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yet another t-dawg question


i'm starting a badly needed cutting phase today and i need a little advice/clarification. i've been on t-dawg 2.0 off and on for a couple of months now, but even when i am incredibly faithful to the diet, i don't see any noticeable difference. i've taken in an average of 2250kcal per day and i've definitely felt healthier, but no fat loss. i started on hot-rox and methoxy-7 today and will continue on hot-rox (and probably methoxy-7 every couple of weeks) until i reach my goal. since both of these supplements preserve lean mass and my body has already adapted to the current calorie amount, is it wise to drop my kcals to about 1600-1800 a day? right now, i am 5'11", 185lbs, and about 19-21% bf. my goal is to preserve lean mass and diet down to 10% bf.

so here are my questions:

  1. how low can i drop kcals while on these supps and still prevent losing lbm?

  2. is it alright/optimal to take my second dosing of methoxy with my 2nd pwo meal?

any other suggestions/ideas are greatly appreciated. i can provide a sample daily diet if necessary. thanks.


Hi, there PowerGrudge!!!

If you post your TBW and BF%, I'd be glad to run/review the numbers you're currntly using.

As much as I love T-Dawg 2.0, it's just another diet. And diets by their nature need to be adjusted from time to time.

A couple of questions:

  • Are you doing cardio on a regular basis?

  • How old are you?

  • What weight lifting program are you currently following? How many days a week are you lifitng?

  • How physically active are you during the course of the day? Sedentary or hard physical labor.

In answer to your question, PWO Meal #2 would be an ideal time to take your Methoxy. I assume that's towards the end of the day?


What does your training schedule look like?


1) How long have you been training? Actually, a better question would be "How long have you been training with a basics-first, "money exercises" heavy-style workout? Or, better yet, "what do your current workouts look like?"

2) Do you feel like you need to add any LBM? Because the best-case scenario right now is that you have 150 lbs of LBM. At 5'11. That's not great. Though, honestly, it depends on your goals. Some people want to be able to fit into normal jeans.

The reason that I ask is that it seems to me that losing excess bodyfat is easier the more muscle you're holding. Imagine every pound of muscle you have is an angry, hungry lumberjack, and every pound of fat you have is a lazy stoner couch potato. Obviously, it's to your benifit to have as many angry lumberjacks working for you as possible before you start killing stoners--because the stoners aren't going to be much help in killing off the rest of the stoners.

Wait, that analogy made no sense at all.

Just suffice it to say that you'll have to do more cardio, HIIT,etc. the less LBM you have. And right now, if you hit 10%, you're going to weigh about 165 pounds. In a best-case scenario. The question is, "what do you want to look like?" Because you're going to look like a runner.

3) Is it possible that your body is recomposing? By that I mean, your scale weight may not be changing, but your fat is being replaced with muscle? When you say that you've been faithful "on and off" what does that mean? A month at a time? Two weeks? Three days?



Even before answering any of your questions:

-What foods are you consuming?
-What kind of energy system work are you performing?


Dan caught something I didn't because I read your message too fast.

Running the numbers, using 20% BF.

LBM = 148

Protein Requirements = 222g/day (6 meals x 37g/meal)
Fat Requirments = 74g/day, divided roughly equally between your P+F meals
Carb Requirements = 70g on Non-WO Days and 100g on WO days

Even on WO days, you're looking at a caloric intake of 1954 kcal. Dropping calories 500kcal/day should put you back on the road to weight loss.


thanks everyone, for the quick replies!

Tampa-Terry: Right now, my stats are 185lbs, 19-21% bf, 5'11", and I'm 21 years old. I do 15-20 minutes light/moderate cardio directly after lifting (i consume the 2nd half of my pwo drink within the first 5-10 minutes) and i do another 1-2 days per week of 30-45 minutes moderate cardio (60-70% max heart rate.) For the last 6 or 7 weeks, I've been doing a 5X5 workout and I've been very happy with the steady strength gains I've made. I had previously tried doing more of a hypertrophy-driven workout when I first started t-dawg 2.0 and the low carbs left me with no energy to do the high volume. I lift 3 days a week (I'll post my training schedule below.) Currently, my days are split fairly active and fairly sedentary. I work at a restaurant (always 'speed-walking' around/lifting & carrying heavy stacks of plates/etc.) and when I'm not at the gym, I'm usually hanging out at home. Let me know if you need more info.

BrentM: Currently, I'm doing 5x5 with a 3 day split.

Day 1: Chest and Tris
Incline DB press 5x5
Flat bench DB press 5x5
Weighted Dips 5x5
Butterflies 3x8

Day 2: Legs and Back (I know, I know...)
Chins/Assisted chins 5x5
One-arm isometric rows 5x5
Shrugs 5x5 (3 sec. pause at top)
Good Mornings 5x5
Leg-Press 5x5 (i'll eventually be doing squats)
Calf Raises 5x5 (5 sec. pause at top)

Day 3: Shoulders/Bis
DB Shoulder Press 5x5
Front-Raises 5x5
Rear-Delt flies 5x5
Alt. DB Curls 5x5 or 3x8
Preacher Curls 5x5

--please no flames for not devoting 2 days a week to legs. with my current schedule, it's pretty difficult to stay devoted to anything more than 3 days a week.

