T Nation

What Kind of Training to Cut?


So im starting to get a program together to lean out/cut. Now, does the program matter as much as the diet? My macros are calculated and thats ready. The training part is where it confuses me.

Do I train the same but up cardio, or switch things up completely? Any programs to follow?


Always hit the weights with the goal of gaining. Let the diet and cardio protocols dictate if you’re looking to cut.

The only time your weight training approach should even be considered while cutting is if the volume is wearing you down, and you might benefit from pulling back a bit.



A few things I like to adjust a little on a cut:

  1. I tend to bump frequency a little bit on cuts.

  2. I make sure all my days are “big” days, i.e. at least 2 muscle groups being hit. I just don’t see the merit of an arms day or chest day while in a caloric deficit. I usually settle on push/pull/legs or upper/lower, or maybe something in between.

  3. Exercise selection. As far as the workouts themselves, just keep intensity as high as you can. I lean towards the exercise choice that will result in the greatest metabolic disturbance (I hate using such a bro science-y word, but it’s the only way I can get the point across.) For example: walking db lunges over a single leg press, or push press over seated machine press.

  4. Rest times. I also find keeping the rest interval short accelerates the fat loss process nicely too.

Diet definitely is number 1, but small adjustments to rest intervals, frequency, exercise selection, etc. can go pretty far in keeping caloric expenditure quite high.


Hmm ok, this all makes sense.

So keep rest periods short, go for gains in a cut, increase cardio, diet is #1, big movements for the win.

Seems easy enough.

Is there a “program” i could follow? i find i do better in the gym with a guide…


Who said increase cardio?


it was something i kind of just assumed. read a few articles/threads from people that fasted cardio does wonders for cutting diets. as well as complexes.


The rest period thing isn’t something you will always hear, and with good reason. Personally, I wouldn’t do it as I prefer to be able to still move as heavy weights as possible even when cutting, and trying to skimp on time between sets will interfere with that M.O. The prospect of shortened rest periods starts moving into metabolic, or lactate training, which can be great for conditioning, but IMO less than optimal if you want to maintain maximum muscle mass.

Again, my opinion. I’m sure you’ll find people who think otherwise.



I time my cuts to coincide with a huge spike in volume after meets. The weights are lower and more manageable, so mentally it’s easy to get through the volume. The new volume stimulus allows me to build some muscle early in the cut and really drives fat loss.


[quote]JumanjiJim wrote:
Is there a “program” i could follow? i find i do better in the gym with a guide…[/quote]

Don’t be lazy cunt - do a search yourself.