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Input needed for Newbie Cutter’s first fat loss program

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by MrHaugen, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. MrHaugen

    MrHaugen New Member

    Nov 12, 2015
    Likes Received:

    I'm Carl. I've got a couple of specific questions at the end of all this text. The text below is mainly there to give you better data to give some specific answers, and you might be able to give me some feedback if I’ve been doing something wrong.

    I started out literally starving myself a couple of years ago. Did 1500-1800 calories a day with mostly bad food. I lost 12 kg / 26.5 pound in 5 months, but I think I also lost quite a bit of muscle. My hope now is to correct that, and to get rid of the half inch belly fat as well.

    I have been doing a bulking program since late October 2015. Got a rather slow start, as I did not fully realize just how much calories I needed each day (I still might not know this). So, I probably suffered a bit because of it. Hence the mediocre results.

    I steadily increased the number of times in the gym per week, and I steadily reached a more nutritious and right diet.

    This is my current workout and nutrition schedule:

    • Workout schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays. Every week.
    • Workout length: 40-50 minutes rather intensive workout
    • Workout routine: 5 minutes intensive row warm up, 6-7 exercises, 3 sets each (first 80%, second and third all out), target of 10-12 reps. 1 minute break between sets. Focus is on 1-2 body parts a day. Legs, Back/Triceps, Chest/Shoulder, Abs/Arms. This have changed quite a bit over the bulking period. I will change it up again for the cutting phase.
    • Activity level: Except for the gym workout, I am very little active. Have an office job and walk about 6000 steps a day. That is it. Most of the time.
    • Nutrition: Focusing on the right carbs, proteins and fats. Nutrition goal are 40% Carbs, 40% Protein and 20% Fat.
    I’ve ended up with a calorie goal of: 2640 calories on workout days, 2300 on days after workout and 2100 calories on Sundays when it’s been two days since workout.

    I like the changes I have had, even though it’s been a bit slow. I would now like to try cutting to get some of that fat off my body before the summer. I have read most of the starting tips on this forum. For bulking, cutting, nutrition and more.

    Here’s my data so far:

    • Body type: Long limbs and rather thin, except for half an inch of belly fat that’s been creeping in over the last 10 years. So, a pretty default ectomorph I would assume.
    • Height: 197 cm / 6.46 feet
    • Age: 35 years young
    • Weight: 87 kg / 192 pound
    • Fat: 17% (started out without this measurement, but think I have added a percentage or two over the last months)
    • LBM: 72.2 kg / 159 pound
    • BMR: 2005 cal/day (Harris Benedict BMR formula)
    To find my normal daily calorie goal I have several options, but I think that BMR x 1.55 would be right for me. It’s supposed to be for people doing moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days a week.
    In that case, I should have a daily calorie intake of 3107 under the bulking process? Oh, oh! I see some mismatch here.

    The questions:
    I have been thinking about a couple of questions. I hope some of you have some good answers.

    1. Is it a good idea to do different amount of calorie intake each day, depending on workout days or not? The reason why I did so was that I read a post here on the forum, airing the idea of being able to bulk and cut at the same time. However, I do not know if this is effective or not. What do people normally do? Stick with one number and hit that every day? Even if they are not in the gym for 2-3 days? Do you really burn that much energy so long after a workout? It’s been very little information about this exact issue.
    2. If my last number of 3107 calories per day are correct, I have had a serious shortage of calories for the past months. This would explain my lack of results with the bulking. However, not the small increase of body fat that I had. What number do you believe I should aim for under bulking?
    3. When I enter the cutting phase, I want to maintain my muscles as much as possible, while dropping in body fat. A goal of 0.45 kg or 1-pound drop a week seems like a good goal. That would translate to 500 calories less than my normal daily, right (2607)?
    I would greatly appreciate other tips as well!
    Thank you for reading through all of this!

    - Carl
  2. phillydude

    phillydude Don't Never Give Up.

    May 23, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Hi Carl... welcome to JSF.

    To answer your basic questions, yes, you are probably under on calories for a bulk... I'm about the same height and weight, and I'm doing about 3500 on workout days and 3000 on non-workout days, and I'm still under where I should be... which is about 4000 and 3500. I'm actually going to bump my calories up for a few weeks and see if that helps. Where I am right now, I'm not gaining weight, fat, or muscle. Having also lived for many years in a caloric deficit, it's hard to get all those calories in (mentally as well as physically).

    Bulking and cutting are two different things, and really can't be done at the same time. You need a caloric surplus to build muscle, and a caloric deficit to burn fat. Just changing things up from day to day will not move the needle in one direction or the other... you'll end up staying pretty much the same. Again, I went through the same mental gymnastics trying to justify weight gain (and some fat gain) and eating as much as I needed (which is why I started at 3500)... but in all my research, I haven't found anyone credible who suggests you can bulk and cut simultaneously and be successful.

    As far as the cutting program, it depends on a few factors: how much cardio you plan to do, how much weight training you plan to do, and just how much you want to cut. I'm planning a "competition cut" this summer, and that will have me starting around 2500 calories, and gradually reducing that amount (while increasing the amount of cardio) over a sixteen week period... by the end, I'll probably be at about 1200 calories, with two-a-day cardio sessions (one LISS and one HIT), and still weight training four-five days a week... which won't be fun at all.

    I'd suggest you start the cut at 2500 (assuming you are bumping your bulking calories up) and see how it goes. Good luck and keep us posted!

    edit: One of the other JSFers pointed out in another thread that I had misread your height as being similar to mine. I'm actually only 5'11".
    #2 phillydude, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016

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