View Full Version : Would you consider me a "beginner" and do I truly "lose" muscle while cutting?

09-04-2015, 01:05 PM
Hi all,

I am 5'7, 155lbs and around 15-17% BF (I started at over 30% 11 months ago). So nothing earth shattering, and nothing that will win me 1 million dollars but I am happy with the progress as well as the education I have learned about how MY body responds to everything I have thrown at it. Here is a short description of my history followed by a few questions.

I started at 168.3lbs, 30% BF skinny fat (slim arms/legs, flat ass, man tits and big gut) 11 months ago. I began doing 3 days of HIIT, and 5 days of weight lifting split. I made great progress. 1900 calories, 40/40/20 C/P/F for 90 days.

After 90 days I changed my calories to 2400 calories, 50/30/20 C/P/F, cut back to 2 days of HIIT but kept 5 day weight training split for 180 days. I immediately noticed I was "bloating/bulking up" and while I was starting to look muscular, my belly completely STOPPED changing for these entire 6 months but I definitely could see a "re-comp" change. I noted that at this weight etc., I felt I had found my maintenance for that time (as I didn't gain or lose even 1lb). At least I had a measurable starting point to move from. However I kind of felt like it was tons of water weight from creatine and high carbs.

Now I am in the final 90 days. I didn't reach my goal of getting myself to 10-12% BF so I decided to do another final cut. I went back to 1900 40/40/20 C/P/F and kept my 5 day weight training split and 2 days of HIIT. This brings us to today.

Today I am feeling lethargic and weak, but I get it done. I can get through the day pretty much no problem, but I definitely feel the weakness and brain fog. I do my workouts in the morning at 6:00am fasted. I use my own pre-workout of caffeine pill, l-carnitine, BCAA's, Beta-alanine, Glutamine and a pinch of added pure leucine. During workout I drink Prime Nutrition Intra-MD. Directly after I pump myself with a protein/carb shake on the drive to work.

Now for the questions:

1. When cutting, am I actually LOSING muscle? Or is my muscle just becoming less "dense" and once I begin to bulk, it will fill right back up? I mean is the muscle fibers themselves actually going away as in a permanent loss or is it just a temporary loss/deflation per say that will be fully restored after I bulk?

2. This one furthers upon question number 1 and leads into number 3. I am thinking of really pushing myself to the limit of maybe 1500-1700 calories for the last month to speed up this fat loss around my belly. I see so many arguments about this subject my head is spinning. Big arguments on both sides as to muscle loss, and health issues etc. Others claiming it's just not a problem. If I do this level of calories and cause some muscle loss is that muscle "quickly" regained after bulking begins?

3. I have read so much on this site about the difference between "beginners" and "veterans" in terms of the speed in which you build muscle mass in your first few years of training and I am wondering, based on what you read of my history and know that I have NEVER in my life been "big and muscular" or even tried (always skinny), after 1 year of the above training do you consider mef the "beginner" in terms of I can expect to get away with an increased response to muscle growth compared to a veteran? I am aiming for 2lbs per month growth. I don't care if it takes 2-3 years to accomplish this. I plan to lean bulk even if it takes more time to build mass.

4. As I plan this lean bulk, I intend to increase my calories 100 per week until I reach a level of gaining weight to prevent immediate fat gain. Interested in your thoughts on this one.

Thanks in advance! You guys rock!

09-05-2015, 12:16 AM
Please start by reading the stickies.

You do not have to lose muscle while cutting. In fact some intermediates can gain some muscle during a cut.