T Nation

Weightlifter's First Foray in to Cutting


This is a fairly long post, but I think it's better to outline things, then to just post pictures without explaining anything. But if you can't be bothered to read, then just look at the pictures.

99kg 2012 (bulked up to 99kg by June, lost 2kg working at the Olympic games, then diet down for back packing, left at 93kg, came back 3months later 84.8kg :frowning: then bulked to 91.5kg in about 9/10 weeks)
93.5kg Feb 2013
90.5kg start of cut
84.5kg end of cut, 83.3kg lowest the previous week
Total lost 6kg 13.2lbs

Training history:
14yrs competitive weightlifter, past 6yrs at National level, more general strength work for the first 3yrs then done sparingly when I could be bothered.

In the end it was a fairly slow and lazy cut with a few breaks in-between due to going on holiday and because I had enough mentally. 27 week was way too long. It was my first cut and I learnt a lot about dieting down. Dieting down for competition conditioning is going to be VERY humbling and insane. I can only imagine what the last 4 week is like. You got to really want it and you MUST set a comp date or you will just be cruising around. I guess I'm 8-10 weeks out from competition condition in my best pics? I'd have to do cardio as well to shorten the amount of time I diet down for as well.

-Calorie restriction and counting
-High protein, lowish/moderate carbs and moderate fats
protein 40% (protein shakes, bcaa, steak, mince, chicken, salmon, zero fat greek yogurt)
carbs 25% (wholemeal pita bread, rice, potato croquettes)
fats 35% (nuts - brazil, cashew nuts, peanut butter, salmon, olives, olive oil, omega 3 fish oils)
veg (broccoli, carrots, kale, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, gherkins, beetroot, peppers, onions, garlic, steam veg bags, multi vit)

2210cal 138c 83f 220p

moved cals to 2400 150c 93f 240p after 8 weeks

Training adjusted for more BB training from 3-4x weightlifting a week to 2x weightlifting and 2x BB.

Mon: Chest, biceps, abs
Wed: OLift (FS, Sn, Sn pulls), doubles tennis, shoulders, hammys
Fri: Chest triceps
Sun: OLifts (BS, Sn, CJ), back

-No cardio as I'm lazy and I wanted to see what sort of shape I could get in to without cardio. I played doubles tennis about once a week 2/3 of the time during my cut.

I'd mixed up my rep and set schemes for my exercises. The compound stuff I'd just go heavy and rarely do higher than reps of 6s. Some 4/5 week training blocks I'd go heavy and the next I'd only do one top set Dorian Yates style. Then I'd do more moderate rep and set schemes post holiday as I had loads of carbs during my holiday.

Mistakes made:
-Cut too hard too early, next time I'll start my cut on 3000calories
-Due to too few calories I was binging a lot during my first 4/5 week to slow the weight loss down. And I was completely new to eating like this and it was a nightmare lol. Now that I'm more experience and after moving my cals up it was easier to manage.
-DO NOT binge for a week, it literally took 3.5 weeks to get back to where I was. I did look fuller and leaner when I got down to comparable body weights though
-squat ended up dropping at least 20-25kg for reps LOL the early hard cut crushed me
-Clean and Jerk felt impossibly heavy being weaker, really affects me and most lifters hard for the Clean and Jerk, less so the Sn
-cheap pizza tastes terrible and is such a huge let down when you want nice pizza
-most things you treat yourself NEVER tastes as good as you imagine them to be lol

-weightloss did not stall once when I hit my macros and didn't binge
-lowest weight I've been for about 8/9yrs. 83.3kg
-bench press went up +5kg from 140 to 145kg, 120kg from 4reps? went up to 10reps
-military press +2.5kg from 85kg to 87.5kg and I can mp over bw now
-BP and MP went up as I rarely done these exercises in the past 2yrs with any consistency
-Snatch 117.5kg at 83.3kg, most regardless of bw this year and most I've ever done sub 85kg. Most I had done was 115kg at 91.5kg the day before my cut, that was about 25/26 weeks ago

Food discoveries (foods I didn't really make/ eat pre cut)
-zero fat greek yogurt
-broccoli cheese bakes
-fried mushrooms
-cajun chicken
-beef casseroles
-beet root

The difference between myself at around 86-84 isn't too much IMO. There are tiny differences, but for all intents and purposes it simply doesn't matter unless I'm going to do a bodybuilding competition or getting paid to look leaner. I'm plenty lean and I feel good. It's getting to the point where I've just had enough of cutting and it's just nicer to eat more carbs, some junk and whatever I want. I haven't had a pizza yet in about 6 weeks and i LOVE pizza. I'll have a pizza next week after my last oly comp of the year. Hopefully qualify for Nationals as an 85kg lifter as they have raised the standards this year.

