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  1. #1
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    How can I preserve muscle while cutting?

    Ok, Idk which sub forum this should be posted but it's basically a question regarding a few different things.

    Basically, I tried cutting with a good cutting diet and only ended up losing muscle and getting weaker at the gym. My diet consisted of high protein, high EFA, and low carbs. I was having a total of about 250-300 grams of protein, about 60-80 grams of EFA, and about 70-90 grams of carbs. I did it for 2 weeks only because I was losing muscle and getting weak extremely fast.

    My bf% is about 17% right now, my weight is 177, height 5'9, and I'm 22. I can successfully gain muscle and strength following the heavy calorie diet, and the compound workout program with minor isolation.

    My question is how can I cut? I am currently trying to keep my calories, only lower carbs a small bit and increase EFA and protein to compensate and add cardio. But I keep hearing unless I make my body calorie deficit I wont lose any bodyfat no matter how much cardio I do...it's depressing...lol

    My bodytype is mesomorph surprisingly...yet I still can't keep muscle mass if I cut.

  2. #2
    buffgator's Avatar
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    yea should be in the diet forum....im no expert on cutting but ive done it a time or two. First your always going to lose some muscle and strength. Second though it seems you went too radical too fast on cutting out calories. I find the longer I take to lose the weight the more muscle and strength is preserved. Yes you need a calorie deficet, but it sounds like you where eating allot and than cut out 1000 or more calories a day suddenly. You should probably start around your normal carb intake each day and then tapper that down by 25-50 carbs per day each week.

  3. #3
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    Yeah I guess I went too insane, I went from around 2800-3000 calories a day to around 1900-2000. But I noticed almost no fat loss and my weight on the scale went from 177 to 170 in those 2 weeks. That scared me so I stopped...lol

    I guess I'll try lowering my carbs a little. Ah sometimes I feel like saying to hell with it and not care about the lost muscle and strength but then what's the point of lowering bodyfat and having no muscle to show...-_-

  4. #4
    buffgator's Avatar
    buffgator is offline king of mass
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    youll always lose allot in the first week or two because allot of water goes. I loose up to 12 lbs my first week and then only 1-2 lbs from than on out. also two weeks is too short to really notice any fat loss. Finally lock the scale in the closet....you want to lose fat? THat means your losing body mass and that equals weighing less. Jump into the diet section and start reading around because I am definitly not as experienced as other guys when it comes to dieting....I bulk year round.

  5. #5
    MR-FQ320's Avatar
    MR-FQ320 is offline This means war!
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    are you doing cardio? get in the diet section post up your current diet, add some fasted Am cardio, build it up slowly, start at what you can just about do and take it from there, it takes time but you will get there.

  6. #6
    slimshady01's Avatar
    slimshady01 is offline Senior Member
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    are you natural or running AAS during this cut?

  7. #7
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not running anything. I'm doing cardio after my workouts, which I do 4 days a week, for 20 minutes on the bike, I'm not too used to doing cardio. I can try jogging instead eventually, but I seem to be burning good amounts of calories on the bike. I do it on the fat burning zone for my age I read somewhere here that it was anywhere between 140-160.

  8. #8
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    Oh and I tried fasted AM cardio once, it was a mess lol....besides I'm too scared of losing muscle to let myself starve when I wake up.

  9. #9
    Windex is online now Staff ~ HRT Optimization Specialist
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordworm88 View Post
    Oh and I tried fasted AM cardio once, it was a mess lol....besides I'm too scared of losing muscle to let myself starve when I wake up.
    Get some BCAA's in your system and lots of water. Most have fruity flavors anyways so it's like your drinking juice in the morning ^_<.

  10. #10
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    When your BF gets up there you are going to burn muscle with the fat. My advice is get your BF down and keep it down regardless if you cycle you'll retain more muscle.

  11. #11
    buffgator's Avatar
    buffgator is offline king of mass
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    20 min of cardio 4 days a week will probably not put a noticable dent in your bf%.....you need to work up to at least 45min 5-6 days a week. Fasted is best like said take aminos before and after and youll preserve muscle

  12. #12
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    Look into ketogenic cycling...

  13. #13
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    Hmm, I think I'll give the aminos a try and do fasted cardio. Should I take them in pills or in liquid? And how much do you think I should take? Specified serving size or more?

  14. #14
    choo9 is offline Junior Member
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    Does 20 min on a bike count as cardio? Train hard and follow a strict diet and you will trim down. Then worry about building back up with lean mass. Running sprints or stairs always helps.

  15. #15
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Keep your cardio HR below 140bpm or you will burn muscle and fat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordworm88 View Post
    Ok, Idk which sub forum this should be posted but it's basically a question regarding a few different things.

