T Nation

How Long is to Long When Cutting!


Hey, just need some advice have been on a 40/40/20 cutting phase for 11 weeks now have lost 25 pounds, still some way to go. My starting weight was 214lbs and im now at 189lbs. Starting bodyfat was 30% now just hovering around the 20% mark.

Basically considering trying the V-Diet, but wasnt sure if i should take some time of cutting, my cutting calories are 2200. First few weeks of cutting i had good loss numbers before tapering of to about 1 pound a week, however the last two weeks have seen losses of around 2-3 pounds, am worried may be some muscle??? Though my strength feels fine in the gym, lifts remain the same if not better.

Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 189lbs
Lean Body Mass: 150lbs
Bodyfat: 20%
Arms: 14"
lower waist: 37" (love handles)
Below pecs: 33"

Full body weights x3 a week
(rotation between deadlifts, squats, bench, chin/pull ups, barbell rows, shoulder press, good mornings)

Cardio x3 a week
45 min sessions
Running 15 mins
Boxing bag (4 x 2 mins)
Vertical climber,rowing,bike make up remaining time
Long walk sunday 1hr beach

I def think i have alot of endo in me, store alot of fat in my lower waist and upper thighs, whilst my arms and upeer back are quiet toned. Do i need to go back to maintenance for a few weeks, sounds weird but i feel like im losing numbers on the scale but not fat in front of the mirror??? But when people see me they are like damn u look good, but im not happy with fat on my abs...My food is decent not 100% perfect but i dont have cheat meals.

6.00am - oats or rye bread with a piece of fruit
8.30am - whey shake
10.30 - cashews/yoghurt
12.30 - chicken 200g, grean beans,brocoli (weight days i add brown rice)
2.30 - whey shake
5.30 - chicken/steak, greans and brown rice/pasta on weight days to get carbs up
Protein is 200+ and carbs and fats make up the rest in a split

salmon oil 4 caps, 10g of flax seed ground daily

Lifts: 5x5 stronglift program
Bench: 175
Squat: 200
Deadlift: 350 (belt)
Barbell row: 140
Shoulders: 120 (weak shoulders)
Chin/pull ups 5x5 own weight Struggle to complete

Any help would be appreciated, been lifting for about 12 months, initially did a bulk and gained some decent strength but fat gain was far to great. Should i jump on the V-Diet or try lower carbs etc thanks in advance


That's solid, steady progress. Whatever you've been doing has worked fine, but plateaus or progressing at different rates is normal.

How are you measuring your bodyfat? The method itself will effect the accuracy. But as long as you're checking yourself consistently, change is change.

I'm confused here... you lost more weight recently, and you're worried? If your strength is the same, and certainly if it's improved, then you haven't lost muscle. However, this is also why it's good to be tracking measurement changes throughout your body. Neck, upper arms, chest, belly button, hips, upper thighs, and calves should show you what's happening where.

Nothing really wrong with a basic lifting plan, but your cardio training could use some tweaks. Rather than doing 3-5 different activities in each session, I'd rather use one, maybe two, in each session and rotate throughout the week. This works towards avoiding plateaus.

You might consider switching things up with a major change. Something like Complexes for Fat Loss:

It would replace your entire current training plan and it a big enough change to kickstart some new progress.

How are your clothes fitting? Notice any difference in your jeans, t-shirts, suits?

Unless they're blowing smoke up your keister, this does count for something. An outside set of eyes will see progress before you notice it yourself. But don't let it lull you into complacency.

Is anyone ever? You're on the right track, man.

I don't think you need the V-Diet just yet. You could either, like I said, try a significantly different training plan and keep the diet the same, or just drop carbs and increase fat/protein (so your overall calorie intake stays the same). Whatever changes you decide on, stick with them for at least four weeks, and then take another look at your progress.


Coach Colucci knows his stuff. I'll second a few points.

In general, if your lifts stay steady and you're getting enough protein, you're at a low risk of muscle loss.
In general, weight can fluctuate due to the amount of water in your system, glycogen in your muscle, food in your bowels, or several other factors. The best measurements are the inches lost across your body.

A point of my own; In general, it's a bad idea to cut for longer than 16 weeks (unless you start out obese). It's mentally challenging, it's painful, and it's somewhat unrewarding (because you have usually have to eat less and less or exercise more and more as time goes on until you're eating very little and exercising a great deal just to maintain the same rate of fat-loss).

Also, it's important to remember that at some point, you need to come off your diet in slow, steady increments so as not to destroy all the hard work you've accomplished. Coming off a diet in an organized manner is much harder than you'd think, and it takes more effort than you'd expect. Therefore, 12-16 weeks is the most I'd recommend for a serious diet.

But then again, it's your call.