T Nation

Losing strength on diets

Why is it that people resign to the fact they are going to lose strength on diets? Is it because in this time and day people want everything yesterday, meaning they want to lose fat as quick as possible? Doing this “cut my calories in half cause im dieting now” type diet is always going to lose strength, ok, but if there is no hurry or if you know there is a show on in say 12 or 20 or 52 weeks why not just plan it out properly? taper down in your calories etc… i find it quite frustrating that people just “accept” they are going to lose strength when dieting down. With products like ECA stacks and mag 10 etc is there any reason for this to happen? Any bodybuiling competitors coments on their strength level the week prior to the show would be interesting.

Good post, Whet One. You know, I personally will not accept a loss in strength. If one believes that it’s going to be the case, then more likely than not, it’s going to become fact.

I personally have very little experience with cutting diets. However, when I was preparing for a photo shoot for the first time, I pretty much eliminated (quite foolishly) all foodstuffs outside of protein and cut caloric intake to around half of maintenance, and this was done pretty quickly. That resulted in a pretty ugly situation in the gym.

So you’ve already pretty much elicited the truth behind the strength loss. People want resuls yesterday (I like that) and cut calories way too low, way too fast. In addition, they go about dieting–for the most part–the wrong way. However, I do believe that you’ll find many natural competitors who diet in a much more efficient fashion. That is, the diet in a manner that is more conducive to strength and muscle mass maintenance.

Another misconception is that the key to fat loss is dropping fat intake. Wrong! Many remain on a diet that has them eating carbs all day, every meal or something similar. This cranks up insulin all day and results in a less-than-optimal fat-burning environment. They fail to see progress and thus decrease calories further. In addition, they have no idea how to implement strategically placed refeeds. They obviously need the counsel of TT and Joel:-)