T Nation

What Lifts Suffer Most During a Cut?


(I decided to create a separate thread on this, so as not to detract from MM's thread)

When you cut, do you find that certain lifts suffer more than others? MM got me thinking, since he mentioned that chest is the biggest challenge to keep up during a cut. I wonder if this might be why I have less strength on my chest presses during the summer months, relative to my other lifts.

Doubleh wrote:

What does everyone think?


I did a long cut from August to April last year, and I found that everything dropped: squats, bench, even deadlift. in fact, I think my bench suffered the LEAST because I still was able to train lats very hard. You have to remember that excess bodyweight only hurts your deadlift if your gut is so big that it prevents you from getting into proper position. Thus, for most people, losing weight will hurt their deadlifts as well.


Bench is about calories. You eat a lot it goes well. Eat less; well not so good.
Seriously never had a bad BP workout if i ate ice cream day before

Squat holds it own until you lose mass and leverage changes.

DL is often helped by getting leaner. Hands get tighter(fat hands rip easier), easier to get in position, back doesn't cramp from carrying around man boobs from ice cream related BP feedings.


Just more likely to get injured.

But thats if I overdo cardio



Agreed. My pressing movements, barbell bench especially, take a big dive while cutting. Most of my other movements I'm able to maintain; deads I can usually progress on somewhat.

Some row variations seem to decline a bit, too, but its mainly the presses which drop for me.


i noticed that I lost my strength on chest but especially on db chest press and incline db chest press


i noticed that I lost my strength on chest but especially on db chest press and incline db chest press


I guess I am the opposite. My squat typically goes up a little, and bench stays about the same, if not increases, but losing some gut makes it harder for me to deadlift. Being able to stuff my belt under my potbelly helps pop me out of the hole. I deadlift conventional, so I am unsure if it applies to my sumo. It seems dropping weight really effects my leverages.

I was actually going to post something similar to this response on MM's thread but decided against it.


Exactly what I've experienced.


The only days I felt anything really noticeable was on my 'really' low, or even 'keto' days, and those were done specifically for interval work. On regular diet days (which aside from the occasional 'high day') still was at least a 500 cal deficit, and easily under 150-175g of carbs, my strength actually went UP during my cut. I too thought this was odd until I found that many of the natty pros I talk to experience similar effects.

Cordova explained it best by likening the situation to putting your body in a survival mode, and it just has to rise to the occasion so to speak. While I did, indeed, have to be careful not to hurt myself in a mentally weakened state, I'm sure that taking advantage of being able to train pretty damn heavy (and not lessening my weight simply because I thought it was what I was SUPPOSED to be doing) is what enabled me to hold onto so much LBM on contest day.

I'd be willing to bet that a lot of the 'I feel weak' nonsense is more of just feeling tired mentally, but if you were able to push through it, your physical strength would still be on par.