What Is The Best Workout To Get Cut?

What is the best workout to get cut? Those who have put on enough muscle over the winter are looking to get 'cut' for the summer. Here are some of the best workouts and tips for a beach-ready body you can be proud of. Check it out!

The Question:

Those who have put on enough muscle over the winter are looking to get 'cut' for the summer.

What is the best workout to get cut? Be specific.

What kind of results can one expect from this type of workout?

What are some of the drawbacks to this type of workout?

Bonus Question: Do you usually cut for the summer? If so, about when do you usually start to cut?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

  1. ho_124 View Profile
  2. Veeshmack View Profile
  3. gigolojo View Profile

Prizes:

  • 1st place - 75 in store credit.
  • 2nd place - 50 in store credit.

1st Place - ho_124

Introduction

Getting cut is on the minds of many people at this time with summer just around the corner. Whether you've been bulking off or just want to lose that fat that has been nagging on you it is clear you need an effective program to get rid of the fat as soon as possible.

Also for those who have built up muscle, it's important to preserve as much of it as possible through the cutting process. Keep in mind while stripping away fat, it is technically impossible to gain mass. Since you need to eat fewer calories than your maintenance level to lose weight and you need excess calories to put on weight, your objective won't be to put on muscle. However the body is very complex, and as such there are exceptions, for now just use that rule as a guideline.

I hear many people saying that they want to put on mass and lose fat to get shredded at the same time and won't be convinced otherwise that it must be done one at a time. So the simple rule is just focus on cutting away fat right now!

What Is The Best Workout To Get Cut?

Before delving into the workout we must look at the goal which is to cut as fast as possible with minimal muscle loss. Therefore we must choose what workout to perform carefully to address those needs. There will be two aspects of this workout which are:

Cardio Aspect:

The cardio aspect is the staple of any fat loss program. Of importance here is what type of cardio to perform because there are several options each with its own pros and cons. You can choose which type you prefer based on your own needs.

Of much concern for many people is muscle loss because of cardio since it has been scientifically proven than cardio does induce muscle loss. However, the amount you will be doing is key, as it does not significantly impact muscle mass. If your scared, even IFBB pro Bob Cicherillo advocates 30-60 minute runs, and for someone in his position, preserving muscle is of utmost importance. So long as you're not doing a professional marathon training program, you should be fine.

Weight Lifting Aspect:

A lot of people do not realize to what extent weight lifting can contribute to losing fat. It is true that initially cardio burns more calories than weight lifting. However the effects of weight lifting are long lasting and you will continue burning calories in the recovery phase so that the amount of calories expended is significant overall, not just on the spot.

I highly recommend weight lifting for anyone trying to lose weight. As well for the people already lifting, you wouldn't want your strength gains declining as well as your work capacity. Imagine taking a couple months break from lifting and going back to it in the bulking phase, it will make it that much harder to start again.

Ok, so now let's get into the workout. Keep in mind that you don't need to follow this like it has been written in stone. You can change it to suit your own needs, which I recommend, because everyone has different body types and requirements. For example if you don't like a certain exercise then substitute one that works the same muscle groups instead.

Cardio Aspect


Option 1:

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

One option for cardio is performing HIIT which recently has been picking up in popularity. HIIT is relatively short, only 15 minutes usually. The great thing about this kind of cardio is that it burns calories more effectively than lower intensity but longer duration cardio. This is because of the fact that HIIT combines medium paced intervals with higher intensity bursts even though its short duration.

Another great thing about HIIT is that it can be adapted to a diverse spectrum of sports. Numerous sports specific training programs incorporate high intensity intervals similar to the ones in HIIT which can be an advantage if you're juggling say football and bodybuilding. Also because it's such short duration your chances of sticking to the cardio are much greater than if you're going for 60 minute sessions which can be anything but desirable especially if you're on a treadmill staring at a wall.

Performing HIIT is easy, here is how it goes together. Basically you pick an exercise, more often than not people choose running. However, it can also be something like cycling, rowing, elliptical machine, skipping etc.

Let's say you choose running; you start off by doing this for a minute at 60-75% of your max heart rate. At the end of the minute you do a sprint for 15-30 seconds using 90-95% of your max heart rate (Most people go for a 15-20 second sprint). This is one set which you do 10 times for a total time of 15 minutes max. So it looks something like this:

  • Warm-Up: 5 Minutes
  • Interval 1: Run 1 minute at 60-75% of max heart rate. Sprint 20-30 seconds at 90-95% of max heart rate.
  • Repeat x 10: Repeat 10 times for a total of 15 minutes.
  • Cool Off: 5 Minutes.

1
Frequency

Frequency is extremely important. During the cutting phase your going to have less energy because your restricting calories and to add to this most people restrict their carbohydrate intake just not Atkins style. Therefore if you're overdoing HIIT your going to feel drained and overtraining is a possibility. Also, if you do too few cardio sessions you're not going to be able to cut in time.

I recommend doing HIIT 3 times per week and trying as hard as possible to schedule them on non lifting days, especially on leg days. If you decide not to lift weights then I would say you could try it 4 times per week. After discussing weight lifting I will put together a schedule that incorporates HIIT in to a workout split.

2
Timing

Timing is an important tool you can use to your advantage. I wasn't a big fan of this before, but now I see the benefit of doing this in the morning after waking up. Many people are doing this now because of the fact that carbohydrate stores are low upon waking up, therefore the body will utilize fat for energy.

Doing cardio in the morning is worse for muscle loss BUT remember HIIT only lasts 15 minutes which isn't a big deal at all. Right after just eat a decent meal or a protein shake and you will be fine.

3
Changing The Exercise

It is important to change up the exercise so that your results don't plateau. The reason why you hear people changing up their exercises every so often is so that their body doesn't adapt and their results plateau. So every month switch from using running for HIIT to the bike (as an example).

Option 2:

Low Intensity Long Duration Cardio

The second option is doing low intensity and longer duration cardio. I'll admit I wasn't a big fan of this before but I do see some good qualities about it that make it beneficial.

A lot of people are scared that this is a guaranteed way to lose muscle. However, I have a question to answer this. How many of you are elite athletes in which you're pushing your bodies to the limit with endurance training to the point where your muscle is being sacrificed for energy and nutrients? I doubt anyone here since this kind of training can't really coexist with bodybuilding. All that is required is 30-60 minutes of low intensity which is not going to have any appreciable effect on your muscle mass.

One great thing about this kind of cardio is the type of energy used. Because it's low intensity, the main fuel will be fat since the body will reserve the carbohydrates for more intense exercise.2 However you have to be careful not to go overboard because the body has mechanisms to preserve fat levels and if you go over 60 minutes, you will start to use muscle as energy.

Also, for those who aren't in the greatest shape and want to lose weight, lower intensities are a better option than HIIT. Some people who are out of shape and overweight might not be able to keep up the high intensities, so using a lower intensity would be best.

Like HIIT you can use a variety of mediums for low intensity cardio. Running, biking, elliptical machines, stair climbers, rowing machines, skipping etc.

1
Frequency

Like HIIT, frequency should be about 3-4 times per week. You might be able to do more if you decide not to lift weights but if you are lifting keep it to 3-4 times per week. It also depends on your fitness. If you're really out of shape then keep it at 3 times per week. However if you're quite in shape then go for 4.

2
Duration

Duration is key here. You have to be going for at least 15 minutes so that your body starts using fat as it's energy source. Therefore go for at least 30 minutes to 60 minutes maximum. It also depends on your fitness as well. If you're in shape then you can go longer and if your not then keep it at 30 minutes. Also if you have more fat to lose you can afford to go longer, but if you're just finishing up then you can keep it shorter.

3
Intensity

Intensity is extremely important. If you start increasing intensity, you also use carbohydrates instead of fat as your energy, and this is not what you want. So throughout, you should be using a low intensity. At the end of the cardio session you should be comfortably tired, not passed out on the floor in a heaping pile of sweat.

4
Changing The Exercise

Again it is important to change the exercise so that you don't plateau. It's also nice so you don't get bored. So every month switch from running, to the bike, or some other form of cardio.

Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Cardio:

HIIT - Pros

HIIT - Cons

  • High intensity can be hard for people out of shape or overweight.
  • Carbohydrates are the main source of energy, not fat.
  • Doesn't work on endurance as much.

Low Intensity Cardio - Pros

  • Easier for most people to maintain because of low intensity. Best for people who are out of shape.
  • The main source of energy is fat not carbohydrates.
  • Works on endurance.

Low Intensity Cardio - Cons

  • Boring sometimes, especially on a treadmill staring at a wall.
  • Doesn't work on fast twitch muscles if that's what your looking for.

