T Nation

Training While Dieting

Hello, looking for some advice on the best training regimines during dieting. I’m in the process of a 12 week diet to cut back on body fat. My typical workouts during the week include a mix of endurance cardio, sprints and plyometric work, calisthenics, and of course strength training.

Obviously the HIT cardio is great for shredding fat, but I have a hard time keeping my energy levels high enough to do HIT, pylometrics, or circuit trianing while I’m cutting back on carbs.

Essentially, here’s my question: Is it better to cut carbs and fat back and stick to weight training, which is more achievable for me when lacking the carb energy. Or, is it more effecient to eat more carbs and keep the HIT and plyo mixed into my routine for shedding fat? In both cases I’m obviously keeping the total calories low, and the protein around 180-200g / day.

I’ve experimented with 5-hour energy supplements when cutting carbs in order to muscle through a cardio session, but I am slightly worried about the affects of taking that on a regular basis for an extended period of time. Are there any other energy supplements that someone could recommend?

I’m 9 weeks into a 12 week cut as we speak. I’ve lost 32 pounds to date and lost little if any muscle and strength has gone up dramatically on all lifts (to this point). I plan to lose some strength as cardio increases, but I’m doing my best not to let this happen. I didn’t add hardly any cardio until the last 4 weeks of my cut.

I was doing may 2 HIIT sessions per week tops and I was able to lose close to 30 pounds doing this. The point of them was not to burn calories, it was just to get glycogen levels down which I timed with my carb cycling. My primary emphasis for fat loss was calorie restriction using low calorie high protein diet.

I tried to get dietary fats in where I could and for carbs I kept them moderate (40-50 grams) and timed them all pre workout using them only every other day. Besides those preworkout carbs I had max 30 grams (prob more like 20) from other sources (nuts and veggies). The diet nor the workouts were fun.

I did 3 a days and supplemented with the Anaconda protocol. I lifted anywhere from 2-3 45 minute sessions per day, lifting in a similar fashion to the I-Bodybuilder program (featured on this site): http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_program/sports_body_training_muscle_anaconda/anaconda_protocol#i-bodybuilder-program/phase-4-8212-chest/monday

This is actually the template for my workouts: http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_thibaudeau/what_i_am_doing_now_repost_for_another_thread?id=3433589&pageNo=0

Here’s my log if you’re interested in seeing any update pics (on pg 2 of the log). Keep in mind I still have 3 weeks left at this point. http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_log/bts_getting_diced_and_peeled_log?pageNo=0#3612875

Okay, that’s what I did. Now I understand not everyone is the same and you may not be able to handle having carbs that low, but if you can I’d recommend doing some form of carb cycling like this, but also keep carbs as low as you can handle. But essentially I found this option

[quote] Is it better to cut carbs and fat back and stick to weight training, which is more achievable for me when lacking the carb energy.[/quote] to be more efficient at first. But I went very low on cals and carbs, but I used quite a bit of supplements to keep me going (Anaconda protocol and HOT-ROX). I didn’t exactly answer your questions, but I hope this helps.

We probably need to know a little more about your history to give you any more suggestions.

Thanks for the response. I checked out your log and the progress is excellent. I’m definitely interested in the two supplements you recommended (Anaconda and HOT-ROX). Have you found that Anaconda gives you a significant energy boost for your workout?

Biotest supplements are very good. Some of the best. However, hard work can never be made up through supplements, but supplements can make the hard work more manageable. Don’t take that the wrong way. I don’t mean to offend you, nor do I assume you think that. I just wrote it because a lot of times people try to over-rely on supplements.

As far as your question goes, do you mean stimulant like “energy boost” like that from caffeine, or 5 hour energy type thing?? I would say no. But ability to push through set after heavy set, yes. It does not make working out easier. It just makes it more doable.

If you want a good stimulant, try Spike (available in the store here).

HOT-ROX also has caffeine and will give you some energy, and also increases fat burn.

Mostly focus on diet and training though if you want to attain your goals. No doubt you can get where I am without the use of supplements at all. I might just take a little longer as you’d probably but not certainly have to cut back on frequency or volume.

Feel free to start a log and I might peek in from time to time to offer ideas. There’s plenty of other people on this site that can help too! Good luck.

Ive been cutting for a few weeks, nothing major in terms of pounds, but the plan was to go from 10ish to 6ish, which is usually sort of difficult. What i have been doing is 3 fullbody sessions a week, going totally to town and alternating between high and low reps from day to day.

It is absolutely imperiative that the workouts are intense enough to keep muscle mass, so its all out. No forced reps or failure though, it makes me ill. 3 cardio sessions a week, sometimes tabata front squats, more often intervals on the crosstrainer. Diet is simple, calorie reduced and mostly without starchy carbs. I like to keep fat intake high to combat androgen decrease, but i cant work out when carbs are to low. Solution: carbs around workout time, little elsewhere. This worked fine last year, it will work fine this year too.

Good post Mikael LS. I think full body with intensity can definitely be enough to keep mass due to the frequency. I also rarely go to “failure.” I really like training using the ramping principle at stopping when speed slows down. As for volume, I personally like splitting up the session and getting a little more volume per workout, but frequency wise the principle that I do is still somewhat similar to what Mikael uses.

I also try to keep fats high although I try to structure it with easily measurable items like eggs with a drizzle of evoo, fish oil pills, and borage oil caps, coconut oil capsules (Flameout and FA3 have a lot of these bases covered but I eat eggs and shrimp to additionally get a good amount of cholesterol, which is a BBing nutrient typically cut out of the diet when you cut which can be detrimental to recovery if it gets too low). Carbs are also very important to adjust properly to your needs.

You can’t use a cookie cutter approach on this topic and you have to figure out what works for you. I really like finibars for this purpose because you can eat one or two of them and eat them right before you workout and then you can keep that as a constant and play around with the rest of your carbs at other times.

Some other very important variables are talked about here: http://www.tmuscle.com/readArticle.do?id=1499282

Another good article on fat loss: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_five_principles_of_radical_fat_loss