How to build muscle while cutting/dieting
Updated: Apr 2
Today I am going to share with you my 6 tips to avoid losing muscle or even building muscle while cutting or dieting. All you will be interested in losing fat to get lean for summer or vacation, photoshoot, competition or whatever. A lot of you may thing that you're gonna be losing muscle, you need to use drugs or else you'll loose muscle...it really isn't the case. You can get ripped 100% natural. There are just some important things to consider to do to acheive this.
So, in no particular order here are 6 quick tips:
1) Train the same whey you did when you were not dieting.
A lot of people think that if they're going in a cutting plan they need to change how they train, rest only 15-30 seconds, go for 20 reps per set, add more sets etc. It is just wrong. It's the dumbest thing you cand do ever.If you are going to do that you will just lose muscle. Lifting weights is ONLY for building muscle. Cardio is for losing weight. Don' confuse the two of them. Don;t take weight lifting and turn it into cardio. I see it happening all the time...
2) Only try to lose 0.5 to 1% of your body weight per week.
If you're 100 pounds you should only lose 0.5 to 1 pound a week. If you have 200 pounds you can lose 1 to 2 pounds of weight per week. Now, you might ask yourself, why is there a range. In the worst shape you are, the more body fat you have, the more you can lose without losing muscle. If you're in a decent shape, like you're 50 pounds or less overweight go with 0.5 to 1%. The first week you're going to lose more than that because you'll lose water. It's not fat. It's just water weight. When you consume carbohydrates for every gram of carb you eat, 300 grams of water is stored as glycogen in your muscles. If you just eat 200 grams of carbs you're gonna have 600 grams of water in the muscles, that's 800 grams. Almost two pounds right there. You can easily start a diet and lose 4 to 5 pounds in the firs week, because that's mostly just water, so don't stress out if you lost a lot of weight in the first week. The main reason I am extremely against bulking is because when you bulk and you gain too much weight you have to diet for an extended period of time. To lose 1 pound of fat a week you need a 500 calorie deficit per day. So whatever you're eating now to maintain your weight, you need to get rid of 500 kcals. You have 2 options right here, you can eat 500 calories less or burn 500 calories by doing cardio.
3) Avoid HIIT cardio.
A lot of you are going to start debating on me now, but I'm telling you, it is not going to burn more calories. Doing moderate intensity cardio is going to burn a lot more calories than HIIT cardio for 30 minutes. I have tried them both. I have thousand dollars worth of equipment that measures heart rate, kcals burnt, every dynamic you can think of. HIIT cardio is way harder and not nearly as beneficial for weight loss while trying to put on muscle. Just avoid doing it if you're not a professional athlete that needs to train at an elite level. You are not going to recover on time, it is too hard, too intense.
4) Eat protein 5 times a day
This is why fasting and all that doesn't work. If you fast you're probably eating 2 or 3 times a day in a 6 hour window, maybe an 8 hour window. This is what happens: As soon as you eat your body receives the stimulus for growing and your muscles start growing. You can't just prove cause and effect because fasting increases growth hormone levels, it doesn't mean that those growth hormone levels leave to increased muscle growth. Now you might ask yourself, "How can I diet with 5 meals a day?!!" Well, a meal can be a can of tuna, or some yogurt that has like 100 kcals, 100 grams of chicken - 130 kcals, you got my point. It doesn't have to be a hamburger or a cup of this, a cup of that and so on. Just eat some protein. You can eat 3 500 calorie meals and 2 200 calories a day. That's only 1900 calories. For most men that's a strict, sever diet. So don't think you cannot eat 5 meals a day. You need 5 meals a day to maximize protein synthesis. If you really can't get to eat 5 times a day, then eat 4, if not 4 then eat 3. But if you go under 3 you're just not eating enough. 6,7,8 times ain't better than 5. 5 is only slightly better than 4. but that slightly isn't maximizing the process. So try and do it.
5) Avoid doing empty stomach cardio.
When you skip breakfast and do cardio you're not going to perform at the same level, intensity and time if you would have eaten before.
6) Limit cardio to the least amount that you need to do to get the desires results
Don't start off with an hour a day because you might not need that many calories burnt to achieve your goals. All you need to do is the least amount YOU need. Yours is different than mine, which is different than his and so on. My recommendation is to bump the cardio you do up when your results start to appear slower. If you manage to lose in week 1 2 pounds then the next one 1.5 then 1, add 15 more minutes of cardio. Then you lose 2 pounds again, then 1.8, 1.5, ... , then again 1, bump it up again and so on until you get the desired results. If you start off with 2 hours a day, you'll end up with 5 hours a day by the end of the prime. Not fun. Too much cardio, you won't recover.
And if you want more info & the specific ways to do it with examples and a proper program, check out my BURN courses.