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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nearing the end of my cut now and my strength has expectedly been slashed, but sadly to almost pre-bulk levels on certain exercises (e.g. bench has dropped from 122.5kg for 5, to 100kg for 5). Yes I was impatient and went against the advice to slowly reduce calories.

My reasoning at the time was that even if I lose my strength I will have banked the myonuclei at the peak of my bulk and the muscle memory will gain it all back in a couple weeks when I increase my calories. I am now concerned that this won't happen and that you do need to slowly reduce calories, otherwise you won't 'bank' the muscle and the climb back to the top will be just as hard as it was the first time.

I will also note that even if I was correct and the muscle comes back very quickly (potentially making it a more efficient way to reach a certain goal physique), I will not be taking this approach again. The mental stress of watching your lifts get annihilated and every muscle deflate so rapidly is horrendous. I would much rather make less efficient progress, but feel confident in my appearance the entire journey.
 

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I would have definitely done the slow and steady approach. 1lb of weight loss a week max.

Losing strength, especially that much is a clear sign of muscle loss. On a cut you wanna fight to keep your strength, hell you can still gain strength if you do a nice slow and steady cut.

Are you natural? @sted_ed
 

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Nearing the end of my cut now and my strength has expectedly been slashed, but sadly to almost pre-bulk levels on certain exercises (e.g. bench has dropped from 122.5kg for 5, to 100kg for 5). Yes I was impatient and went against the advice to slowly reduce calories.

My reasoning at the time was that even if I lose my strength I will have banked the myonuclei at the peak of my bulk and the muscle memory will gain it all back in a couple weeks when I increase my calories. I am now concerned that this won't happen and that you do need to slowly reduce calories, otherwise you won't 'bank' the muscle and the climb back to the top will be just as hard as it was the first time.

I will also note that even if I was correct and the muscle comes back very quickly (potentially making it a more efficient way to reach a certain goal physique), I will not be taking this approach again. The mental stress of watching your lifts get annihilated and every muscle deflate so rapidly is horrendous. I would much rather make less efficient progress, but feel confident in my appearance the entire journey.
Ive done the same thing before. I'm sure many of us have been guilty of rushing the cut. Don't beat yourself up too much about it.

Just use as a learning experience.

I'm currently in a slow cut myself, and feel quite impatient sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would have definitely done the slow and steady approach. 1lb of weight loss a week max.

Losing strength, especially that much is a clear sign of muscle loss. On a cut you wanna fight to keep your strength, hell you can still gain strength if you do a nice slow and steady cut.

Are you natural? @sted_ed
Definitely will be doing the same in all future cuts.

Done 1 test cycle (during lockdown and only having access to a homemade bench and lightweight dbs) and currently cruising. Looking to transition into a blast again at the end of this week.

Do you think while the severe cut has lost more strength and muscle than usual, that the muscle memory will bring it back all the same? Or has your experience with aggressive cuts been that the muscle is lost for good and to get it back is just as hard as the first time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited by Moderator)
Ive done the same thing before. I'm sure many of us have been guilty of rushing the cut. Don't beat yourself up too much about it.

Just use as a learning experience.

I'm currently in a slow cut myself, and feel quite impatient sometimes.
Cheers mate, definitely something you learn to never do again.

Since you have experience with aggressive cuts, how did you find the phase after completing the cut and transitioning into maintenance/bulk? I still have hope in the back of my mind that it'll all work out and even just eating at maintenance 90% of my strength will come back, but I'd rather put myself out of my misery now if that is not likely to happen. Specifically, what was the timescale for your strength/muscle to bounce back and did it fully recover easily, or did the latter stages of it feel as hard as when you built it the first time?

If you're feeling impatient, hopefully I serve to keep you on track, cus I feel like s**t at the minute mate :lol:
 

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Definitely will be doing the same in all future cuts.

Done 1 test cycle (during lockdown and only having access to a homemade bench and lightweight dbs) and currently cruising. Looking to transition into a blast again at the end of this week.

Do you think while the severe cut has lost more strength and muscle than usual, that the muscle memory will bring it back all the same? Or has your experience with aggressive cuts been that the muscle is lost for good and to get it back is just as hard as the first time?
I've never done a proper cut in general mate. More so for the fear of losing strength and size haha.

As you're not natural you don't really need to worry. I thought that you were natural and so this would be a bigger deal yes, but as you're not, just use this as a learning experience. Remember that muscle gain takes a while and takes time and hard work from your part. All fat loss is is a calorie deficit.

How aggressive was the deficit you did and how long for?

Also if you bulk and do aggressive cuts over and over, you'll be spinning your wheels. I'd say after a bulk, eat at maintenance for at least 6 weeks so your body gets used to the new muscle, this will make it easier to hold onto it. Then do a slow cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've never done a proper cut in general mate. More so for the fear of losing strength and size haha.

As you're not natural you don't really need to worry. I thought that you were natural and so this would be a bigger deal yes, but as you're not, just use this as a learning experience. Remember that muscle gain takes a while and takes time and hard work from your part. All fat loss is is a calorie deficit.