So there you have it. Now it's up to you to choose which one is best for you and which will provide the greatest benefit. Remember keep in mind your fitness level, whether you're in shape or not. Also, see what type of sports your doing. If you're in football and are looking to get cut at the same time, then HIIT is probably best for you.

Now if you're also convinced that you want to continue weight lifting or what to start it to help you lose fat, then it's onto the resistance training aspect of the cutting program.

Weightlifting Aspect

I'll say this again, at this point you need only be focused on losing fat, not putting on muscle. As I said before it's quite impossible to do both. Also, another thing to keep in mind is that during cutting, you're going to have less energy because of the fact that you're restricting calories and also for some people limiting carbohydrates.

Therefore a lot of people can't keep up the heavy lifting programs they have completed in the bulking session. Also if you are going to start lifting, then it's important to keep in mind that you shouldn't attempt a heavy lifting schedule.

To be honest there are infinite ways of doing the weight lifting aspect. There are literally thousands of programs out there that you can try and suit different people's needs. Remember the main goal here is to burn extra calories while still benefiting from weight training, not gaining muscle.

What I'm about to suggest is just that, a suggestion. You can substitute your own workout program if things are going jolly for you, or if you would prefer some other workout program, by all means go ahead.

Before going into the workout there are a few things you might want to consider when going about your workout in reference to cutting.

1
Focus On Large Muscles

The main reason why I say focus on large muscles is simple, it will burn more calories! I mean do you really think you're going to be burning nearly as much calories doing heavy wrist curls as opposed to squats? The more calories you burn, the faster your going to lose weight, so focus on muscles like the legs, abdominals, back, and chest.

2
Focus On Compound Exercises

Isolation work is good, but compound exercises are your best bet at burning more calories. For example take leg extensions verses squats. In leg extensions you're focusing only on quads. However in squats you're focusing on quads, hamstrings, glutes etc. So which do you think is going to burn more calories? Of course the squats. So instead of doing pec flyes do bench press etc.

3
Keep Your Heart Rate Up During The Workout

This means exactly what it says. For example if your taking 2-3 minute breaks in between sets that's fine for some workouts, but if your planning on burning calories, that's not the way to do it. Take shorter rests between sets for example 30-45 seconds so you're working more consistently and therefore using up more calories. Try workouts that promote this for example circuit training.

Taking a look at those three things I would like to suggest two different kinds of workouts. The first is circuit training which is designed to be a more cardiovascular type workout that also combines the effects of weight lifting. The second is HST or hypertrophy specific training because of the fact that it utilizes compound exercises and focuses on the major muscle groups. Remember the key here is cutting away the fat.

Option 1:

Circuit Training

Circuit training is great for cutting because of the fact that it's a heavy cardiovascular workout but also has benefits of weight training such as strength etc. The only one thing you have to watch out for is the fact that it is demanding because you're always working.

So if you're really out of shape, then I suggest you pick something else, or I'll show you something else you can do so you can last through the workout. Again keep in mind you might not have as much energy while cutting so try not to overstep your limits.

Basically for circuit training you pick 5-8 exercises to work the entire body. Once you've done them all in a row, that's 1 circuit. You need to do 2-3 to finish the workout. As I mentioned above you can go straight through it which is really tough and I advise only if your in real good shape, or what you can do is take a very short rest say 10-20 seconds and go back at it.

Another thing you can do is do some form of cardio in between the exercises, for example some skipping for 20-45 seconds to recover but also keep your heart going to burn those calories. What you choose to do is up to you, your needs, and what you can handle. I recommend skipping in between sets if you choose to do some cardio in between because you can carry your rope around etc.

Also a few things to remember are to pace yourself. Don't go to failure on the first set because you still got a bunch of exercises to go. That also doesn't mean you can be lazy either.

1
The Exercises

For the exercises I'll choose 7. To do the workout correctly you do them all in order starting with:

2
In Between Exercises

In between exercises you can take no rest at all if you're up to it, so get ready for an intense workout. If you're not so keen, then try resting 10-20 seconds in between making sure your heart rate is always up there. Or, like I said, try doing a little bit of cardio for 25-45 seconds to recover but also keep your heart rate up.

3
Number Of Circuits

Doing all those exercises in a row is 1 circuit. Most people do about 3, but if you can't then 2 should be fine but always try to keep improving yourself.

