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What are the best exercises to get "cut"?

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Old 05-16-2008, 03:31 PM   #11
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So what does your diet look like ?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:38 PM   #12
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So what does your diet look like ?

3 eggs and two pieces of wheat toast for breakfast

turkey sandwich on wheat a few hours later before lifting

after lifting, two scoops of whey in skim milk, then fairly soon after that I'll eat a big meal, usually chicken breast, mashed potatoes, salad with ranch dressing, bowl of fruit.

for dinner, similar meal as after lifting.

3 hours later or so, have a turkey sandwich and one scoop of whey protein, some fruit.



Is that decent? Should I be eating more/less or differently?
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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Hey, I'm sort of new to the whole lifting scene, but I have been pretty serious the past 4 or 5 months lifting with a friend in a stage he called the "bulking" stage. I haven't gained a lot of weight (started around 173, up to about 177.5 lbs in weight), but I think that is because I replaced the fat with muscle as I definitely have seen a big improvement in every muscle group of my body and have drastically increased the weight I could lift.

I feel pretty comfortable with how big I have gotten, but now I want to get cut and tone (most notably in the ab region) while keeping as much solid muscle as possible.

Obviously running/cardio helps that, but what kind of weight lifting program should I follow now that I want to get CUT instead of build lots of muscle? Should I do more ab related workouts if I really want to bring those out? I think having really nice abs shows how "cut" someone is, that is probably a stupid way to say it but in my eyes that's what I think of right away.

How should I eat, should I avoid taking whey protein now or avoid eating heavier foods even when I'm really hungry? I'm sure these questions sound stupid, but I'm trying my best and I (and my girl) would appreciate any help anyone can give!

Thanks,

Eric





Bulking 4 lbs. really isn't enough. During your average bulking phase you should bulk up 20 pounds, minimum. My first bulking phase lasted about 12 months, and I put on around 60 lbs.

If you haven't grew enough, you aren't eating enough. You have to stuff those calories down your throat before you can even think about growing. . .

As far as "cutting exercises" go, there's no such thing. Cutting is something done in the kitchen, and if you cut now you're most likely going to be smaller than you where before you even started bulking, as 4 lbs. will slice very quickly.

A lot of people add more isolation exercises into their routines though, during a cutting phase. They feel it increases the intensity of your workout. I personally feel that it's all done in the kitchen. Cardio is something out you need to be getting used to, running and jogging and such to help burn the fat that you added while bulking.

Eat around 5-6 times per day, but eat small meals. As far as as WHEY protein goes it won't hurt you to drink that. Since you won't be eating as much it's fine to get in a few extra grams of protein and such from WHEY.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:16 PM   #14
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3 eggs and two pieces of wheat toast for breakfast

turkey sandwich on wheat a few hours later before lifting

after lifting, two scoops of whey in skim milk, then fairly soon after that I'll eat a big meal, usually chicken breast, mashed potatoes, salad with ranch dressing, bowl of fruit.

for dinner, similar meal as after lifting.

3 hours later or so, have a turkey sandwich and one scoop of whey protein, some fruit.



Is that decent? Should I be eating more/less or differently?
Maybe use www.fitday.com and find out how many calories you are taking in. Then you will know if you should have more or less.

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Old 05-17-2008, 08:58 AM   #15
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Bulking 4 lbs. really isn't enough. During your average bulking phase you should bulk up 20 pounds, minimum. My first bulking phase lasted about 12 months, and I put on around 60 lbs.

If you haven't grew enough, you aren't eating enough. You have to stuff those calories down your throat before you can even think about growing. . .

As far as "cutting exercises" go, there's no such thing. Cutting is something done in the kitchen, and if you cut now you're most likely going to be smaller than you where before you even started bulking, as 4 lbs. will slice very quickly.

A lot of people add more isolation exercises into their routines though, during a cutting phase. They feel it increases the intensity of your workout. I personally feel that it's all done in the kitchen. Cardio is something out you need to be getting used to, running and jogging and such to help burn the fat that you added while bulking.

Eat around 5-6 times per day, but eat small meals. As far as as WHEY protein goes it won't hurt you to drink that. Since you won't be eating as much it's fine to get in a few extra grams of protein and such from WHEY.

Yeah man, but gaining 4 pounds of solid muscle while losing all that fat poundage is a LOT aint it? I wasn't a scrawny kid by any means when I started, so it's not like all I gained was 4 pounds, I lost a lot of fat pounds while putting on a lot of strength. I was asking my friend about that, if I should be putting on more weight, but he said I was getting a LOT stronger really fast so I was just losing fat weight.

