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I need some "cutting" help...

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by SCHTEEVIE, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone!

    I've done a fair bit of theoretical home work related to cutting, now I'd like to get opinions from those of you that are actually doing it... :bow:

    My specs are:
    6 feet, 29 years, male, 165lbs, 16-17% BF

    I'm not on this part of the forum much since I have been bulking for the past 6 months. (I did pretty well - managed to gain 12 lbs of lean mass, and had some pretty good strength and size gains.) :flex:

    I am going to start my first real cutting phase in two weeks to show off all my hard bulking work and get some muscle definition and maybe even a “6 pack” for the summer!

    I have the diet part figured out; I'll spend a week reducing calories from my bulk rate of 3000 per day to about 1800-2000, and go from there.
    I'll keep protein at ~200 grams per day. :eat:

    As for lifting, I plan to squish my 4 day bulking routine into a 3 day split (still lifting heavy with relatively low reps) and I will do cardio on the other 3 days, and take one day a week off.

    My main question is about HIIT cardio VS. Regular less intense cardio...

    For those of you that do HIIT I understand it is mainly 1 minute intervals...?
    Do you go by "perceived effort" or actual heart rate?

    If you go by heart rate, do you manually check the pulse, or do you use an electronic monitor?

    if you go by heart rate, how long does it take for your heart rate to get down from 90% to 60% - for me, it takes a lot longer then 1 minute...
    (I am not in the best cardio vascular shape - I assume as I get in better shape the heart rate will come down faster?)
    If I slow down from a sprint, I am still at about 80% heart rate a minute later, and I am not sure if I should do my next 90% interval or wait...? :confused:

    My other concern is about muscle loss... I worked hard bulking for so long and I want to keep muscle loss to a minimum.
    What are the thoughts on HIIT vs. regular cardio as related to muscle loss?
    I plan to do cardio an hour or two after eating, not on an empty stomach - is that a good plan?

    I know it is tough to get that last bit of fat off to reveal the abs, and that is really the point I am starting at since I am relatively slim to start with…
    I am setting a goal of 8 weeks to get down to 10% BF; that means I need to lose just over one pound per week - is that realistic?

    thnx in advance
    (sorry about the long post) :whistle:
     
  2. StealthRapt0r

    StealthRapt0r Well-Known Member

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    you seem a little light to be cutting this early
     
  3. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

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    at a glance, it would seem that way, but here are my thoughts:

    I have been bulking for 6 months straight (lots of eating, not much cardio), I have started to see strentgh/size/weight gain plateaus, and my body fat is at 16-17%
    - so why not cut for a while and get to 10% BF?
    I won't push for strength gains as much while cutting, so it would give my joints and tendons a break from the intense weight training I have been doing...

    Isn't 6 months about as long as you would want to bulk train for?
    how long would you suggest to bulk for with out a break?
    (I take a one week break every 8 weeks, but you know what I mean)

    cardio needs some attention, if anything for health reasons, and I was kinda looking forward to not having to eat so much every day for a couple of months :p

    and I WANT A 6 PACK! :spaz:
     
  4. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    Alright, this is my longwinded advice on cutting. From MY experience, going down to 10-11% is totally different than going from say 10% -> 8%. I am still formulating my plan of attack to go from 10 to 8, so I can't officially say what worked for me there. I do however have quite a bit to say when it comes to knocking the body fat down to 10%.

    If you've seen my pics, you know I'm in pretty decent shape, but not "shredded". I have been busting my ass to try and get down to 7-8% BF and it just has not been happening. I've been doing everything right except probably eating more than I should have been. Even though I come out to ~1750 calories/day on my spreadsheet, I think I really consumed about 2000-2200/day with all the little "snacking" I do.

    Anyway, for the last 2.5 months I'd been doing HIIT 3x's per week in the AM on empty stomach and 45 mins at about a constant 80% MaxHR once/week at night. I also lift 4x's per week. Over my Winter Break from college, I gained about 10-12 pounds of mostly fat (but also some muscle since I was eating so much and lifting a lot). Well, using what I mentioned above, I lost all of it and then some (some muscle mass included). But then the fat loss STOPPED! I've been at my lowest, about ~10% (prob just a tad under) body fat for around 1 month now which is good, but I want lower. I decided this week it's time for a change because I only have 2 months till summer.

    I bought a book by Frank Sepe and so far I really like what he has to say. He suggested 45-60min 60-70% Max-HR cardio, some members on the boards suggested the same. My friend who is a pro bodybuilder said when he and his partners need to cut fat, they do low intensity cardio post-workout for an hour. So I have decided to give it a try. I will prob throw in HIIT once a week or every other. I plan to do cardio 6 days/week until Summer. I also plan to consume no more than 1650 calories/day, period! This is my plan to break the 10% barrier since nothing else has seemed to work.

    Just realize that this is an attempt to lose what most consider the hardest pounds to lose. If you are going from ~17% down to about 10%, it's not as intense IMO. I personally recommend the following to start out with:

    Lfting: 4x's per week (I know many people do 3x's that is fine too), 6-9 sets per muscle group, 6-10 reps per set (But from reading your posts, you seem pretty well educated in lifting, so you can ignore this if you wish)

    Cardio: 4-5x's per week, 2-3 23-27min HIIT sessions & 2-3 45-60 min 60-70% max-HR sessions
    If you refuse to sacrifice ANY muscle, eat a small meal with some carbs about 1 hr before HIIT cardio. I however prefer empty stomach cardio as it seems to be the best way to go for burning fat. With proper nutrition, your muscle losses will be minimal. One thing to understand with cardio is anytime you go 80% max-HR or more, your muscles cannot get the oxygen to them that they need. This can lead to catabolism and injury, so make sure your longer cardio sessions are <75% max-HR, otherwise with such a lengthy workout you are asking for muscle to be burned. HIIT is not as risky since you are not going for such a long period of time, but without enough protein in your diet, muscle loss is inevitable.

