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Why Can't I Maintain Strength While Cutting?

I’m going to go on a cut and want to maintain my strength but failed to maintain my strength even with strict dieting and enough sleep in the past. I watched this fitness youtuber called Dylan Mckenna in the past (before he went on roids) and he managed to gain strength while cutting, how is that possible, I failed to even maintain my strength. I never refeed or do anything special, I just slowly decrease my calorie intake by 200 calories each day until I start losing 0.5 to 1lb of weight per week and never do a cheat day since I’m not the type to crave food

In what manner do you alter your programming to correspond to these changes in nutrition?

Lack of protein and cutting too many calories often the case, but could be a million reasons.
Try TNATION ‘heavy fatloss’ program that will increase metabolic rate like below. Diet just do very small cut mainteneace even and focus on eating really clean…

eaa’s/quality intraworkout supp can help a bit also

Losing fat alone can make a person weaker due to several reasons like increased ROM, and worse leverages. IMO, to maintain strength while losing weight, most people need to gain some muscle, or efficiency in the lift to make up for the strength lost due to fat loss.

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At what point in your cut is it showing up and what lifts? How strong are you to begin with and how much do you weigh?

It might help these guys if you could give more info … strength before cut, what are you using as a strength marker… height and weight. Body weight when strength really drops general idea what your diet and program looks like. Current age and lifting experience.

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I just do less volume and focus on strength

What does that look like?

Can you answer any/all of the other questions above?

And most importantly: what is the answer you’re wanting to hear?

Well if losing fat increases ROM and leverage, you were probably too fat to begin with ahahah
Though losing weight also makes the joints less stable, especially the shoulder one, that’s why bench usually suffers the most.

Last cut I gained strength on several lifts including OHP. But I took it slow and steady (6 kgs in 2-3 months) and I was already quite lean. And it is not the first time it has happened.

I should have included stability in my list of items that fat improves.

A bit increase in ROM, a little less bicep fat to push against and less joint stability added together for many shows a decreased lift. This can be seen in people going from lean to shredded too.

Here is a recent picture I found of him.


I’ll say that some people can look like that natty, but not very many. The traps and delts don’t look natty to me as they are fairly out of proportion. Not going to say for sure off of this, I will say statistically, that a majority of people with an equivalent build are on.

I stand corrected …found a kid with the same name.

I’ve never heard of the guy until now. Just did a google search. If natty, he has top tier genetics (I think perhaps 1/1000 could achieve this natty?).

I was thinking you were doing some sort of genetics brag.

Nope … thats, why I was confused at the Ops remark. Thanks for pointing out I had the wrong guy.

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I was bored and did some digging. OP has some similar story points as another poster.


I’ve noticed that most people trying to cut who experience strength loss end up eating in such a way that obviously wouldn’t support their gym work.

Total weekly cals doesn’t have to mean poor training nutrition.

IN all my years of actual contest preps, I rarely if ever experienced loss of strength in the gym. Sure maybe sluggish during the day, but not under the bar.



And you were cutting down to a pro stage, not “cutting” to wear shorts in the summer like most of us are doing.

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I always said that the name of the game when cutting is always muscle retention. As such, you NEED your gym time to be productive. You can be hungry and feel underfed at other times of the day, but gym time is what’s going to keep the lbm and keep that metabolism humming.


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What are your main tools for productive gym sessions when hungry? Focus on pre-workout meal?

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Personally I keep my carbs the meal before and after the workout. Also, intra

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