I don't feel as lean as I look in my pictures. I wanted to see a split on my biceps but that was starting to show slightly but I'd have had to get down to 81 or lower to get it really visible. No feathers on triceps.

I'll maintain 86-87 and see where my weight goes. I'll eat much cleaner than before but allow myself more carbs. I'll be focused on getting my squats up to pull up my Sn and CJ. It's pretty hard going in to the gym knowing you are getting weaker on a fortnightly basis. In the end you just accept this fact as you are cutting and you hold on to as much strength as you can.

Christmas tree was present which was cool. Never heard about it until I read it somewhere
Feathers on legs look more pronounced. You could just about see feathers on my right leg pre cut.
Striations on chest and shoulders

I've had some EPIC binge days though LOL.
-8.1k in a day, felt absolutely terrible, huge system shock and just down right greedy
-7k 4-5x
-food challenge, flaming burger challenge dispatched in sub 19mins, fastest they've measured in a while
-all you can eat ribs and a big bowl of ice cream
-3 large double McD meals a few times lol

I had at least one person ask if I was on steroids pretty much every single week when I was helping my parents out at their takeaway. One evening I had about 4 different people ask. It's pretty dam ballsy to just flat out ask someone! People ask if I go to the gym or work out as well.

Everyone is surprised when I tell them I do no cardio.

I may do a comp next year or the year after but nothing really ties in well in England for sometime in October/ November. I have the British Champs in May/June then I'd lean down afterwards.

Thanks for all of the info and articles etc. They have been really helpful and I have learnt a lot and I'll continue to learn a lot :slight_smile:

Daily weigh in

Sunday weigh in, Weekly average weigh in, Weekly average cal

All taken late afternoon about an hour post training. Generally I'm about 1.5kg heavier than my morning weigh in

Weekly Progress



Back Double Bi


Lol, awesome physique!


LOL WTF at your Quads.

Awesome work man, awesome physique.


Great job! And to echo posters before (and likely after) me: Holy balls those are some quads! Obviously it wasn't a perfect cut for you (judging by your "lessons learned"), but you've come out looking tremendous


Got a recipe for those Broccoli Cheese Bakes?


x3. Great look all around and the quads are obviously a strong point, no pun intended.

And the whole idea of an Olympic weightlifter going the bodybuilding route definitely touches back to old school bodybuilders like Grimek, Stanko, Kono, Hilligenn, Oliva... the list is long.

Can I just ask, what's with the missing calf work? It's noticeably absent from the routine you mentioned and (honest eval, not criticizing) your calves range from 'okay' to 'not so okay' depending on the pose. Is that a compromise you made to keep progressing in the O lifts, or something else?


You look great, I would be down for a competition thread.


It's been a long time Koing. Do you remember me?

You once yelled at me before for being scared of front squats.


preheat oven to 200c

400g broccolli, steam 4mins

In a sauce pan
half a pint of milk
Stir in flour, I used about 80g but you'd want more as I was limiting carbs.
Grate cheese and stir, 80g but 160g is so much better, the more cheese the better, save 50g if you use 160g
Crack open 2 eggs and stir
Sprinkle some pepper over the top

Put the broccolli in a oven proof dish
Poor contents of the saucepan in to the overn proof dish
Grate the 50g of cheese you saved or hell just go for more cheese :slightly_smiling:

Put in oven for 20mins, job done. Really makes eating brocolli easy. Tastes good as well after you reheat it. The broccoli is softer but it's still nice :slightly_smiling:

Sorry can't remember :frowning: but yes front squats are the sh!t :slightly_smiling: Hit 147.5x3 today, the most in months so things are looking good going in to my comp on Sunday.

Kono is the man!

Just lazy with the calf work. It's a fair comment and I appreciate the critique. I'll fit it in with my bulk phase and do some forearm work but was weary of the forearm stuff as I need to keep my wrists supple for the racking the Cleans. My forearms aren't too bad as I never really lifted with straps. I've had visions of snapping my elbows Snatching with straps...

I definitely need to sort my posing out. Just feels odd.

I appreciate the comments guys. I'll see if I can fit in a competition next year but I definitely want to get a good bulk phase in though.



