PDA

View Full Version : Starting to cut, need help!



beachmuscles
03-12-2008, 01:24 PM
Well well, I've finially hit my goal of 200lbs at 5'11. I've been clean slow bulking for months now, but the last week I've been partying for Spring Break from college, and basically had 6-7 cheat days in a row, including heavy drinking, and barely any sleep. I probably gained about 5lbs of fat just from this week, my stomach is bloated!

Anyways, I'm back on my normal healthy routine, and want to start cutting down. My arms and chest/back/legs are fairly lean, but I stored alot of fat on my waist/stomach.

I will post a few pics so you guys/girls can see where I'm at...

I've never got my stomach lean enough to see the full 6-pack and I'm determined to do it. Today I started doing cardio and I did **30 minutes at 4.0mph*** is this good? I wasn't sure what the best to do was. Seemed to work pretty good.

Here is my current clean bulk diet, which I hope you guys can help me tweak...(I didn't do any cardio until now, so I'm not sure how much intake I actually have to cut out)

Here's a workout day (pretty much the same, i'm very boring/simple)

Meal 1 - 1 scoop whey, 1 cup skim, 1 cup oats (dry)
Meal 2 - Preworkout* - 1 can tuna, 1 cup skim, 1 cup oats (dry)
Meal 3 - Postworkout* - 2 scoops whey, 3/4 cup oats (dry), 1 scoop Phosphagen HP (35g dextrose carbs/creatine)
Meal 4 - 5 oz chicken breast, 1 cup oats (dry), Broccoli or Asparagus
Meal 5 - 1 can tuna fish or 4 oz chicken, 2 slices of Ezekial Bread
Meal 6 - 1 scoop whey, 1 scoop casien, 30g almonds
Meal 7 - 1 cup 1% cottage cheese, 30g walnuts or 2tbsp natural peanut butter

Here's an off day:

Meal 1 - 1 scoop whey, 1 cup skim, 1 cup oats (dry)
Meal 2 - 5 oz chicken, 1 cup oats (dry), Broccoli or Asparagus
Meal 3 - 1 can tuna, 1 cup oats (dry), veggies
Meal 4 - 1 scoop whey, 1 scoop casien, 3/4 cup oats (dry)
Meal 5 - 5 oz chicken or tuna, 30g almonds
Meal 6 - 1 cup 1% cottage cheese, 30g walnuts or 2tbsp natural peanut butter

I'd like to know how to tweak this diet to get nice and lean, but also preserve my hard earned mass, and stay looking "full".

Here are some current pics (just did it really fast, I can do more if its really important):

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/6514/untitled1aa0.jpg
http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/5671/untitled2ft8.jpg
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/9005/untitled3vf0.jpg
http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/6503/untitled4ze0.jpg
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/7691/untitled5hb5.jpg
http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/8272/untitled6hx9.jpg
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/3338/untitled7tj1.jpg

azma
03-12-2008, 02:52 PM
You're at a really well-built starting point. Do you know your daily metabolic rate? In structuring your cutting diet, that's going to be a key number. 200-250 grams of protein a day is pretty much a necessity if you want to keep muscle in a caloric deficit. Moderately high intake of good fats is also a good thing -- it keeps hormone levels up. Just set an eating plan, stick with it for a while, and tweak it based on the results you see.

As far as cardio is concerned, do you do interval sprints (HIIT), or do you maintain a pace? I've read that intervals burn more fat while sparing muscle loss, but either is probably fine. Personally, I row half-kilometer intervals on an erg on non-lifting days, resting about 2 minutes in between.

You can do a lot of different stuff with your lifting regimen, too. I tried the Tabata Method for a while. Google it, and see what you find (T-Nation has a good article). You don't want to lift too much, because your body can't repair muscle the way it can with a bulking diet, but lifting too little will cause atrophy and lower testosterone levels, so you have to find a balance.

Your current diet is impressively clean -- so much so, that the same diet at less volume would actually work fine, IMO. You might want to cut down on the bread and oats, only because your body won't burn much fat if it has carbs to burn, instead.

I wish I could be of more help, but I think this is one of those trial-and-error things...

beachmuscles
03-12-2008, 03:03 PM
You're at a really well-built starting point. Do you know your daily metabolic rate? In structuring your cutting diet, that's going to be a key number. 200-250 grams of protein a day is pretty much a necessity if you want to keep muscle in a caloric deficit. Moderately high intake of good fats is also a good thing -- it keeps hormone levels up. Just set an eating plan, stick with it for a while, and tweak it based on the results you see.

