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  1. #1
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    Losing lots of fat. Diet length, breaks etc? Renaissance Periodization ideas

    So I have finally decided to become significantly leaner. Been out of the gym for a few years and now back in for about 6 solid months.

    Back in May I was at 236lbs, 34% bodyfat. I did a mass phase to get my easy muscle memory gains and then after a maintenance phase I ended up around 242ish at 32.4%

    I started a cut on Oct 11th, aiming to cut for 10 weeks and then take a 4 week maintenance phase. then cut again of course. So today would be 7 weeks of cutting. Im sitting at 232.2lbs @ 30.7%


    So i am down about 10lbs and 2.7% bodyfat. So far so good, and its been pretty easy. Still being super fat, I havent been hungry yet lol. Still hitting about 230-260 carbs per day and been averaging about 2550 calories but im gradually reducing that a bit.


    So far so good, but now the questions:


    I am more or less following some of Renaissance Periodizations ideas and I would like to hear feedback about those ideas and also about more traditional cutting methods. So RP's ideas are along the lines of only cutting (or massing) for about 12 weeks at a time and then taking a maintenance phase of perhaps 6-8 weeks. In my case I am planning a 10 week cut and then a 4 week maintenance phase. On the maint phase one would do low volume work and bring the calories back up to around maintenance level. one might even expect to gain a lb or two during maintenance. The maint phase is to give the bodys hormones and metabolism a chance to reset. Then one goes back into the cut again, ramps up the training volume again, and repeats the process etc


    So how does this compare to more traditional cuts?

    If one has a lot of fat to lose, like I do, would they generally just take more extended cut phases? I mean obviously I am not trying to eat away all of my muscle in the process and so far Im holding most of it etc


    The obvious downside to the 12 week cut/6 week maint is that it will take a long time to eventually be lean. I ran some calculations today and it could take me like a year to get down to around 20% bodyfat (if I hold most of my muscle)


    Would one with so much fat to lose generally just go on an extended cut, accepting that there would be some lost muscle mass, in order to just get rid of the fat sooner??


    What are the traditional approaches for losing this much fat?


    Another thing, so far i havent done any cardio. Zero. I have sort of a wack schedule due to me working 12 hr shifts on F/Sat/Sun. So my gyms days are M/T/W/Th and on those days I end up doing 7 workouts. So thats 2 a days on M/T/W and then 1 workout on Th. With that many workouts..is there any need for cardio?? The problem being of course, where would the cardio go??

    Thanks for any ideas or feedback, JJ
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  2. #2
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    You're waaaayyy overthinking things. Concentrate on fatloss and muscle maintenance. Just go into a proper deficit, drop 100 cals a day after every 10 lbs of fatloss, continue training and reverse diet when you're at the desired amount of leanness. Don't make something simple complicated.
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  3. #3
    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You're waaaayyy overthinking things. Concentrate on fatloss and muscle maintenance. Just go into a proper deficit, drop 100 cals a day after every 10 lbs of fatloss, continue training and reverse diet when you're at the desired amount of leanness. Don't make something simple complicated.
    so essentially you are just saying cut for about a year straight, no breaks, no nothing? what are your thoughts on muscle loss with such an approach? I mean, I like the idea as far as the continuous fat loss being the quickest method.....but will the body want to go along with such a linear approach?


    for the record, about 3 years ago I had been out of the gym for a few years and had ballooned up to 259. So I ran a calculator online which suggested I cut on 2000 calories. So I did and somewhere along the line I dropped that to 1800. Well basically I did that for about a year straight. I DID lose weight in pretty much a straight linear fashion and TBH was never really hungry the whole time. I dropped 60lbs in a year which is a pretty ideal pace I suppose.

    The PROBLEM was that I wasnt working out at all so i surely lost a lot of muscle. I went from 259 to 199, yes, but I bet my actual bodyfat % didnt drop THAT much.


    I want to eventually be about 10% @ somewhere around 179lbs. I dont want to be 18% @ 179 and I dont want to be 10% @ 155lbs
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  4. #4
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Just maintain muscle during a deficit it's not that hard. Get lean then reverse diet plus muscle memory is a real thing.
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    Registered User John Prophet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Just maintain muscle during a deficit it's not that hard. Get lean then reverse diet plus muscle memory is a real thing.
    yeah, Ive had so many layoffs I could write a book on muscle memory


    What do u think about training volume etc during an extended cut? right now I am pushing things pretty hard and either doing 4 weeks or 5 weeks and then a deload.

    I suppose that, being at 30% bodyfat, I can probably lose down to at least 20% without even worrying about losing too much muscle simply because I have such a huge amount of stored energy on my body
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Tommy W. is offline
    Dude! You have to put muscle loss out of your mindset. Get leaner then worry about muscle. Train to the best of your MRV with intensity, diet down then re group later...
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    Tommy is right. You just have to get down to a decent weight before worrying about muscle. That said, you don't want to lose more than you have to and should continue going to the gym. At some point you will max out to where deloads won't help you get past that in a cut. You can just keep lifting that weight throughout your cut. Or you change things up and do a good program with more/less reps if you get bored. Either way works. If you are really worried, then the only thing besides lifting is to make sure to eat enough protein. But forget all the resetting of metabolism stuff. Why lose the time?
    Back at it again after being away from the forums for a few years. Was 280+ at the beginning of the year (290 on Dec 13, 2018).

