View Full Version : Cutting Diet plus Mass Building Routine

02-18-2003, 08:19 AM
March will be my first attempt at cutting while retaining mass.
I am just trying to get my game plan together.

My current diet is approx 40/30/30 at around 500cal over maintenance. I will attempt to drop 250 cals per week till I get to about 250 under maintenance. If I still feel ok, I will push 500 under. I will probably at that time be at 30/40/30, C/P/F.

My current training is heavy weight 6-8 rep range. I usually change that ever 4-6 weeks. I will start March by moving it back up to the 8-12 rep range with a little lighter weight. I currently don't do any cardio except for the 10 min Lifecycle warm-up, and of course the hours of chasing a 2, almost 3 year old, around the yard. I plan to add 3 maybe 4 cardio days of which 2 will be HIIT on the elliptical trainer.

By the time I cycle back to training with heavy weights again, I will probably be at 500 or so cals under maintenance. And on top of that I will have added a full cardio routine.
So my question is, will training with a mass building routine, at that point, be counterproductive? i.e. tearing down the muscle and not having enough to build it back stronger or even just to maintain. Should I just stay at the middle to high rep range for training?

What are your thoughts?

02-18-2003, 09:22 AM
Mel, first Losing/cutting without mass loss or with mass gain is a crap shoot. You need to monitor food intake and body fat calculations extremely close.

I am not sure about the thinking behind cutting calories by 250 a week in the beginning, you will not see weight loss until you are atleast 250 calories per day under maintenance, in my opinion.

How to approach this depends on a number of things: During cutting - how much weight are you looking at losing? How much BF% are you dropping? How long is your cutting time to reach your goal?

The longer the cutting cycle the greater your chance of keeping the mass. You will want to take suppliments that protect your mass, types are a personal choice.

If you are looking at taking your time with the cutting, here is my plan:

500 calorie per day drop from maintenance: used with a system of averaging:

Week one drop 250 calories below maintenance: rep range 8 - 12
week two drop 750 calories below maintenance: rep range 8 - 12
Week three drop 500 calories below maintenance: rep range 8 - 12

This gives average calorie drop of 500 calories per day for three weeks.

Week four calories at maintenance or + 250 calories per day: rep range 4 - 6 for mass.

Keep diet clean with plenty of good fats (Flax oil) etc.

Repeat: beginning back at week one.


02-18-2003, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the advice TwoWalks.

I currently weigh 155lbs. Maintenance calories, if I calculate at approx 14x body weight is about 2200 cals. If I go to a 30/40/30 diet, my protein intake at 750 below maint (1450) will be 580 cals or 145 grams per day. I'm hoping that will be enough to maintain muscle.
I'll just have to learn how to accurately use the calipers when I get them this week. I am using a Tanita Body Fat Monitor right now and I know that the BF% reads high based on feedback I've read elsewhere. It currently reads approx 24% BF. I'm looking to drop about 8% or so by June. The Tanita scale is accurate at measuring change, so that means 16% BF. I hope this scale is off by the 5% that I read! I just can't see me being 24% BF. Or maybe I am, we'll see what the calipers say.
I will also be posting pics when I start my Challenge II thread.

02-18-2003, 05:42 PM
Is about the only macronutrient that you need to leave at a decent level enough to cover you IMHO. Not sure what other's have said here as I am in a rush, but I can say that although you'll be dropping the calories to 250 below your maintenance levelas long as the grams of protein and fat remain at decent levels you should be fine. I say fat needs to be at a decent stable level because you need fat to burn fat and also you need atleast your recommended daily intake of protein to be building mass at the same time there. I.e. 1-2 grams per lb of LBM.

So basically you will be better off moving to more of a keto (low carb) diet whilst your dipping below the maintenance level of calories. You might find you plateau after a time on 500 calories less than maintenance as that will send the body into famine mode as you probably know. I made that mistake. If I did that again now as I dipped below maintenance it would be as I described above and to maintain the protein and fat's as they were and reduce the carbs. Makes it simpler too.

02-18-2003, 05:55 PM
If your LBM is 90 lbs for example, then your definately need over and above 90 grams of protein per day and to maintain that. In fact I would be shooting for 1.5 grams per pound = 135 grams. Now that amounts to around 540 calories to start with. That and the fats are needed for muscle repair--(prostaglandins)--so don't cut them back at all. Aim for 30% still with fats and then get the rest of whatever calories are left in carbs.

