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Thread: Cutting plan

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    Cutting plan

    So I'm trying to build muscle as well as lose some fat. I know you guys might roll your eyes at the suggestion, but just tell me if my plan is flawed.

    So I start off with a week or two of purely gaining muscle. Lifting heavy weights, increasing my calories just enough to support muscle growth without too much fat gain. After about one to two weeks of muscle gain, I cut calories while increasing protein to 1g per lb of body weight, still weight lifting. I do this cut for 1 to 2 weeks. Then I spend another 1 to 2 weeks gaining muscle. I feel like in this way, I can keep my metabolism boosted by adding muscle, and then cut the fat while my metabolism and muscle is higher.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    So I'm trying to build muscle as well as lose some fat. I know you guys might roll your eyes at the suggestion, but just tell me if my plan is flawed.

    So I start off with a week or two of purely gaining muscle. Lifting heavy weights, increasing my calories just enough to support muscle growth without too much fat gain. After about one to two weeks of muscle gain, I cut calories while increasing protein to 1g per lb of body weight, still weight lifting. I do this cut for 1 to 2 weeks. Then I spend another 1 to 2 weeks gaining muscle. I feel like in this way, I can keep my metabolism boosted by adding muscle, and then cut the fat while my metabolism and muscle is higher.
    What you propose is commonly referred to as "Spinning your wheels". "A week or two" isn't enough time to really accomplish anything in either direction.

    You need more like "a couple of months" at minimum to see any actual progress really in either fat loss or muscle gain and even at that you should expect only about a 5-10 pound swing in each direction.
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    Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    What you propose is commonly referred to as "Spinning your wheels". "A week or two" isn't enough time to really accomplish anything in either direction.

    You need more like "a couple of months" at minimum to see any actual progress really in either fat loss or muscle gain and even at that you should expect only about a 5-10 pound swing in each direction.
    Are you sure about this? Maybe I'm just a freak and my body is fast, but after even a week and a half of regular strength training and proper intake of macros, I notice a significant increase in visible muscle mass in the mirror. Like my chest is bigger, my arms are bigger, my glutes and thighs are thicker. I would assume that muscle has been gained at that point. So at that point, it would be safe to cut away some of the fat.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    Are you sure about this? Maybe I'm just a freak and my body is fast, but after even a week and a half of regular strength training and proper intake of macros, I notice a significant increase in visible muscle mass in the mirror. Like my chest is bigger, my arms are bigger, my glutes and thighs are thicker. I would assume that muscle has been gained at that point. So at that point, it would be safe to cut away some of the fat.
    Its called glycogen and water retention.

    You would have gained basically no muscle in a week and a half as if you did make noticeable gains that fast why not continue for 12 weeks with the same diet then you will look huge instead of like you are planning and spinning your wheels to no where.

    But if you wish to pursue it good luck. You may get somewhere as technically maintenance training can work but many have tried and nearly all have failed. The results are certainly not quick in any form of the imagination and likely to cause no results but that does depend on your weight training experience.
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    All great advice given. Lol at 2 weeks making a difference. I always say it takes 6 weeks to see good or bad changes.
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    My question would be, if it all evens out in the long run, why are you concerned that each phase be brief?

    EDIT: I don't think your metabolism is going to be much affected by a long cut, but ask someone else as they'd know better.
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    Okay, good point about the glycogen and water retention. I retract my previous assessment.

    So is there a way to gradually gain muscle with minimal or no fat increase? My primary goal right now is to increase muscle, but I also want to get shredded and not accumulate fat. I figure the metabolic increase from the muscle building should help stymie any fat gain, provided I don't eat too much in surplus.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    So is there a way to gradually gain muscle with minimal or no fat increase?
    as low calories as possible while still gaining strength

    unless you're a beginner, you're most likely going to need to eat at maintenance/surplus to make gains
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    Originally Posted by EliKoehn View Post
    My question would be, if it all evens out in the long run, why are you concerned that each phase be brief?

    EDIT: I don't think your metabolism is going to be much affected by a long cut, but ask someone else as they'd know better.
    I really don't think it would be either. I cut for a year with 3-4 (can't remember which anymore) one week breaks. My metabolism was fine. It's really not something to spend that much time thinking about.
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    It seems like someone is always floating this idea on the forum at least a couple times a month. If this really worked, people would have discovered and started doing it a long time ago.

