I have anxiously awaited this for a while now. In less than 2 weeks, I will finally get to start a cut cycle after being back to what I consider to be my "100%". No, my legs are certainly not 100% in reference to the size I had prior to my injuries that started in 2020. However, my knee is now to the point where I have been able to train legs consistently and hard enough to be able to get size back. Ideally, I would go into a longer off season, get the size back, and then cut. Bitch is, I will be 52 in less than a month, and I don't want to take an entire year of holding water, choking down large amounts of food, increasing BP, farting and shitting all of the time, etc. The alternative plan is that I will go into this cut making every attempt to get as much size back while cutting.
The reason I feel I can get some size back while cutting is because I haven't been able to train legs hard for quite some time. They should respond favorably from not being worked hard for quite a while. Simply increasing strength and intensity over time will allow some of that size to return before my caloric intake gets a lot lower. I anticipate putting most of the added size in the first 6-8 weeks. After that, gains will be more limited. This may not be the way you would go about doing it, but it is the way I have decided to go about doing it.
I have already started running ethanol instead of 87 octane as of about 2 weeks ago. The plan was and is to start running ethanol through the engine for about 4 weeks and then start cutting. During these 4 weeks, I am not changing my diet, at all. I prefer to keep variables constant whenever possible so that I can better evaluate the impact of one variable at a time. Plus, I've kinda been doing this for a long time, so I know what to expect. So far, everything is happening as anticipated.
The training is going to remain blasting for 2 weeks and cruising for 1. I have received a lot of questions about this after starting it roughly 14 weeks ago. The results have been better than I had expected. I honestly thought I would get sick of it very quickly and start to drag the blasting phase out longer, but I have stuck with it. My joints feel great; it is probably helping my knee, as well; and I continued to increase strength for the entire 14 weeks. I have no reason to think that this approach won't continue to yield great results now that recovery is going to be better from running the higher octane fuel. Remember, when calories are reduced, recovery can be compromised. By staying relatively low volume and only blasting for 2 weeks at a time, I believe this is going to help recovery immensely as I get deeper into the cut phase.
This cut phase is going to be a more aggressive cut phase than I have done before. It is not a contest prep because I have no delusions of wanting to compete with sub-par legs after not being able to train legs at 100% for almost 2 years. If I'm going to take an ass whooping, I would prefer to do it with no excuses. 🙂 This cut phase is simply to see how lean I can get and how quickly I can get there. I do not want to sacrifice any muscle, but I also don't want to drag it out for 20 weeks, either, if I can't have to. Our daughter will be having her baby in early June, so this would be a nice time to aim for this goal. Still, I have no black-and-white goal; I am just noting this June date as a possible target to shoot for.
The cool thing about this cut phase will be that if I have family or a client come into town, I can take a few days and not worry about having to train if I don't want to. There is no deadline, so if I decide to lose a couple days, sobeit. Anyone who knows me, knows I will be treating it as a prep, otherwise. My brain is either locked in 100% or not at all. I don't do in-between very well.
The goal? I'm not really sure. I am shooting for at least 200, but it will be more about the look than the weight. If I don't like the look at 200 and don't think I'm lean enough, I will go to 190 if I have to get the look I am after.
One of the main things I am focusing on for this cut phase is my midsection. I want it as small as I can possibly get it. This is why I have been so focused on ab and oblique training—more than I have in years. In fact, probably more focused on it than I ever was when I competed. One of the shitty things about getting older is the midsection just is not as small anymore, no matter how lean you might get by bodybuilding standards. I want to prove to myself that I can still make huge changes in what is probably the most challenging area of an older bodybuilder's physique. I want my waist so small that people say, "you might want to try on a pair of board shorts." Just kidding. Or am I? My legs would certainly fit into board shorts. If everything goes to plan, my abs would look great in board shorts, too.
I could be the first guy to write for EliteFTS as a men's physique competitor. Nah, you have to be good looking to be a men's physique guy. I better stick with bodybuilding.
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