due to the low cals and if I need to shock it further by either going super-low with the cals, perhaps 10 days of V-Diet or bumping back up to 3000 ‘dirty’ cals for 4-5 days (after next week’s vaca, of course) in order to stoke the fire again and force my metabolism back into gear.

As always, all advice is greatly appreciated.

Don’t do the V-Diet.

Ever thought maybe you need more than 2100 cals to loose weight? It’s possible…

Not sure why that double-posted… jdrannin1 can you provide any rationale why increased calories would help reduce body fat and cut weight based on the info I’d provided? Not being a smart-ass, just curious of anything you have have seen (that I may have missed) to support that.

As I said, right now i’m floating between 2500-2200 cal/day and weight loss has plateaued, despite training/cardio 6xs week.

It almost sounds (just form you’ve written) that your metabolism is slowing down. You don’t increase or raise your metabolism by cutting calories to 2200 a day.

I would increase your carbs to about 150-200 per day on days you workout and don’t use any workout shakes or anything like that. Keep insulin steady and low. Lower your carbs when you don’t workout and increase your fat intake (make it essential fats).

And lower your reps. Increasing reps to get cut is not the answer.

The V Diet (at this point) I feel wouldn’t do your metabolism any good.

What was the result of this thread?