T Nation

How Much Weaker on a Cut?


To be honest, my main goal is to have a big chest. I do other lifts too to stay proportional, and to improve my performance in sports. I've seen that the type of chest I want to have is usually found on guys with around 10% body fat who can bench around 1.3 times their weight.

I have about 20-25% body fat, and once I get to the chest I want, I'll cut down. So I have two questions:

  1. How much strength would I lose on my lifts after I cut from around 20-25% bodyfat to about 10%? (If it's a percentage of my lift, tell me what it is. If it's 10 or 20 pounds regardless of person, tell me that)

  2. So if I want to have the type of chest that those 1.3 body weight, 10% body fat guys have, how much should I bench pre-cut, so that I can bench around 1.3 times my weight post-cut?


Hmm, alright, so the archetype consists of 10% bf and 1.3 times their weight for bench presses?

This isn't indicative of chest size. How do I know? Because I just cut down to 10% bf, and can bench 1.2 times my weight (this increased through my cut btw), and I promise.... my chest is absoutely not what you have in mind.

That being said, I would recommend a happy medium with the weight loss and strength gains. You can add strength while slowly cutting weight.

By the way, how long have you been lifting, height, weight, lift #'s?


I am ~10% body fat and can bench 1.67 x bodyweight, and my chest isn't where I would like it to be.

Face facts, things are not as cut and dried as this especially where strength to size ratios are involved.

I don't know what your chest looks like, but at 25% body fat is isn't going to be pretty, and it will look a whole lot better at <15%.

As for strength loss, hell especially as a beginner there is absolutely no reason for your strength to decrease noticeably during a cut. Keep your protein intake at 1g/lb bodyweight, make clean food choices, and keep lifting heavy. If you bust your ass in the gym and stop worrying so much about the details you may actually gain strength, look a whole hell of a lot better, and be making progress instead of worrying about a 1.3xbodyweight bench or some other triviality.


I 100% agree. I'm 6ft and I cut from 213 down to 190 from July 1 to October 1 while my bodyfat went from 23 to 15. My 1RM max on bench went up from 205 to 245 (close to 1.3 times my bodyweight). I don't have a big chest at all (41.5 inches). Now these were beginner gains but it'll tell you 2 things:

1) Being able to bench 1.3 times your bodyweight does not mean you'll have a big chest. (Its actually not an impressive goal IMO)

2) You can gain strength while cutting. I did.


You don't need to lose strength while cutting. I have been cutting for a coupld months and my 1RM is holding solid at 315. I am gaining on other lifts (squats, deads) where I am not quite as developed.


My experience was that strength loss only occurred during extreme calorie deprivation and long-term calorie deprivation.

IE, the last four weeks of a sixteen-week cut when I was eating about 2000kcal.

A moderate cut (500kcal deficit) should not see strength loss, unless perhaps you are a VERY experienced lifter.


I dont see alot of strength loss on a slow cut, 500 or less deficit.

You get tired more easily due to limited carbs, but increase your rest by 30 seconds or so and your just as strong as before.