Trying to maintain muscle while cutting
02-04-2010 12:04 AM
Trying to maintain muscle while cutting
Okay so I'm a typical hardgainer who has been lifting and dieting consistently for about 2 years. Gains came slow at first, but as I increased my calories more and more my weight and lifts started to increase. My diet was made up of only clean foods and I never had any cheat meals. I ate strictly every 3 hours and was addicted to seeing the number on the scale go up and nothing else. Well 2 years later I went from a 145 pound kid with very little body fat and who could barely bench the bar a few times to 205 pounds with about 18% bodyfat and respectable lifts. But after all this, I am very happy with where I am and the amount of muscle I have gained, but I am not confident about how I look with my shirt off and want to begin to cut for a wedding in 6 weeks as well as the summer. Looking to do so without losing too much of my extremely hard earned muscle, cut calories down to about 3200 from the 4500+ a day I was eating. Im thinking about doing fasted cardio in the morning too but am very nervous about muscle loss. HELP!!
02-04-2010 12:13 AM
keep training intensity up... meaning keep the weights heavy, do not start banging out sets of 15 reps thinking you'll cut up
keep your weight loss around 2lbs per week and focus on your carb timing around workouts... if your glycogen stores are low then your workouts are gonna suck an you'll lose muscle
02-04-2010 01:43 PM
BCAA's also help to maintain muscle on a cut.
02-05-2010 01:21 AM
I'd start with a short cardio session after weight training, and then add more time as needed. Cardio is way over-rated though, so just keep lifting like its your last gym session. Increase your intensity and start cutting your rest in between sets..seriously, you want to get cut, you have to go through your workouts quicker so that it forces your body to push itself. You will notice your heart-rate dropping back to normal faster and faster after every week, plus your test levels will be elevated. For your diet, i'd cycle low carb days for non-lifting, medium carb days for your strong body parts, and high carb days for your weak body parts that need improvement. I don't follow a specific carb cycle, just eat accordingly to what I will be working out that day. For example: If i am just doing cardio, I eat only fiburous veggies, high fat, high protein. For leg day, its a different story, I eat about 500 calories above my maintence of mostly protein and carbs, almost no fats, under 20 grams if possible. All other days of lifting I follow a mod carb,fat and pro diet. This has helped me get to and stay under 6 percent body fat, and gain a respectful amount of lean mass every month.
02-07-2010 04:54 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone. Im definitely working on training intensity, I've been doing a lot of supersets and taking time off my workout while keeping the same amount of sets. I also have added in cardio after my workout which I increase slowly as well as fasted morning cardio on off days. Before this I take 7g of BCAAs and 7g of Glutamine.
I have lowered my carb intake and began counting calories. I was up around 4500 a day during my bulk..and slowly lowered that to 3200. Should I go any lower than this to burn fat, or will i risk losing muscle? I also like the idea of high and low carb days based on activity and am going to start doing that.
02-07-2010 05:08 PM
I personally use the following system when cutting:
1. Increase low intensity cardio post-workout (start at 15 mins) and add in the Fat Loss Stack.
Once the scale and tape measure stop dropping I increase this to 30 mins postworkout (which for 5 days of training per week is a good amount of calories burnt)
2. When I plateau again, I drop my calories by 300kcal/day (from CHO) and the scale will start dropping again. I have a 'carb-up day' once per week where i reduce fat calories and increase CHO to refill glycogen stores.
3. When it stops again, I increase cardio to 45 mins of low intensity cardio in the morning on an empty stomach with BCAAs.
4. By now I'm getting pretty lean (normally sub 10% if I started at 15% Bodyfat), then I'll add in some thermogenics (ECA normally), and increase to a max dose of 100mg of E per day stacked with
This has always worked for me and is mainly diet and cardio, the supplements just polish it off. Hope it helps mate.
02-08-2010 03:11 AM
From a former guy who had/has no problem gaining the mass but when it was time to lose body fat i dieted too hard and lost precious muscle muscle.A good idea is to reduce calories four weeks(2-3 lbs a week) take a week break and up raise the calories reward yourself some,after that week reduce calories another four weeks and keep repeating for whatever desired goal you want. This method helps a lot in keeping muscle. My first year in reducing calories I over -did it and lost strength and muscle kept calories reduced 6 months strait.
do it very slowly and this way you can still maintain or even gain a small amount of muscle if training intensely, keeping the protein high, and sleeping deep n well.
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