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Why you should NEVER cut !!!

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Frankie NY
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2004/02/21 17:34:17 (permalink)
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Why you should NEVER cut !!!

How many posts have we read like this in the past few months: "I've been doing Tony Stark's, Big Al's, Frankie's, etc. mass routine for the past 3 months. I've gained a lot of size and now I want to go on a cutting cycle. I know I might lose size, but I really want to peel back the fat I've gained to see my muscle gains."

There's a big difference between cutting and wanting to lose a few pounds.

Cutting means reducing body fat and maintaining maximum muscle mass in preparation for a bodybuilding contest. Successful cutting is very complicated and is probably the first or second reason why you may win or lose a contest. No matter how much mass you add, now matter how much you've brought up your weak points, no matter how symmetrical you are, if you don't cut properly, you'll lose. Cutting involves reducing calories, adjusting your workout, increasing cardio, and as you get closer to contest time, reducing carbohydrates and reducing your water levels through various techniques. It takes most bodybuilders a few seasons to understanding how their body responds to these different elements to optimize them. It's somewhat of a trial and error process.

Wanting to lose a few pounds of excess fat is exactly that. All this requires is slightly increasing cardio or slightly decreasing calories over time. Reducing by just 200 calories per day over a period of time will gradually take off excess fat without losing muscle mass in my experience.

Why you should never cut.

You should never cut unless you're preparing for a bodybuilding contest, a movie, or some other endeavor where you need to quickly reduce your body fat level. For those of you who have been on a mass routine for 3 or 6 months, what exactly are you going to show when you cut? That massive amount of 5 pound pounds of muscle you've added? That extra ¼ inch on your biceps? If I read another post from someone who's been training for a year, who's 5'10" 150 pounds, and who wants advice on cutting, I'm going to need to check into a mental hospital because I'll lose it.

You should not cut without professional advice. Most people that cut without professional help lose all the muscle mass they've worked so hard to gain.

How long should I go before I cut?

I've trained guys who want to become bodybuilders who have not "cut" for 5 years. Obviously, they are in their first few years of training and are trying to gain as much mass as possible. I would not cut until you are preparing for your first contest. Cutting before then is just plain stupid.

Don't cut for the wrong reasons.

Maybe I'm still old school but cutting to get ready for summer or to get those 6 pack abs has always seemed silly to me. Most women I know want a man that can protect them, physically and economically. 6 pack abs don't convey either of these two signals.
#1

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    pugboysi
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 17:43:59 (permalink)
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    good post, i think i may have cutting and generally losing a bit of bodyfat here and there mixed up
    #2
    GTM
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 18:25:05 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Frankie NY

    Maybe I'm still old school but cutting to get ready for summer or to get those 6 pack abs has always seemed silly to me. Most women I know want a man that can protect them, physically and economically. 6 pack abs don't convey either of these two signals.



    If you are, then I must have attended the same school !

    It doesn't suprise me that all the young bucks are so worried about having a six pack. As teenage girls have been brainwashed in to thinking that's what makes a guys body sexy. Seeing as teenage girls are who they are trying to impress, this mentality is quite logical . But, all the WOMEN I know would much rather have the qualities you talk of in a man.. oh and a good set of shoulders and a strong chest. IME.

    Thing is franky.. you've got to remember. A quarter of an inch on a 12" bicep is a big deal !! Especially as that's what passes for muscley for your average high school joe.

    GTM
    #3
    Frankie NY
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 18:30:03 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by GTM

    Thing is franky.. you've got to remember. A quarter of an inch on a 12" bicep is a big deal !! Especially as that's what passes for muscley for your average high school joe.


    A 1/4" gain on the arm IS a big deal. I would kill to be able to gain 1/4" on my arms now. And for someone with 12" arms, 1/4" gain is a lot. But to anyone who looks at your arms, they won't even notice a 1/4". So what's the point of cutting and losing muscle mass only to reveal another 1/4"? None.
    #4
    GTM
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 18:56:52 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Frankie NY

    quote:
    Originally posted by GTM

    Thing is franky.. you've got to remember. A quarter of an inch on a 12" bicep is a big deal !! Especially as that's what passes for muscley for your average high school joe.


    A 1/4" gain on the arm IS a big deal. I would kill to be able to gain 1/4" on my arms now. And for someone with 12" arms, 1/4" gain is a lot. But to anyone who looks at your arms, they won't even notice a 1/4". So what's the point of cutting and losing muscle mass only to reveal another 1/4"? None.



    Franky,

    I think you misunderstood my point. I meant to say that for someone with a 12" bicep an extra 1/4 " is a big deal. However, just like you say, only to them, as no one else is likely to notice even on a 12" arm.. let alone a 16-18" one.

    Basically, I'm agreeing with you !

    GTM
    #5
    CHTHONIC
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 19:07:15 (permalink)
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    Gotta agree with franky or he'll bite your head off GTM!!!
    #6
    Wormdoggy
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/21 20:31:51 (permalink)
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    Frankie, simply put in layman terms, are you saying to always push and strive for heavier weights to gain muscle mass and reduce your caloric intake slightly to remove excess fat?

    I think most of the guys, when they say they are trying to cut, really mean trying to shed additional fat loss at the expense of perhaps loosing muscle tone.

    Thanks for your post
    #7
    J Dawg
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 02:01:13 (permalink)
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    Great post Frankie
    #8
    Knighty
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 07:22:00 (permalink)
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    Franky - this is what I'm always saying to people...As bodybuilders, they should look to build thier body through muscle and strength, not take this silly 2 steps forward, 1.5 steps back approach!

    Another great post!
    #9
    dirtyvest
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 11:04:53 (permalink)
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    Well I'm cutting up! Altho the points are fair enough I have a problem with other people defining and stating what other people's goals should be, that could just be the tone I read into the post. I have more BF than I want/need so will lose it (I doubt I will lose any muscle mass TBH as I'm not getting super ripped, done it b4 and got stronger) and then focus on lean gains.

    Dirty
    #10
    Knighty
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 11:08:13 (permalink)
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    DV - you're aiming to lose a few lbs...Franky is defining the difference between trimming down, and cutting up.
    #11
    GymCatt
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 11:13:44 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Knighty

    Franky - this is what I'm always saying to people...As bodybuilders, they should look to build thier body through muscle and strength, not take this silly 2 steps forward, 1.5 steps back approach!

    Another great post!

    ## Made this mistake last year why i wanted 5% bf is beyond me now! Agree with franky unless your gonna compete whats it matter,
    #12
    symzie
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 11:22:01 (permalink)
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    Maybe we're not all intending to compete, I just want to get bigger and stronger but I don't want to turn into an unhealthy fat bastard doing it. Being fit and healthy will always be priority for me. I'm on a permanent lean bulk
    #13
    dirtyvest
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 11:30:20 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by Knighty

    DV - you're aiming to lose a few lbs...Franky is defining the difference between trimming down, and cutting up.



    Possibly, as I wrote, I had read my own 'tone' into it. But I think most ppl here when they say cutting aren't talking about getting to 3%BF either. There is even a reference to the reason of getting abs out for summer.
    quote:
    Maybe I'm still old school but cutting to get ready for summer or to get those 6 pack abs has always seemed silly to me
    which is basically the kind of level I'm looking for. I don't see what's wrong with that!

    Contest ripped is not healthy so I can't see that being many ppls day to day goal. But looking lean, looking something like you are a BBer not just a big lump who trains is important to some.... and IMHO that's what many mean when they say they are cutting up, no???
    #14
    GTM
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 15:51:13 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by symzie

    Maybe we're not all intending to compete, I just want to get bigger and stronger but I don't want to turn into an unhealthy fat bastard doing it. Being fit and healthy will always be priority for me. I'm on a permanent lean bulk



    An extra 10% of fat from 10% to 20% BF is not going to make you unhealthy, at lest not in the sense that you mean. You may run a slightly (and I stress the term slightly) higher risk of heart attacks etc, but nothing significant if you take exersize and otherwise lead a healthy lifestyle. Like DV says.. being in competition condition is NOT healthy. From what I've read/heard 12% give or take a % is the optimum BF% for health, medically speaking. At least that's what I've been led to believe by various doctors/nutritionists I've seen in the media. Most men won't have a 6 pack at that level of BF%, at least nothing like the cut/ripped look that the media is trying to brainwash into believing is what we should all aspire to.

    GTM
    #15
    Robert
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 16:01:50 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Most women I know want a man that can protect them, physically and economically


    few and far between over this side mate. and mens sodding helth/FHM/cosmo do nothing to reverse this.

    that said, i could not imagine life as a bloater.
    rob
    #16
    symzie
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 16:35:38 (permalink)
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    GTM I think an extra 20% bodyfat would be quite unhealthy and I would be very disappointed if that's what I ended up with after working my socks off at the gym, completely agree with you on the rest of your post though about media images etc
    #17
    GoldenArrow
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 17:04:54 (permalink)
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    an extra 10% not 20...I agree it wouldn't be *that* unhealthy, but will make you look just 'big' not like you have muscles, will also hinder cardio etc...IMO you're best off without it!
    #18
    BrizoH
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 17:42:25 (permalink)
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    quote:
    Originally posted by dirtyvest

    Contest ripped is not healthy so I can't see that being many ppls day to day goal. But looking lean, looking something like you are a BBer not just a big lump who trains is important to some.... and IMHO that's what many mean when they say they are cutting up, no???



    Totally agree with this.
    #19
    shreklikedave
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    RE: Why you should NEVER cut !!! 2004/02/22 21:13:57 (permalink)
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    Cutting simply means losoing body fat, the degree to which you cut is the issue here IMO

    For the summer i will get down to about 8%, not contest condition but i'll be 15-15 1/2 stones and looking good!

    Plus three months of 'cutting' helps keep my body fat in check, it never gets to the level where my abs have disapeared completely.

    Now the argument about a 150lb person showing off their abs is a valid one, they will have very little muscle and to try and lose body fat at that weight is ridiculous. However a 200lb person with abs starts to become something to look at as they are relatively few and far between (maybe not on this board but in real life).

    Plus at the end of the day if, for example, i increase my mass over the nine moneths i bulk and simple maintain that mass over the cutting period i am happy.

    I strive to lift heavier each session simple to keep my muscle but if my strngth does drop a couple of pounds so what? I'll get it back and more after i have cut and at the end of the day people outside the gym look at you and think 'he looks good/ big' or whatever. They dont look and think 'i bet he could squat200k/ bench 140 etc)

    I might be vain but i dont care, i train to look good and that means low body fat when walking around half naked!
    #20
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