is faster cutting better?

I’m on a cutting cycle right now. I’ve been eating a low carb diet, though not too low, and stepping up my cardio (I still lift the same amount or the same routine) while supplementing tribex to counter mass loss & fatigue. I am wondering if cutting faster is better? Is it better for maintaining mass? Or worse? I want to cut fairly significantly before the next building cycle. I’m hoping a greater cut may lead to greater gains in mass as well, later on. Am I informed correctly? Or drastically off course?

Generally speaking, the longer you allow yourself to drop fat, the more mass you will retain while doing it. Unless supplementing with an androgen, the caloric deficit you would have to create in order to lose fat VERY quickly would lead to some LBM sacrifice.

On a personal level, I have noticed that the longer it takes to get lean, the longer I stay lean when bulking.

Dieting sends a signal to your body to reduce muscle mass. The more you diet, the more muscle you lose. Luckily, you can send an anabolic signal to your body to retain/build muscle mass, and that signal is weight-training. Your body can only create a certain amount of muscle as a response to a workout (thus the concept of over-training), so if you diet more than you build, you’ll lose muscle. So, I’d say gradual cutting with plenty of exercise is the best way to go.

Agree with Tek’s last statement. Take your time, let your body adjust to each level of BF%, you will reap the benefits that way. Benefits such as, staying lean as you’re bulking.

This is an interesting topic. Persistence may be the key to keeping and achieving low bodyfat, BUT what if you are trying achieve very low bf levels, say 4-5%? I think the body would stall before reaching such low levels on a moderately calorie deficit cycle, so maybe going very low cals for a few days, combined with refeeds once/twice a week is the key looking to get shredded? Remember, the body gets more and more resistant to fat loss whenever you lose some fat- getting supremely lean may require extreme measures perhaps? Or I am I totally off track here?

Only last night I was reviewing this spring and summer’s abrupt cutting cycle, trying to trace where I went wrong (for a second time). Both times there were life issues that could not be avoided. But also in both cases, I was trying to lose fat too quickly. So I agree with Trev here (though I think Bill Roberts has gone on record as preferring faster cutting, perhaps while on androgens).

One thing continues to dupe me in these severe cutting plans. I can get away with it for about three weeks. I drop fat very quickly, and I only lose about two or three reps off a personal best on a very restricted diet. But I don’t put the brakes on. And then, twice now, something seriously disrupts my schedule, like a household move or seventy hour work weeks (I’m a free lancer). Only I’m still “cutting,” right? So what happens is, I’m still eating less and limiting carbs, but I’m not training or monitoring things as I should be. And the net result is, I return to a thirty-two inch waist, but I’m smallish and not ripped.

Perhaps you could start severe and then ease up. But be careful. It’s truly tough to increase calories when the fat is melting away.

Forgive the length, but here’s one last caution. I also get lean principally as a staging method for the next bulk. I prefer to bulk, because hey, it’s more food and clothes fit tighter and reps and poundages are going up. What’s not to like? But since that is my agenda, I tend to cut too quickly just to get it over with – and that only compounds the LBM loss. It’s quite a counterproductive paradigm.

I’m starting to think I might do shorter cutting through out bulking. I have not stepped down my resistance training but I have just begun giving more rest to muscle groups by varying my workout a little more. I have also slowly reintroduced a bit more carbs after the intial phase of the cut (2 weeks). I want my mass and my BF% to meet each other. Does that make sense? I’m at about 15% BF. I plan on reducing 3% at a time for 3-4 weeks without lossing over-all weight. Ideally I will cut moderately enough and build to hit 190lbs with about 8% BF in 4 months. So basically lose 12 more lbs of fat and gain at least ten back in muscle. Is this extreme? Too fast? If I gain 10 more back in muscle I can afford to put back on some fat with it to get 8%. It’ll cycle as such- one month cutting with reduced carb intake (still lifting hard) followed by one month of lifting and well managed bulking. Then all over again for a total of 4 months. That would be 6-7lbs of fat loss every other month followed by 5-6lbs muscle gain every remaining month.