My cutting phase is only 1.5 weeks deep, but things are going well out of the gates.
The diet is a breeze, but it always is for the first half of a cut phase. I don't have a "blessed" metabolism, but I have learned how to manipulate it over the years, and I have gotten quite good at it. The initial diet change was only a small drop of roughly 250 calories—18g of protein, 18g of fat and some carbs. Most people wouldn't see or feel much progress with such a small change. However, the change has yielded exactly what I anticipated: small body fat reduction, slightly increase in hunger, and strength is unphased.
Training has remained the same. To echo Dante's sentiments (from DC Training), "Dance with the one that brought ya." This basically means that you train while cutting, the way you trained while gaining. I anticipate being able to continue to progress in strength until I get roughly about halfway through the cut phase. The strength gains slow considerably as I near the 210 mark. With my lower volume of training this year compared to years past, it is quite possible that my strength gains will continue deeper into this cut phase.
My training schedule remains at 4 days per week:
Monday: Legs (quads/hams/calves)
Thursday: Back/rear delts/traps
This is not likely to change for the duration of the cut cycle. I have tried so many different schedules that I always come back to this one because it works so well for me.
Legs are usually trained on Thursdays but with my knee injury last year, my quads are a top priority, so I need to train them fresh off of Sunday skiploads.
I have already hit my baseline weight of 220 this week and it's only Wednesday (mid-week). Every cut phase is different in that though I usually baseline mid-week, I have done cut phases where I might not baseline until Fridays or Saturdays. The cool thing (and something I can't explain) is that the pattern for what time of the week I baseline is usually set after the first month of the cut phase. It is still early but it appears that it might remain mid-week when I baseline for this cut phase.
I am not going to do any cardio for this cut phase. I successfully got to the point where I was 5 weeks out in 2020, and I did not do any cardio. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to use the same approach this time, as well. I will, however, increase NEAT with nightly walks in the next month or two. I don't count these walks as cardio because they are simply walks that I do not set an HR target, and I don't keep any scripted pace. I use these walks to decompress and to increase activity above sitting at my computer, typing.
I cannot detail supplementation in this log but suffice it to say that my protocol is typical. I am doing nothing out of the ordinary—or magical— and no one would consider my protocol to be over-the-top.
My end goal is to be roughly 200 pounds and in my best condition ever. I concede that when I say "condition" I mean strictly body fat. I will not have the size on my legs that I have had in the past, strictly due to injuries over the last two years. This does not mean that I won't do everything in my power to have my legs looking the best they can possibly look, though. I anticipate my upper body to be every bit as good as it was in 2020 and, if possible, I could be even slightly better. However, I do not do what most people do and claim my "best condition ever" if that is not the case. We can all relate to seeing people post on social media about their "best condition ever" and we all know it isn't. I will be honest about how things are going, and I will be honest with the outcome.
Feel free to ask me questions if you are curious as to specifics of what I am doing with nutrition, training, etc.
For the best knee sleeves in the industry, click the link below: