What I’m about to tell you will guarantee that you never lose muscle again when cutting.
Most people out there are losing hard-earned muscle when trying to get shredded – and there’s 3 major mistakes they are making.
So if you want to get ripped and still look great at the end of it (not emaciated) this is for you!
(1) CALORIE TAPERING WORKS BEST
There are disastrous consequences when you reduce your calories by too much and too quickly. It does work – but only for a little while.
The human body is simply not going to let you get away with creating a huge calorie deficit for any length of time. At the beginning, it will tap into its fat reserves for energy, but after a week or 2, it will begin to reduce the rate at which it burns calories (called your metabolic rate). This is to ensure that you don’t use all your fat and…die.
Here’s a video I made to illustrate this (pardon my handwriting – I write like a doctor 😉 )
The gap between calories burned and calorie intake is the amount of body fat you burn to make up the difference. But when you cut too much too fast, your metabolic rate will reduce to meet that caloric intake, meaning there is little or no gap to speak of i.e. you didn’t burn any fat.
This is what happens to those people who starve themselves and hop on the scales at the end of the week and see they’ve lost no weight. They’ve been hungry, miserable, low in energy, and it was all for nothing.
To prevent a slowing metabolism, you must taper you calories down slowly over time.
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(2) NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN = MUSCLE LOSS
If you don’t get enough protein while cutting, you WILL lose muscle. And that’s a disaster.
Pay attention to this study , which proves my point. Then I’ll tell you how much protein you need.
Researchers with the Military Nutrition Division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine tested varying levels of protein and its effects on sparing muscle tissue while on a calorie-reduced diet.
The participants were split into 3 groups. All 3 groups were placed on the same number of total calories. The only difference was protein intake.
(1) One group consumed the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
(2) One group consumed twice the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
(3) One group consumed three times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein
These researchers found that dieters on a weight-loss program including diet and exercise can prevent muscle loss by increasing their protein consumption to twice the recommended daily allowance.
“Our data demonstrate a potential inadequacy of the current RDA for sparing muscle mass during weight loss”.
The group receiving twice the recommended daily allowance showed the best muscle retention. Further muscle retention was not demonstrated in the group who received three times the RDA.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN TO TAKE WHILE CUTTING
While different countries may recommend slightly different values, generally the RDA for protein is:
- 55g per day for men
- 45g per day for women
These are the UK figures. I have no doubt all of my readers are getting much more than this. We are athletes. We are constantly tearing up and repairing our muscle tissue so we need more.
Generally speaking, we need 1g per pound of body weight to build muscle.
A bodybuilder weighing 165lbs will therefore be taking 3 times the RDA (55 x 3 = 165). This is a good level for him/her. And he can feel confident that he won’t lose muscle as he shreds body fat.
A Natural Society article on this study stated:
“First, dieters who take on a weight loss regimen often focus their efforts on reducing fat rather than reducing sugars and processed carbohydrates. For them, carb intake goes up while trying to reduce calories. This creates a subsequent increase in blood sugar which can spell dieting failure.”
I would whole-heartedly echo this. Do not go on a very low fat, high-carb diet when cutting.
The high-carb intake means chronically high insulin levels, which makes it much harder for your body to release its stored body fat for energy. Since it can’t tap into this energy source readily, it adapts by lowering its metabolic rate, which produces low energy states, fatigue and…you won’t lose much (if any) fat.
(3) TOO MUCH CARDIO = MUSCLE LOSS
To understand this, you first need to understand the way in which the body builds muscle.
A bodybuilding workout does NOT build muscle, it just STIMULATES the body’s own growth machinery into action. So once you’ve stimulated growth with a high-intensity workout, a 2 step process begins:
- Recovery (compensation)
- Growth (overcompensation)
Your body will not build even a gram of new muscle tissue until it fully recovers that which was lost during the workout.
This is important: Only once the recovery process has completed can your body then OVERcompensate.
Simple logic would dictate that anything that makes the recovery process longer is not good if your goal is to increase the total mass of muscle on your body.
The shorter the recovery, the quicker you get into ‘growth mode.’
Some may think that only further weightlifting (and especially working the SAME muscle group) will eat into recovery, but that’s where another popular misconception lies.
As Dr. Doug McGuff puts it in his great book ‘Body By Science‘,“Mechanical work is mechanical work”. Read the next sentence…
Cardio is mechanical work by the muscles.
Since ANY mechanical work (of at least moderate intensity or higher) beyond that which is required to stimulate growth eats further and further into recovery and therefore prevents overcompensation from occuring, cardio can be a bad idea from the perspective of man or a woman on a cutting phase.
Basically – any extra work, cardio or otherwise (since it is ALL mechanical work), actually prevents you from building mass at the rate and speed that would be possible for you if you would just rest and let your body do what it does all by itself.
This scenario is amplified when cutting. Why? Being in a calorie-deficit itself already slows the recovery/growth process. Adding on extra cardio just exacerbates the problem. You’ll find it damn-near impossible to build muscle and make it likely that you’ll even lose some.Too much cardio when cutting can cause muscle loss. Click here to see why Click To Tweet
Yes you can do cardio when cutting, but only a little HIIT is required (actually it’s optional – I personally do zero cardio). But don’t do it from week 1. Start your cardio after you’ve already been cutting for a few weeks. Start with 1 or 2 x 10 minute sessions. Over time, take that up to 3 x 20min HIIT sessions per week. No more is required, and would probably only have negative effects (in terms of muscle mass).
For a program that already takes into account the best protein intake levels for cutting, calorie tapering, AND the perfect balance of carbohydrates and fats, all within the context of a caloric deficit diet, you don’t need to look any further than my Total Six Pack Abs program.
For less than a tub of protein, you can have my full cutting strategy and get the same results as these guys. Even better, I’m so confident if the results that I offer a full 8-week money-back guarantee, so there is absolutely no financial risk on your part. You either succeed, or you get your money back with no questions asked.
Instead of losing your hard-earned muscle tissue and looking like someone who has been malnourished for a few months.
How about looking like Al Siebert did at the end of his cut? See his pics below…
Or perhaps, Lisandra Benitez who said, “Thanks for sharing your knowledge and method with the rest of us, it has changed my way of life to a better and hotter than hell one!!”
Bottom line is: Yes a caloric deficit is necessary for getting ripped. But do not make the mistake of reducing your calories too fast, not getting enough protein, or doing way too much cardio.
If you have any questions, just ask me below 🙂