As far as cardio is concerned, do you do interval sprints (HIIT), or do you maintain a pace? I've read that intervals burn more fat while sparing muscle loss, but either is probably fine. Personally, I row half-kilometer intervals on an erg on non-lifting days, resting about 2 minutes in between.

You can do a lot of different stuff with your lifting regimen, too. I tried the Tabata Method for a while. Google it, and see what you find (T-Nation has a good article). You don't want to lift too much, because your body can't repair muscle the way it can with a bulking diet, but lifting too little will cause atrophy and lower testosterone levels, so you have to find a balance.

Your current diet is impressively clean -- so much so, that the same diet at less volume would actually work fine, IMO. You might want to cut down on the bread and oats, only because your body won't burn much fat if it has carbs to burn, instead.

I wish I could be of more help, but I think this is one of those trial-and-error things...

Thank you...I forgot to mention my on days are mon/tue/thur/fri, and the wed/sat/sun are off days (meal plans) I figure my fats/protein levels are good, and I will just trim a little bit of carbs and add in cardio. I may take out 1 serving of milk (less sugars, less carbs) and maybe cut down one of my oat servings, or turn it into brown rice, which will be 100 calories less for the same amount of carbs. In turn this will be 200 calories less on my work out days, and I figure maybe 300 calories extra will be burned with cardio.

I also had a Friday Night cheat meal during my bulk which was usually pretty dirty...I'm thinking of just doing a normal meal out (semi-healthy) or just limiting it to every other weekend. I may do every weekend, but not sure if I should or not. I may just have a semi-healthy meal out like chicken, black beans, rice...from a local restaurant, followed by maybe a muscle milk or something to that extent. On the weekends I like to go out alot (clubs/bars) so convince definitely helps.

I'm determined to get very shredded, so I'm not going to establish a goal weight, but more so a goal look. I try not to use the scale too much as it just gets frustrating.

As for cardio I did 4.0mph for 30 minutes, and it felt pretty good, although my shins we're killing me! I'm thinking of keeping the same duration, but possibly adding a "slight" incline.

Also is it a big deal to wait an extra 30-40 minutes after a lifting session to take in your PWO shake? Usually I have it within 10 minutes, so I'm wondering if it will have any noticable differences in the time window.

Thanks!

Tikiman
03-12-2008, 03:17 PM
I'm not sure what kind of treadmill you are using, but 4mph is a 15 minute mile. If you toughed it out, I'm sure you could run faster than that.

As long as you get your shake in during that window of time directly after your lift you should be good. Personally I 'feel' more effect the closer to my lift I get my shake, but I have no actual proof.

beachmuscles
03-12-2008, 03:33 PM
I'm not sure what kind of treadmill you are using, but 4mph is a 15 minute mile. If you toughed it out, I'm sure you could run faster than that.

As long as you get your shake in during that window of time directly after your lift you should be good. Personally I 'feel' more effect the closer to my lift I get my shake, but I have no actual proof.

I'm not sure what you are trying to say. Yes you are correct, 4.0mph is a 15 minute mile. I did a little over 2 miles, in the 30 minute time. Yes, I can run much faster, as I wasn't even runnings. It was a fast walk...That's why I asked what kind of cardio I should be doing. I'm not looking to burn 1k calories, just a little bit to add to the slight reduction of my diet. At 4.0mph my HR was right where it should be...I'm going to try a slight incline to raise it a tad. Anyone have any input?

azma
03-13-2008, 04:28 AM
It seems like you've got your food intake on lockdown, then. A cheat meal a week is nothing to lose sleep over. You might want to cut down on the drinking a little -- ethanol induces chemical rhabdomyolysis, which is the destruction of muscle tissue. Aside from that, the general nutrition stuff is good.

When it comes to the post-workout meal/shake, I've read all sorts of different research and opinions. I read something yesterday which said that protein absorption doesn't dip much within 24 hours of a workout, but I don't know how far I'd trust that. By all accounts, though, eating within 10 minutes is great.

If you're staying in the fat-loss range for your heart rate, I'd say that's good. You're not going to lose tons of muscle from running a couple miles a few times a week.

FlipYa4Fake
03-13-2008, 09:51 AM
Off topic: I am 6'1" and am around 215 now. I don't look nearly as big as that and I don't have a big stomach. Are you sure you only weigh 200lbs? Looking good no matter what you weigh.

radioheadhead
03-13-2008, 04:25 PM
Off topic: I am 6'1" and am around 215 now. I don't look nearly as big as that and I don't have a big stomach. Are you sure you only weigh 200lbs? Looking good no matter what you weigh.

