Broken down to it's basics, is it fair to say that if you've not lost any strength after a cut, you've preserved nearly all of the muscle mass whilst losing fat?
While I think it is impossible to preserve 100% of your lean muscle mass when dieting to any degree (even in the best of circumstances, barring PEDs of course), if proper nutrition and recovery are in check, you shouldn't really lose much if any in the way of strength. Sure you may feel groggy and a bit lethargic between sets and throughout the day as the diet goes on, but when under the weight, you should be fine.
Thanks Stu. I find it a bit hard gauging from the mirror my cutting success, and feel I respond best from a motivational point of view at least, if I can prove to myself my progress with regards to maintaining mass through numbers or cold hard facts like reps, weights etc.
I believe that preserving muscle/strength on a cut depends more on how long you have to diet for (hence one of the reasons not to go over-board with fat gains) more than anything else.
Any longer than 4 months on a proper diet and not only is it mental torture (thereby making it hard to drive yourself in the gym and keep focussed), but you start to lose momentum (don't know what else to call it?) and strength declines.
Someone who tries to lose 40lbs+ will have more muscle loss if doing it all in one stretch compared to someone who only has ~20lbs to lose in one stretch.
that's why you should for an allout war at fat. too long diet can fuck you up physically and mentally.