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Anyone cutting after a bulk?

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  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,094Member Member Posts: 1,094Member Member
    Hey all, it's been a long time.

    Tagging onto the conversation upstairs... I'm not sure about a traditional IF protocol. What I have been doing for this recomp in the last 8 months or so is a protein shake (simple whey, no carbs) when I get up with my vitamins at 6am. A banana at 9am and a protein bar (zero sugar) at 10am. I'll eat a full lunch at 1pm and another protein shake and dinner around 7pm after the gym. Dinner tends to be relatively large - as I need to hit about 2.8-3K daily total with this meal. Another protein shake before bed. Workout days I sometimes supplement with a mass shake of some sort to add an additional 700 calories. Weekends are a free for all and I'll eat what I want. I've bounced between 210 and 205 eating like during this recomp experiment.

    Anyhow - the recomp....

    I know that I kept saying that I was done but I kept convincing myself to keep going (I'm stubborn). For those that don't somehow know... body recomposition is a glacially slow process - I do know and don't care about the few outliers or master photographers who populate other threads with their two month before and afters... let me tell you - it's SLOW. I was able to increase all my lifts, but I'm talking maybe 5-10 pounds in 8 months. Do I look better than I did at the start? Is my BF% lower? I don't know about "better" I can see differences. Chest is a little fuller at the edges, more vascularity, and mabye a couple or three percentage points lower. Is this worth it? For me, I'm going to say no. This was a failed experiment. Progress is molasses and now I'm a year behind certain strength goals. Is this worth it to others? Maybe - if you are pretty much near goal weight and hate the idea of getting fluffy or have issue cutting, it will eventually get you there (unless you are old as heck like me - time isn't my friend, lol).

    I was also able to not log anything for the last 8 months... so there is that. I won't lie, being free from logging everything was exceptionally nice. ;)

    So, New Years Resolution = fluffy town here I come!

    ovpbu271jn6x.jpg
    edited December 2019
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,605Member Member Posts: 8,605Member Member
    Welcome @chickencereal! Best of luck on your cut :) Feel free to keep us updated on your progress!

    Looking great @jseams1234 .. it's all a learning experience. I also dabbled in recomp in the past and it is just not for me, although I will be trying it again for 6-7 months until I can run another bulk next fall.
    edited December 2019
  • chickencerealchickencereal Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    @sardelsa thank you! I am a thicker than you but I think we might have a similar build and are following a similar plan so I hope my after pics resemble yours! And I will post them. Since I said it now I have to.

    @jseams1234 You look fantastic Are you drinking protein shakes at night to help with muscle building or just to get enough in for the day?
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,094Member Member Posts: 1,094Member Member
    @chickencereal - thank you.

    Shakes. I use them to hit my protein goals... which are high at 200-230g a day. It allows me to eat normal meals and not worry about tracking. During this recomp I haven’t logged anything. I typically will use about 6 scoops spread out through the day, so about 150g from shakes. The rest is food... I’m sure I’m way above target most days. However, when I bulk or cut everything is logged and weighed and I only use them to fill the gaps.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    @chickencereal - thank you.

    Shakes. I use them to hit my protein goals... which are high at 200-230g a day. It allows me to eat normal meals and not worry about tracking. During this recomp I haven’t logged anything. I typically will use about 6 scoops spread out through the day, so about 150g from shakes. The rest is food... I’m sure I’m way above target most days. However, when I bulk or cut everything is logged and weighed and I only use them to fill the gaps.

    What kind of protein powder are you using? Also, do you run any other supplements?
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,094Member Member Posts: 1,094Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    @chickencereal - thank you.

    Shakes. I use them to hit my protein goals... which are high at 200-230g a day. It allows me to eat normal meals and not worry about tracking. During this recomp I haven’t logged anything. I typically will use about 6 scoops spread out through the day, so about 150g from shakes. The rest is food... I’m sure I’m way above target most days. However, when I bulk or cut everything is logged and weighed and I only use them to fill the gaps.

    What kind of protein powder are you using? Also, do you run any other supplements?

    ON Gold Standard Whey mixed with water.

    5g creatine maintenance daily, 4000iu D, 1000mcg B12, glucosamine/chondroitin/msm 1500/1200/1000, and a multi.

    I have absorption issues with D and I’ve tested low in the past. The higher dose puts me in the 40-45 range.

    I know my protein powder usage is a bit on the high side - maybe I’m just lazy and tired of chicken. ;)
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    psuLemon wrote: »
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    @chickencereal - thank you.

    Shakes. I use them to hit my protein goals... which are high at 200-230g a day. It allows me to eat normal meals and not worry about tracking. During this recomp I haven’t logged anything. I typically will use about 6 scoops spread out through the day, so about 150g from shakes. The rest is food... I’m sure I’m way above target most days. However, when I bulk or cut everything is logged and weighed and I only use them to fill the gaps.

