T Nation

Mild Cutting Cycle

Hello,

This will be my personal log with a very mild cutting cycle. I plan on posting weekly update on how I’m feeling, my weight loss progress, performance/strength changes, and any side affects I’m experiencing.

Stats:
Age: 30
Height: 5’10
Weight: 216lb
Bodyfat: 16-17%
Training: 15 Years

Compounds
Testosterone Cyponiate: 110 Weekly (TRT Dose)
Masteron Enanthate: 300 Weekly
Trenbolone Acetate: 125mg Weekly
Oxandrolone: 50mg Daily

Protocol: 12 Week Cycle
Week 1-4: Test + Mast
Week 4-12: Add Tren and Anavar

Support Supplements
Animal Flex Joint Support
Animal Pak Multi
Vitamin D
P-5-P for Prolactin Control
NAC and TUDCA for Liver Support
Omega 3 Fish Oils

Diet Currently cutting on 1900 calories since January. I track my weight and count my calories everyday. I lift 5x per week and end every workout with 30min of cardio. I also fast 16 hours per day. My metabolism is slow, and even at 1900 calories i barely lose 1lb per week. I don’t plan on cutting my calories any lower since this is a happy medium for me. I get just enough out of 1900 calories to recover from my workouts. I don’t feel drained and my strength has not decreased after losing 12lb so far.

Lifts: I work up to 75-85% of my 1RPM for a set of 5+ each workout on my main lifts (bench/squat/DL). I use this to track my strength progress. Since i have started cutting, i have not lost/gained any additional reps. This tells me that my calories are not to drastically cut and that I’m recovering from my work outs even though I’ve lost 12lb.

I de-load every 8 weeks, and before my de-load, i test my 3 rep max to see if my strength has declined or stayed the same.

Example:
Bench Max 335, i typically rep 275lb for 6-8 reps.

My workouts are mainly bodybuilding 10-12rep focused. I only work up to a heavy 5+ set on the main lifts at the begging of the workout and then focus on BB. Currently I’m doing 3 sets per exercises and 5 exercises per body part (15 sets). I’m increasing my volume by 25% to 20 sets per body part starting this week. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to handle more volume because of the compounds and in return burn more calories and lose bf along the way.

Goal: 195-200lb @ 10% while maintaining or gaining strength. The goal is not to add size, but to keep my current size. The compounds are only there to assist and mitigate muscle/strength loss while in a calorie deficit. Also to obviously enhance my appearance.

Thank you

image

Week 1 update:

I went from a MWF injection protocol to daily shots, and it’s not as bad as it sounds. I preload 7 days worth of shots for convenience. My hope is to reduce all sides with small daily shots. I’ve started experiencing some pretty bad acne about 4 months ago when I added HCG to my TRT and it’s been about 5 weeks since I dropped the HCG. Acne has improved about 50% by removing the HCG. I know cycles can make acne worse, but I’m hoping that the small doses I’m using will help avoid this.

I’ve added the Masterone to my TRT, and I think 7 days is to early to tell if anything is happening. I plotted out the half life’s and it looks like it might takes 28 days to achieve stable levels.

I weighed in at 215.8lb this morning.

Strength this week has been the same. These are just maintenance #s while on a cut/deficit. I’m not focusing on gaining strength, but rather maintaining it. Also I increased volume to 20 sets per workout, 5 workouts per week.

Squats: 275x6, 225x10, 225x8, 225x5

Bench: 225x5, 275x6, 225x10, 225x10

DL: 225x5, 275x5, 315x7, 315x5.

Overall I feel like I’m recovering really well this week from my workouts.

Thanks

Week 2 update :

I weighed 215lb this morning. Down .8lb since
Last week. I measured my body fat % using the Jackson / Pollock 7 point method. At 225lb I was 20.5% and at 215 I’m at 15%.

Strength

Squats: 275x6, 225x9, 225x8, 225x6

  • testing wider stance with more hip drive. Felt good, depth was good. I record all of my set so I can check form.

Bench: 275x5, 225x10, 225x8, 225x6

  • not a great session, felt tired, everything felt off. This is the first time in 3 months that I only got 5 reps on 275. I did work an extra 20 hours leading up to this workout, so that might have affected me,
    Or maybe strength is starting to decrease with the weight loss. We will see how next week goes.

DL: 275x5, 315x8, 315x5, 225x10

Overall aside from Monday’s chest workout, I’m feeling good, recovery from each session is on point. I’m starting to notice that I feel more pumped throughout the day and more vascular during my workouts. Also sleep has improved. I don’t know if this is because I went to daily shots and lowered my dose or the added Masterone, but I’m sleeping through the night compared to waking up multiple times.

Men’s physique initially I planned on doing my first show at the end of May, but at this point I don’t think I would bring my best condition to that show. I need to drop another 15-20lb to achieve stage ready leanness. There is another show July 10th which fits perfectly at the end of my cycle. Literally the same week. I’m considering doing that show.