Great. Thanks for the dish!


Hi Koing,

Met you and Chris at the British earlier in the year and it was clear that you have a really good structure for bodybuilding. You are wide as hell mate and thick, with really good, low insertions in your arms too. I think that if you plan on giving BBing a go in the future, which you really should, you would do awesome (as would Chris BTW: WTF was with those abs and serratus?) and really focus on your lats and calves.

You have awesome leg development , and I think that because you are really wide-shouldered, you should emphasize your lat width, which could be something that really makes you stand out if you bring it up if you train it consistently for a length of time. The photos here don't really show it but your calves are not that bad, they just pale in comparison to your quads.


^^^ This, so much this.

If you brought up your lats you would have a crazy x-frame. You have great genetics and your calves are kinda lacking but hell there not even that bad haha. You should 10000% put a little time into doing a show after your last comp. ( I think you said you had one more??), your wheels alone would make some people shit haha


Yeah going to have to hammer the calves. I've definitely neglected them through being lazy.

Lats, yes going to smash them Sunday/ Monday.

Weigh in is in about 12hrs30mins time. Just chilling before I go to bed. Absolutely up for the comp tomorrow. This is the calm before the storm. Going to unleash tomorrow on the platform.

English Champs in 22/23 Feb then British sometime in May but the 2014 calendar hasn't been released yet. I think next time I'll do a 20 week cut and be more strict and do cardio. I should also start off leaner as well but that depends on how my bulk goes :stuck_out_tongue:

It's just the commitment to the dieting.



Well thing is you have a much better base to work from now, you have been doing hypertrophy work, training 4 times per week and know how you react to dieting. You are in a much better place now than before.

Cardio-wise, have you ever thought of maybe adding in a light session or two of lifting and work on speed and a bit of volume? Say, doing some powers or something light and fast? Cardio is just energy expenditure / Calorie burning at the end of day and I think it would be cool to do something that has some transference to your lifting. I know that John Meadows tends not to do a lot of CV and just increases his training volume. I know that recovery will be an issue when dieting and lifting is hard work enough as it is, let alone in a Calorie deficit, so maybe some low intensity stuff maybe the way to go.

Just a thought mate.


Yeah I'm definitely going more hypertrophy work and starting to know more about dieting etc now.

I'll see about doing light bar work but it doesn't quite work like that. You will have to sacrifice speed and power if you your going to do it sustained. Not sure how I'm going to burn 250cal using light weights without ruining my technique in the longer run. I think I'll just do some light walking or the stair machine. I can't do HIIT as it makes me crazy hungry. Considering I've done no cardio this cut I think if I just do some it'll be much better. I'll see about doing bar work for 10minutes lol and light squats for tempo and position and see how this affects my lifting when I start to cut.

I qualified for the British champs as an 85kg and I won my group. 2013 South East Champion. Bw 85kg, had to weigh in again, first time I was naked and 85.070kg. 70grams, squeezed some wee out of myself in the following 20mins and weighed in again. 85kg dead. I should have eased up more on my meal the previous day.

110 115 118x close,
137x 138 145

Happy with the Snatching.
Cleans felt heavy, hips seriously hiking, squat up felt harder, Jerk didn't feel great. Close competition and a lot of strategy involved in picking our weights. I knew I could qualify and win, but it's a different matter doing it when it matters most. Happy about the performance.

After my comp a group of us went back to our home gym and trained LOL. Did some 8s for back squats, sick. I could feel DOMS setting in already. Can't remember anytime i've done 8s.



That was a pretty interesting read.

But this...

Fucking disgusting! lol


I'm a greedy f0cker :stuck_out_tongue:



Was it the flaming burger challenge at a flaming grill pub? 2x12oz burgers, 2 8oz chicken breasts, cheese and bacon, beef chilli about 8 onion rings and a huge amount of chips? Think If so ive done the same one twice, its quite a meal, took me 25 mins though!


Hi Koing!

Are you still only front squatting?

I wonder if you did cardio if you'd have bigger calves? At least I think that's how my calves are so big--running, walking, jump rope. How do you think your cardio fitness is? Like how's your resting heart rate and blood pressure and all that stuff.

I'd like to do with a lot less cardio but I think I need it to stay healthy and if I don't do as much it is too hard because I lose the conditioning.


Yup that is the one :slight_smile:

I did the desert monster thing afterwards as well :stuck_out_tongue: