In bodybuilding, a cut results in the elimination of fat and water while maintaining muscle mass. In general, a cut is started after a period of mass gain in order to reveal all the muscle fibers that have been hard-won when approaching a fitness competition, for example. Remember that if it’s just to get noticeable abs in the summer, we’re going to use the term food rebalancing or weight loss. Indeed, a hair dryer has a purely aesthetic purpose for the competitive scene and does not do anything good for health. It is for this reason that a cut is done for a temporary period and the physique obtained cannot stay year round naturally.
Start a weight training session
If you have decided to start a dry run for a competition or other, you will have to adopt a specific diet and suitable training in order to minimize your fat reserves stored by the body. In reality, it is naturally impossible to keep all of your muscle mass dry because you will inevitably lose a little. The goal is therefore to limit this loss as much as possible in order to avoid jeopardizing all your efforts made during the year. Be sure that fat and muscle loss is inevitable! A successful cut is therefore not easy and it is a delicate moment to manage since it only takes a few mistakes to regain all the lost weight, lose muscle mass and find yourself totally fatigued from lack of muscle recovery. A cut is a lot to the mind and it is important to keep a certain line of conduct so as not to fall for anything. We are going to give you some tips to avoid losing as much muscle mass as possible during your cut.
Have a sufficient protein intake
Protein has been found to help maintain muscle mass and help with recovery (1). By definition, they are important in helping you maintain muscle. We therefore recommend that you determine your daily calorie intake, weigh your food and make sure you have enough protein in your diet. For a successful cut, you will have to reduce your calorie intake in order to create a deficit allowing your body to draw on your fat reserves. You can limit yourself to around 2 to 2.5g of protein per pound of body weight. In this decrease in intake, you will need to be careful not to lower your protein intake. If you’re struggling to get enough protein throughout the day, supplements like whey protein can help you get your protein intake higher. As you will have understood, the amount of this macronutrient should not be reduced.
Conserve lipid intake
Lipids are macronutrients that can be of benefit to the general good health of the body. Be careful, however, to favor good sources of fatty acids such as unsaturated fat. We can often hear that we must remove fat because they are caloric, but eliminating them is a fatal mistake. The right lipids help the body maintain optimal hormonal levels, which play an essential role in building muscle and burning fat. You can therefore reduce your fat intake, but try to keep at least 1g of fat per kilogram of body weight so that the body can function properly.
Carbohydrates can be used as fuel for the body and therefore for muscles and brain. Carbohydrates are the only macronutrients that you will need to lower in your cut to lower your calorie intake, find out how to estimate your caloric need for a cut in bodybuilding. Be careful not to ban them either, however, as they are necessary to help you maintain a high metabolism to better burn fat and keep enough energy for your intense workouts. Depending on your goal, you can reduce them as your dry progresses according to the prepared competition. To simply have noticeable abs during the summer, no need to ban carbohydrates.
Maintain a certain intensity during training
We often hear that when cutting, you have to stop weight training or decrease the intensity to the detriment of cardio. This is a big mistake! So there is no need to change your training program or reduce the loads by doing sets of 20 repetitions for example. You may simply turn your strength training sessions into cardio sessions thereby accelerating your muscle loss. We recommend that you keep your exercises and sets, trying to keep your workloads as high as possible even if it is difficult. This aims to keep your strength and muscles as much as possible! Cardio can be added depending on your level of dryness and your goal but should not be your main workout at the risk of achieving a flat physique.
Be patient before starting a cut!
A hair dryer cannot be prepared at the last moment! It is therefore important to prepare it carefully and in advance to have enough time in front of you. Wanting to lose weight and fat too quickly is not the right solution for a successful cut. If your weight drops way too quickly, you may be losing a lot more muscle than you expected, which is very bad news. A hair dryer shouldn’t be too durable either and the time will obviously depend on your current physique. It is quite normal to lose a lot more weight during the first weeks of dryness than towards the end because your body will easily de-stock fat, water and glycogen. For example, you can easily lose up to 2 kg in the first week, 1 kg in the second week, 500g in the third and so on. Focus primarily on your appearance in the mirror, not on a number on the scale.