T Nation

Maintain Strength During Fat Loss

I’m considering doing Waterbury’s summer program to lose body fat before I head home for the summer season. However, I’ve made huge strength gains in the past 12 months, and would like to lose as little of that as possible. It seems there has been a lot of results from this program, and I was thinking of giving it a shot. As this is my first time really doing a “cutting” program, I’m going to need a lot of help. Currently 205lbs, around 18% bodyfat. I guess my main questions are as follows:

-What would be the best way to maintain strength during this program, especially for the “Big Three” lifts, or would it be enough to just consume enough protein to maintain lean body mass?

-I’m active duty Army, so we do running or bodyweight exercises in the morning…would this have any affect on the program or my diet?

I don;t know what program you are talking about. But heres what I do know… doing (x) got you stronger. So in order to maintain/increase that strength, I would keep doing whatever it is you did to get you there in the first place. Unless there is a specific reason you want to change, aside from fat loss?

Bodyweight exercise and running are great for losing weight, so you already have a great setup in my opinion. Wake up, don’t eat anything except a cup of coffee. Do whatever it is you need to do in terms of bodyweight/running training fasted. Then, try and eat plenty of yummy yummy protein, probably keep the carbs lower, until you can weight train - If I were you, I would just keep on doing whatever it was you were doing that got you such good strength gains over the past 12 months. The best way to maintain strength and size while cutting is to just keep on lifting big. The workouts may be tougher and your gains may be slower, but if you back off the heavy weights for lots of reps, your body is going to think it’s okay to lose size and strength.

Anyways, after training, just eat a shitload of protein and as long as you keep your food choices relatively clean, I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t lose some fat.

I’m not sure if this post is really what you’re looking for, or if you only wanted feedback on the specific program you mentioned. But that’s what I would do with your setup. I think if you do it right, eat enough clean food and sleep enough, you could potentially end up stronger and in much better shape at the end of the summer.