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View Full Version : Strength while cutting wisdom needed



TP93
05-01-2014, 07:28 PM
So my strength as gone down. I expected it to stay somwhere close but possibly drop a bit, but I am getting upset.

Little story, I spent 9-10 months trying to "transform" fat into muscle thinking I could gain mass and strength and could lose weight. Obviously I didn't, however the more I looked at numbers and pictures I did get a nice little bulk out of that time. Been seriously cutting 3 months and not amazing progress but I am happy and Im just shy of 20lbs in 3 months.

So I will focus on bench because it is my worst of all lifts. I work out 3 times a week, on a push, pull, legs split. Almost always I do a 5x5 rep routine plus a warmup set. I like to think I push myself hard.

So, in January my bench was a 1 rep max of 315 and I could push 225 10 reps sometimes closer to 15(when I had a spotter and was comfortable pushing to failure). So a few weeks ago, I noticed the last few sets of 5 at 225 I almost couldn't do it. Form sucked, reps really didn't count. Today I was at 205 and did a 4x5 and was uncomfortable doing another set with no spot.

That's a ridicoulous lose in strength. I do not take a single supplement and am cutting around 2000 daily average. I stay hydrated, and do 20 minutes of cardio per workout.

Any advice, is this normal? Is this because I'm not working hard enough?

Thank you all for reading and contributing!

pskk6565
05-01-2014, 07:38 PM
What are your macros like? I know when my carbs were under 100 my strength went down.

CanadianNoob
05-01-2014, 07:42 PM
There's no such thing as not working hard enough when you're lifting.
When you say you're cutting at 2000 calories, I'm assuming that's not your deficit number..

What's your TDEE? Could be that you're on too much of a deficit which is causing you to not only lose fat, but also more muscle than what you should lose.

TP93
05-01-2014, 08:02 PM
My TDEE is around 3000-3400 depending on what site and method I use to find the average.

I don't believe my calories are too low because, my weight loss does not show that. Weight loss average is around a 1.2-1.5 a week which is way more then safe for a guy as big as me(I believe, of course)

Macros could be a issue. I count proteins and calories. I know it's not the right way, I'm aware, but I make sure I get enough protein and beyond that just make sure I stay at or under 2000 daily.

TheLongRun
05-01-2014, 08:12 PM
It sounds to me like you're glycogen depleted. Have you any carbs recently?

CanadianNoob
05-01-2014, 08:20 PM
My TDEE is around 3000-3400 depending on what site and method I use to find the average.

I don't believe my calories are too low because, my weight loss does not show that. Weight loss average is around a 1.2-1.5 a week which is way more then safe for a guy as big as me(I believe, of course)

Macros could be a issue. I count proteins and calories. I know it's not the right way, I'm aware, but I make sure I get enough protein and beyond that just make sure I stay at or under 2000 daily.

I would still bump up your calorie intake a little so you're in a deficit of around 700-600. As TheLongRun said, it could be your carbs because eating (As you said) 2000 or a bit under might not be giving you enough room to fulfil your macros.

TP93
05-01-2014, 08:31 PM
Good advice so far. Thanks guys. I looked at my fitness pal and have averaged over 100 carbs the last 3 days. Is 100-120 "low for carbs" I think "low" would be Atleast below 50, but I'm good at being wrong.

What about meal timing? I have switched to working out about 1 hour after my first meal, and sometimes I still feel full.

I eat twice a day, around 2 and around 7 and pretty decent size meals, usually 1200 calorie lunch and 800 calorie dinner.

n0useforaname
05-01-2014, 08:40 PM
I think you need to realize that losing 20 pounds or so WILL affect strength. And the longer you cut, the harder it is to recover. Ive cut fast and slow.. And ive hit my macros/micros everyday.. And i still drop strength in certain areas, it happens... At 5' 7", if you are trying to cut to a lower BF% like 13-15%.. Expect to lose more strength.

CanadianNoob
05-01-2014, 08:53 PM
Good advice so far. Thanks guys. I looked at my fitness pal and have averaged over 100 carbs the last 3 days. Is 100-120 "low for carbs" I think "low" would be Atleast below 50, but I'm good at being wrong.

What about meal timing? I have switched to working out about 1 hour after my first meal, and sometimes I still feel full.

I eat twice a day, around 2 and around 7 and pretty decent size meals, usually 1200 calorie lunch and 800 calorie dinner.

Yeah, I'd start eating more carbs, My TDEE is about 2700, and my deficit is about 600 and I'm still eating 150-200 carbs a day while still losing weight.
Stop worrying about eating low carbs because your losing weight from the calorie deficit, not the carb deficit.

And meal timing doesn't matter, just as long as you meet your calories/macros

TP93
05-01-2014, 09:01 PM
Yeah, I'd start eating more carbs, My TDEE is about 2700, and my deficit is about 600 and I'm still eating 150-200 carbs a day while still losing weight.
Stop worrying about eating low carbs because your losing weight from the calorie deficit, not the carb deficit.

And meal timing doesn't matter, just as long as you meet your calories/macros

Thanks again. I don't eat low carb, like a Atkins or ketosis diet, I just enjoy meat a lot more then anything else naturally. I'm not purposely avoiding them, it just happens.

Also, the meal timing question was not regarded to weight loss. It was directed to eating times correlating with workout times, etc.

Luckily, I have learned enough I know to look past the fad diets, eating 8 times a day in small portions, etc.

Thanks again everyone

CanadianNoob
05-01-2014, 09:30 PM
Thanks again. I don't eat low carb, like a Atkins or ketosis diet, I just enjoy meat a lot more then anything else naturally. I'm not purposely avoiding them, it just happens.

Also, the meal timing question was not regarded to weight loss. It was directed to eating times correlating with workout times, etc.

Luckily, I have learned enough I know to look past the fad diets, eating 8 times a day in small portions, etc.

Thanks again everyone

Some people say eat a meal a hour prior to lifting because you'll have those extra carbs to burn at the gym. Personally, I can't eat just prior to going to the gym or I feel like I'll burst when lifting heavy, especially when DLing

ShadowFox08
05-01-2014, 10:22 PM
Some people say eat a meal a hour prior to lifting because you'll have those extra carbs to burn at the gym. Personally, I can't eat just prior to going to the gym or I feel like I'll burst when lifting heavy, especially when DLing

Eat light?

jonebone
05-02-2014, 06:27 AM
It sounds to me like you're glycogen depleted. Have you any carbs recently?

Exactly. Of course you are going to lose reps when your muscles don't have any glycogen due to low carb dieting! You should be measuring your 1RM as a true measure of your strength lost, losing reps are inevitable. But they'll come back when you have carbs again.

I went from 194 to 174 over 12 weeks and my 1RM bench only dropped from 285 to 265. But I lost a ton of reps on some worksets. Just the way it goes.