T Nation

Powerlifting - Trying to Cut Weight

#1

I’m trying to cut my bf since january
At the first, I felt so great to cut 5 kg in 1 1/2 month

But I was too late to figure out that my strength are getting weaker and weaker
Before I decided to cut, My squat PR is about 160 kg, Bench 100 kg, and 170/180 kg on deadlift

But in the middle of February, My squat was drop to 130/140 kg, my bench drop to 70 kg, And DL drop to 130 kg, crazy right? I lose about 20 - 30 kg of weight on all my tree big lifts in just 1 and 1/2 month

So I decided to get back up and build my strength and not too drop the calories too low
My TDEE is about 2100 calories, and so I cut it to 1800 - 1900 calories on a rest days, and on a Training days, I eat for about 2000 - 2100 calories per day
At the first I avoided any carbs, but now I eat high carbs food on a Traning Days and moderate carbs on a Rest days

And I was doing great, My strength is goes up like hell, I was so shocked because I can break my last time PR while cutting

But the problem is, now since I’m doing this, my bodyweight won’t lose anymore, I’m currently at 80 kg Bodyweight at 20 - 25 % bf, and this is my bodyweight since Last february, until now it still the same weight

My strength is goes up and I’m getting stronger than before, but I’m sure I eat below my TDEE, and some people tell me that my muscle is grow, but I think thats not the case because actually My bodyweight in the middle of march is 79 kg, and at the end of march is 80 kg, at the middle of april is 79 kg, and now I’m currently 80 kg at the same bodyfat
I don’t see any significant difference on my BF percentage since March
Actually, I’m feel like I’m fatter than before

Do anybody know the solution?

NB : Apologize if there are some false sentence, I’m still not getting used in english hehehe

#2

You are eating too many calories. Your metabolism slows down after being in a caloric deficit for an extended period so your caloric intake needs to be reduced again. For this reason it is not advised to cut for prolonged periods of time, 3 consecutive months of cutting is pretty much the limit. After that you can bulk or maintain for a month and then resume cutting. But if you stopped losing weight after a month and a half it’s because you were not in a caloric deficit.

You will get weaker if you cut a significant amount of weight (5kg is significant, more is more significant).

#3

Too much calories. If you want to lose weight then reduce calories again and accept that you will lose some strength.

How tall are you?

#4

I’m 177 cm, 18 years old

#5

How long have you been training seriously?

At your height, you should be aiming to eventually get to 100kg or more if you want to get far in PL. I hesitate to tell you to bulk because if you are small and fat then you will end up bigger and even fatter, but you will have to get bigger so I don’t really think that cutting a whole bunch of weight is a good idea at this point. You will most likely just end up fat again and you will have wasted a bunch of time where you could have gotten stronger. I think a better solution is to keep calories at around maintenance and focus on getting stronger, do a good amount of volume as well. From the sounds of things, you should be able to get leaner and grow slowly at the same time.

@tasty_nate - What would you tell this guy to do? 18 years old, 5’9, 175lbs, and over 20% bf.

#6

Based on your stats, you probably have pretty average genetics. So first ask yourself… do you want to be small, lean, and have mediocre strength, or do you want to be big, and freakishly strong, but probably not lean enough for visible abs?

If you want to be strong, big, and actually look like you lift weights without having to wear a t-shirt 2 sizes too small, you need to gain weight and train hard. 18-22 is the prime age to gain muscle mass, but you won’t gain muscle (enough to really matter, anyway) unless the scale is going up. If you train hard and eat enough to gain mass at a rate of 0.25-0.75 kg/week, you’re probably going to be hitting the best muscle to fat gain ratio that your genetics will allow. Hell, your actual body fat % might actually drop a bit. Like @chris_ottawa 100 kg or more is where you’ll need to be to really look “big” and be strong for your height.

As for gaining mass, shoot for the typical gram of protein per pound of body weight (150-200 grams/day for you) and make sure 80% or so of your diet comes from whole food sources and that should put you in the ballpark of keeping your mass gain as lean as possible.

