T Nation

How Did YOU Get Cut?


I'm looking to cut from about 15% to under 10%. I'd like to see... what are they called again... abs?

Looking for stories of real folks on here for motivation. It's easy to read about this program or that diet, but even better to hear from actual people who've used them and gotten results.

I dropped 7 pounds last summer, using Meltdown Training which I found very effective. (My diet during that time was to simply eat clean and not too much.)

However, the more I read, the more it seems that diet and some form of cardio, usually HIIT, are the two most important factors in fat loss. Weight training is more about keeping muscle and not so much losing fat.

Again, I'm looking for actual stories of people who've implemented various diets/training plans and had success. Not "I hear this works," or "Fat to Fire" is good.



I've used T-dawg to lean out so I'm lighter for running. This is in between seasons, so I'm not running during this time otherwise the diet would be pretty horrible.

When I implemented this diet, I really leaned out, but maintained muscle I had. During this time, all I did was lift some split workouts and cut down on rest time. Used medium reps 6-8.


Bingo ... I got into the best "shape" of my life on a very low carb (carbs only around training) diet with EDT style lifting, brief HIIT sessions, and a crapload of ephedrine and caffeine.


Here's how I succeeded in cutting from 20.9% to 6% in 24 weeks.

The first six weeks were spent in removing rubbish foods from my diet gradually. I started a strict diet 18 weeks out based on various articles from Chris Aceto's books & John Berardi's Precision Nutrition. However my real success started when I combined early morning 3 mile runs together with the calorific intake, macronutrients, & food timing as detailed in Chistian Thibaudeau's Cabrd Cycling Codex.

I did reach a plateau with that though & then started reducing my daily carb intake from 90 gms to 50gms to 25gms (be careful at this level though. I fainted whilst training a client on my 3rd day of ultralow carbs). My carb refeeds were by trial & error, done after 3 days or 5 days of low carbs, or daily after training.

It became increasingly difficult after getting down to 10% but I stuck at it & added an evening cardio session in. Eventually I was so tired that both cardio sessions had to become walks instead of running. My short term memory suffered in the final stages & I had panic attacks when i couldn't find my mobile phone etc.

I didn't get as low as I really wanted for the comp but I listened to my body & believed that sfter releasing over 27 pounds of fat it was not happy (this time!). It will be easier next time because of the experiences gained & the fact that I won't allow myself to go above 12% bodyfat.
I hope this helps :slight_smile: Have a look at my thread in The Over 35 Lifter section about My First Comp At 52


"Fat to Fire" really is good. I did the first one while eating "clean" foods and dropped fat.

Then I did the 8-week renegade and dropped to the point of seeing my abs. I just ate clean foods and lots of it. It was very high volume work though. I've got it somewhere (I can look for it and PM it to you if you want).



I've just finished an 8 week experiment on myself tring to get to single digits. I started at around 12% and managed to get down to 7%. It wasn't rocket scinece I ran 3 times a week for about 30-40 mins HIIT style. Did a combination of 400 metre sprints, hill sprints and beep test type short bursts of speed.

My lifting didn't really change I was still training for hypertrophy all the way through in fact some of my best lifts came during myy last couple of weeks. I did manipulate my carb intake Mon-Fri and then loaded on sat and sun. Did have problems with energy levels, mood swings and generally very grumpy. I found EFA's supps a great help - or just some good old oily fish. good luck its painful and tales time but when people comment on how great you look it makes it worth while


I'm currently finishing up cutting. So far I've gone from about 203 at 12% to 189 at 7%ish.
Basically just dropped cals a little and added some low intensity cardio for 20/day after I'm done lifting.
Currently I have about 3100-3200 cals with 300 grams protein, 200 carbs, and 120 fats. Twice a week (on leg and back days) I up the cals to about 3300-3400 and have way more carbs and less fat.
I've been dropping weight slowly and have kept most of my lifts the same and my mood hasn't been affected at all. I'm making a push for 4% and am planning on deciding on if I want to enter a contest once I'm there.


Right now I'm cutting for summer and I'm doing the t-dawg diet (70 carbs on off days,or less,and 100 or less on workout days).

I'm also taking the new HOT-ROX,FISH OIL,and high quality CLA.

I'm hitting the gym 4 times a week( Chest and triceps on MON,Shoulder and biceps on WED,Legs on FRIDAY,and Back on SAT.

I'm also doing 20 min of low intensity cardio after working out and/or in the morning(yeah,you're not gonna lose muscle doing low inetsnity cardio in the morning before breakfast-slow jog).

I'm also doing a colon and liver cleanse to clean out my system from toxins and chemicals to make it cleaner and more efficient at digesting food,etc.

And drinking lots of green tea,lol.

I get pretty damn lean fast with no muscle loss when I follow this
nutrition/workout plan.