    Diet: 11x's your body weight in calories, using ~45/35/20 (p/c/f) split, can deviate a bit. I think averaging 11x's your weight is a good number for cutting down to 10%. It's worked for me and many others. Some days a bit more, other days a bit less. I also am a fan of the "cheat day/meal" once a week or once every other week until you get down to 10%. Some will say eat WHATEVER you want, I believe more in eating more, but not junk. Stick to somewhat healthy foods, just stock up on some carbs to restore. If you normally consume say 150g carbs, once a week maybe go for 225g carbs and throw in a few more grams of fat. It's not necessary, but I think it's good to give your body a little shock.


    Again, this is all based on what's worked for me and others, from what I've seen. Using the above, like I said, I stripped about 10-12 pounds off in a mere 6-8 weeks. Of course everyone is different, but I think it's a good way to start and change it as you see fit. Feel free to comment, question and/or disagree with anything I said.
     
  5. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    I went by perceived effort since I didn't have a Heart Rate Monitor.


    I now use an electronic HRM during every cardio workout.


    One of the reasons I stopped HIIT. The whole time I was doing HIIT, I thought on my "slow" intervals, my HR dropped a lot. Well, I got my HRM a couple weeks ago and found that my HR HARDLY dropped during my "slow" intervals. If my fast intervals got my HR to 85%, my slow interval might have dropped it to 80%. I posted about this on the forums and several other people confirmed similar experiences.


    Like I said above, I prefer fasted state cardio but if you are very paranoid about losing ANY muscle, I guess you can eat first. I would at least try low-mod intensity session without eating because those really don't dip into your muscle stores.


    Yes, it is realistic. You might end up at around 11-12%, but even there you can see your abs if they are developed. Since developing my abs several years ago, no matter how much fat I've packed on (never more than 12-17 pounds, but still fat nonetheless), I was always able to see my abs. Of course, the less fat, the mroe visible they are, just saying you don't HAVE to be <10% to see them.

    :gl:
     
  6. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

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    Ok - I am two weeks into this now, and I have lost almost 4 pounds already... (I check weight in the mornings after using the washroom and before eating/drinking anything)
    It seems kinda fast - I hope I didn't lose any muscle weight (I am thinking it might be some water weight as size/definition hasn't really changed much; however, my morning weight has never really fluctuated based on something like "water weight" before...)

    I am having a really hard time meeting my protein goal of 200 grams while keeping calories at or below 2000.
    Since I started cutting, I have kept cals at 1900-2100, but my protein average has been 160 grams per day - I feel that is too low.

    What are you guys averaging?

    Anyway - I have been doing low intensity cardio 3 times a week (on non lifting days) at a heart rate of about 150-170 for 45 minutes.
    I intend to try HIIT in a couple weeks, I just wanted to get my heart ready for it...
     
  7. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    When cutting, some muscle loss is almost inevitable. Must you lose muscle? No, but the fat loss process will take longer.

    I average about 175g protein/day these days. I want it to be less, I just don't have enough carbs in the kitchen to replace the protein with atm. Starting next week it will go down to about 150-160g/day.

    4lbs in 2 weeks is fine. 2lbs/week is a good amount to lose.
     
  8. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

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    why do you want to be eating less protein??
     
  9. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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  10. Vinnys025

    Vinnys025 Well-Known Member

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    11X per pound of bodyweight heh? I guess my eating under 2000 calories for the past 3 months at 220+ pounds, my body needs to get energy from somewhere. Dam it, when will it start to eat itself for energy??..........dont mind me, I'm just bitter. And i'm off to do my morning cardio.....later.

    PS- Doing my morning cardio on an empty stomache has helped alot in fat loss. I used to comsume some protien to protect muscle, but trust me, when I do it on an empty stomache, the fat loss is increased ALOT!
     
  11. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    Hey Vinny, I tried telling you that in your picture thread...
     
  12. karatetricker

    karatetricker Well-Known Member

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    Oh, just as a side note, I was reading my previous post where I said I stopped HIIT. I have recently re-added it to the equation. Just in order to allow my heart rate to get back down to 70% I do 2 mins of slow interval for every 1 minute of fast interval. Not to say that's THE way to do it, it's just the way I've decided to go after reading Frank Sepe's book and some articles on the web.
     
  13. Vinnys025

    Vinnys025 Well-Known Member

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    Karat...........my logic is that I am not loosing any strength in any of my lifts, I'm actually still gaining strength. Now at my size, If I am eating 1700 calories and weight 220, my stubbren HAS TO get energy from somewhere. Something isnt figuring out right. If i'm expending this many calories exercising 6X per week, while staying this low on calories while gaining strength, something just aint right.

    If I see my strength go down and feel slugish during the day, then I will know that my body is using muscle for fuel and that my Metabolism is slowing down. But until then, somethings got to give.

    PS.......sorry for hijacking your thread Schtevie.
     
  14. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

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    It' not a hijack - it is on topic and provoking thought about cutting technique and program planning - the more discussion the better.
     

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