If you spend the next 5 years swinging back and forth between “cutting” and “bulking”, going up 5-10 kg, then back down, then up, then down… You won’t look much different in 5 years. I’ve seen it so many times before… it’s such a waste. The people that really look like freaks have almost all pushed their body weights up to pretty drastic extremes before even worrying about getting leaner. I suggest you do the same.

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#7

This sound logical.

I always believe that those that become the most competitive powerlifters, tend to begin their powerlifting careers uncompetitive (simply gaining as much quality mass as possible to build strength, with the added fat gains), then cut down later on.

In other words: start uncompetitive, to be competitive later on

#8

Something along those lines is what I’m thinking, maybe on the lower end for someone who is already a bit flabby. Also don’t bulk nonstop forever, after 3-4 months spend a month or two at caloric maintenance (a good time to reduce volume and focus on heaver lifts, or peak for a meet) because if you just keep bulking after a certain point you will gain more fat than muscle. This is something that Mike Israetel has repeated over and over as long as I can remember.

#9

Nobody starts competitive, unless you are a massive bodybuilder or Ray Williams (who was already squatting big weights when he played football).

#10

keep calories at maintenance and do this…

or this…

#11

Like the other guys said, you’re overeating if you aren’t losing weight. Make sure you are tracking EVERYTHING and accurately too. I’d get your bodyfat % down before trying to gain a bunch of mass.

#12

With the goal of powerlifting, and thinking long-term in mind, I respectfully disagree, mainly because of OPs age. Body fat can always be taken off later and is actually a lot easier the more muscle mass you have, something OP is lacking in. He’s at a prime age to build muscle, if he spends the next 3-4 years focused on that instead of getting/staying lean, sure he’ll gain some fat but he’ll have so much muscle on him that he would only be a fairly easy cut away from getting to walk around not just lean, but BIG and lean.

You’ll never have an easier time naturally growing muscle than your early 20s, don’t waste it.

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#13

Yes, definitely.

My reasoning is:

  1. Insulin sensitivity will be higher at a lower bodyfat
  2. If he’s at 20-25% my guess is that his eating habits are subpar and overeating more won’t fix that
  3. Dropping down under 15% wouldn’t take too long
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#14

But once he starts bulking again, from a skinny 150-160, do you think he’s not going to gain some fat? Bulking slowly will minimize fat gain, and if you haven’t been training seriously for very long and/or your diet was shit then once you sort that out it is possible to build muscle while losing fat. At the worst, he won’t get much fatter and only bigger and stronger.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather be a muscular 200lbs at 20% bf than a skinny 150.

#15

Thanks sir, you really save my time
I really trying to make a best decision between cut and bulk, what’s the best for me, and there’s not such a thing like wrong or right answer but its about how to make a best decision right this time, and I think I’m already figure it out based from your explanation

#16

200 at 20% is 160lbs lean mass. So at 180 you’d be 11%. That’s pretty jacked for a guy that’s 5’9".

No, it’s not advantageous for powerlifting if you’re trying to become elite. Being fat is also just not a good look for me. Even at 5’11" and 195 it goes straight to my face, which is why I prefer to sit at 185, and have a bias toward being lean.

#17

I guess you could eat around maintenance and see how you progress.

#18

I’m 5’9 and a little over 250. I’m pretty sure I’m not under 20%bf but I’m not a fat slob either. As far as I’m concerned, my main physical shortcoming is that I’m not as strong as I want to be.

Nobody is arguing in favor of getting too fat, but trying to be unnecessarily lean is counterproductive. If you can’t face life without 6 pack abs then maybe this is the wrong sport for you. Pretty much all guys who are big and lean had to get a little bit fat for a while to get to the size they are at.

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#19

I am from Holland where most people average 6ft2, but what I have seen is that those under 6ft tend to be in the 72/83kg classes, while those over 6ft tend to be in the 105kg (or higher) classes. Very few actually happen to be in the 93kg class.

In either case, people tend to be mostly at the far ends of either side of the weight spectrum.

Any reason why the 93kg class is not as popular?

#20

That’s interesting, over here it looks like 93kg/90kg (depending on federation, only IPF has 93) is one of the classes with the most lifters.

If you are anywhere near 6ft and under 83kg that can’t be very good for powerlifting.