So cutting sort of happens while lifting normally?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:02 AM   #16
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Maybe use www.fitday.com and find out how many calories you are taking in. Then you will know if you should have more or less.
I'm looking at that site, but it doesn't have the exact things I eat. For example, the egg whites I eat have different protein levels than the generic ones on the site.

Is it just an estimate?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:20 AM   #17
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Yeah man, but gaining 4 pounds of solid muscle while losing all that fat poundage is a LOT aint it? I wasn't a scrawny kid by any means when I started, so it's not like all I gained was 4 pounds, I lost a lot of fat pounds while putting on a lot of strength. I was asking my friend about that, if I should be putting on more weight, but he said I was getting a LOT stronger really fast so I was just losing fat weight.

So cutting sort of happens while lifting normally?
Cutting, as I understand it, is when your body is working on a slight caloric deficit - not starvation by any means, but you're asking it to use more calories than you're putting into it. Because of this it's important not to overdo it or else you can burn out, overtrain, etc. Basically just work out a diet that provides strong numbers in your macros and listen to what Eric said -

"What I would suggest is strength maintenance combined with a couple of moderate volume/intensity sets to stimulate EPOC and then finishing off with supersets, trisets, tabatas, that kind of thing to get heart rate up."

I'm no expert on cutting either - although I did have success with a cutting cycle last fall to drop fat for wrestling - but those two pieces together were what worked really well for me. I used some supplementation (caffeine) but it was by no means necessary, only helpful.

Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:22 AM   #18
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Cutting, as I understand it, is when your body is working on a slight caloric deficit - not starvation by any means, but you're asking it to use more calories than you're putting into it. Because of this it's important not to overdo it or else you can burn out, overtrain, etc. Basically just work out a diet that provides strong numbers in your macros and listen to what Eric said -

"What I would suggest is strength maintenance combined with a couple of moderate volume/intensity sets to stimulate EPOC and then finishing off with supersets, trisets, tabatas, that kind of thing to get heart rate up."

I'm no expert on cutting either - although I did have success with a cutting cycle last fall to drop fat for wrestling - but those two pieces together were what worked really well for me. I used some supplementation (caffeine) but it was by no means necessary, only helpful.

Good luck.


Thanks man, the problem is I don't know the lingo very well yet and am not sure what Eric meant with all the terms he used. Could you explain them in layman's terms?
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:01 PM   #19
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"What I would suggest is strength maintenance combined with a couple of moderate volume/intensity sets to stimulate EPOC and then finishing off with supersets, trisets, tabatas, that kind of thing to get heart rate up."

From the 'exercise descriptions' sticky:

Volume = The amount of work performed in an exercise session. Traditionally calculated as the amount of weight lifted multiplied by the number of sets multiplied by the number of reps (i.e. total reps), time under tension and amount of rest between sets can also be considered as ways to increase or decrease volume.

Intensity = Normally expressed as the percentage of weight you are lifting relative to your one rep maximum. In other words, how much weight is on the bar in relation to your maximal ability

EPOC - excess postexercise oxygen consumption. That's sort of a mouthful, so let me show you the study I learned that from when I asked a sort of similar question and got sort of a similar answer from Eric: http://www.ideafit.com/pro_education...rburn_1104.pdf

That actually might give you some ideas as to different ways to 'cut', by the by.

superset/triset - multiple exercises (two/three respectively) performed in a row without rest and then a rest at the end. You see these a lot in circuit lifts and the two exercises tend to be working different muscles with little/no overlap. I don't do a lot of these though so I'm not as confident on that last part.

Tabatas - there's an article on T-Nation that explains it, but it's not loading for me, so here it is quoted out (sorry, the pictures didn't work):

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan John
The Tabata Method
Fat Loss in Four Minutes
by Dan John


A couple of years ago, a company came out with an exercise machine that guaranteed results in only four minutes a day. The main problem? The $12,000 price tag. My car doesnít cost that much. Iím not sure I've ever spent that much on anything, including my education.

Well, I'm going to save you a lot of money today because I'm going to show you how to do the same thing without an overpriced machine. This "top secret" training method may do more for you than all your other training combined and leave you with 23 hours and 56 minutes to live the rest of your day.

But there's a price to pay. Think exhaustion, vomit and pools of sweat.


Enter the Tabata Method

Tabata is the name of a Japanese researcher who discovered an interesting way to increase both anaerobic and aerobic pathways at the same time. It's one of those strange training programs that seems to fit across disciplines: it's excellent for bicyclists, speed skaters, Olympic lifters, or the person looking to lose fat quickly.

This training method is so simple, yet so incredibly difficult, that athletes tend to try it once, acknowledge its greatness, and then vow to never speak its name again. What is it? It's simple: take one exercise and perform it in the following manner:

1) For twenty seconds, do as many repetitions as possible.

