LIfting Weights 6x a Week to Cut?

Been doing the same routine for a year now, so I’ve been thinking about a change. Also, I now workout before work, so mentally prefer the idea of a shorter workout (40 mins or less). This isn’t set in stone, so can spend longer if have to. Happy to be in the gym more frequently, but ideally want to keep the workouts short and intense.

My main concern is being natural and on a cut, is it a good idea to workout so often? My shoulders are going to be hit pretty frequently, 5 out the 6 days in fact. Obviously don’t want to mess them up long term. Volume is fairly low each session to compensate for frequency I’ll be in the gym.

I get 8-8 half hours sleep each night and my diet is pretty much is 95 -100% clean each week, slowly tapering off portion sizes when weight loss halts. This is the routine I had in mind.


Incline DB - 2x working sets

Flat DB - 2x working sets

Weighted Dips - 2x working sets

Flys - 2x working sets


One Arm Row 2x working sets

Pullup 1x working set

Lat Pulldown 2x working sets

Rack Pull 2x working sets


CG Bench 2x working sets

Bi Curl 2x working sets

Overhead DB Ext 2x working sets

DB preacher 2x working sets


DB Shoulder Press 2x working sets

Lat Raise 2x working sets

Bent over Raise 2x working sets

Shrugs 2x working sets


Front Squat 2x working sets

Leg Press 2x working sets

Leg Curl 2x working sets

Calf Raise 2x working sets


Start over again…

The past 7 weeks since I’ve started the cut I lost just under a stone in weight by lifting weights 4 or 5 x per, using a 3 way split. Days included 40 mins cv first thing. Strength wise, I’ve only lost a rep on most exercises.

You may ask why change? Like I said, its mainly because I don’t like working out for 50 - 60 mins first thing. I really don’t enjoy the sscv on the bike (who does! :))and I’m willing to see if just lifting weights alone is enough to get down to around 10%. Maybe do some on my off day.

Old routine was:

Chest + Arms

Incline DB 2x ws

Flat DB 2x ws

EZ Curl 2x ws

Preacher 2x ws

Dips Weighted 2xws

Overhead 2x ws


F Squat 2x ws

Leg Press 2x ws

Leg Curl 2x ws

Calf Raise 2x ws

Bent Over Raise 2x ws

cv day

Shoulders + back

DB Shoulder 2x ws

One Arm Row 2x ws

Pullup 1x ws

Lat PDown 2xws

Lat Raise 2xws

cv day

Chest + Arms and so on…

Thanks for reading, any suggestions and opinions are welcome.

I don’t see how your shoulders are being hit 5 out of 6 days. I see a chest day, and a shoulder day…

The bottom line is always going to be achieving a balance between your stresses, and your recovery (gym work vs rest and nutrition). I’m doing a contest prep now, and I’m in the gym 7 days a week. Obviously I’m not doing the exact same things as I would be doing if I were offseason (although most things are pretty close), but people seem to think that everything changes when you try to cut vs trying to bulk. Not everything has to.

It is pretty basic to compensate raised frequency with reduced volume, that’s a good idea, although I do think your suggsted number of sets looks extremely on the low side (which makes me worry as you had to make a point of being ‘natural’, which sometimes equates to = “I don’t think I should work too hard because I’ll never be really huge anyway”. Top natural guys like Shaun Clarida train up to 2 hours a day, 6 days a week, with about 20 sets for some bodyparts. Obviously his recovery aspects are the best he can set them up to be.


Thanks for the reply. I say ‘natural’ as I’ve always been under the impression that if assisted recovery is better and the volume can be ramped up. Its not a self defeating thing on my part.

The sets listed are work sets. I usually perform 2 reamped warm up sets for each exercise before hitting an all out top set, closely followed by another all out set at a slightly lower weight. Both to failure so I can’t squeeze out another rep. I thought ramping to an all out top set was pretty common on these boards?

How/what would you change on my routine? The amount of worksets? Hitting each muscle with higher frequency? Do you include cv as part of your cutting plan?

Honestly, like Stu said, training really doesn’t have to change much, if at all (unless maybe you’re actually talking about stepping on stage, in which case not trying to set PR’s the week before the show is probably not a bad idea) during a “cut”. What’s going to cause you to shed bodyfat is being in a caloric deficit (eating less food/energy than you’re burning), while at the same time still giving your body a damn good reason to hold onto as much muscle as it can in the process.

In other words, whatever method of training helped you put on the muscle in the first place is gonna help you keep it on while cutting. Just adjust your caloric intake so that you are at a slight deficit (try 150 per day to start) and do your cardio. Then it’s just a matter of making the necessary adjustments needed to continue seeing results.

As far as number of sets/volume, that’s really a matter of individual recovery ability. You have natural guys like Clarida who, like Stu mentioned, train 2 hours a day, 6 days a week and do up to 20 sets for some body parts. Then, you’ve got guys like Jeff Willet (who has a recent thread about him here) who train no more than 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and only do anywhere from 3-6 (work) sets per body part (with maybe 3-4 warm-up sets for the first exercise). Both guys have been successful and reached the pinnacle of the sport naturally.

If you feel like you are getting good results from doing the lower volume approach, then keep doing it IMO.