How aggressive was the deficit you did and how long for?

Also if you bulk and do aggressive cuts over and over, you'll be spinning your wheels. I'd say after a bulk, eat at maintenance for at least 6 weeks so your body gets used to the new muscle, this will make it easier to hold onto it. Then do a slow cut.
1000+ cal deficit (even at the tail end of my cut I'm losing 2+ lbs per week). Pretty stupid lol

"I'd say after a bulk, eat at maintenance for at least 6 weeks so your body gets used to the new muscle, this will make it easier to hold onto it. Then do a slow cut. " This is exactly the reasoning I questioned and is why I chose to go straight from a bulk to a cut, so I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it.

My reasoning was that if you bulk for say 4 months and now have a desire to cut. You could eat at maintenance for 1 month to let your body get used to the new muscle as you say, or you could just use the maintenance month as another month of bulking. My thinking was that the month of bulking would 'solidify' the muscle just as much (if not slightly better) than the month of maintenance, as well as likely accruing new muscle tissue. Essentially, thinking that you should not bother with a maintenance phase and go straight into a cut, because any maintenance phase would have been better utilised just continuing to bulk.

Any thoughts on that? I understand that many people on this forum will have much greater experience than me, so that's why I would appreciate your insight.
 

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1000+ cal deficit (even at the tail end of my cut I'm losing 2+ lbs per week). Pretty stupid lol

"I'd say after a bulk, eat at maintenance for at least 6 weeks so your body gets used to the new muscle, this will make it easier to hold onto it. Then do a slow cut. " This is exactly the reasoning I questioned and is why I chose to go straight from a bulk to a cut, so I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on it.

My reasoning was that if you bulk for say 4 months and now have a desire to cut. You could eat at maintenance for 1 month to let your body get used to the new muscle as you say, or you could just use the maintenance month as another month of bulking. My thinking was that the month of bulking would 'solidify' the muscle just as much (if not slightly better) than the month of maintenance, as well as likely accruing new muscle tissue. Essentially, thinking that you should not bother with a maintenance phase and go straight into a cut, because any maintenance phase would have been better utilised just continuing to bulk.

Any thoughts on that? I understand that many people on this forum will have much greater experience than me, so that's why I would appreciate your insight.
So you're saying after a bulk, instead of then doing a maintenance phase, do another bulk instead?

Bulking means a calorie surplus, thus meaning more fat gain wether it minimal fat gain or large fat gain. Maintenance means maintaining your weight. No fat gain. So they're different.

I don't agree with this. Say you bulked and hit 122.5kg for 5 like you did. You could of maintained calories for 6 weeks and easily have gotten stronger. 125kg, 130kg etc. Instead you dieted hardcore and lost 22.5kg. Chest would have lost size for sure.

Lean Bulk ---> Maintain ---> Slow cut ----> Lean Bulk (repeat)

Lean bulk is 200-300 calories over maintenance. This means the cut will only have to be 8 weeks slow and steady. Max 500 calorie deficit a day. MAX. If you blast gear hardcore then yeah you could do an extreme deficit. But why suffer doing extremely low calories for some abs?

:)
 

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The worse thing you can do is go straight into a cut from a bulking phase. You really want your body to maintain that muscle as said above in a maintenance phase, before contemplating a cut.

Your just yo yoing going back to where you began. You need to be more patient and hold onto new gains as long as possible.
 

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Cheers mate, definitely something you learn to never do again.

Since you have experience with aggressive cuts, how did you find the phase after completing the cut and transitioning into maintenance/bulk? I still have hope in the back of my mind that it'll all work out and even just eating at maintenance 90% of my strength will come back, but I'd rather put myself out of my misery now if that is not likely to happen. Specifically, what was the timescale for your strength/muscle to bounce back and did it fully recover easily, or did the latter stages of it feel as hard as when you built it the first time?

If you're feeling impatient, hopefully I serve to keep you on track, cus I feel like s**t at the minute mate :lol:
"If you've had it before, you'll get it back quicker" has always been true for me.

I did a foolishly aggressive cut last year, loads of cardio, hardly any lifting, only eating about 1900 cals a day. Lost a load of weight, and LOADS of muscle. The plus side is I got really good at running LOL

But when the gyms opened back up and I went straight back to bulking, I was back at full strength in about 7 weeks.

That's my personal experience.

Try not to stress too much. Stress releases cortisol which will make you lose even more muscle.

No pressure LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"If you've had it before, you'll get it back quicker" has always been true for me.

I did a foolishly aggressive cut last year, loads of cardio, hardly any lifting, only eating about 1900 cals a day. Lost a load of weight, and LOADS of muscle. The plus side is I got really good at running LOL

But when the gyms opened back up and I went straight back to bulking, I was back at full strength in about 7 weeks.

That's my personal experience.

Try not to stress too much. Stress releases cortisol which will make you lose even more muscle.

No pressure LOL
Appreciate it mate, only way to go is back up :thumbup1:
 
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