The difference between the weight training plan that is used for a mass gain phase versus one that is used during the cutting phase.
If your training hard at the gym and your following a controlled nutrition plan. Then your likely to have 1 or 2 primary goal:
- Overall muscle size and strength
- Burn off more body fat and get lean define body
For building mass most people have a reasonable idea of what needs to be done.
Heavy weights lifted with a high level of intensity, low to moderate reps compound exercises, and focus on progression from week to week.
The Cutting Misconception
When it comes to weight training for overall fat loss and muscle definition. Many newbies often start on a wrong path by following the false idea that light weights and high reps burn fat.
They will switch over to a cutting phase and reduce the amount of weight their lifting, increase the reps, and include more isolation exercise to define the muscles. Thinking it will bring out more hardness and separation. In fact, this approach is directly counter productive to your goals.
There are really only 2 things you can do with your muscle. You can either make them bigger or you can make them smaller.
There’s no such things as an exercise that sculpt a given muscle. There’s are certainly no weight training technique that is going to magically rail more hardness and separation in your physique.
Muscle Definition and Body Fat Percentage
Muscle definition is a the amount of overall muscle mass that your carrying in combination with your overall body fat percentage. The higher your body fat percentage is the less define and less separate muscle is going to appear.
You simply can’t target fat loss from specific area of your body by training those areas with weights. Anytime you’re training with weights or your doing is stimulating these specific muscles that are involve in that particular movement. This has no affect on the fat store in around that particular area.
Fat also occurs as you place your body into caloric deficit by consistently burning more calorie than you consumed.
Over time your going to lose fat to your entire body as a whole but you have no control over specific areas where fats are burn from.
The correct weight training approach for a cutting phase
It’s exactly the same as the approach you do when your goal was to gain overall muscle size and strength.
1. Train with heavy weights
2. Go for low to moderate reps
3. Focus on compound exercises
4. Put all your focus on improving or maintaining your strength level each week when lifting
Your goal during cutting phase is simply to maximize fat loss while maintaining as much of your hard earn muscle as possible.
The Lifting Regimen
This is why a properly structure weight training routine is important during fat loss cycle.
You need to provide your muscle with the most powerful stimulus possible in order to give your body a good reason to hold on to it’s lean mass despite being in a caloric deficit.
As you maintain that lean muscle mass, you gradually reduce your body fat each week through proper diet and through some additional cardio exercises. That lean cut muscle definition that you’re after will gradually increase overtime.
4 things to remember this during a cutting phase:
- Weight training is for maintaining muscle
- Diet and cardio is for burning fat
- There’s no possible way for you to define or sculpt a given muscle. All you can do is make your muscles bigger or smaller
- Fat loss is achieve through a caloric deficit which will cause you to lose fat for your entire body as a whole
However, if you follow the light weight and high reps training approach. All you end up doing is providing a weaker stimulus to your muscles. Which will actually increase the chances of muscle loss during your cut.
Please feel free to share your experience or feel free to leave a comment below.