4
Number Of Repetitions

I don't recommend at all going for the very low repetition ranges. I do recommend going for about 8-12 repetitions. If you feel like doing more than go to about 15 repetitions. A lot of people like to go 20+ for even more of a cardiovascular endurance workout but that's up to you. If you go for the 8-12 repetition ranges your going to be working more on strength.

5
Intensity

Intensity is everything. Like I said you always want to be working so that your heart rate is consistently high. If it's too low then you're not going to be burning enough calories, but if you're working way too hard then you're not going to be able to complete your circuits. For example if you totally go all out in the first two exercises then the rest will suffer and that's not what you want.

You want to use a weight where you can still continue with the rest of the circuit. Also you don't want to go to failure only on maybe the last exercise.

6
Frequency

Since during the cutting phase you can't take on as much work capacity, I recommend doing this 2-3 times per week at the most. You never want to go into overtraining because that will push your whole cutting phase further back and you won't be able to cut in time.

7
Changing The Exercises

As always it is super important to change your exercises. If you do not, you risk a plateau and getting bored with your workouts. Change it up every 2 months. For example instead of doing chin ups try close grip chin ups, or wide grip chin ups, even a rowing exercise for the back.

Putting It All Together

Option 2:

Hypertrophy Specific Training Or HST Workout

HST is another option you can choose while cutting because of the fact that it works the major muscle groups as well as using a majority of compound exercises. Therefore it is very suitable for cutting.

Like circuit training, HST is designed to work the full body in one workout. However instead of having say 9 sets for a body part in one workout, it's spread throughout the whole week.

I couldn't imagine doing 9 sets for each body part in a full body workout, you would probably die. Compound exercises are utilized the majority of the time and the larger muscle groups have more total sets per week which means more calories burned.

There are many ways to do HST workouts; some programs suggest only doing one exercise per muscle group the whole time while others choose two. So, therefore if you prefer another way then go ahead. The way I will suggest is simple so you can make modifications if you want.

1
Exercises

    For HST you list the major muscle groups. Then for each muscle group you choose a certain amount of exercises which I will suggest.

2
Sets

    The number of sets for each exercise will vary quite differently. Try to give the larger body parts more sets and the smaller ones less sets with the principle of burning more calories in mind. So for example:

    • Legs - 4 Sets
    • Back - 4 Sets
    • Chest - 3 Sets
    • Arms - 4 Sets, 2 Sets For Biceps, 2 Sets For Triceps
    • Shoulders - 3 Sets
    • Calves - 2 Sets
    • Abdominals - 3 Sets

Note: You might be thinking for example, how do I do 2 exercises for chest but only 3 sets? Simple, do two sets with one exercise and one for the other. Use this principle when you run into the same situation for other body parts.

3
Repetitions

I suggest doing 8-12 repetitions. If you start going 20+ you might find that your doing way too many reps, so keep it around 8-12 per set. I also don't suggest going in the low repetition ranges like 2-5 because this isn't a power lifting workout.

4
Rest In Between Sets And Duration

As you might see, you have a lot of work to do here, 23 sets so don't rest too long in between. Also in the interest of keeping your heart rate up I suggest resting from 25-45 seconds ideally and 60 seconds maximum. If you drag out your workout too long (Over 60 minutes) your intensity is going to go down and your going to get a poor workout. Keep it short and intense always. Keep it under 60 minutes; try to aim for 45 minutes.

To complete your workout quicker you can do what are called supersets. Supersets are where you do two sets back to back with no rest, usually with different muscles involved. For example doing bench press then immediately chin ups so that you don't spend as much time resting.

5
Frequency

Frequency should be 3 times per week. Don't try to attempt any more to avoid overtraining, remember you also have cardio to do. If your body can't take it then drop to 2 times per week but try working your way up to 3.

6
Changing Up The Exercises

It is very important to change up the exercises every 2 months so your body doesn't plateau. It is never a good idea to keep the same exercises program after program, which can also be quite boring as well. So instead of doing bench press do incline bench press or decline etc. Mix it up and you will thank yourself.

Putting It All Together

This is one workout. You will do this 3 times throughout the week.

Pros & Cons Of Circuit Training And HST

I'll help you decide which workout you want to do by listing some pros and cons of the two types of lifting programs.

