Lifting weights while cutting: counterproductive?

  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Jan 16, 2009 8:53 AM GMT
    Is there any point to lifting while I'm in a cutting phase?

    I want to have some muscles to show off when i slim down but I feel like it's pointless to lift if I'm eating a calorie deficit. I won't have the calories to support the muscles, after all...am i wasting my time lifting?
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jan 16, 2009 12:48 PM GMT
    How many cals are you cutting?? Why not continue a normal diet and add some more cardio and more importantly lift lighter weights at more reps/sets.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Jan 16, 2009 3:17 PM GMT
    No, it's not counterproductive. You still need to lift and eat a good amount of protein. Muscles atrophy very quickly if you aren't using them--especially if you are in a calorie deficit
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 16, 2009 4:09 PM GMT
    Actually lifting is a vital part of cutting. Without it you're not only running the risk of muscle atrophy, but you're also throwing away a valuable tool for boosting your metabolism long after you've left the gym. It's also vitally important for keeping hormone function balanced when you are on a calorie deficit. You may not make rapid gains in strength or size but do not cut back your lifting and do not go light weights high reps. In the view of many trainers the only difference between a cutting cycle and a mass cycle is your diet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 16, 2009 6:10 PM GMT
    Getting to some facts:

    It takes around 21 days of muscular non-use for atrophy to set in.

    Lower body fat levels are best accomplished by metabolic activation via HIIT, and by bringing your calories UP. The flame burns hotter with more fuel. However,....you need to burn slightly more calories than you consume to get lean over a period of weeks. I'll diet for up to 24 weeks headed into a contest, but, I don't lose more than about 10% of my total weight, and often gain a bit of muscle going in.

    Losing 10 pounds in the beginning is simply glycogen de-loading. It'll make you a bit lighter, and make you look a bit leaner, but, less full, less energetic. It's just water and some glucose and happens to everyone.

    Your calorie requirements will vary contingent to your activity level, BMR (influenced by hormone levels and lean muscle mass), eating methodololgies. It's not the same for any two folks.

    It's all science, and you tweak it by observation, and adjustments.

    Download the PCS20 calorie calculator from the USDA.
    Get a digital scale at any Office Depot (used for postage).
    Track every bit of food that goes in your mouth.
    Track every bit of your workout.
    Track your weight every day.
    Take pictures, and measurements, cold.
    Go to the pharmacy and get some Ketostix.
    Maintain your calories just above, but not below, ketosis. You don't need to be dumping ketones as that means you're starving, or have blood sugar issues (another topic under diabetes).
    Report it here.

    That's a beginning spot, but, to really get down to business, you need to hire someone who knows what they are doing to guide, you, or you need to research this on any of a number of good bodybuilding sites.

    From your picture, I sure wouldn't sabotage the work you've done. You really don't want to drop much weight if you're 195 now. You'll look terrible if you do.

    Under all circumstances, continue your resistance training to preserve your lean muscle mass. Only lean muscle burns calories at rest. ONLY resistance training increases your lean muscle mass, strengthens your bones, conditions your nerves, as YOU GROW OLDER. Resistance training is essential to aging gracefully.

    I've given you a plan to examine, study, modify, and execute for success. Now, you just need to go do it.

    Once you get the first part of your plan done here, we'll look into carb cycling, and a more advanced approach, but, the first thing we need to do is for you to step up and commit to the plan.

    It's hard to give qualified advice without knowing the details of the workout. You'll have to provide that if you need more.

    Here's a screenshot of my food log for 20070729, where the fat was a bit higher than normal, but, I was hungry, and active, and it was JUST what I need and I looked like a million bucks the next morning. For whatever reason, on this day, I couldn't seem to get my blood sugar where I wanted it and nudged it with simple carbs (sugar) a couple of times. As I remember, I had really blasted it for several days in a row.
    food_20070729.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 16, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    The more good fat you eat the more fat stored fat you will burn.
    Lean = no processed carbs, no sugar. Eat all the meat, veggies,nuts olive oils cheese and fat you want. The more you eat the faster you will get lean. Starvation diets switch your metabolism into conserve fat mode.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 16, 2009 6:39 PM GMT
    Yep. The famine response will make you look like crap, feel like crap, and make your body a fat-storing machine. Hence, why fat folks fail in diets.

    Cheese really isn't generally a good choice because of the high saturated fat content in most of them, just FYI.
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Jan 16, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
    So.......in short....continue eating and lifting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 17, 2009 5:06 AM GMT
    Cutting phase? Are you planning on competing? If not, then forget all the buzzwords and forget all the bullshit that some random "bro" told you at the gym.

    Just continue to lift regularly and watch your food intake. You're going to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. And eventually, you're going to have an impressive physique. Just be patient.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 17, 2009 5:26 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidYep. The famine response will make you look like crap, feel like crap, and make your body a fat-storing machine. Hence, why fat folks fail in diets.

    Cheese really isn't generally a good choice because of the high saturated fat content in most of them, just FYI.



    I phased in the cheese and found it worked for me and then read somewhere how cheese does not get metabolized like other fats. When you are on the Cave man diet for a while you develop a natural sensitivity to what is ok for your body and what is not , as soon as you put it into your mouth or stomach.
    Eating all the fat i want ...even adding coconut oil ( which has been demonized for 20 years) my cholestrol is off the chart low for my age.
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Jan 17, 2009 9:16 AM GMT
    MikemikeMike saidHow many cals are you cutting?? Why not continue a normal diet and add some more cardio and more importantly lift lighter weights at more reps/sets.


    It's impossible to know because no one knows for sure how many calories HIIT actually burns. I've heard as many as 9 times but my dietician and trainer wouldn't give me straight answers because they didn't know.

    I'm eating 300 calories under my BMR (2300 calories) with the rest of the deficit coming from lifting, HIIT, and walking around and stuff during the day.

    Oh, and chucky:

    ChuckyStud saidIt takes around 21 days of muscular non-use for atrophy to set in.


    This sounds very true, I've noticed it in myself many times. And thank you for the rest of the advice, I found it inspiring, particularly that only lean muscle burns calories at rest.

    So tell me if these sentences are true, guys.

    1. Lifting while eating a calorie deficit will let you maintain the muscles you have, but not gain more.

    2. When you do HIIT after a lift, your body consumes your muscles for fuel.

    3. Britney is a wonderful and talented musician.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 18, 2009 1:28 AM GMT
    1. Yes, but, sometimes you can gain more...uh huh.
    2. Nope. HIIT is about metabolic activation, and sparing muscle. That's the point of HIIT versus long period running, swimming, biking.
    3. Who is Britney? (Must be some gay artist.)
  • Tyinstl

    Posts: 353

    Jan 18, 2009 10:22 AM GMT
    chuckystud said1. Yes, but, sometimes you can gain more...uh huh.
    2. Nope. HIIT is about metabolic activation, and sparing muscle. That's the point of HIIT versus long period running, swimming, biking.
    3. Who is Britney? (Must be some gay artist.)


    Britney Spears? I'm taking away your gay card. No more fucking guys for you.