T Nation

How Often Do You Cut


I was curious as to how often a person should go through a cutting cycle? I cut about 2 to 3 times a year and I was curious if that was good when trying to retain muscle?

I'd like to be big and ripped and when bulking i get more gut than I'm comfortable with.

I'm currently 214 pounds down from 220 a week ago. The lightest I have been after a cutting cycle is 190.

So, how often does a normal badass go through a cutting cycle?

  • Adam


It depends on what your long term goal is.

For me, I've never "cut" as such, I've been "bulking" for 3 years now and have put about 60lbs on and have about another 50lbs to go before I reach my goal.

What sort of progress are you making with your current scheme?


What's cutting?


I've "cut" once in nearly five years of lifting(3 serious) I started really chunky and lost it slowly while lifting.Once I got to my target weight I started putting muscle back on. I cut down to around 220ish last summer and up to Novemeber and was below 10% BF. Other than that I'm back to gaining size and loving every bite.


My long term goal is to be about 220 with 10% body fat.

So do you guys eat well most of the time? Chicken breast, brown rice, etc?

Maybe I should just start eating cleaner food and I won't gain as much fat when I'm bulking.

I thought the idea was to bulk then cut because the excess calories required for gaining muscle also make you gain fat, so you lose weight and try to keep the muscle.


I would definitely say no more than that. I think that probably an extended bulk is the most effective means of optimally putting on mass if that's the route you want to take. Personally, I like to alternate a few months bulking with a few months leaning out and keep repeating. It depends how much fat you are willing to carry on your frame


my staple foods are pretty much the same as everyone else

Lean Beef
Tuna(not alot cause I hate it)
Cottage Cheese
Protein Powder(Metabolic Drive or Evopro)

Whole Wheat Tortilla(really like these)
Fruits and veggies
some rice but not alot
Wheat bread
Metabolic Drive bars

Fish Oils
Milled Flax Seeds
Olive oil
plus whatever I get from eating a ton of eggs and meat

No matter what I'm doing or what phase I'm in,I still eat these foods 90% of the time.


Also remember you have to give your body time to adjust to either being real lean before ya bulk or having the extra weight before ya start leaning out.


I've never cut in the 11 years of training. I won't until I get to my goal weight and size. I think more people should do the same, because you're wasting your time if you continually do so. All you need to do is control your cals so that you don't put on too much extra weight. Cutting is for competiton or wanna-be beach bods.


How much time usually? I know everyone is different:)


In general, NO.


No less than two months, if not more. Any time in the past that I have dropped weight soon after reaching a new "higher set point", I will lose more of what was gained in terms of muscle mass. Muscle uses calories to en extent that your body won't find efficient unless you hold a certain weight long enough for that to become "normal" for you.


I believe the lightbulb just went "on."


Cutting is "The Devil!" And I don't mean good.


Why the strength phase ?


Good question. Every phase should be a strength phase.


2 to 3 times a year? Wow that's a lot of... cuttage? Is your goal to be "not too huge"??? Is Brad Pitt one of your inspirations?


Depends on how often you need to be superlean....

If you do a proper clean bulk you really won't put on much bodyfat.


I definitely recommend a 'maintenance' phase as well between actively adding mass and cutting. Just a very gradual reduction of calories. It lets your body get used to your new set-point.


i actually didnt reallt start moving my bw up until i started eating everything

Barr's article really helped me

i will probably not cut for a long time, i msay however add in additional cardio if i feel i am getting fat