Circuit Training Pros:

  • Type of workout aimed at fat loss by burning extra calories.
  • Increases endurance and conditioning.
  • Focus on compound exercises and large muscle groups = More calories burned.

Circuit Training Cons:

  • Doesn't focus on smaller body parts like some programs. For example: no exercises for forearms.
  • Less focus on strength aspect.

HST Pros:

  • Focus on compound exercises and large muscle groups = More calories burned.
  • Focus on strength aspect.

HST Cons:

  • Less focus on endurance.
  • Doesn't focus on smaller body parts like some programs. For example: no exercises for forearms.

Putting The Whole Program Together

So now that I've filled your head with enough information about different workouts and things to keep in mind, it's time to put cardio and weight lifting together in a training split. As always keep in mind that you don't have to follow it exactly and you can tweak it any way you want.

Keep A Few Things In Mind:

  • Try not to put cardio days on the same days as lifting days. As you will notice in both those lifting programs, the main weakness is that you do legs every workout. Normally you could do cardio on a day you have say an arm workout because your legs would still be fresh. However now that your working legs every workout the thing to do is try to avoid putting workouts on the same days as cardio.

      If this is not possible try doing the lifting or cardio first and give yourself a couple hours to recover before doing the next part whether it be the lifting or cardio. Because of the fact that your only doing a couple sets for the legs, it won't have as great an impact if you did say 9-12 sets.

    1. Leave one day of rest. Always have at least 1 day of rest. If you're working all week then you could start overtraining. Even the pros in many sports take a day off at the end of the week to rest and recover.

    So remember, you can choose either HIIT or low intensity long duration cardio for your cardio option. Next for weight lifting you can choose between circuit training or HST. Now to put cardio and lifting together into a training split.

    • Monday - Circuit Training Workout Or HST
    • Tuesday - HIIT Or Low Intensity Long Duration Cardio
    • Wednesday - Circuit Training Workout Or HST
    • Thursday - HIIT Or Low Intensity Long Duration Cardio
    • Friday - Circuit Training Workout Or HST
    • Saturday - HIIT Or Low Intensity Long Duration Cardio
    • Sunday - Rest

    As you can see, it's short and simple. Nothing too complicated.

What Kind Of Results Can One Expect From This Type Of Workout?

With this type of workout you can expect to lose weight at a consistent pace. No this is not some miracle magic workout like the stupid commercials you see on TV where it promises you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. None of that nonsense.

What this program will do is take off the fat in an efficient manner with hard work and consistency. If you put in half the effort, you get half the results, simple as that. Also, it varies for some people the rate at which they can take off the fat.

There are three body types, endomorphs, ectomorphs, and mesomorphs. Depending on which body type you are, you will cut fat at different rates. Mesomorphs and ectomorphs tend to cut fat easier while endomorphs tend to take longer to lose fat.

It also depends on your genetics, with some peoples bodies programmed to hold onto fat more than others. So there are a variety of factors. Just do not get discouraged and keep at it, and never listen to those garbage TV commercials and think, why can't I lose weight that easy?

Also, something else that is very important... EVERYTHING depends on your diet. The results you expect depends on your diet! I don't care how hard you're working in the gym, if your diet is very poor you won't get anywhere. I see people all the time in the gym working so hard and wasting it eating junk. That's not the way to go.

Here are a few tips for diet when cutting:

1
It's All About Calories

Everyone should know you have a calorie maintenance level, which is how much energy or calories your body uses on a day to day basis. Very simply if you eat over this limit, you gain weight, if you eat under you lose weight.

Of course it is not as simple as that (take the super skinny guy who eats McDonalds every meal), but use this rule to guide your diet. I don't care if you have the healthiest diet, if you keep eating over your not going to lose weight. So always make sure your eating under your calorie maintenance level, but not to a point where you're starving yourself and lacking energy.

2
Watch Insulin Levels

If you're eating sugary foods, or foods that have a high GI rating, then your going to be spiking your insulin. Not only is this not healthy, but it can lead to fat gain because the sugar is converted to fat in simple terms. So always try to eat foods with a low or medium GI rating and stay away from things like white bread and sugary items.

3
Get A Good Ratio Of Protein, Carbohydrates, And Fat

Getting a good ratio of protein, carbohydrates, and fat are essential. First of all it helps take care of the bodies needs in terms of energy, repair, and fat loss. This is an area of much debate because some people like to cut their carbohydrates a little bit during cutting while some don't.