Say your total amount of calories were around 2000 to begin with, then you would be consuming 600 calories in fat/600 protein/800 carbs. If you dropped 250 calories take them off the carbs = 550 carbs per day for a week. Following week drop again 250= 200 grams carbs per day for a week.

Just the way I'd do it anyway. If you didn't do that you would be cutting ALL the percentages back and it would mean lower fat intake and lower protein intake and that would not be good for muscle gains?

02-18-2003, 06:45 PM
Be sure to take in some EFA's like flax oil or a blend many people are having good results during a fat loss program . Maintain or increase you protein intake seems to be an accepted rule of thumb as well .
I have had good luck by just cutting as much easily digested refined carbs from my diet during a fat loss attemp but not to the point of cutting so many calories as to lose energy .I would increase my raw food intake like carrots apples celery anything that grows in the ground . Continued with protein and vitamin supplements . I then have just continued to workout as usual . The fat would drop and muscle loss was minimal because I was still lifting heavy .

02-18-2003, 08:11 PM
Just adding to the above Mel. I have Flax/safflower oil 1:1 ratio and I cut all saturated fat off meats. I cook in grapeseed oil and use olive oil spread if I really have to. If your cutting back on carbs, make them low glycaemic rather than high. The reason that I say that is because when high glycaemic they are digested more quickly and the insulin levels can spike. If you stick to low glycaemic carbs they are slower for the digestive system to process and so therefore they tend to keep your insulin levels a little steadier for longer periods. When your cutting back on carbs this is important because obviously you need them for energy and you need them to be constant. I use steel cut oats, sweet potatos, squash or yams and select wholemeal or multigrain bread over white bread and I select brown rice or wild rice over white rice. Same with flour and also make sure that you select fruits and vegies that are low glycaemic one also. I avoided carrots because they are quite high on the glycaemic index. Although I love them, I have to cut them out whilst I am cutting.

Here is a link to more about it anyway and you can download a file with a list of foods on it too:


The zone diet is really good for me actually. I like it because I don't even have to count calories, I go by portion size. I select a piece of protein about the size and thickness of my palm for a portion of protein. I then select a tight fist sized portion if the carb is high glycaemic, i.e. potato and two loose sized fist portions of the carb is low glycaemic i.e. cauliflower or broccoli. I then have some green salad vegies in addition to that and if my meal contains high fats I don't add, but if it doesn't I add grapeseed to the salad leaves and balsamic vinegar. 1/2 Tsp of each. If my carb is bread, then the olive oil spread is my fat portion for that meal. Using your hand is a good gauge because everyone hands are in proportion to their body size or build. So everyones portions are different anyway. So if I were to reduce carbs (calories) back from the portions I take in now I'd just slice a little off the carbs and leave the other percentages of things as they are.

Here is a link to the zone diet calculator that I use:


This is the guys one:


02-18-2003, 11:53 PM
Belle, Back2it
Thanks for the replies. It's almost midnight right now, so I think I'll re-read all this calorie stuff in the morning when I get back to work.
Thanks again, nite all.

02-19-2003, 04:33 AM
Hey Mel,

I just have one thing to add since the whole calorie counting thing makes me crazy.I have to get over that as I will start a cutting program myself in April.

I noticed you said you were going to use lighter weights and higher reps while cutting.I think this may be a mistake.You need to keep the weights heavy to retain your mass,especially on a reduced calorie diet.True,you will not be able to lift quite as heavy while cutting but it's important to lift as heavy as you can.

There's nothing wrong with reps in the 8-12 range.I just would be cautious about changing this while cutting.Just some food for thought.

Oops...did I say food? :D

02-19-2003, 08:10 AM
Good point Gollum.

I usually go to failure on the last couple of sets. So by targetting the 8-12 rep range, I will make sure those last sets go to failure regardless of what weight it is, just like I'm doing right now with the heavier weights. But, yeah, come April or May, I will definitely try to target the 6-8 rep range again, since I always change my training routines every 4-6 weeks.

Ok, NOW I'm ready to re-read all this calorie calculation stuff.

02-19-2003, 09:42 AM
Hey Mel,

Take a look at Eye2 new thread, I posted some links that try to accomplish this very feat (Holding on to LBM while losing Fat) I agree with Gollum and I use a 5x5 Routine to try to keep the mass going while hyper caloric to lose fat.

02-19-2003, 10:35 AM
Thanks Phatman,
I just read Eye2's thread before I read your reply. I will check all the links there also.