    Cutting isn't difficult, in fact its easy. Hell I've been in a sustained calorie deficit since the last week of June. My first big cut back in 2016 was about 7 months long, and I increased my lifts throughout that entire duration.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    It seems like someone is always floating this idea on the forum at least a couple times a month. If this really worked, people would have discovered and started doing it a long time ago.

    Cutting isn't difficult, in fact its easy. Hell I've been in a sustained calorie deficit since the last week of June. My first big cut back in 2016 was about 7 months long, and I increased my lifts throughout that entire duration.
    Are you saying you increased muscular strength and size on the cut?
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    as low calories as possible while still gaining strength

    unless you're a beginner, you're most likely going to need to eat at maintenance/surplus to make gains
    So here is a related question: So say I am lifting and trying to gain muscle mass. I keep my calories high enough to support 90% of full muscle growth and recovery, given the volume of work I'm doing in the gym, but just under what my muscles would use to grow to maximum size during recovery. So it's kind of like drinking water, but only quench 90% of your thirst. So there is still a slight caloric deficit to obtain full muscular growth, but enough to grow maybe 90% of growth potential given the volume of work done in the gym. Will my body still add muscle, but also melt off some of the fat?
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    Are you saying you increased muscular strength and size on the cut?
    I simultaneously got stronger, leaner, and added muscle definition during my cut.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    So here is a related question: So say I am lifting and trying to gain muscle mass. I keep my calories high enough to support 90% of full muscle growth and recovery, given the volume of work I'm doing in the gym, but just under what my muscles would use to grow to maximum size during recovery. So it's kind of like drinking water, but only quench 90% of your thirst. So there is still a slight caloric deficit to obtain full muscular growth, but enough to grow maybe 90% of growth potential given the volume of work done in the gym. Will my body still add muscle, but also melt off some of the fat?
    I 'get' what you're trying to do. But you are basically attempting to walk a tightrope blindfolded. I'm afraid you're going to end up doing both 'goals' poorly...

    In this thread https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=178264931 you say you are 5' 9" and 148 pounds. What do you weigh now. The same thread highlights the difficulty in what you are attempting to accomplish, by the way.
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    I 'get' what you're trying to do. But you are basically attempting to walk a tightrope blindfolded. I'm afraid you're going to end up doing both 'goals' poorly...

    In this thread https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=178264931 you say you are 5' 9" and 148 pounds. What do you weigh now. The same thread highlights the difficulty in what you are attempting to accomplish, by the way.
    Yeah, that thread answered a lot of questions for me. What I learned was that weight loss also tends to cause water retention, thus making it appear more jiggly than what you would expect during a cut. Once your body finally sheds the water, you can see the difference in tone.

    But that is different from my question in this thread. Which is "walking the tightrope" as you aptly described. Gaining muscle, but just slightly calorie deficient for full muscle recovery, resulting in some fat loss as well (my question here).
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    I simultaneously got stronger, leaner, and added muscle definition during my cut.
    How did you achieve this? I would like to try to replicate your process.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    How did you achieve this? I would like to try to replicate your process.
    He likely got "Stronger" due to central nervous system adaptation, Leaner due to losing fat and increased definition also due to losing fat.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post

    But that is different from my question in this thread. Which is "walking the tightrope" as you aptly described. Gaining muscle, but just slightly calorie deficient for full muscle recovery, resulting in some fat loss as well (my question here).
    So none of these biological processes can ever be 100% in either direction. This is the concept of calorie (or nutrient) partitioning and the body divides this energy among various processes (like fat storage, muscle recovery) and the amount is governed by a complex web of genetics, hormones, nervous system activity, etc...

    The best you can do is try to optimize the factors in your control to encourage muscle growth (sufficient protein, progressive overload, macro/micro nutrients and sleep/recovery) and just mentally accept whatever fat gains come along. Be comforted in the knowledge you can lose this fat at a later stage.
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    Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    He likely got "Stronger" due to central nervous system adaptation, Leaner due to losing fat and increased definition also due to losing fat.
    For sure, but I do believe its possible to build a little bit of muscle while in a calorie deficit if you're a fairly new lifter and you have a high enough bodyfat level to fuel muscle growth. Will it be a lot? No. Optimal? Certainly not. But I think its still entirely possible.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    OP, at 5' 9". What do you currently weigh?
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    How did you achieve this? I would like to try to replicate your process.
    I just realized you've been on this forum and posting since 2016. Please post a photo of your current physique so we can give you the right advice.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Here's a torso shot. Also, I seem to be bloating a bit this morning, as I only drank one sugar free redbull. About to cook some brunch though.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    Here's a torso shot. Also, I seem to be bloating a bit this morning, as I only drank one sugar free redbull. About to cook some brunch though.
    i'd say eat at maintenance and try to make gains

