T Nation

Recomposition from cutting cycle.

Hey folks. Well, I’m in the last 2 weeks of my cutting cycle. And now that I’m here I’ve come to a final conclusion I’ve been mulling over for a couple of weeks. (I guess this is run of the mill stuff for a lot of you.) I’ve never really put much thought (or effort) into post-cutting-cycle training or diet, I’ve just gone straight into a bulking cycle and thrown on fat with it. It’s gunna be different this time damnit! I’m gunna hit maintenance cals for a week (massive eating style) to refilling the body and muscles, and slowly up the cals each week till I’m well above maintenance. Regular mass building exercise with a ‘little’ cardio to help keep off the fat. Keep the creatine and a few other bits and pieces coming in. Anyone else have a specific ‘recomposition phase’ for after cutting up??? I think it’s pretty important for keeping the body relatively shredded.

I’m in the same situation as you are, although I have about a week to go of cutting. I’m thinking that I will up the calories gradually every three days or so until I get to about 500 above maintainence. During that time, I’m going to incorporate more of a rejuvenation period of 12-15 reps for the first week, and then to hypertrophy after that. That way, when I get back to low reps, my system will be prepared for it, and my glycogen stores will be full to ensure that I’m at my strongest. I agree with you on maintaining the cardio (albeit at lesser intensity and frequency). Perhaps the most important thing that I plan on doing is charting my bodyfat and lean body mass gains every five days to one week. That way, I can see if upping the calories in that fashion is working, and decide when to ditch the cardio. Best of Luck. Keep us updated.

Good plan Mark! That’s exactly what I did the last time I came off a cutting cycle. The only difference is that I held off on the creatine until my bulking phase began. I was on a keto diet at about 1600-1800 cals/day. For my maintenance phase I started with massive eating at 2000 cals/day. I slowly upped the cals by 250-300 per week, and within 6 weeks I was maintaining my weight at about 3500 cals/day. It worked wonders, I kept the fat off and my metabolism shot through the roof. Just remember to bring up the cals slowly and don’t fear the cardio. Good luck man, and nice job on the fat fast by the way. I’ve never had the balls for that one.

Great to hear you had some positive results fellas! Some good tips too. I think I’ll put up the ins and outs of it on my website with the rest of my cutting cycle stuff. Which reminds me, I need to update it… Anyway, I’m already on creatine, as I’m on an iso-caloric diet now (1/3 cals to each macro) and think that some creatine is better than none. (Plus the other bits and pieces in it help.) I think I will chart my BF% progress each week or so. And I’ll be watching those cals like a hawk. Cheers, and good luck!

Keeping the creatine is definitely a must. I know that I have. Stopping it would have an even more psychological effect than you might realize. Not only would you lose a few pounds of water, but your muscles will all of a sudden seem a lot less full. Granted, it wouldn’t mean that you were in catabolism and were losing pounds of muscle, but dropping that much weight so quickly could really screw with your head. Good call, and good luck. By the way, I was at 7.7% last Tuesday, and I’m going to get it checked tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed…

I’m probably at about 9% now. It’s going pretty good, just not as fast as I expected, or have experienced in the past. Probably because I’m not doing any cardio. I figure if I play my cards right on the recomposition phase, I’ll still be able to shed a little fat to get those veins hangin’ outta my abs again, while starting to gain back some of the muscle. Eric - I actually ‘started’ on creatine again when I started dieting, so I really didn’t lose much ‘weight’ at all when I started, even though I was FFing…! Psychologically, I guess I’d say that was just confusing, took me a while to realise what was going on…

I’m hoping for a little progress after the fact as well. At the start, I didn’t have all that much to lose (I wanted to drop about 6-7 lbs. of fat), and I started my cutting phase on October 4th. At my last skinfold measurement, the 7.7% calculated out to just about a 4 lb. fat loss, and I actually put on a little lean mass. I can only speculate that it was just matter of my body adjusting to a new training format. I definitely can feel where the fat has gone off, but I still need to bring out my lower pecs, obliques, and lower abs (although they are somewhat visible). Anyway, back to my recomposition hope. I know that my glycogen stores are low, so I have reason to believe that I’ll have some sort of supercompensation comparable to what bodybuilders get when they load carbs before a show. If the muscles get fuller, I think that it will diminish the visibility of the remaining fat and give a more vascular look. Anyway, gonna pop a few ZMA and hit the sack- I got 6 AM cardio tomorrow morning before class.