T Nation

Losing Muscle When Cutting

Hi,

I remember an author (sorry can’t remember who) on here once stated that losing muscle when cutting is a myth.

I remember the reasoning was that as long as you keep lifitng the same weight with the same intensity and volume when cutting, you wont lose muscle.

I’ve read a lot that you should bulk as cleanly as possible so as not to gain too much fat, so that when you cut you dont have to cut so much that you lose so much muscle that the bulking was pointless.

But if the authors’ reasoning is true then you shouldn’t really worry about too many calories when bulking as long as you don’t have some sort of deadline to meet. For example, you had 6 months to bulk and then cut for a contest.

Thoughts?

The author was Alwyn Cosgrove, it was one of his ranting articles where he said something to the effects of “I’ve yet to see anyone lose large amounts of muscle on a diet”… While I tend to agree with the man on many instances, I think that the reason HE doesnt see it is because he manages his clients well.

Someone who might be doing it for a first time (like I did my first time) has a huge potential for muscle loss at many fronts. Someone who does low intensity, long duration cardio…coupled with 15 rep lifting on shitty exercises and then eats 1000 cals a day will DAMN SURE lose muscle. I doubt any of his clients are doing that though.

High intensity, short duration cardio(cardio may not be necessary while cutting…thats another debate), coupled with an appropriate diet(20% under maintenance or so) and a strength focused lifting cycle should help stave off most muscle loss.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
The author was Alwyn Cosgrove, it was one of his ranting articles where he said something to the effects of “I’ve yet to see anyone lose large amounts of muscle on a diet”… While I tend to agree with the man on many instances, I think that the reason HE doesnt see it is because he manages his clients well.

Someone who might be doing it for a first time (like I did my first time) has a huge potential for muscle loss at many fronts. Someone who does low intensity, long duration cardio…coupled with 15 rep lifting on shitty exercises and then eats 1000 cals a day will DAMN SURE lose muscle. I doubt any of his clients are doing that though.

High intensity, short duration cardio(cardio may not be necessary while cutting…thats another debate), coupled with an appropriate diet(20% under maintenance or so) and a strength focused lifting cycle should help stave off most muscle loss. [/quote]

Yeah, that’s all true…to a degree. But one needs to realize that when decent training and a reasonable diet are controlled for, nutrient partitioning, whether gaining muscle or losing fat, is mostly a function of genetics. There are little things you can do, like macronutrient percentages, nutrient timing, specific training interventions, but these will pale in comparison to picking better parents.

If you’re one of those that gains a high percentage of muscle when you gain weight, be thankful. If not, gain slower and be more careful. Same goes for dropping fat…if you’re not one of those that can hang on to muscle easily, you have to slow things down.

[quote]AdamC wrote:
Hi,

I remember an author (sorry can’t remember who) on here once stated that losing muscle when cutting is a myth.

I remember the reasoning was that as long as you keep lifitng the same weight with the same intensity and volume when cutting, you wont lose muscle.

I’ve read a lot that you should bulk as cleanly as possible so as not to gain too much fat, so that when you cut you dont have to cut so much that you lose so much muscle that the bulking was pointless.

But if the authors’ reasoning is true then you shouldn’t really worry about too many calories when bulking as long as you don’t have some sort of deadline to meet. For example, you had 6 months to bulk and then cut for a contest.

Thoughts?[/quote]

Whoever that author is, they are wrong. I don’t know one guy out of the several I know who have competed who would ever support a claim like that. The entire struggle when dieting is to hold onto the size you gained while you drop weight…and it is a STRUGGLE.

If it wasn’t, why would we need to be so concerned about protein intake or whether we don’t overdo cardio? I have dieted down in the past, done all high intensity cardio and lost a large amount of muscle mass in the process. Just because it is written in an article doesn’t make it true.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
AdamC wrote:
Hi,

I remember an author (sorry can’t remember who) on here once stated that losing muscle when cutting is a myth.

I remember the reasoning was that as long as you keep lifitng the same weight with the same intensity and volume when cutting, you wont lose muscle.

I’ve read a lot that you should bulk as cleanly as possible so as not to gain too much fat, so that when you cut you dont have to cut so much that you lose so much muscle that the bulking was pointless.

But if the authors’ reasoning is true then you shouldn’t really worry about too many calories when bulking as long as you don’t have some sort of deadline to meet. For example, you had 6 months to bulk and then cut for a contest.

Thoughts?

Whoever that author is, they are wrong. I don’t know one guy out of the several I know who have competed who would ever support a claim like that. The entire struggle when dieting is to hold onto the size you gained while you drop weight…and it is a STRUGGLE.

If it wasn’t, why would we need to be so concerned about protein intake or whether we don’t overdo cardio? I have dieted down in the past, done all high intensity cardio and lost a large amount of muscle mass in the process. Just because it is written in an article doesn’t make it true.[/quote]

yeah you can’t just be spoon fed info and not question it. everything you read that is stated as fact ( especially in the business of bodybuilding ) should be questioned and cross examined by you.

Cosgrove has made in clear in many of his articles that he writes for the average trainee. The average person, when dieting, has so much fat and so little muscle, that muscle loss is not a great concern.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Whoever that author is, they are wrong. I don’t know one guy out of the several I know who have competed who would ever support a claim like that. The entire struggle when dieting is to hold onto the size you gained while you drop weight…and it is a STRUGGLE.

If it wasn’t, why would we need to be so concerned about protein intake or whether we don’t overdo cardio? I have dieted down in the past, done all high intensity cardio and lost a large amount of muscle mass in the process. Just because it is written in an article doesn’t make it true.[/quote]

So true! I dieted down to 100 grams carbs/day using a CKG diet, while jacking my protein up to 300 grams/day, at a bodyweight between 225-235, trained 3-4 times a week using a Dorian Yates style routine with cardio limited to three short HIIT sessions a week, and still lost muscle. Its really a never ending battle, like everything else in this life IMO.