Dan McVicker:
1. I've been training between 2 1/2 and 3 years. About the first 2 were with your typical mindless-beginner-type no-direction training. Actually, the training wasn't nearly as bad as the fact that I was probably taking in 50g of protein a day. For about a year, I've been lifting and eating increasingly smarter all the time. Been doing 5x5 for nearly 2 months (see above workout split.)

  1. I DEFINITELY feel like I need to add lbm, which is part of the reason that I so desperately need to diet down. Besides wanting to be leaner, I know that when you bulk or gain with this much fat, the fat to muscle ratio gained is not pretty. I know that my stats make me sound like a tub, but I'm actually pretty thin (just too soft--in specific places.) Like a lot of people, I plan to steadily increase cals with a GVT or OVT program once i reach my bf goal. To tell you the truth, I'm pretty sure I have gained a few pounds of lbm while on 5x5. (Delayed newbie gains?) Unlike a lot of people here, my goal is not to be huge. If I'm 10% at 165 then I'll probably want to steadily work my way up to 10% at 180-185.

  2. My body has certainly recomposed over the last couple of months. At the end of August I was 170 and about 17% bf. Over the last couple of months, I have had some days where I 'let myself go' and overate. The only reason that I know this hasn't been all fat gain is because I have also seen a little bit of noticeable gain in muscle size/definition (particularly chest and quads.) When I say that I've been faithful on and off, I mean that I was very faithful for a month or two then let go for a week. Ate well for 3 weeks then poorly for another week. That's about how it's been going.

i'll post details about diet in another post because this one is getting too long.

thanks again!


here is a sample of what my diet has looked like up to this point:

Non-Workout Day:

-Meal 1- (P+F, blended and refrigerated overnight)
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese
2 tbsp. Flax Seed Meal
1 tbsp. Nat. Peanut Butter

-Meal 2- (P+C)
5oz. Chicken
1/2 cup Oatmeal (before cooking)
1 cup Broccoli

-Meal 3-
4oz. Chicken
1.5 Cups Mixed Vegetables
2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread

-Meal4- (P+F)
2.5oz. Tuna
2/3 Cups Egg Whites
1/3 Cup Chopped Bell Peppers
1/4 Cup Almonds

-Meal 5- (P+F)
6oz. Salmon
1 Cup Green Beans

-Meal 6- (P+F)
1/3 Cup Egg Whites
3 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter

-Meal 7- (Bedtime Protein)
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1/2 cup Cottage Cheese


Workout Day:

-Meal 1- (P+F, blended and refrigerated overnight)
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese
3 tbsp. Flax Seed Meal
1 tbsp. Nat. Peanut Butter

-Meal 2- (P+F)
5.6oz Salmon
1 cup Broccoli
3/4 cup Artichoke Hearts

-Meal 3-
3.7oz Salmon
.6oz Chicken
3/4 cup Artichoke Hearts
1 cup Broccoli

-Meal4- (Mid-Workout)
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1 tbsp Dextrose
1 tbsp Maltodextrin

Same as Mid Workout

-Meal 5- (P+C)
3/4 cup Golden Grahams
3/4 cup Sugar Puffs
5oz. Chicken

-Meal 6- (P+F)
3 tbsp. Natural Peanut Butter
1/3 cup Egg Whites

-Meal 7- (Bedtime Protein)
1 Scoop Whey Protein
1/2 cup Cottage Cheese


on average, i take in about 230g protein, 60-80g carbs(non workout), 100-150g carbs (workout), 65-80g fat, 1900-2400cals. i'm now supplementing with hot-rox, methoxy 7, zma, and multivitamins and would probably like to drop it down to something like 200-210g protein, 35-60g carbs (nwo), same carbs for workout days, 60-70g fat, and 1600-1800cals (non w.o.--maybe a little higher on workout days.)


thanks for doing the math for me. still a little confused though. does that mean that i can drop calories down to 1454, or did you already drop them when you came up with 1954? if so, does that mean that 1454 is the lowest i should go?

thanks a lot.


PowerGrudge, yes, the numbers posted are my recommendations.

Protein requirements are calculated by multiplying LBM x 1.5g. (222g/day)

Fat requirements are calculated by multiplying LBM x .5g. (74g/day)

Carbs on T-Dawg 2.0 are just a straightforward 100g/workout day or 70g/non-workout day.

If you multiply protein and carbs by 4 cal/gram and fat by 9 cal/gram, you'll come up with caloric intake per day.

I would prefer to see you pick up energy expenditure than reduce calories below 2,000 kcal per day.

