[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Lifting- I don’t change a thing about my lifting when I cut, even my rest periods. Hard n’ heavy in the offseason, hard n’ heavy during a prep. That’s how you remain looking beastly when ripped, not all waif-ish and skinny. No point in cutting if you’re just gonna lose muscle in the process.
Lifting heavy in a caloric deficit, is there a cutoff point of decreasing kcals where you do need to cut volume? Not because of lack of energy but because potentially the body might use your own muscle tissue and just recycle it to heal? What about failure training on a deficit?
First, realize that when people first establish their ‘calorie deficit’, it’s usually based on their current weight, not based on maintaining their current lean body mass. As such, I’ve found that unless you really go overboard and drop 1000 cals below your regular intake each day, it’s not really much of an issue. I’ve always scheduled my own diets so that I can get the most of out my actual training. Cycling my cals around my split, targeting my nutrients around my training time, scaling back more on days where I plan on being a bit more sedentary.
There’s really no hard and fast rule on scaling things back though. Some people can get by on the same volume of work, others are going to feel more depleted. I’ve had instances where I’m a few weeks out from a contest, and while I may feel kinda tired during my workday, or between sets, once I’m under the weights, I experience no loss of strength whatsoever. To me, that speaks volumes about smart dieting.
Obviously if your strength is dropping, then you need a good look at how your training volume, and your diet are syncing up.
In terms of training to failure; I don’t usually do that even when not cutting. To me, it’s about achieving stimulation, but avoiding unnecessary fatigue. Especially when you’re on a deficit. The main goal of weight training when dieting (there are several, but go with me on this) is to always provide your body with the signals that say ‘these’ tissues are important, so even though we’re scaling back overall, we’d better provide a steady supply of nutrients their way.
That doesn’t mean that you have to beat a muscle so severely that it won’t be able to fully heal when calories are scare. If you are someone who typically chasing failure, by all means stay with what’s comfortable, BUT you may be one of the people who has to lower their work volume a bit in order to avoid excessive muscle loss.