Thanks

1 Like

Looking good man. You most definitely have some technique problems in squat and deadlift. Your bench is waaaaaaaaaay ahead of those two lifts. Are you working on improving them? Only reason I ask is…not progressing on them will seriously hold you back.

My option would be to run mast on the last 4 weeks with the anavar, and run tren from the start. Mast + anavar is a magical combination that will cut you up at the end. Even better if you ran winstrol instead of anavar.

Thanks! As mentioned above, this is just maintenance training while in a calorie deficit. I’m not focusing on lifting heavy/above 75%. For example I’ve hit a convention 495 DL and 365 squat before the cut at 225lb. Those DL #s above are beltless sumo. I’m slowly trying to improve my sumo form so I don’t go above 315lb while I’m cutting. My squat has always been a struggling lift and I spend a lot of time on perfecting my low bar technique. Below you will see a recent 365 single. Any advice on how I can improve is appreciated.

Thanks

Depth is good. You leaned forward way too much. Have you tried heavier “walk outs” to build your nervous system tolerance? Load the bar up 405 or so, walk it out, and back in. Slowly increase. That way your body and core don’t freak out when you start increasing weight.

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Imo, you are almost too deep for most people. By that I mean, most will round their back to get that depth. Maybe you can handle it? I used to squat like that and my back was always pretty beat up. I now squat just past hip crease below top of knee and the back feels better.

I also think you are descending pretty fast. For most people descending slower will allow better positioning on the way up. It’s brutal for rep work though. Try to feel in complete control of bar path. If you don’t, try slowing down a bit in the way down.

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I tend to agree with this for heavy weight. I squat deep like this for reps but in the 3-5 range I just try an inch or so below parallel.

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Ok this makes more sense now. Above, I just saw that your top end set in the squat is the same as your top end set in the bench and I went WTF?

Regarding your technique, I agree with what’s been said already, slow down (a lot) and decrease depth (a little). Don’t know if you do this all the time, or just in that vid, but you bounced out of the hole and it made your hips come up too fast, tipping you forward. Telling yourself the cues “big chest, stay tight” before you descend, slowing your decent, and not bouncing out of the hole are the biggest improvements I can see from the side. Any vids from the back or at a 45?

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I’ll definitely try working on slowing down on the decent and maintaining more control. It is a low bar squat so there is an inherent lean in this position. I also have somewhat long femurs and naturally lean in the squat. I’ve been really trying on maintaining my bar path over the mid foot. I completely agree with the hips shooting when I try utilizing the bounce out of the hole, maybe slowing down will improve this. I’m actually really comfortable with squatting deep and it has always felt better for me personally then stopping at parallel or slightly below. I have started playing around with a wider stance which has allowed me to stay more upright and squat just below parallel comfortably. As long as the hips don’t complain, I’ll stick with it.

Appreciate the feedback.

There’s nothing terribly wrong with your squat. Your depth seems good from the angle you filmed at, not drastically deep. Try shooting for half inch to an inch below parallel. This should keep you tighter and make your rebound more explosive rather than becoming loose which results if going too low. It is possible to go slower and still get that explosive rebound. The rebound doesn’t come from going fast but rather from keeping your hamstrings tight and hip drive.

I see you’re doing low bar squats. You are definitely not leaning forward too much although the bar slightly does come forward at the beginning of your ascend because you are leading with your hips which is a good thing. To rectify this, try shooting your ass back further during the descend, which should keep the bar from going forward on the ascend. However, this is hardly preventable when going for PR’s.

Overall I think you’re doing good and should not hesitate on increasing weight on the bar. Your form will never be 100% perfect on the heavy attempts which shouldn’t stop you from increasing weight on the bar and getting stronger. Just don’t get reckless and do something stupid. Your fundamentals are good. I would like to see where you’re feet are from another angle, '45 degrees from the back usually being the best. Good luck, OP.

What we need to figure out is what’s wrong with your deadlift. Post that.

2 Likes

Week 3 update :

I weighed 215lb this morning. I didn’t lose any weight this week. I went over my calories and ate out multiple times, so that is to be expected. I might actually lower my calories to 1800 since I’ve been at 1900 for a few months now. I tend to get to comfortable at 215 and always struggle to get below that weight during my cuts, so I really need to make an effort to drop that extra fat during the coming up weeks.

Strength

Squats: 275x7, 225x10, 225x8, 225x7

  • testing wider stance and going just below parallel. Felt alright, depth was good, and form was improved.