One thing I noticed is that you take Surge before your pwo cardio. Cardio at that point is a waste. The reason for doing cardio is to draw upon fat store to fuel the work. But when you spike insulin (with Surge), you kick yourself out of fat burning mode and are burning sugar/carbs. You would do better to add in a second cardio session in the morning, separate from your evening workout.

You might want to re-check your numbers, too. 2T of flaxseeds is about 14-15g of fat all by itself. You have one meal listed at 14g with 2T of flaxseeds and 1T of peanut butter.

Just a little fine-tuning, PowerGrudge. Very nice food choice on your part. You just need to create a bit more of a deficit (calorically and via energy expenditure).


Are you sure you are ~20% BF?

Just seems awfully high for a young guy who has been eating decent and working out a fair amount.

What are you measuring BF with?


Funny how none of us has answered your original questions.

Call it whimsy, but I think that you should work on a more solid training base. Your results from working 5x5 with good protein intake I think are indicative of what you could achieve with good eating and good training. Delayed newbie gains? Nah, just good eating + good training.

What I would do, if I were you is go isocaloric (maintainance calories) with a "Massive Eating" type protocol, hard training and some cardio/HIIT. Going down to less than 1500 calories a day for a 21 year old guy is... well, I just think it's a bad idea. Put some muscle on first.

I know you're concerned with putting on more fat, but I wouldn't worry about it. That's why you're going isocaloric. Your weight shouldn't change around too much. The HIIT and nutrient partitioning effects of a Massive-Eating type diet will take care of any fat gain.

This probably goes against the grain of the idea that you can't gain muscle and lose fat at the same time... but I never put much precedence in that idea. With proper nutrient partitioning, a (relative) newbie, and hard training... I think this will work better for you in the long run than dieting.

What I'm not reccomending is a eat-everything-in-the-fridge, balls-out kind of mass gaining phase. You're going to have to be as careful with this isocaloric diet as you would be with a pure cutting diet.

What you need to do is build the base. Right now, you have no base.



thanks again everyone.

Tampa-Terry: thanks for clarifying on your calculations. would it be any better to consume my pwo drink right after 15-20 mins of cardio? or is that basically the same thing. i'd still like to do some cardio after i lift, but i don't want to have to wait too long to get my pwo nutrition.

also, the flaxseed meal that i use is bob's red mill brand from trader joe's. the nutritional facts on the package list 3g protein, 4g carbs, 4g fiber, 4.5g fat per 2 tbsp. isn't it flaxseed oil that has 14g fat per tablespoon? anyways, thanks again for your help.

Antiliberal: actually, i'm not absolutely sure that i'm 20% bf. last i was tested was at 17%bf by a trainer at 24hour fitness (not sure about their accuracy) when i weighed 170 (leaving me with about 141 lbs lean mass.) since then, i've gained about 15 lbs. i'm sure that some of it is muscle (because my muscles have filled out a bit) and i'm sure some of it is water retention from the shock of a few instances of poor eating after eating clean for so long. but some of the recent gain is also definitely fat. however, i don't think that i look like i'm at 20%.

Dan McVicker: i definitely agree that i need to gain some mass and that 1500 calories is pretty low, but my main goal right now is to cut the bodyfat down. originally, i wanted to cut when i started strength training so that after 8 weeks or so i would be stronger and lean enough to start packing on some lean mass with massive eating. unfortunately, i never really got my diet into gear once i started 5x5. don't you think that with enough protein and the muscle-preserving/fat-burning properties of hot-rox and methoxy that i could lose the fat fairly quickly before i started trying to gain weight? i just remember reading that the fat to muscle gain ratio is not very good when you're over 12% bf.


If weight training AND cardio together are less than 60-75 minutes, you can take both bottles of Surge immediately after your cardio. Doing so would be the best of both worlds. You'd get the recovery benefits from Surge, and you'd get the fat burning benefits from 15-20 minutes of cardio. Cardio after weights should be moderate intensity. All you're doing is burning free fatty acids that you mobilized during weight training.

Gotcha on the ground flaxseeds. 2T measured out before you grind it is roughly equal to 1T of flaxseed oil. Your figures are probably correct.


It's up to you, man.

I just can't imagine dieting on 1400 calories a day. It seems like you could have some nutritional deficits like that. Make sure to eat your veggies and take a vitamin supplement.


Well, I put in my two cents, at least.



Tampa-Terry: thanks for your help. i'm probably just going to take the 1st half of my pwo drink during my workout, do some cardio, then take the 2nd half of my pwo drink. that's still probably not ideal, but it just doesn't seem good to go through the whole workout plus cardio before i get any recovery nutrition. i'll also probably do about 3 days a week of 45 min. cardio sessions.

Dan McVicker: Don't think that your advice is falling upon deaf ears. I have my primary goal, but I'm also considering how I can incorporate the stuff that you said so that I don't end up looking anorexic. I'm not going to drop my calories to 1400. I'll probably do a little extra cardio to make up the difference. No need to shrug--I swear I'm not a lost cause.

thanks again guys.