    Basically, I tried cutting with a good cutting diet and only ended up losing muscle and getting weaker at the gym. My diet consisted of high protein, high EFA, and low carbs. I was having a total of about 250-300 grams of protein, about 60-80 grams of EFA, and about 70-90 grams of carbs. I did it for 2 weeks only because I was losing muscle and getting weak extremely fast.

    My bf% is about 17% right now, my weight is 177, height 5'9, and I'm 22. I can successfully gain muscle and strength following the heavy calorie diet, and the compound workout program with minor isolation.

    My question is how can I cut? I am currently trying to keep my calories, only lower carbs a small bit and increase EFA and protein to compensate and add cardio. But I keep hearing unless I make my body calorie deficit I wont lose any bodyfat no matter how much cardio I do...it's depressing...lol

    My bodytype is mesomorph surprisingly...yet I still can't keep muscle mass if I cut.
    ^^^^^Where did you hear this? Don't take any more advise from whoever told you that.

    Losing weight, until you get to a fairly low BF%, is a simple matter of calories in - calories out. According to what you posted above, you're only taking in about 1700 - 2000 cals and your carbs are way too low to be at that much of a calorie deficit. That's not nearly enough energy to sustain your muscle mass, especially without a re-feed day to replenish muscle glycogen. If you lose more than 2 lbs a week, you're being counterproductive as you're losing LBM and BF at the same rate. I'm sure you don't want to be 20lbs lighter at the same BF%.

    IMO, the best way to lose BF while sparing muscle mass is to eat at or slightly below your TDEE or maintenance cals while doing 6 - 10 hrs of cardio per week. Your muscle mass needs fuel to sustain itself, so keep calories as high as possible while creating a calorie deficit via intense cardio everyday or even twice a day if possible. 20 min on a bike is essentially worthless and IMO is irrelevant.

    Everyone is different, but I like to do 1 hr a.m. med intensity cardio after a protein shake or just BCAA's depending on current BF%. That way you're burning a ton of cals in a somewhat depleted state while having the rest of the day to feed the needs of your LBM.

  17. #17
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Don't start counting your cardio time until your heart rate hits 120bpm.

  18. #18
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    Keep your cardio HR below 140bpm or you will burn muscle and fat.
    What? I read somewhere on this forum that the fat burning zone for my age was between 140-160 if I'm under that wont I not be burning fat?



    ^^^^^Where did you hear this? Don't take any more advise from whoever told you that.

    Losing weight, until you get to a fairly low BF%, is a simple matter of calories in - calories out. According to what you posted above, you're only taking in about 1700 - 2000 cals and your carbs are way too low to be at that much of a calorie deficit. That's not nearly enough energy to sustain your muscle mass, especially without a re-feed day to replenish muscle glycogen. If you lose more than 2 lbs a week, you're being counterproductive as you're losing LBM and BF at the same rate. I'm sure you don't want to be 20lbs lighter at the same BF%.

    IMO, the best way to lose BF while sparing muscle mass is to eat at or slightly below your TDEE or maintenance cals while doing 6 - 10 hrs of cardio per week. Your muscle mass needs fuel to sustain itself, so keep calories as high as possible while creating a calorie deficit via intense cardio everyday or even twice a day if possible. 20 min on a bike is essentially worthless and IMO is irrelevant.

    Everyone is different, but I like to do 1 hr a.m. med intensity cardio after a protein shake or just BCAA's depending on current BF%. That way you're burning a ton of cals in a somewhat depleted state while having the rest of the day to feed the needs of your LBM.
    What would be my maintenance calories at my weight? How could I calculate that? My bulking diet had around 3000 calories. Also would you think 1 hour of walking AM fasted with aminos count as a good cardio? At least as a start? To be completely honest I've hardly done cardio in my life...

  19. #19
    FireGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    When your BF gets up there you are going to burn muscle with the fat. My advice is get your BF down and keep it down regardless if you cycle you'll retain more muscle.
    If anything it's the opposite, when you have an abundance of bodyfat your body is much less likely to break down muscle tissue for energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    Keep your cardio HR below 140bpm or you will burn muscle and fat.
    Please stop with the false blanket statements. On leg day or even back day my HR is pretty close to 140 or above the entire session, does this mean I am burning away muscle during my workout too?

    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    Don't start counting your cardio time until your heart rate hits 120bpm.
    I am pretty sure your body starts burning calories prior to your heart rate getting to 120. Judging by your posts I am guessing you have bought into the fallacy that the only effective way to get lean is by staying in the "fat burning zone"

  20. #20
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    On the first response believe what you want what I said is true but like I said...
    On the second response, do you work legs or back 5 days a week, I don't think so?
    On the third response if you jump on an elliptical and start counting from the minute you start you may be on it 20 minutes but you aren't burning fat for 20 minutes on top of that 20 minutes is a joke.