LOL I feel the same way, when I was 220 I didn't look nearly that big.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 07:39 PM
I'm actually 195 right now...They diet I posted is my current diet that I used to gain. I was down to 175-180ish (pics below) and shoulda just kept cutting, instead of bulking up, getting sloppy towards the end. I want to get back to where I was, but a little more cut, and maintain that. What adjustments do I need to make to my diet? What should I reduce? I'm going to do the 4.0mph walk 30 minutes probably 3x a week following my workouts.

I actually don't even remember what I did to do my last cut, but it was similar to my current diet just different amounts of the carbs. Can someone tell me what I should reduce? I want to do slow, and maintain my muscle mass as much as possible.

http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/8321/untitled1vj1.jpg
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/3550/untitled2zf8.jpg
http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/7933/untitled3zu3.jpg
http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/4247/untitled4lu6.jpg
http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/463/untitled5ej1.jpg
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/589/untitled6ep1.jpg

Keith
03-13-2008, 08:45 PM
Can you say, "boobs"?

You'll look awesome cut! You have great food choices so I'd keep that the same. Just decrease the cals and/or add in cardio and play around with a certain number for a week and see how your weight fluctuates.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 09:38 PM
Hey Keith...How is this for now...I was thinking of doing 30 min 4mph cardio three times a week and dropping my meals to 3/4 cup oats instead of 1 cup. That will decrease my calories by 225...and drop my carbs by 36g. Think that will be sufficient to get cut up? I'm always scared of doing too much of a drop and losing alot of muscle. What's a fair amount to lose a week? Is 1.5-2lbs a week ok? Or should I strictly stick to 1lb or less?

Also how important is ditching milk? People always say ditch milk, but I don't really see a reason. I've been pretty cut before with alot of it in my diet.

Keith
03-13-2008, 09:56 PM
Hey Keith...How is this for now...I was thinking of doing 30 min 4mph cardio three times a week and dropping my meals to 3/4 cup oats instead of 1 cup. That will decrease my calories by 225...and drop my carbs by 36g. Think that will be sufficient to get cut up? I'm always scared of doing too much of a drop and losing alot of muscle. What's a fair amount to lose a week? Is 1.5-2lbs a week ok? Or should I strictly stick to 1lb or less?

Also how important is ditching milk? People always say ditch milk, but I don't really see a reason. I've been pretty cut before with alot of it in my diet.

Shoot for 1 lb per week.

No need to ditch the milk. Just bring down your calories. If you're doing cardio 4 times out of the week, remember your calories are going to be higher that day.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 10:11 PM
Shoot for 1 lb per week.

No need to ditch the milk. Just bring down your calories. If you're doing cardio 4 times out of the week, remember your calories are going to be higher that day.

Higher?

Keith
03-13-2008, 10:25 PM
Higher?

On the days you do cardio, yes. Those are calories you are burning and if your calories are too low, you'll risk losing that hard-earned muscle.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 10:33 PM
On the days you do cardio, yes. Those are calories you are burning and if your calories are too low, you'll risk losing that hard-earned muscle.

Any idea how to guess how many calories are burned for 4.0mph cardio for 30 minutes? I will actually do it 3x a week I guess. I've gotten very lean before with doing no cardio, but I want to see if this will help get me to where I've always wanted to be.

Is 225 calories a good enough drop in my calories?

Keith
03-13-2008, 10:40 PM
Any idea how to guess how many calories are burned for 4.0mph cardio for 30 minutes? I will actually do it 3x a week I guess. I've gotten very lean before with doing no cardio, but I want to see if this will help get me to where I've always wanted to be.

Is 225 calories a good enough drop in my calories?

That's one thing I don't like about cardio, you don't know an exact amount. You can get away without the cardio and still have the same effect if you just decrease the same amount of calories you would have burned on a cardio peice. If you really want to stick with the cardio, I'd recommend getting a higher-end Polar heart rate monitor. They will calculate a pretty accurate amount of calories burned.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 10:50 PM
I'm thinking of just doing a deficit with calories...Isn't there a benefit of having higher calories and burning more of them, versus just less calories? I figured with the first method, your body has more nutrients, etc.

After 225 cal drop, what else can I trim off? Is it ok to jump right into the 225 cal drop?

Keith
03-13-2008, 11:04 PM
I'm thinking of just doing a deficit with calories...Isn't there a benefit of having higher calories and burning more of them, versus just less calories? I figured with the first method, your body has more nutrients, etc.

After 225 cal drop, what else can I trim off? Is it ok to jump right into the 225 cal drop?

