Bodybuilding is more than just building your muscles, it is also about losing fat. After all, how are you going to see all of your hard work without losing the fat that is obscuring it. Bodybuilding is about both losing weight and gaining weight. If you just want to gain strength and are ok looking like a 6 foot teddy bear, then you are really a power lifter. If that’s the case, go get a bucket of chicken and stop reading this article. If you want to lose the teddy bear gut however, keep reading.
The first thing that you need to do to lose weight is dump all the myths and bro-science. The biggest thing that will hold you back is the belief in starvation mode. It used to go around that if you cut too much, your body would enter starvation mode and it would burn up your muscles instead of the fat. This makes no sense. The human race has not survived as long as it has because the body was stupid enough to burn off the muscle it needs instead of fat. If your body had the choice, why would it skip the easily accessible fat in favor of the muscle it needs to hunt and gather? It wouldn’t, starvation mode does not exist.
The only thing that you need to remember when cutting is to keep your calories below maintenance while making sure to get adequate protein and fat. Fat is critical because your body needs it to make testosterone. In fact, I believe the only reason people lose strength on a cut is because they let their nutrition lapse to the point where the body can not produce enough testosterone and your levels dip. Testosterone not only helps you build muscle but also maintain it. The higher your testosterone level is, the easier it is for your body to maintain muscle mass. So, make sure that you get a suitable amount of protein, sufficient fat and the vitamins you need. Do that and you can do a pretty drastic caloric deficit and still lose weight.
Now that you have that in mind, figure out how much protein you need. You do not need drastic amounts to maintain or even build muscle. I am beginning my cut soon at a starting weight of 200 pounds. My lean mass is somewhere between 160 and 170 pounds with much of that being bone and fluids. 150 grams of protein is sufficient for me to maintain mass and even gain a little. That is 600 calories. My maintenance calorie count is about 3000 calories and I will cut at 1500 calories a day. That gives me 600 calories for protein and I will split the remaining calories evenly between fat and calories. Couple that with a good multi vitamin and I am good to go.
1500 calories sounds low, I know but it works. I get the protein and fat that I need and I maintain intensity at the gym. That is the second area where people can lose their muscle gains, lack of intensity. When on a cut, I do not do cardio much at all and I take it slower on the weights. This means about five minutes between sets. This gives you time to regain your strength between sets so that you get something done.
Hopefully this article makes sense to you. Basically, you need to know that your body is not dumb, It wants to maintain the muscle and lose the fat. You just need to give it what it needs and keep at your workout. Do that, make the cut in calories and you to can lose 3 pounds a week on a cut.