People like cutting carbohydrates because they believe the body will switch to fat for energy during the day. Whether you do this, it is up to you. Try something like a 40%-40%-20% ratio of protein-carbs-fat or 50%-30%-20% ratio (Remember this is percentage of your total calories, so 40% from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fats for example).

Work out something that suits you, this isn't written in stone. Just don't try something stupid like having 80% of your calories from fats or something.

Also a lot of people get confused when they see the word fats. This is not referring to trans fats or saturated fats but the essential fatty acids or EFAs which are essential to any athlete. They facilitate hormone production and are even recommended for fat loss, so get them in your diet. Foods that contain these are: Certain fish, nuts, seeds, oils, certain vegetables.

4
Eat 5-6 Meals A Day

Eating constantly is important to always have a constant flow of nutrients to the body. This helps you get through your workouts and start recovering faster. Also for those who have trouble with eating too much, eating more meals a day will help you so you don't over eat. People who have less meals a day tend to over eat on those meals.

What Are Some Of The Drawbacks To This Type Of Workout?

There is really only one minor issue for some people. Some like to have cardio and weights on the same day but not on leg days. Seeing as how every workout has legs in it this might be a slight issue. But then again there aren't too many sets of legs and with enough rest time in between most people should be able to work cardio and weights on the same day.

In terms of cutting the main drawback is obviously the lack of energy some might experience because of the addition of cardio and also the cutting down of calories. Also some like to cut carbohydrates and therefore have less energy.

Lastly while cutting your not going to be putting on muscle. Because you are aiming for a deficit of calories and you need excess to gain muscle, your not going to be gaining any muscle until you bulk.

Do You Usually Cut For The Summer?

I usually cut for the summer because that is the time when the shirt comes off. Most people want to be cut for the summer so when they go to the beach they will have a ripped body. There really is no point in trying to put on muscle in the summer and cutting in the winter... That makes no sense really unless it is warm all year round where you live. I can lose fat easier so I usually start a couple months ahead to give myself enough time to get cut.

Good luck and happy cutting.

References:

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hst1.htm
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bobchic3.htm
  3. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/paul4.htm
  4. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/paul5.htm
  5. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/hst1b.htm

2nd Place - Veeshmack

What Is The Best Workout To Get Cut?

Just like most workouts, this workout is split into 3 days: Push, Pull, and Legs. This routine is best performed with a rep scheme of either 5 sets of 5 reps or 4 sets of 8 reps.

Day 1: Push (Chest/Triceps/Shoulders)

Day 2: Pull (Back/Biceps)

Day 3: Legs

When cutting, you ideally want to be doing abs consistently. I would recommend doing abs every other day or about 3 times per week for best results. When training your abs, be sure to hit all areas including upper, middle, lower, and the obliques. This can be obtained by doing multiple exercises such as leg raises, crunches, sit ups on an air ball, jack knives, and planks.

A large part to successfully cutting is going to be burning calories at an efficient rate. Therefore it is suggested that you do not need to go as heavy as you generally do, but reduce the rest time between sets and exercises in order to keep your heart rate at an optimal fat burning level.

Furthermore, the addition of cardio can make results come quicker. High intensity interval training is probably the best form of cardio but can be very taxing and tiring, therefore it is still just as good to perform cardio at a lower intensity, but skipping cardio all together will result in a longer wait for maximum results.

What Kind Of Results Can One Expect From This Type Of Workout?

A cutting workout is usually designed to maximize the oxidation and burning of fat stores in ones body. This basically means burning fat. With this being the primary goal of a cutting workout, the results are highly dependant on one's diet and nutrition plan.

As with any workout routine, how much progress you make, and how quick you make it is going to depend on things other than just the routine such as diet and nutrition, rest and recovery, supplementation, and as always, genetics.

With other variables aside, this cut workout can yield great results in dropping body fat, maintaining and possibly gaining lean muscle.

Cutting essentially is not associated with increasing muscle mass. This is because in order to lose fat you must have a lower caloric intake level, whereas while bulking or trying to increase muscle mass, you generally have a higher caloric intake level.

So how can one maintain muscle mass while cutting? By continuing to perform workouts at high intensity and getting the most out of every rep, trying to keep optimal protein intake at about 0.88g of protein per lb of bodyweight, and some supplementation can also help. The best supplements for helping in the prevention of muscle breakdown are BCAA and EAA products.

With that being said, results can be shocking if proper training, cardio, diet, and supplementation are all combined.

What Are Some Of The Drawbacks To This Type Of Workout?

The biggest drawback while cutting tends to be the loss of, or inability to gain, strength and lean muscle mass. Simply put, you need higher calories to build muscle, and you need fewer calories to burn fat and get cut.

While cutting you generally have less calories and less carbs which makes muscle building much more difficult. This can be combated to an extent with the help of higher protein intake, intense workouts, and the supplementation of products that include BCAAs or EAAs.

Another downside to cutting is a lack of energy. Since you generally are eating less, or at least in smaller portions, you are not getting the same amount of carbs and calories required for optimal performance. On top of the calorie deficit, during a cut, usually cardio plays a large roll, and depending on the intensity of the cardio, it can be very taxing on the CNS, which leads to constant fatigue and over training.

Do You Usually Cut For The Summer?

I personally tend to gain fat quicker than the average person; therefore I always try my best to do my part to keep fat gain down all year. As summer nears I always go ahead with a full-blown cut in order to look my best for summer. This year I started my cut towards the end of March since I had extra work this year.

My winter training resulted in a larger amount of fat gain after being sidelined with a broken ankle, so I decided to start my cut early and get back to where I need to be. The timing that one starts to cut should be decided by personal goals and where they want to be in comparison to where they are.

3rd Place - gigolojo

Hey guys I'm no expert, but this is what helped me get from 189lb at over 25% body fat to a solid 159lbs so far at around 10.5% +/- 0.5% in 4 months. This is not great by any means but I made some pretty foolish mistakes which I have learned to rectify.

Furthermore, over the course of this workout I have gained strength and even look a bit bigger in some body parts. Please remember to push yourself to the max in each workout and try to have a spotter to help you get the required reps even with an increase in weight.

Well for the first 8 weeks you need to train a minimum of 3 times a week. Ideally you should do 4. Remember to use proper form and intensity; make sure you have a spotter on hand to help you get the extra reps. Make sure you rest around 45 seconds between each set. Each workout should last around 50 minutes, to give optimal hormone surges. For abdominal exercises you can change the Friday session once every 2 weeks to a grueling abs session. This abs session will be posted at the end.

Monday: Back And Triceps

Wednesday: Chest And Biceps

On all chest exercises alternate between Dumbbells and Bars. For the first 6 weeks use bars then go to dumbbells.

Friday: Biceps And Triceps

(This is the extra day that you can choose to dismiss)

Sunday: Legs, Traps, Shoulders

Well done! 8 weeks are over now you only have 4-8 more to go depending on how shredded you want to get. So this time you want switch about your rest times to around 2 minutes (120 seconds) and your reps to 4-6, with 2 sets per exercise, and make sure above all you go as HEAVY as you possibly can for at least 4 reps on each exercise.

Remember to use strict form as well. Each workout should last around 50 minutes again for optimal hormone surges. Remember also to warm up each body part once and only once to get the blood flowing so that maximum effort and weight can be applied.

So here are the last few weeks.

Monday: Back And Triceps

Wednesday: Chest And Biceps

On all chest exercises alternate between Dumbbells and Bars. For the first 4 weeks use bars then go to dumbbells.

Friday: Biceps And Triceps

(This is the extra day that you can choose to dismiss) This can also be swapped for the abdominal session below.

Sunday: Legs, Traps, Shoulders

Abdominal Exercise

This can be performed on Fridays, instead of Biceps and Triceps.

Cardio:

Try to keep it as low as possible and only do it on non-workout days, preferably in the evening to speed up the slow afternoon metabolism.

Diet:

Keep it clean with lots of protein, good fats and complex carbs. Make sure every week you assess your progress and decrease your daily calories by around 100 each day. This process is steady and slow. But it works.

What Kind Of Results Can One Expect From This Type Of Workout?

During this workout you can expect to lose fat and gain strength. With the correct calorie intake you can even slightly increase the visual size of your muscles. You will also increase definition.

Make sure you log all lifts so that you can try to improve each week, remember every workout must be treated with full intensity especially after the first 8 weeks.

Do You Usually Cut For The Summer?

It is coming up to the end of my 1st year of bodybuilding in September (I really only properly started in January) so I think I'll bulk now until next summer with good clean weight then cut.

Hope this helps.