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    Registered User spradish's Avatar
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    If you need to take a week off here and there, that's fine. I wouldn't plan a month off though. When I lost 50 lbs, it took me a year. I took a week off after the first 5 months and then I believe I took two more one week breaks after that. They weren't planned far in advance. I was not normally overly hungry but would hit a wall where I'd think about food constantly. That's when I took the breaks.

    To be clear, my diet breaks meant that I ate at maintenance while still counting calories and exercising as normal. They weren't food free-for-alls.
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  9. #9
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    On the subject of muscle loss, muscle memory is a real thing and when you diet down and lose some muscle it goes back on quickly when you return to a calorie surplus and continue training. Too many people freak out over some loss then reverse diet before they can get lean enough then never end up lean or even close to it.

    I was in a bad accident and was laid up for 6 months in bed. Got back in the gym and was just blown away on how fast the muscle went back on so my opinion on muscle memory is based on experience and not just reading articles about it
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    So I have finally decided to become significantly leaner. Been out of the gym for a few years and now back in for about 6 solid months.

    Back in May I was at 236lbs, 34% bodyfat. I did a mass phase to get my easy muscle memory gains and then after a maintenance phase I ended up around 242ish at 32.4%

    I started a cut on Oct 11th, aiming to cut for 10 weeks and then take a 4 week maintenance phase. then cut again of course. So today would be 7 weeks of cutting. Im sitting at 232.2lbs @ 30.7%


    So i am down about 10lbs and 2.7% bodyfat. So far so good, and its been pretty easy. Still being super fat, I havent been hungry yet lol. Still hitting about 230-260 carbs per day and been averaging about 2550 calories but im gradually reducing that a bit.


    So far so good, but now the questions:


    I am more or less following some of Renaissance Periodizations ideas and I would like to hear feedback about those ideas and also about more traditional cutting methods. So RP's ideas are along the lines of only cutting (or massing) for about 12 weeks at a time and then taking a maintenance phase of perhaps 6-8 weeks. In my case I am planning a 10 week cut and then a 4 week maintenance phase. On the maint phase one would do low volume work and bring the calories back up to around maintenance level. one might even expect to gain a lb or two during maintenance. The maint phase is to give the bodys hormones and metabolism a chance to reset. Then one goes back into the cut again, ramps up the training volume again, and repeats the process etc


    So how does this compare to more traditional cuts?

    If one has a lot of fat to lose, like I do, would they generally just take more extended cut phases? I mean obviously I am not trying to eat away all of my muscle in the process and so far Im holding most of it etc


    The obvious downside to the 12 week cut/6 week maint is that it will take a long time to eventually be lean. I ran some calculations today and it could take me like a year to get down to around 20% bodyfat (if I hold most of my muscle)


    Would one with so much fat to lose generally just go on an extended cut, accepting that there would be some lost muscle mass, in order to just get rid of the fat sooner??


    What are the traditional approaches for losing this much fat?


    Another thing, so far i havent done any cardio. Zero. I have sort of a wack schedule due to me working 12 hr shifts on F/Sat/Sun. So my gyms days are M/T/W/Th and on those days I end up doing 7 workouts. So thats 2 a days on M/T/W and then 1 workout on Th. With that many workouts..is there any need for cardio?? The problem being of course, where would the cardio go??

    Thanks for any ideas or feedback, JJ
    i would leave the cardio for now , if u cant handle it

    anyone tried this product here www . lossbelly.food.blog ?
    i heard its good for losing fat , and works for men and women ?
    help me please
    a friend told me to buy it but am still thinking about that
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  11. #11
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jozefclinik View Post
    i would leave the cardio for now , if u cant handle it

    anyone tried this product here www . lossbelly.food.blog ?
    i heard its good for losing fat , and works for men and women ?
    help me please
    a friend told me to buy it but am still thinking about that
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    Great info in here, answered some questions I was thinking. Glad the search box works lol. Anyone have a good thread (or article) to share about the physiological science being muscle memory?

    Don't want to hijack thread, but seems along the same line of question. I am cutting a lot, and I know I am losing muscle but not a ton. Started at 369, current 345 (almost 6 weeks). Fat fat analysis suggests for every lb of fat I lose I am losing a couple ounces of muscle. Not a big deal, but considering I still have 85lbs to my end goal that will add up (13-16lbs muscle). Once upon a time I was 260 @ 10%, goal to get back to (I am 6"6', some people don't believe the number till they hear the height).

    My main goal right now is health, getting out of danger zones. Would it make sense to reduce calorie deficit once I am under 20% to preserve and even gain some muscle? My goal right now is lose 1% a week, and have been fairly on target thus far.

    Lastly, I REALLY hope muscle memory is better than mine!! HAHA
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