    Also the best way to stay lean is diet although incorporating low impact cardio is still a plus. I'm 37 and been running cycles ( to many to remember) on and off since about 18 so you do it your way and I'll do it mine its worked so far. We can agree to disagree.
    Last edited by sdmlsu1; 05-23-2011 at 02:43 AM.

  21. #21
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    Get ripped in one week, huh ?
    Sounds like you'r placing your confidence in some "get huge and ripped fast" advertisement, my friend.
    FireGuy is right, on a leg day my heart's beating like i was in a marathon.

  22. #22
    baseline_9's Avatar
    baseline_9 is offline The Transformer ~VET~Recognized Staff Winner - $100
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    My recommendations


    Keep your PWO cardio at 20mins for now but make it some kind of intervals on the treadmill or stepmill (get off the bike and work)

    Add in some other cardio where you can... AM cardio is probably most convenient...

    30-60 mins 4-6 x per week in the mornings on the treadmill or Stepmill.... Moderate intensity (not too low)


    Take in some BCAA's and Glutamine b4 you do your AM fasted cardio....

    Be consistent! Keep the diet clean

    Good luck
    Don't be a 'Bro'..... Believe nothing....Question everything

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  23. #23
    ramacher's Avatar
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    I always felt splitting my cardio and weights at different times helped with my muscle and strength tremendously. I would not recommend doing cardio after weights due to my own experience cutting weight.

  24. #24
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramacher View Post
    I always felt splitting my cardio and weights at different times helped with my muscle and strength tremendously. I would not recommend doing cardio after weights due to my own experience cutting weight.


    I don't either but apparently I don't know anything.

  25. #25
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordworm88 View Post
    What? I read somewhere on this forum that the fat burning zone for my age was between 140-160 if I'm under that wont I not be burning fat?





    What would be my maintenance calories at my weight? How could I calculate that? My bulking diet had around 3000 calories. Also would you think 1 hour of walking AM fasted with aminos count as a good cardio? At least as a start? To be completely honest I've hardly done cardio in my life...
    Your maintenance cals will have to be figured out through trial and error. Pick a number and start, it takes time to figure it out but everyone has a different metabolism so its an individual thing. When all things are equal, strict diet. hydration etc. and your not gaining or losing much more than water weight you have it, keep in mind water will fluctuate your weight so be aware. AM cardio on an empty stomach will definitely work the best. As far as the AM aminos I'm not really sure how much it will help. I use 12 grams of Amino powder in my intraworkout drink but I run insulin pre workout. Someone else will have to comment on the AM empty stomach aminos.
    Last edited by sdmlsu1; 05-23-2011 at 06:05 AM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    On the first response believe what you want what I said is true but like I said...So you believe it's harder to retain your muscle going from 12% BF to 10% than it is going from 6% to 5%? The ratio of muscle lost to fat lost is almost always greater the leaner you get.
    On the second response, do you work legs or back 5 days a week, I don't think so?Again, you are making the blanket statement that if your HR is over 140 you WILL burn muscle. This simply is not true, especially in the presence of a good diet.
    On the third response if you jump on an elliptical and start counting from the minute you start you may be on it 20 minutes but you aren't burning fat for 20 minutesI have no idea how you became to ill informed. Your body is burning fat 24 hours a day. Yes, even as I sit in front of my keyboard typing this my body is using bodyfat as an energy source. I am well aware of the 20 minute window you are referring to when people believe their glycogen stores suddenly run out and your body starts turning to fat for fuel. Botttom line, we are always burning fat and the time and intensity of exercise only changes the rate and ratio of which macronutrient your body uses to fuel it's activity. on top of that 20 minutes is a joke.Hey, we agree on something.

    Also the best way to stay lean is dietOK, we agree on two things although incorporating low impact cardio is still a plus. I'm 37 and been running cycles ( to many to remember) on and off since about 18 so you do it your way and I'll do it mine its worked so far. We can agree to disagree.95% of what I wrote is fact based, there really isnt a rationale way of disagreeing with it.
    Bold.

  27. #27
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireGuy View Post
    Bold.
    LOL its not even worth a response, whatever.

  28. #28
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    LOL its not even worth a response, whatever.
    I am not just saying this because Fireguy is staff but....

    I back Fire up on everything that he has raised....

    I think the expression "blanket statement" has been used and it is well used here to describe some of your posts IMHO


    I recommend you take what fire is saying as the truth and look into it yourself... This is a place to learn so do not feel like a div when someone picks up on somethin you say.... No1 wants incorrect info on this board and I am sure you will agree on that
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  29. #29
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I'm now doing 45 min of fasted AM cardio mon-fri on the treadmill walking but at 3.2-3.5 speed with 2.0-3.0 incline. I'm taking BCAA before and after. Is that intense enough to put a dent on my bf%?