To my knowledge, no, nothing that will be a noticeable difference in the mirror. As long as you're still consuming 1g of protein per lb of LBM and 0.5g of fat per lb of LBM your body won't really need any more 'nutrients' for holding onto muscle mass.

As long as you stick to a 10-20% decrease and watch your weight within the first week, you'll be fine. No need to stick to such a strict "225" decrease. Again, play with it and keep the same caloric intake for the first week and track your weight.

beachmuscles
03-13-2008, 11:13 PM
To my knowledge, no, nothing that will be a noticeable difference in the mirror. As long as you're still consuming 1g of protein per lb of LBM and 0.5g of fat per lb of LBM your body won't really need any more 'nutrients' for holding onto muscle mass.

As long as you stick to a 10-20% decrease and watch your weight within the first week, you'll be fine. No need to stick to such a strict "225" decrease. Again, play with it and keep the same caloric intake for the first week and track your weight.

This sounds silly...but to be quite honest I hit the weights so hard, that by the end of my workout all I want to do is sit in the sauna and down my protein shake. The thought of another 30 minutes, is just grueling. I've done it all this week, and I'm not sure I can do it. Not being a pansy, just don't have the time after a 45 min lifting session.

Anyways, lets say on my weekday offday *wednesday* I came in just for 30 minutes of cardio (once a week) would that be silly? I figure it couldn't hurt. But do I use a Preworkout/Postworkout shake for that? Or just go a hour after I eat a meal and eat another meal when I get back?

I'm going to start by lowering my 1 cup servings of oatmeal to 3/4 cup and weight myself tommorow morning, and do it until next thursday, and see what happens. Can you take a look at my above on/off day nutrition, real fast? I think the 1/4 drop in servings will give me a decrease of 225 calories, and also 36g of carbs off my daily amounts. Although only about 1500 cal/week I don't think I was in a "huge" surpluss to begin with as it's been a fairly slow bulk until I got really sloppy at the end.

Am I right for lowering the carbs on the off days? My new amounts will give me low 200's in carbs on workout days, and a little under 200 on off days.

My bulk on days right now/were: 3265
My bulk off days right now/were: 2665

Keith
03-14-2008, 02:53 PM
This sounds silly...but to be quite honest I hit the weights so hard, that by the end of my workout all I want to do is sit in the sauna and down my protein shake. The thought of another 30 minutes, is just grueling. I've done it all this week, and I'm not sure I can do it. Not being a pansy, just don't have the time after a 45 min lifting session.

That's a good thing. That's a sign that you're putting a good amount of intensity into your sessions. Leave out the cardio then and just decrease the amount of calories. Again, it doesn't matter if you're doing cardio or not, it's just easier for some people for cutting purposes because some may not be able to withstand hunger.


Anyways, lets say on my weekday offday *wednesday* I came in just for 30 minutes of cardio (once a week) would that be silly? I figure it couldn't hurt. But do I use a Preworkout/Postworkout shake for that? Or just go a hour after I eat a meal and eat another meal when I get back?

You're overcomplicating this again. If you cannot tolerate the hunger and you wish to eat more this day for comfort reasons, then yeah, add some cardio in but only for that reason.


I'm going to start by lowering my 1 cup servings of oatmeal to 3/4 cup and weight myself tommorow morning, and do it until next thursday, and see what happens. Can you take a look at my above on/off day nutrition, real fast? I think the 1/4 drop in servings will give me a decrease of 225 calories, and also 36g of carbs off my daily amounts. Although only about 1500 cal/week I don't think I was in a "huge" surpluss to begin with as it's been a fairly slow bulk until I got really sloppy at the end.

Decrease whatever you wish for whatever reason. Again, keep with a 10-20% decrease and stick with X amount for a week straight and see how your weight fluctuates. If you're losing more than 1 lb in the week, bump your calories up a bit, if nothing changed, decrease them slightly. That's the best way of finding out what your maintenance is.


Am I right for lowering the carbs on the off days? My new amounts will give me low 200's in carbs on workout days, and a little under 200 on off days.

My bulk on days right now/were: 3265
My bulk off days right now/were: 2665

No need to lower carbs on off days. If carbs make you hungry, then yeah, avoid them and replace them with P+F meals. That's the only reason you should lower them.

What do you mean by, "bulk on" and "bulk off" days? Training days? If so, what kind of training are you doing to be burning 600 cals? If you're not doing cardio, I'd say (varies depending on the training) you burn roughly 300 calories in the gym but this is such a rough number depending on a lot. Don't look too deep into this, though.

radioheadhead
03-17-2008, 05:03 PM
chest & tris look awesome. Good work.:thumbup: