T Nation

Should I Keep Cutting?


229 lbs
about 17.5 bf

started at 243 lbs around 20 bf

been cutting for over 8 weeks
goal is under 12%

should i keep cutting or eat at maintenance for a while?


if YOUR goal is to get under 12% bodyfat then you should probably keep going until you succeed or re-evaluate YOUR goals.


Has your fat loss stalled at all?


im on my 4th cycle of 5/3/1
is 5/3/1 a good choice when trying to lose body fat
im doing cardio 6 days a week now for 40 mins also


weight loss has been steady at about 2 lbs a week
im carb cycling re feed every 4th day
i measure body fat with accu measure...dont know how precise i am, but i stayed at a measure of 18 (17.5%) from last week


You can successfully lose fat on 5/3/1. Fat loss is mostly in your diet, and not your choice of training. While you may find that there are fat loss focused programs out there that will bring you faster results, they probably won't help you gain the solid base of strength that comes with 5/3/1.

That is alot of cardio. What is your intensity like? Hopefully, your intensity is not exceeding that of a brisk walk. With the body fat you're at now, it's a good time to start weaning yourself off the steady state and adding some interval training to your mix. I'm afraid that the 4 hours of steady state work per week will start to stall your strength gains as well as fat loss.


My strength has stalled a bit as of recent, but i thought it was because of my low carb diet.
(240g protein,150g carbs, 60g fat) every fourth day (240g protein, 350g carbs, 60g fat)
I run at 5-6 mph.....what do you recommend for HIIT? Thanks jskrabac (Nice distracting Avatar lol)


You and I have different concepts of a low carb diet. For me it's 30-50g on low days, and 100-150 on high days. If done correctly, your strength should never stall on even an ultra-low carb diet (<30g). If you are steadily losing fat on this diet, there is no reason to switch it. If your progress stalls, I would consider moving to something like 240g protein, 50g carb, 100g fat.

Running at 5-6 mph is definitely a little higher than what I was referring to. 4 hours of steady state cardio will definitely interfere with strength gains. For fat loss, it isn't even necessary. As far as good HIIT workouts, I would advise that you post in the conditioning forum. You'll get some better advice over there than I could ever give you. To be honest, I never really do any steady state or HIIT. While cutting, I use my weight training as my "cardio" by bringing rest intervals ultra low and performing high intensity full body circuits. With a program like 5/3/1 though, you will need to supplement with some sprinting workouts.


jskrabac thanks for all your help.
1 more question
how much hiit can I do so that it won't affect strength gains?


I would start with 1 sprint workout per week, and work your way up to 2 when you start to get a feel for them. If you enjoy cardio, feel free to keep doing it as much as you'd like...but like I said, keep it low intensity. Take walks each day. They will aid in broadening your caloric deficit without interfering with strength gains or maintaining muscle, they will help you with recovery on your off days, and they will help you clear your mind.