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Pilotgirl29
04-16-2007, 11:32 AM
So I have been trying to lower my BF% for a while, and have done very well. I have steadily been averaging about 1.2 lbs of loss/week. According to my bodyfat measurements, I have lost 13 pounds of fat and almost 1 lb of muscle.

My question is about muscle/strength loss. I don't want to lose muscle, but understand that I might have to part with just a little bit because of how difficult it is to burn ONLY fat all the time. How much strength loss should I expect along with this?

Lately my workouts have been a little more difficult than normal. I have stopped seeing increases in strength and have actually lost some strength in certain lifts.

Do you all experience a big drop in strength when cutting? I think my diet is in check- I'm tracking everything on fitday, and my pace of weight loss seems pretty moderate. I'm certainly not crash dieting or trying to exercise for hours a day with no food.

I'm not seeing HUGE drops in strength or muscle loss, but enough to notice when I'm plugging away. *Note- took 5 days completely off mid-march, so I don't think I'm overtraining.

Thanks in advance!

skibbi9
04-16-2007, 11:50 AM
PG,

you don't have any weight lifting tracking in your profile, but unless your lifts are real high and intense then you should be able to still gain strength (muscle depends on what lifts, and where you are in your gains, and the fact that you're a female probably doesn't help)

Just get yourself amped, get some good pre nutrition (or even add stim/bcaas) and rock out.

I'll try to stay up on your progress.

Pilotgirl29
04-16-2007, 12:29 PM
Thanks Skibbi. I do a whey/ skim milk shake pre-workout, add some espresso if I'm feelin tired, etc. I store my workout log at the gym, but basically, I have seen a tapering off of progress on military presses, squats, bench presses, and a couple others.

Not tons, but enough to frustrate me. :(

skibbi9
04-16-2007, 12:41 PM
Thanks Skibbi. I do a whey/ skim milk shake pre-workout, add some espresso if I'm feelin tired, etc. I store my workout log at the gym, but basically, I have seen a tapering off of progress on military presses, squats, bench presses, and a couple others.

Not tons, but enough to frustrate me. :(

what happens with me is that I have a favorite exercise for a couple weeks (usually whatevers progressing) and then i'll hit a plateau with that. I find if I focus on another exercise or two for a few weeks, that i can bust through that first exercise plateau. I was stuck at 175 benching for a long time, and by strengthening back/shoulders/more dips I was able to increase my bench

Keep the variantion. as for expresso, I guess that's fine. As long as you're not losing a lot of LBM you should be able to keep putting up more weight. what are your squats at?

will890
04-16-2007, 12:41 PM
when you cut you will be a little weaker because of the low carb intake. the pros when they do olympia and other shows they are at their weakest. you dont have the gas in the tank to lift the heavy weight. you only lose actual strength if you stop training for a lengthy period. hope thats not to confusing.

ewitte
04-16-2007, 01:09 PM
I'm testing out putting a refeed on my major workout day and having 1 scoop of vitargo prior, 1 scoop during and 1 scoop after during that day. On the lesser workout days I'll probably just stick to the oatmeal, etc.

LaxPro
04-16-2007, 01:13 PM
well i don't think you should be losing any strength or muscle during a cut. what kind of cardio are you doing? Personally, if i noticed i was losing strength/muscle i would up my calories. Obviously things won't get any better (only worse) if you continue without changing something.

Pilotgirl29
04-16-2007, 01:20 PM
I do cardio 3-4 days/wk.

HIIT outside 1-2 times(bleachers or sprints for 15-20 minutes). Also do 1 or two steady state sessions 30-40 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.

I would say I probably average 1.5 hours cardio/wk 2 if I'm feeling motivated or bloated :)


I assumed that when I dropped weight, caloric needs would decrease, but if workout or cardio increases in intensity do I need to account for that by upping my calories a lot?

I don't feel like I'm excessively hungry, so I'm not sure. Avg. intake is 2200-2400 cals/day. 40/40/20- sometimes a litttle heavier on the protein side.

LaxPro
04-16-2007, 01:53 PM
I do cardio 3-4 days/wk.

HIIT outside 1-2 times(bleachers or sprints for 15-20 minutes). Also do 1 or two steady state sessions 30-40 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill.

I would say I probably average 1.5 hours cardio/wk 2 if I'm feeling motivated or bloated :)


I assumed that when I dropped weight, caloric needs would decrease, but if workout or cardio increases in intensity do I need to account for that by upping my calories a lot?

I don't feel like I'm excessively hungry, so I'm not sure. Avg. intake is 2200-2400 cals/day. 40/40/20- sometimes a litttle heavier on the protein side.

interesting. i thought i'd see an obvious problem but i really don't. when people start losing strength first thing that always comes to my mind is that they are obviously not eating enough calories. however, you are eating a good amount. your cardio amount isn't excessivley high either.

How about the timing of your nutrition? are you eating your carbs pre and post workout? this is obviously when your body needs them the most and will put them to the most use and not store them as bodyfat. for energy purposes pre workout obviously. and then to shuttle nutrients into your muscles/replenish energy postworkout. maybe the HIIT is putting a strain on your CNS. HIIT is very short, yet taxing. personally i've always loved steady state cardio at a low to medium intensity for a longer duration of time (45-60 mins) with cardio such as this, you are doing it at a rate in which your body primarily burns it's fat stores, yet it's also done slow enough where you don't feel like you've just annialated yourself after you are through.

ewitte
04-16-2007, 02:01 PM
Maybe too much HIIT. I usually just do low intensity 4-5 times a week and it does just as well to keep my Calories expended higher than what I eat. I've seen several people not recommend HITT when your restricting your Calories and trying to lose weight. Its also a possibility your not getting the nutrients in fast enough after working out and your going catabolic. The first time I lost tons of weight I lost a lot of strenght too but I also had several times a week where I'd run nearly 2 hours in one setting and not pay close attention to food.

Voltron
04-16-2007, 04:29 PM
Whenever I cut I see losses in strength after about 3 weeks. The reasons behind it usually consist of lack of carbohydrates for energy, which can be countered by eating more carbs pre-workout, and lack of testosterone. Testosterone levels decrease when you are cutting because of the decrease in energy that you are consuming.

Granted you are a woman and have much less testosterone than men, but you still have it and have almost certainly had a decrease in your testosterone levels.

Don't worry about the strength loss. Your strength will come back when you stop cutting. If you don't want to lose strength at all do some power sets (high weight, low rep (4-6)) and it will help.

Also, if you lose a little bit of muscle it's fine because you can quickly gain it back if you try to gain muscle after cutting. The body wants to gain weight right after you stop cutting, so if you try to gain weight like guys do for a week or two you should very easily gain back all of that muscle mass.