T Nation

Tips for a Successful Cut Please?

Can I get an opinion? I am 17 and am 173 at 10.3% body fat. I just came off of Chad Waterbury’s Outlaw Strength and Condition program and received some good results. Now I am in basketball season and I am restarting his program was heavier weights but since I’m doing alot of cardio I think it is appropriate to cut.

Is it possible to have a successful cut when I lift for an hour then go to practice right after. I am on a high protein diet, lower calorie diet: about 2000. I was eating about 3500 calories but it seems to go to waste now. I’m trying to keep carbs under 100g, protein above 180, and fats fairly low but i’m not to focused on them. I use olive oil and take omega 3’s. I also take BCAA’s (about 12 a day) and drink Surge Recovery after working out and a low carb protein shake after 8 pm. Do all of these spell out success or am I doomed for failure?

Any help would be great. I also have a bottle of HOT-ROX Extreme that i could use but that thing scares me (gets my heart beating fast). And please don’t say “you’re too small to be worrying about cutting” or “gain some mass first” because im doing too much cardio to really get much success in the gym. Thanks again

What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

If you are playing/practicing ball most days, it doesn’t make much sense to cut carbs, fats, or calories so drastically. If you do your performance will likely suck.

You may also need to go to a maintenance-strength-training routine during the season in order to play well.

I am a little confused at your goals. It seems that you are cutting simply because you are in basketball season and are doing tons of running. What exactly are your goals?

How about “If you’re an athlete, don’t worry about cutting”. Have you ever been down to 6, 7, 8% bodyfat? Know what it feels like? You don’t exactly feel like running sprints down-court, and if you do run, you suck at it. You have no energy and you feel like shit.

How well do you think you’re going to play in that condition?

This is one of those areas you’re going to have to prioritize. If you are serious about playing ball, train to play your best and don’t bother bodybuilding. If you’re serious about bodybuilding, it might be best to give up basketball as a sport.

As far as lifting and then going to practice right away, you need at least a few hours in between. Practicing basketball immediately after lifting is not good for either.

Calorie deprivation during puberty is the single worst thing you can do to your body. You risk stunting your growth. At this point you have the potential to add a ton of quality mass. I am not talking about bodybuilder big either. Young people can gain mass with a much better muscle/fat ratio than older people can. You should be trying to lower your bodyfat percentage by adding muscle. Bodyfat percentage is a PERCENTAGE. If you add muscle while keeping your fat mass the same your bodyfat percentage will go down. And gaining muscle is the right choice in this situation, no matter what. There is no shot you’ll go anywhere in high level basketball at 173 lbs. At some point you need to be bigger and stronger. Don’t sabatoge your potential by being in a caloric deficit during puberty.

Why the hell would you cut at 173 if you have 10% body fat? Seriously, you are 17 years old, you have T levels that older lifters would likely need drugs to get, and you’re lean. This is the best possible time to bulk, or at the very least, maintain and focus on sport related performance (vertical jump, etc.) There’s no reason to cut just because you are doing a lot of cardio, in fact, if you can up your intake to compensate, the added activity level will likely help you maintain a good body composition while gaining weight.

Ok sounds like a pretty clear answer. I ultimately wanted to just get rid of some unwanted fat around my stomach. It’s just always bugged me but w/e. I have really good definition I just wanted to develop some better abs. Seems like I should stick to a healthy balanced diet. Well unfortunately I dont have time to rest between lifting then basketball. Is this a major issue? Why or why not? Thanks

[quote]Bigbertha92 wrote:
Ok sounds like a pretty clear answer. I ultimately wanted to just get rid of some unwanted fat around my stomach. It’s just always bugged me but w/e. I have really good definition I just wanted to develop some better abs. Seems like I should stick to a healthy balanced diet. Well unfortunately I dont have time to rest between lifting then basketball. Is this a major issue? Why or why not? Thanks[/quote]

Like others have said, it depends upon your goal. Since you are starting basketball season, I would tend to think your focus is on playing. I don’t know why you would go on a cut now. To the extent that you are still lifting right before practice, I would imagine that your weight training should be more of a maintenance mode.

[quote]iwong wrote:
Bigbertha92 wrote:
Ok sounds like a pretty clear answer. I ultimately wanted to just get rid of some unwanted fat around my stomach. It’s just always bugged me but w/e. I have really good definition I just wanted to develop some better abs. Seems like I should stick to a healthy balanced diet. Well unfortunately I dont have time to rest between lifting then basketball. Is this a major issue? Why or why not? Thanks

Like others have said, it depends upon your goal. Since you are starting basketball season, I would tend to think your focus is on playing. I don’t know why you would go on a cut now. To the extent that you are still lifting right before practice, I would imagine that your weight training should be more of a maintenance mode.[/quote]

This

Lift briefly with high intensity. Have your shake between lifting and practice. Eat extra calories that you normally would if it was the off season. If you gain some muscle, great. If not you need to maintain it at the very least. Don’t go too low with the carbs, they are vital for energy.

[quote]Bigbertha92 wrote:
I am 17 and am 173 at 10.3% body fat.[/quote]

Eight months ago, you were 168 pounds. That is not good progress.

Three months ago, you were 175 pounds. That’s even worse progress. (Anti-progress, actually.)

Are you still doing water polo?

Just “because” you happen to be doing a lot of cardio doesn’t mean you “have to” cut. Your goals determine your training, not the other way around.

Even without knowing the details, I’m going to say no, it isn’t.

How are extra calories going to waste? If you’re active, and it sounds like you are, then your body will put those calories to use either fueling your sports or building muscle.

Why, and why?

I’m certainly not going to say you’re “doomed to failure”, but what you’ve been doing sure as hell hasn’t been working.

Answer me this, please: If you weren’t doing basketball (and whatever other sports) right now, would you still want to cut for a six pack or would you want to build more muscle?

Do not use HOT-ROX. Not only are you underage, but your training and nutrition isn’t properly designed. That means there’s no sense at all in using it right now.

You are too small to be worrying about cutting, and you do need to gain muscle first, which will improve your overall physique and your sports performance. More muscle means you’ll be running faster, jumping higher, and getting knocked around less on the court.

Kiddo, pardon my French, but that’s a bullshit excuse. “I’m doing too much cardio, so I’m not going to learn how to eat and train properly to reach my real goals.”

Plenty of guys, even in high school, do their sports and lift and eat and gain size and get lean. It’s a matter of priority, patience, determination, and open-mindedness.

Are you not the person who decides when and how you lift?

What does your weekly schedule look like right now, with lifting, cardio, and sports?