Ok, this definitely worked for me - I saw results within the first week - my strength went up, I built muscle, and most noticably, the fat just dropped off. And no, I'm not a n00b.

I ate in excess of 6000Kcals per day.

This plan I used will only work for you if you can get to the gym twice a day - which I know is fairly inconvenient.

mon - pm
tues - am + pm
wed - am + pm
thurs - am + pm
fri - am
weekend - rest

Yes, that's 8 sessions per week. Using HFT style training.

This is very intense, I only do this 2 weeks on, 1 week off, repeat. This works for me.

1 big baddass lift each workout (squats, deads etc), followed by 3 or 4 supersets of compounds. All whilst sticking to CW's 24 repxset scheme

Sample workout:

A Deadlifts 12 sets of 2

B Bench + rows 3 sets of 8 each

C Pullups + military press 4 sets of 6 each

D Pullovers + Leg press 6 sets of 4 each


As I said, this worked VERY well for me, but if you do decide to try this, go easy at first. The first time I tried this approach I had double the volume you see here and obviously burnt out very quickly.

Oh, and by the way, when cutting, calories should INCREASE. However, exercise should increase even more so. This is the best way to keep your muscle mass, in my experience.

Just my .02


The knife was WAY too sharp, I was 12 & it was the first time to cut my PB&J sandwich. I cut the hell out my index finger & had to get 3 stitches. But hey, live & learn! So that's how I got cut! Don't try it! Totally not worth it IMO.


That's some serious g-flux. Berardi and CW would be proud.


I got cut from the badminton team because the coach told me straight up that it was between me and a nerdy Korean kid and we were pretty much equal skill and she wanted to give the last spot on the team to him because she wanted to make the international kid feel accepted.

Oh this thread was about losing bodyfat....


I got great results using a slightly toned down version of the velocity diet last summer. I did virtually no cardio. The diet was all shakes consiting of a slow digesting protein powder, milled flax seeds and frozen berries. My one whole food meal every day was either a steak or chicken salad. I still kept my carbs in my post workout shake coming from gatorade powder. Also every few days depending on my energy levels and how flat i felt I did a one meal refeed at a buffet of mostly clean foods, then right back to the shakes. The diet was really borring and repetative but it worked extremely well and my strength levels stayed up.

My training was still heavier sets in the 4-8 rep range but I switched to doing super sets of opposing muscle groups to keep myself moving in the gym. Supplements aside form the protein powder and gatorade were fish oil caps and some herbal eca stack I had laying around, I am preety sure i was using Spike as well to keep my mind set positive and to keep my focus and energy high.


HIIT...Its all about HIIT...

Specifically, doing sprints and farmer walks got me carved up really, REALLY nice. My calves right now frighten people, LOL.



HIIT is a great way to maintain cuts. (I mostly skip rope and sprint hills these days--it's so much more efficient) But if the goal is to lose 20-30 pounds, I personally have found just biting the bullet and doing a lot of intense running (45 minutes or so) five or so times a week to be much better than short HIIT sessions. Maybe its psychological. Any muscle I have lost was not too hard to get back. I am not especially big however. (currently 5'6, 160)


There are 4 components to either gaining or losing weight:

1 - Quality Calories - Just eat in a 500 calorie deficit and you will lose weight.

2 - Weight Training - Train hard and you will preserve your muscle mass, some people even put on a few pounds of LBM while cutting if they train heavy.

3 - Cardio - Unless you are training with a high volume (Look at CT's journal) you pretty much need to do cardio to get ripped

4 - Mental - If you don't have a strong mental desire or reason to get ripped, it wont happen. Find a reason to get there and it will be so much easier.

I got down to 10% using a 500 - 1000 calorie deficit for 2 months, than the V-diet. Total I lost about 35 pounds in 4 months.


Dropped from 210 to 183 (& maintained most muscle) as follows:


3x/week (30-45 min/day; at least 5 60-90 second windsprints each session)

Bfst: Oatmeal & Protein Drink
Mid morn: Chicken & Rice
Lunch: Chicken & Rice
post w/o: Chicken & Rice
Dinner: Red meat & salad


It might be sick but i am actually looking forward to a little velocity dieting this summer before vacation. i love the Chocolate Grow! and milled flax. tasty as.

Just eating massively low carb works for me when i have to weigh down for competition. Just carb up once per week with huge buffet to resest your leptin levels.



T-Dawg 2.0 diet, (with slightly more frequent cheat days, actually).


100 percent agree with everything you said except #3. I'll argue with anyone all day that doing 10 sets of sprints with long intervals of rest is better than doing cardio for the same amount of time.

I do pretty much zero cardio, aside from BJJ one day a week, and I gotta eat like a horse just to stay at 9 percent.