T Nation

Your Way of Cutting

I’ve never gone on a cutting program before, and wanted to start shedding my extra fat (there’s a lot of that). I haven’t measured my body fat, but I estimate it to be 16-18. So I was wondering what do you, the T-peeps do for cutting? I was thinking of running 4 km every weekday, along with attending my martial arts classes 2-3 times a week. I’m not sure whether to add some high intensity energy system work, and reduce my low-intensity running. I don’t have access to a commercial gym, so I train in my basement. I have a treadmill, a wavemaster punching bag, stairmaster, a home gym (which is good for deadlifts, front squats, and bicep curls… not much else), and a chinup bar.
So knowing all that, what are your opinions - how should I go about cutting?
I know that nutrition is a huge part here (perhaps more than the training), but I still haven’t made that leap from training to training + nutrition (one of shug’s blogs comes to mind: he made an observation - first, a trainee looks to training, then, nutrition, then recovery).
So at the moment, I’m asking for the training part of cutting.

Thanks, all!
All advice, comments, and yes, even insults are welcome.

Nutrition IS more important than training! With that said, i would not reccomend the long running at all! For a couple reasons,

1.The long endurance work releases hormones (cortisol) which eat up muscle. You burn a lot more calories, but a lot of that is muscle too, not what you want because this slows down metabolism.

1b. Going with number 1, running is extremely catabolic. In JB’s post workout puzzle articles, he talks about the protein balance after a workout. He says that with long endurance work, protein balance (protein synthesis-protein breakdown) is negative for over 8 hours, so again this kills muscle and matabolism.

  1. Long endurance running is very stressful on the joints.

  2. Its just not fun!

Better alternatives are interval training (see this link, CT’s running man) because it is not catabolic like long running, and it elevates matabolism throughout the day.


Or, long slow cardio. Treadmill walking for a period of like 30-45 minutes at a low speed and high incline is good.

As for your weights work, keep the volume low and the intensity high, because to get lean you are going to need to cut back carbs. By doing this, you dont need as much carbs to replenish your glycogen levels.

good luck.

Thanks for the advice, TFlex!
What is the difference between the endurance work, that I would have done, and the high incline/low speed cardio that you suggested? I’m a bit confused about that, since both use the same energy system.

Also, about CT’s running man, I did think about that, but I have no access to a track. I don’t want to use a soccer field, because I would be dependent on the weather, so there wouldn’t be much consistency to the workout.
However, I do have another solution, but I don’t know whether it’s as effective: I have enough space in my basement for shuttle runs, so I’m thinking that if I do shuttle runs for about 60-70 secs. (the time it takes to run 400m), and following the same rest periods, I would be using the same rest periods. What do you think of this solution? is there a major flaw that I’m missing?

Once again, thanks for your advice!

[quote]kligor wrote:
Thanks for the advice, TFlex!
What is the difference between the endurance work, that I would have done, and the high incline/low speed cardio that you suggested? I’m a bit confused about that, since both use the same energy system.[/quote]

The long running is very catabolic due to its high(er) intensity it places a lot of stress on the muscles and this causes a lot of muscle breakdown. Walking is very low intensity, so you dont get much of an aerobic benefit, but it doesnt break down much muscle. By doing this for longer than 25 minutes, your body releases stored fatty acids to be burned for fuel, (Bompa 1999).

The shuttle runs you can do sound great. I would reccomend 1-2 shuttle runs or 1-2 long/slow cardio a week on top of your martial arts classes. This should be enough to help you make continued progress for a while.

The big thing is diet, get your diet in order and the fat should melt off. Some popular diets on this site are the “dont diet, diet”, T-dawg diet, and anabolic diet. Search for these and see which one you like.

Thanks, TFlex for letting me pick your brain (and a juicy one, it is).
So, thanks to your good brain, here is the routine I’m thinking of trying out:

shuttle runs, with the same protocols used in Running Man.

weight training

shuttle runs

Weight training

low speed/high incline cardio

As for martial arts classes, during the week, I’m not very consistent with the days, but I’ll always put in 2 days during the weekdays. However, I am always consistent on Saturday classes. That’s when I have a martial arts “marathon”, when I train for 4 hours (not consecutively). Because of Saturday’s high intensity, I train lightly on Friday, and completely rest on Sunday.
As for diet, I don’t think I am ready to jump into a T-diet just yet, but I have read over the 3 diets you suggested, and the Anabolic Diet sounds most appealing. At the moment, however, I will try and diet by reducing my caloric intake by 300-500 calories. Perhaps, after I try an “easy” diet, I’ll plunge into a T-diet.
So that’s my plan for now!
Any thoughts?

What kind of weight training are you planning on doing? I notice you only have two days dedicated for throwing around some iron, and I think you could definitely benefit from more weight training. Don Alessi’s Meltdown Training I has some really simple, really basic lifts done in such a way that really get you shed fat ridiculously fast, as long as you can handle it.

If cardio is a problem for you, I’d recommend jumping rope. I’ve stopped running entirely and do nothing but jump rope now, and I’ve noticed incredible results.

Just my two cents.

been training for about 10 months now straight.

went on an experiement do-it-yourself bulking period and gained a good amount of weight. fat as well (as expected). trying to lean out a but now by loading up proteins, minimising fats and carbohydrates. especially carbohydrates. my bodyweight ist he same, but the fat is going… don’t know whether it’ll stop in a bit. i am not doing any cardio or anything, and i’ve started the ABBH program. so my time spent in the gym webnt from 2.5 hours to .5 hours. which means my caloric expenditure has further dropped significantly. so far so good…

Shamr0ck, congratulations on your training, seems like you know what you’re doing.

jon_lamfers, my plan for weight training is high intensity/low volume for this cutting phase. Since I don’t have a lot of equipment, I’ll be sticking to the deadlift, front squat, variations of chinups, and hanging leg raises. I actually considered Don Alessi’s Meltdown Training, and it gave me an orgasm just thinking about the results, but the problem is I don’t know how it would interact with my martial arts training. Saturday is a really intense martial arts day for me, so that can’t be too good for recovery.
I think of the skipping rope as the best, yet, ironically cheapest “cardio machine” out there. I can’t skip at home, due to low ceilings, but I do skip rope before martial arts class, to warm up.

Thanks for the kind words Kligor, glad i could be of some help. I would interchange thurdsay and friday, so you could space your weight training out a little bit more evenly. As for some exercise selection, i think something like one hip,quad,horizontal push, horizontal pull, vertical push, and vertical pull exercise would be a decent way to train the whole body each day. So say something like deadlifts, front squats, floor press, bent over rows, push press and chins would be one workout. Thats just an idea.

Overall everything looks pretty good as long as diet is in order. It wouldnt be a program a competitive bodybuilder would follow, but if you want to just drop a few pounds then it should work. Best of luck!

Thanks for all your help, everyone!
For the exercise selection, I will indeed do the ones you suggested, TFlex, with a few adjustments. Instead of floor press, I’ll be doing pushups, with a resistance band, and instead of the push press, I’ll figure something out. I’m just changing these exercise due to lack of equipment. I have two 10 lb. dumbbells. I could do hundreds of repetitions for the floor press with them, and dozens for the push press, so I need to replace those 2 with other exercises.
Thanks for all your knowledge, and patience! I’ll get started on the program on Monday.