    What kind of protein powder are you using? Also, do you run any other supplements?

    ON Gold Standard Whey mixed with water.

    5g creatine maintenance daily, 4000iu D, 1000mcg B12, glucosamine/chondroitin/msm 1500/1200/1000, and a multi.

    I have absorption issues with D and I’ve tested low in the past. The higher dose puts me in the 40-45 range.

    I know my protein powder usage is a bit on the high side - maybe I’m just lazy and tired of chicken. ;)

    Nice. I run L-Citrulline and BCAAs for recovery, use whey in my milkshakes and just picked up some Creatine Monohydrate. I am going to see if i respond this time. I believe some of my issues from CM was a poor quality version. Also use fish oil and magnesium as a buffer while on keto.
    edited December 2019
  • chickencerealchickencereal Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    If I’m already losing strength after 1 week of cutting, does that mean I need to increase my calories and by how much? Last week I averaged 30% below my TDEE, low carb (55-60g per day) definitely in ketosis. I know the cals are low, I thought I would start there and work my way up.

    I’ve been lifting consistently for 10 months and was increasing reps or weight every week or two. Today I had to reduce all of my compound lifts by 10%. My balance and cardio suffered as well. I haven’t made any changes to my workout and I’m not totally gassed or anything just not as much energy as usual.

    It could be related to my cycle and I know I need some time to adjust but still curious as to what others’ experiences have been.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 395Member Member Posts: 395Member Member
    I wouldn’t make any decisions based on a week. Give it at least a month.
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,605Member Member Posts: 8,605Member Member
    If I’m already losing strength after 1 week of cutting, does that mean I need to increase my calories and by how much? Last week I averaged 30% below my TDEE, low carb (55-60g per day) definitely in ketosis. I know the cals are low, I thought I would start there and work my way up.

    I’ve been lifting consistently for 10 months and was increasing reps or weight every week or two. Today I had to reduce all of my compound lifts by 10%. My balance and cardio suffered as well. I haven’t made any changes to my workout and I’m not totally gassed or anything just not as much energy as usual.

    It could be related to my cycle and I know I need some time to adjust but still curious as to what others’ experiences have been.

    It could be the drop in calories or keto, it could take time to get used to it. @psuLemon is running keto on his cut he might have some advice on lifting and keeping strength up
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Posts: 288Member, Premium Member Posts: 288Member, Premium Member
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(
  • sardelsasardelsa Posts: 8,605Member Member Posts: 8,605Member Member
    GaryRuns wrote: »
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(

    Haha yea it does. Normally I would not be cutting right now but baby weight knows no season :)

    Speaking of cutting, I was thinking of losing another 5lbs or so, when I am somewhat happy with my physique and less squishy, then transitioning into recomp. Which I will do for about 6-7 months. I always say I am going to do this, then I never stick with it. :( I know it works but honestly I don't know if I have the patience for it. I don't want to run a full on bulk until I get a proper home gym set up which is probably going to be end of summer 2020.
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 1,094Member Member Posts: 1,094Member Member
    If I’m already losing strength after 1 week of cutting, does that mean I need to increase my calories and by how much? Last week I averaged 30% below my TDEE, low carb (55-60g per day) definitely in ketosis. I know the cals are low, I thought I would start there and work my way up.

    I’ve been lifting consistently for 10 months and was increasing reps or weight every week or two. Today I had to reduce all of my compound lifts by 10%. My balance and cardio suffered as well. I haven’t made any changes to my workout and I’m not totally gassed or anything just not as much energy as usual.

    It could be related to my cycle and I know I need some time to adjust but still curious as to what others’ experiences have been.

    What do you mean by "reducing all of my compound lifts by 10%"?

    Take this as you will as this is my n=1 but it is based on research - I've had some extreme cuts before - dropped 60 pounds in less than four months at one point doing a modified RFL. I didn't lose any appreciable muscle or strength - but one of the things I did lose and rather quickly was endurance - or the amount of volume and frequency I could handle at the same intensity (weight on the bar).

    I often see lifters doing the opposite - they increase volume and lower the weight on the bar when they cut. It's an old idea and a great way to lose muscle. You should try as hard as possible to keep the weight on the bar the same. Just decrease volume and frequency if needed. A measure of strength isn't how many sets or reps you can knock out but your 1RM.

    Midway through my cuts I decrease volume. Near the end I decrease frequency. I was only lifting about twice a week full-body at the end of my last cut but intensity remained the same. After a few weeks of maintenance and into bulking again everything returned to normal and I didn't have months of playing catch-up again.

    https://bodyrecomposition.com/training/weight-training-for-fat-loss-part-2.html/
    edited December 2019
  • Mr_Healthy_HabitsMr_Healthy_Habits Posts: 8,670Member Member Posts: 8,670Member Member
    If I’m already losing strength after 1 week of cutting, does that mean I need to increase my calories and by how much? Last week I averaged 30% below my TDEE, low carb (55-60g per day) definitely in ketosis. I know the cals are low, I thought I would start there and work my way up.

