Welcome to summer time! All in the fitness community aspire to have a body so ripped to shreds that it looks like an anatomy chart. But who of us wants to sacrifice our very soul and compromise our eternal destiny for six pack abs. Ok well maybe its not that serious, but it certainly can feel like an insurmountable goal especially when your doing it wrong.
If your anything like me you’ve added a couple of pounds and want to hit the gym and get everything looking and feeling in shape again. I’ve been experimenting for 5 years with techniques and tricks to help you get the best out of your cutting without having to loose muscle mass in the process. After much consideration and research “I got the keys” and I’m going to share my top 5. Just keep in mind this is not for a beginner but someone who has worked out before and is trying to slice up for summer.
1. Lift Heavy
Don’t stop lifting heavy just because your done bulking. Going to a high rep low weight program can destroy your gains completely. Your in effect telling your telling your body, ” I don’t need these huge powerful muscles anymore. We’re only going to be using fast twitch fibers from now on.” More on fast twitch and slow twitch fibers and why having a program that recruits both consistently coming soon. This is the most common mistake I see made. People change there entire program when cutting and then wonder why there gains disappear. The human body is amazingly adaptable and efficient. Stick with what got you there or your body will change its composition to adapt to a different style of training more effectively.
2. Eat less for success.
This is the biggest key to cutting. The cut is really all in the diet. Slowly lowering your calories to a slight deficit will automatically mean a lost in fat. Don’t go to drastically initially and eat your heavier meals when your metabolism is at its peak,( e.g morning early afternoon.) Bulking is all about calorie surplus, so it’s a no brainer that cutting is the exact opposite. Just make sure to get some protein and vitamins before bed so that your body burns thru fat first and preserves the muscle while your in a deficit. That leads us to are are #3 key.
3. The King of Lean is Protein.
Continue to adequate amount of this muscle building essential nutrient. Without it muscle mass can’t grow or be maintained. At least 1 g per pound of bodyweight is the normal consensus.
4. Avoid Too Much Cardio.
Don’t starting running like a marathon athlete and expect to keep all that mass. Finding a balance is key. If your diet is off this week and you know you need to be a caloric deficit. Maybe some HIIT will hit the spot. Keep it explosive and use some resistance if at possible. But doing hours of endurance style workouts is not going to preserve your gains its going to destroy them. Again remember how efficient your body is. Dense muscle is so heavy and your body doesn’t want to run a marathon with all that, so it burns it and uses it for energy.
The answer to all my prayers!! Intense bodyweight training is a personal favorite that hits all it all. Time under tension, increased mobility, increased cardiovascular activity, and a real mass builder or in this case conserver if done right. Weighted pull ups, dips, squats, leg raises, and muscle ups just to name a few. Look at the guys who do this! There bodies are chiseled but massive. It makes perfect sense to be honest. You’ve have to have immense strength to perform these exercises all the while increasing endurance and burning calories. Try to incorporate some calisthenics into your cutting regime. You won’t be sorry, your weakest body part will definitely show it self, but your Gains will Remain.
More on how to do bodyweight exercise to build mass coming soon.