2) Rest for ten seconds

3) Repeat seven more times!

That's it! You're done in four minutes! Oh, and that thing you're trying to brush off your face? That would be the floor.

Eight sets of "as many reps as you can get done," followed with a brief ten second restó simple and effective. The two best exercise options for the Tabata method are the front squats and the "thruster," which I'll describe in a bit.

It helps to have someone record the reps of each set for you because, well, you wonít remember after you pass out. I use the "lowest rep number" of any of the eight sets as my measurement to compare workout to workout. If you go too heavy, that number might be two. If you go too light, you might find yourself getting around 15 reps or more.

Before we talk about the exercises, letís take a moment to be perfectly clear about what we're doing. This isn't "eight sets of eight," although the goal of doing eight reps in each of the twenty second clusters is about right. Instead it's "as many reps as I can get in" during the twenty seconds, followed by ten seconds rest.

And by the way, ten seconds is not racking the bar, getting a drink, talking to the cute girl on the bike, looking at the clock, walking back to the bar, chalking up, adjusting the belt, talking to a friend, then doing the next set. Ten second is ten seconds! No cheating!


Tabata Exercises

You need to choose an exercise that uses a large number of muscles. I suggest the front squat. Now, you may argue, why not the back squat? Well, it's hard to dump the bar quickly into the rack with back squats, while with front squats, you can simply fall into it and start your ten second rest.

With something like a military press, you wonít be using enough muscles to allow you to survive in the last minute; you might only get one or two reps with your shoulders on fire. Deadlifts have been tried, but most people get a little worried about injuries doing them Tabata-style.

The front squat might be the single best Tabata lift. Having said that, if you donít know how to front squat correctly, the Tabata method might teach you to lift better than a thousand coaches. In the four minutes, it's easy to get 64 to 70 reps, which teaches the nervous system better than a PowerPoint presentation.

The bar will be held in the "front" of the body, with the fingers relaxed and the bar resting on the clavicles with the elbows high. Sit down "between the legs." This actually gets easier in the third and fourth minute as you just start to "drop" back through. As you rise back up, you donít need to lock out the knees; in fact, donít even think about it. Just get up and go back down.

Weight on the bar? Letís just say this: a guy with a 465 pound front squat puked with only 95 pounds on the Tabata front squat. Generally, I urge people to go "light," like 65 to 95 pounds the first time. There are those in this world who've gone up to 155 pounds and still got "eights" in the last twenty seconds, but those are very rare people!

The other great Tabata exercise is the "thruster." The thruster is one of the greatest lifts no one has ever heard of in the gym. Take two dumbbells and hold them at shoulder height. Squat down, keeping the dumbbells on the shoulders. As you rise up, press the bells to the overhead lockout position. You can either press as you rise or use the momentum to help "kick" the bells overhead. I find that I do a little bit of both in the four minutes.

Thrusters do things to your heart rate and breathing that I honestly canít describe. Go light! A 35 pound dumbbell in each hand is a very difficult thruster workout! Check your ego at the door for the first two minutes.


Tabata Tips

You need to be able to see a wall clock with a second hand during your four minutes of fun. Stop at twenty seconds, rack the bar (if you choose the front squat), rest ten seconds, grab the bar and go again. Watching the clock seems to help with the focus.

And remember this: you really shouldnít consider doing much after the Tabata workout. Your lungs will be going like a locomotive engine. Go ahead and plan anything you like, but donít be surprised if it just doesnít happen. I keep the family dog nearby to chase the carrion birds away while I rest on the sidewalk.

The hardest thing about this workout is staying focused for four minutes. Donít let your hands leave the bar or dumbbells, if you can help it. After you put the bar in the rack during the front squat, stay right there, an inch or two back from the bar, and stare at the second hand of the clock.

If you do thrusters, put the dumbbells on a bench and watch the clock with your hands ready. This little trick of staying with the weight seems to help make those ten seconds seem like, well, not much, really! But at least you donít have to move much to get the weights again.

I do either Tabata front squats or Tabata thrusters about twice a month. Iím sure someone will comment, "If it's so good, why donít you do it every day?" Go ahead, try it and report back after the second day.


240 Seconds of Pain

Why should you do this workout? The Tabata program might be the single best "fat burning workout" that I know. It might only be four minutes, but you seem to keep sweating and breathing hard for a long, long time afterwards. Moreover, it seems to teach the body the proper method of squatting far easier than all the instruction in the world.

One other thing: Tabata truly teaches a person the mental focus needed to push past pain and reach his body comp or athletic goals. It'll save you 12,000 bucks, too!
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #20
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interesting shiyat right there.
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