    I’ve been lifting consistently for 10 months and was increasing reps or weight every week or two. Today I had to reduce all of my compound lifts by 10%. My balance and cardio suffered as well. I haven’t made any changes to my workout and I’m not totally gassed or anything just not as much energy as usual.

    It could be related to my cycle and I know I need some time to adjust but still curious as to what others’ experiences have been.

    In my own personal experience...

    It's rather normal, I don't think our bodies are as finite about calorie consumption as we'd like to think... I can't tell you how many times I've hit the gym after a weekend of being in a surplus and lifted less and have gone in at a deficit and lifted better...

    I think our own psychosomatic effects on our bodies have more to do with gym performance than increasing or decreasing a 100 calories... That's nothing really, probably within the margin of error for most people tracking, because honestly there's no real way to track what you've burned in a given day...

    Anyhow, getting back to the point... It's normal, this happens to me within the first few weeks of a cut... Again I think it is partly psychosomatic and partly my muscles readjusting to the decrease in energy stores...

    I bounced back within a few weeks... Cut for about 5 months, nice and slow about 15lbs (0.75lbs/week). Within this time I lost about 10lbs off my bench, maybe a few reps off the biceps curls, not much else... And that's probably more so do to muscle depletion rather than tissue loss

    Although it was anything but linear, I will admit.
    I weighed food in the beginning to get an idea of what I was consuming, then just kinda eyeballed it.
  • chickencerealchickencereal Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    What do you mean by "reducing all of my compound lifts by 10%"?
    /

    In # of reps except the deadlift, I reduced the weight on that because I wasn't sure if I could do it with proper form. That said, I had previously deadlifted the same weight to get into position for another exercise so I guess I haven't lost strength, just endurance. Thanks for asking me that so I was forced to look back! I don't plan on reducing weight, but will decrease reps if needed and add more rest in between sets. I was doing multiple pairs of supersets which is taxing to begin with and lifting without a rack is another energy suck too.
    It's normal, this happens to me within the first few weeks of a cut... Again I think it is partly psychosomatic and partly my muscles readjusting to the decrease in energy stores...

    Yeah I think you are right. Thanks for sharing your experience too that helps.
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    GaryRuns wrote: »
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(

    And to think i thought i was the only idiot cutting during the holidays. Welcome to the club!!!
  • psuLemonpsuLemon Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator Posts: 35,545Member, MFP Moderator, Greeter, Premium MFP Moderator
    If I’m already losing strength after 1 week of cutting, does that mean I need to increase my calories and by how much? Last week I averaged 30% below my TDEE, low carb (55-60g per day) definitely in ketosis. I know the cals are low, I thought I would start there and work my way up.

    I’ve been lifting consistently for 10 months and was increasing reps or weight every week or two. Today I had to reduce all of my compound lifts by 10%. My balance and cardio suffered as well. I haven’t made any changes to my workout and I’m not totally gassed or anything just not as much energy as usual.

    It could be related to my cycle and I know I need some time to adjust but still curious as to what others’ experiences have been.

    Its normal especially if you went from a more moderate carb diet to a keto diet. I have been on it for several months and my lifts haven't caught back up to where i was when i was eating 300g of carbs. Even with increased sodium, keto is going to cause a detriment... And is compounded with cutting.
  • cupcakesandproteinshakescupcakesandproteinshakes Posts: 395Member Member Posts: 395Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    GaryRuns wrote: »
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(

    And to think i thought i was the only idiot cutting during the holidays. Welcome to the club!!!

    Nope, I’m the third idiot.
  • steveko89steveko89 Posts: 1,493Member Member Posts: 1,493Member Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    GaryRuns wrote: »
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(

    And to think i thought i was the only idiot cutting during the holidays. Welcome to the club!!!

    Nope, I’m the third idiot.

    Fourth over here
  • GaryRunsGaryRuns Posts: 288Member, Premium Member Posts: 288Member, Premium Member
    psuLemon wrote: »
    GaryRuns wrote: »
    Can I just take some valuable space on this thread to say how much it sucks cutting during the holidays? Okay, maybe I should say trying to cut during the holidays. Egg nog with lots of rum is SOOO delicious! :'(

    And to think i thought i was the only idiot cutting during the holidays. Welcome to the club!!!

    Please don't get the wrong impression, I said I was trying to cut during the holidays! My weight has flatlined the last two weeks because of Thanksgiving and a Christmas party this past weekend.

    A note to those concerned about privacy and going on a cut, make sure nobody has access to your weigh-in data. You can see every f'ing vacation and party I went to on mine! :D

    https://trendweight.com/u/33c32eeb797249/
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