T Nation

Seeing Weaknesses/Strengths when Cutting


I don't really recall anyone talking about this, thought it would be quite interesting.

To any of you how have cut down to a significantly lower body fat did you notice that some muscle groups that you thought were weakensses weren't when you lost the bodyfat around them, and maybe vice versa.

Just to give my own insight. I am leaning out from 230 and have really noticed that the long head of my triceps and hamstrings are actually better than I thought.

Interesting to see if there are any similarities.


Never noticed how good my hams were until I was in contest shape and could really look at the side shots. Even had one of the judges make a joke to me about 'em a few weeks later. Definitely a cool feeling.



My girlfriend and I are leaving for Mexico in 25 days. She wanted to diet down and I had been trying to pack on as much weight as possible for the past 8 months or so....so she convinced me to cut down. Both to help her, and reduce some of excess belly I've collected.

2.5 months ago I hit 197 as my heaviest ever weight at 5'10". As of yesterday morning I was 175. A loss of 22 lbs (cutting is easy by the way)

I learned some hard truths....

  1. I wasn't nearly as big as I thought I was
  2. I was eating too many cals and too many "bad" cals in my pursuit of muscle
  3. Starting day one in Mexico at an all inclusive resort(all I can eat)....I'm going to begin bulking again...but this time do it cleaner, and with less of a caloric surplus
  4. I have so much more respect for people who are a lean 200 lbs now
  5. I thought I would be absolutely shredded at 175 (5'10") but I only have an "ok" 6 pack
  6. I really do need to start training abs specifically and not rely on squats, deads, and rows to develop my abs.


Lol, I think that's a a lot more common than you might think.
(also the fear that prevents most guys from ever dieting down)



Dude, no offense but did you even read what this thread was about before posting?

Also, were you actually being serious when you said cutting is easy? Because quite frankly it is one of the hardest things I am having to do bodybuilding wise. The mental torture of physically getting smaller even though you know you will look better in the end, the weights feeling heavier and heavier each session. That feeling of hunger, pretty much constantly and just not feeling up to it to workout even though you know you need to help preserve muscle.


Yes, my point was that I'm considering EVERYTHING to be a weakness (especially abs)now that I've cut down. That's coming from a T-Man prospective, of course....I'm still "bigger" than 90% of the people I associate with which is sad.

As for cutting being hard....I know exactly what you mean. This whole time I kept saying "I feel smaller and smaller every day" and "I'm not happy cutting, I want to view eating as an opportunity again...not as something to be avoided". My comment about it being easy was more from a procedural perspective, perhaps I should replace the word EASY with SIMPLE.


You got any before and after pics?

not calling you out just curious.


Didn't cut down to a significant low bf% by my standards but yeah, I noticed things like my chest and legs appearing bigger. Seemed like my lower lats just popped out one day too. Actually amazing how much wider your back looks when your waist gets smaller. You can lose 2lbs of lean mass and people will still comment on you getting bigger on a cut. lol


Speaking from experience of getting down to contest shape.

1) My quads look much more impressive, even though they get a little smaller
2) I've been told my chest looks awesome when I'm lean
3) I have small forearms which look even more shittier when I'm lean.
4) Biceps look better
5) Being a lightweight competitor (under 70 kg) I don't even look like I lift if I have my shirt on. Which sucks.


Hard truth right here.

Once you get deep in the "hawt_abz_zone", things start to look up pretty fast though :slight_smile:

  1. My left pec is bigger than my right
  2. Calves look smaller in the off season because my thighs in the off season hold a LOT more fat than my calves do.
  3. I feel more energetic at a lower bodyfat. Like 6 hrs of sleep and im good as long as I'm in single digits.
  4. Waist isnt as small as i'd like it to be, even at a 32 inch waist. Its like a big oval.

  5. shoulders pop out, make arms look smaller, even though i still retained decent size.

  6. biceps peak is better at low bodyfat due to less fat between anterior delt and bicep

  7. i odnt have the greates BB genetics in the world.


BTW this is a great thread. Good reality check.


Obviously ab/seratus/oblique/intercostals etc...

I'm surprised no-one has mentioned delts yet.

I mean once I get to a certain bodyfat my delts/traps seem retarded sized on my frame :smiley:


Oh I hope that happens to me....I have a narrow clavicle and shoulder width has always been a concern. Though I have a feeling my traps will dominate even more.