    cutting might make you look skinny fat, so maybe try lean bulking (200-300 surplus) in case maintenance doesn't work
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    Originally Posted by faithbrah View Post
    i'd say eat at maintenance and try to make gains

    cutting might make you look skinny fat, so maybe try lean bulking (200-300 surplus) in case maintenance doesn't work
    I'm taking in a lot of protein via lean beef. I weigh probably around 150lbs. 5ft 9" So I get about 150-160g protein every day through eating fat free ground beef. Sometimes more if I add eggs or liver into my day. Otherwise, my daily calories/fats/carbs are fairly low. I supplement extra fiber. I go to the gym to bench press, leg presses, bicep curls, shoulders, lat pulls, etc. a few times a week.
    Last edited by AdamFrostburg; 09-23-2020 at 01:49 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    I go to the gym to bench press, leg presses, bicep curls, shoulders, lat pulls, etc. a few times a week.
    Interesting description of of your weight 'program'. Are you following a written program? What is the progression scheme/approach?
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    I didn’t describe it in full. Most of the exercises I do are: Bench, RDL, squat, shoulder press, tricep pulldowns, lats, abs, calf raises, rows, etc. Not on the same day ofcourse. It’s from the fierce 5 program. I’m not super consistent though, but I do it as often as feasible.

    The main thing I want is to cut the flab from my midsection as in my photo so I probably want to focus on a calorie deficit while having high protein.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    I didn’t describe it in full. Most of the exercises I do are: Bench, RDL, squat, shoulder press, tricep pulldowns, lats, abs, calf raises, rows, etc. Not on the same day ofcourse. It’s from the fierce 5 program. I’m not super consistent though, but I do it as often as feasible.

    The main thing I want is to cut the flab from my midsection as in my photo so I probably want to focus on a calorie deficit while having high protein.
    If you're following Fierce 5 exactly as its written thats great, but if you're just picking and choosing various exercises from that program and making up your own routine I would stop doing that. You need to follow the structure and progression to actually get something out of it and see the progress that you're capable of.

    I would probably cut about 10-15 lbs, then you'll need to switch gears for a while and build slowly, then after you've built up some muscle you can cut again to help strip off some more fat. It will probably take you many cycles of bulking and cutting over a few years to get rid of the belly and build up enough muscle to achieve the physique you're after.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    If you're following Fierce 5 exactly as its written thats great, but if you're just picking and choosing various exercises from that program and making up your own routine I would stop doing that. You need to follow the structure and progression to actually get something out of it and see the progress that you're capable of.

    I would probably cut about 10-15 lbs, then you'll need to switch gears for a while and build slowly, then after you've built up some muscle you can cut again to help strip off some more fat. It will probably take you many cycles of bulking and cutting over a few years to get rid of the belly and build up enough muscle to achieve the physique you're after.
    What should my daily macros be in order to accomplish the 10-15 lb cut, do you think, given my stats? At 150 lbs 5ft 9inches? Aside from lifting following the Fierce 5. I have a relatively sedentary lifestyle outside of the gym, aside from occasional bike rides (to do shopping errands), nature hikes, normal daily tasks, etc.
    Last edited by AdamFrostburg; 09-23-2020 at 05:38 PM.
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    Originally Posted by AdamFrostburg View Post
    What should my daily macros be in order to accomplish the 10-15 lb cut, do you think, given my stats? At 150 lbs 5ft 9inches? Aside from lifting following the Fierce 5. I have a relatively sedentary lifestyle outside of the gym, aside from occasional bike rides (to do shopping errands), nature hikes, normal daily tasks, etc.
    You've been on this forum long enough, you should be able to figure out your own calories and macros. https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    You've been on this forum long enough, you should be able to figure out your own calories and macros. https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...hp?t=173439001
    Okay. Last question (for now):

    With the fierce 5, can I do the "machine" version of some of these exercises, because that's what I find easiest as a solo gym goer. For example, I do the chest press machine instead of using the barbell on the bench, I also use the leg press instead of the squat rack, I also use the row machine instead of pendlay rows. Facepulls I do the normal way, but alot of these are just more time efficient if I'm on a machine rather than sliding plates on and off a barbell. It would be easier if I had a workout buddy, but that's not the case currently.
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