  30. #30
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    I am not just saying this because Fireguy is staff but....

    I back Fire up on everything that he has raised....

    I think the expression "blanket statement" has been used and it is well used here to describe some of your posts IMHO


    I recommend you take what fire is saying as the truth and look into it yourself... This is a place to learn so do not feel like a div when someone picks up on somethin you say.... No1 wants incorrect info on this board and I am sure you will agree on that
    One thing I will say is the 140 bpm as a hard strict number but I would not be banging out like 150-160 bpm etc. Agree, don't agree doesn't matter to me. I've been in the game a long time and learned from some very knowledgeable known people. Don't ask me or PM me for names because I won't say. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I realize post count is an issue here, its been hinted at anyway (no bash meant to the board). The boards I spend 99.9% of my time on most people here probably haven't heard of nor would be granted access to even if they did, also don't ask or PM me about them as well. I came here to offer my knowledge in the threads I wanted to participate in, nothing more. Just because I offer it certainly doesn't mean you have to follow it or try it. No doubt people have differing opinions on every board, so be it.

  31. #31
    Ronnie Rowland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    Keep your cardio HR below 140bpm or you will burn muscle and fat.
    I feel this mostly applies to those in ketosis. If you have carbs in your diet you can go above 140 heart beats per minute and not burn muscle given you do not go for too long.

  32. #32
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    thank all. great posts.

  33. #33
    sdmlsu1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie Rowland View Post
    I feel this mostly applies to those in ketosis. If you have carbs in your diet you can go above 140 heart beats per minute and not burn muscle given you do not go for too long.
    I agree on the Carbs due to the glycogen. If you are doing post workout cardio the glycogen will be significantly depleted, hence burning muscle why most BBs do cardio preworkout. Also when doing AM empty stomach cardio the same thing will happen due to your over night fasting. If your running low carbs during prep/pre contest your cardio bpm will be much lower due to the carbs and low cals. Obviously not all but many use the 220-age x .65 calculation that I know when not in prep mode. During prep mode it will go lower but it just depends on what works for the individual, trial and error. I'm sure I'll get slammed for this post but like I said before, whatever. I'm sure there are plenty of articles on wgt loss that say different but I'm in to experience rather than double blind taste tests. BBs have so many different variations due to their individual body's/metabolism's its not a one size fits all but obviously you know that.
    Last edited by sdmlsu1; 05-24-2011 at 12:44 AM.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdmlsu1 View Post
    [/B]

    I don't either but apparently I don't know anything.
    If you look at the science and energy sources used you would actually learn that cardio after wt training burns a much higher percent of bf. Like said before you dont really enter the "fat burning zone" untill about 20 mins into your cardio session because of the energy sources required to be burned before body fat is attacked. Wt training burns these sources up first so by doing cardio after you are essentially in your "fat burning zone" the entire time. But intervals on treadmill or stairmill to me seem to be best way to burn optimal fat in 20 mins. My cardio sessions are never over 30 mins personally

  35. #35
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    That's exactly what others have told me. I think I'm gonna do both cardios, 45 min fasted in the morning and 20-30 min after weight training. Would I get even better results like that? That's about 5 hours of cardio every week if I do them both.

  36. #36
    brad1986's Avatar
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    And yes fireguy is 100% right about burning fat all day long. when i said fat burning zone i was refering to the point in which fat becomes the primary energy source. Theres a point when glycogen stores have been burned through and at that time stored body fat becomes incinerated at a much higher rate

  37. #37
    lordworm88 is offline Junior Member
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    lol incinerated...

  38. #38
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    I will listen to anyone over FireGuy as soon as they post pics showing themselves with lower body fat than him. I love this place, but don't mind saying there is a lot of repeated bullsh*t. There are some guys here that have actual experience, and their opinion should be given more weight than a guy that has never been below 15% that is just repeating something they read or heard.

    I am not calling out anyone specifically with my statement, it is meant to be universal, not just about this thread.

  39. #39
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    ^^True about people repeating bs i hear or read but to Basically say "he who looks the best must know the most" is totally un true. Not knocking fireguy at all much much respect and props to him as he knows alot about this game but you have to think like this. Just because mike tyson can knock his coach out and whoop him in the ring doesnt meant that mike doesnt respect and learn from what they coach tells him. Some have great genes and some dont. knowlege has nothing to do with this. Me myself i have prob been over 15% bf for a few months in my life. Im def not as lean as fire guy but i always stay under 15%. I get what your saying but you cant go to the guy in the gym with the biggest arms and ask how he got them and expect that he will provide the best answer cuz his arms are the biggest. Im not a traditional athlete but i train them. Does that make me any less credable

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