Bench: 275x6, 225x10, 225x8, 225x6

DL: 225x5, 275x5, 315x8, 225x10

Overall a bit better performance this week. Recovery and sleep were great. I’m coming up to a de-load, so the week before I deload, I like to test some heavier triples on the main lifts and see if strength has stayed during the cut. I plan on attempting 295x3+ on bench, 315x3+ on squat, and 405x3+ on deadlifts. During deload i still go and do the same exercises, just keep the weight at 50% so my nervous system can recover. I plan on adding Tren after the deload week (14mg daily/100mg weekly). Hoping to see some more significant improvements with the mast reaching stable blood levels after 30 days and the addition of Tren for the next 8 weeks.

Thanks

Following and loving the log man. Thanks for sharing. Two things still boggle my mind about you.

  1. Your Max bench and squat are approx the same, somewhere in the high 300s. This is bananas to me.

Did you neglect squatting early on in your training career and overemphasize bench? I’m just trying to wrap my head around this.

  1. Your maintenance calories are 1,900. This is 8.8xBW for you. I don’t mean this as an insult, but I think you are either counting calories incorrectly or have completely shut down your metabolism. I saw you acknowledge that you have a slow metabolism but dude 8.8xBW is beyond comprehension.

How long have you been below 2000 calories/day? And do you have refeed days? Again, I’m just trying to wrap my head around this.

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  1. Yes, you are correct. I didn’t really squat or put much effort into legs for the first couple years of “training”. I honestly regret that, but at the time I was 16 and cared more about biceps and abs lol. When I did focus on legs I stuck to mainly leg presses/machines. After I started focusing on squatting and strength, I was able to build it up to a 365 max within 2 years (@ 205 bw), and that has been my max for the last 5 years. My progression stopped at a certain point and I believe this is because my T levels dropped and I started feeling worse and worse over time. I got to a point where all my lifts went down. My max bench was 275, and squat was around 300 and I was training consistently and weighed 235lb. This was literally a year ago. After 1 year on TRT my squat has come back to 365 and bench actually increased to 335. I believe all of my lifts will increase even more now that hormones are back to normal. At this point my bench will always be close to my squat since it was neglected for so many years. Also I probably lost 5 years of any real progression because I was on a steady decline before figuring out what was going on with my body…I have no doubt that I will be able to work up to a 405 squat within the next 1-1.5 years. I think the gap between the lifts will increase over time. I would be very happy with a 405 squat, 350 bench and 515 DL. I’m not necessarily a power lifter. I mainly do BB style workout and spend about 3 months every year pushing strength through heavy 5x5 or 5/3/1 programs. I have these goals, but #s aren’t everything. Now the goal is just to get lean and look good for summer, and I know strength will suffer on the way. I’m just trying to hold onto as much as I can.

  2. No offense taken. I’m pretty sure I’m counting calories the best way I know how. Fitness pal app and a scale/measuring portions out. My metabolism has always been slow. I gain weight rather quickly and always need to watch what I’m eating. I’ve cut 20-25lb multiple times over the years on these calories. Before the cut I was eating about 2500c and maintaining my 225-230 body weight. I started with 2000c for about 6 weeks, and have been at 1900c for 12 weeks now.

Yes, I have a re-feed every Saturday, a surplus of about 500c. Mainly carbs.

Thanks

I fail to see the problem. He’s cutting. I just finished my cut with similar calories and was highly successful. To get stage ready I would have had to drop to 1500-1800 as well.

It’s been 3 weeks and I’m thinking of changing the protocol and cutting the cycle shorter but making it more aggressive. I realize I’m coming up on a vacation and I want to look good for that instead of competing in July.

Starting this week I’m thinking of doing the following for the next 8 weeks.

  1. Bump mast up from 280mg to 400mg per week, so far no side whatsoever after 3 weeks.

  2. Add Tren 18mg daily/125 weekly

  3. Add 50mg anavar for 7 weeks.

  4. Cut calories down to 1700.

  5. Skipping the deload week and just continue for the next 8 weeks.

I’m trying to speed things up and lose another 8-10lb in the next 8 weeks.

Thoughts?

gman12 do you know your blood glucose numbers? fasted, morning, noon, and bedtime?
Have you considered insulin resistance, or being pre-diabetic for your inability to lose weight?

If weight loss is your major goal you could look into metformin? 500 x 2 /day.
Also HGH is known to help lose weight fast. 2-4 IU taken at bedtime.

2 Likes

Don’t some get an initial month or two of bloat with growth?

I don’t have that info morning/noon/bedtime but I’ve had blood glucose measured multiple times and it’s always normal (80-90) fasted. I don’t think I necessarily have issues losing weight. I just don’t cut calories to drastically, and I give myself time. If My maintenance is 2500, and at 1900 I’ve been losing about 1lb per week for the last 12 weeks, then it’s working just the way I wanted it to. I could have jumped into a deep deficit and lost the weight faster but that only results in poor performance in the gym and feeling terrible. I have no doubt that at 1700c I’ll easily shed this last 8-10lb in the next 8 weeks.

Thanks for the suggestion.