It’s a term casually thrown in a conversation on multiple gyms, but what does it mean? I bet you’re wondering what the whole fuss of getting “cut” is all about in the fitness community. But at the same time, just hearing how effective it could be in achieving your dream bod is enough for you to look it up since it is worth giving a shot.
Say no more, your efforts of searching are over. This article will equip you with the right amount of knowledge, best cutting workout plan, and diet plan to help you reach your goal.
We’ll dive into all of that and more so keep reading down below!
Understand Cutting Workout Plan
What is it about ?
Cutting or “getting cut” is a straightforward term to understand, but it is quite a challenge to execute successfully. It is a way to eat less than the recommended amount of calories you need per day. While combining a visceral amount of weight or resistance training to help maintain your muscles, making you burn the existing fat off your body.
Though bear in mind that this isn’t about literally starving yourself. That isn’t the goal here. Before doing this, you have to thoughtfully and carefully plan a workout and diet structure that would help you achieve weight loss and muscle build at the same time.
And you don’t just go ahead and say, “Okay, then I’ll just subtract x amount of calories–” without a thought. Remember, cutting too much off from your daily recommended will make you lose muscles. Cut off too little, then you’ll just be teetering over less to zero results. Drastically reducing your calorie intake to an unnecessarily large amount will get you nowhere.
To properly approach this, you should first start computing the daily recommended calorie that is well suited to your body.
How to Know Your Average Daily Calorie Intake
I know that fitness apps can give you a faster answer to what you are looking for. But take note that most are not as accurate as they seem.
Here is a devised formula that has been proven to be most accurate to use. To know your actual daily recommended calorie intake to maintain your weight.
The Harris–Benedict Equation:
Men: BMR* = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
Women: BMR* = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)
BMR is Basal Metabolic Rate*
|Little to No Exercise||BMR x 1.2|
|Light Exercise (1 to 3 Days per Week)||BMR x 1.375|
|Moderate Exercise (3 to 5 Days per Week)||BMR x 1.55|
|Heavy Exercise (6 to 7 Days per Week)||BMR x 1.725|
|Very Heavy Exercise (2x a Day, Extra Heavy Workouts)||BMR x 1.9|
To give you a better understanding of how the formula works; here are 2 examples for a Male and Female with an average weight:
MALE: Age: 25, Weight: 75 kg, Height: 178 cm.
He trains at the gym 3-4 days a week and goes for a longish run on the weekend.
BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x 75) + (4.799 x 178) – (5.677 x 25)
BMR = 1805.434 kcal
His activity level is x 1.55
Maintenance Calories = 1805.434 x 1.55 = 2798.423 kcal
FEMALE: Age: 22, Weight: 52 kg, Height: 165 cm.
She trains at the gym 3-4 days a week and does a Crossfit class once a week.
BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x 52) + (3.098 x 165) – (4.330 x 22)
BMR = 1344.347 kcal
Her activity level is x 1.55
Maintenance Calories = 1344.347 x 1.55 = 2083.738 kcal
The Recommended Calorie Deficit
Now that you have a general idea of your calorie intake to maintain your weight, you need to create a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Experts say that one should not go over cutting 20 percent of your calorie deficit. If you’re still new to this, you should start cutting about 10 to 15 percent of your calorie intake per day. Cutting will indeed make you lose weight fast, but it is not a “quick” process.
It’s best to go steady on doing this; that means a workout that will perfectly balance out your meal plans. Don’t go hurdling yourself into eating even lesser than recommended because you will undoubtedly find yourself miserable and unsuccessful with your fitness goal.
The Cutting Diet
Of course, all of this training and exercise will be all for naught without a proper diet. Though it is your goal to use your fat reserves for energy, it is essential to note that you won’t have the power to burn fat if you have poor diet choices.
Before you construct your diet plan, you must be aware of your macros; i.e., your Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat intake in your meals. Here are some primary examples of food you can incorporate to your meal plans:
- Lean meat
- Pulses (like lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas)
- Whole grains and cereals
- Whole wheat bread, rice and pasta
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes, pumpkin, squash and sweetcorn
- High-sugar fruits like bananas
- Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds
- Extra-virgin olive oil (eat this cold)
- Olive oil, rapeseed oil (you can cook with these)
To give you a more vivid example of an actual cutting meal diet plan, here is one you can incorporate:
- 2-3 whole eggs
- 2 sausage links
- 1 serving of oatmeal
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 8 ounces of almond milk
- 1.5 scoops of whey protein powder
- 1/3 cup of frozen berries
- 6-8 ounces of lean chicken breast or sirloin steak
- 1 serving of brown rice
- 2 servings of green vegetables (spinach, broccoli)
- 1 cups of Greek yogurt
- 1 serving of almonds or cashews
- 6-8 ounces of fish or turkey
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 servings of combined carrots and cauliflower
Remember to consider your calorie deficit as a guide to the portioning of your meals. This is but a guide in constructing your desired meal plan for your whole cutting program duration.
Just remember to take a more substantial portion of protein into your macros. Protein is the building block of muscle. It can definitely fuel your body with enough energy reserves it needs to power through your workouts. It can also stabilize your metabolism, which will help you lose fat at a faster rate.
The Workout Split: Cardio & Muscle Training
When it comes to the Cutting Workout, it’s actually a combination of 2 things: Cardio and Strength Training. Cardio will help you burn as much fat possible, and Strength Training will keep your muscles in top shape and not burn away along with the fat loss.
It is crucial to not combine the two in a single day because it would be a sure recipe for total fatigue and exhaustion. The only way to create a cohesive relationship between these two is to allot your cardio days from your strength training days. Hence creating a perfectly balanced workout split.
Doing cardio is definitely something you have to tread carefully over when it comes to cutting. Though, its importance is vital since it is the staple for anyone aiming for fat loss.
But! Doing too much cardio would inevitably make you lose your muscles.
Remember, muscles and fat shed at the same rate; gaining muscle can be such a slower and more painful process as opposed to gaining fat.
So it’s essential to shed the right amount of fat while keeping your muscles intact. The technique here is to get the right amount of cardio—enough to not affect your muscle mass.
There are two types of cardio you can do:
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
This type of cardio involves a series of exercises in medium-paced intervals with higher intensity bursts with short rest times, all compiled together in a short duration; this differs from steady-state cardio exercise.
You can choose from Aerobic HIIT like track-based running or Bodyweight HIIT like CrossFit training.
A great thing about cardio is that studies have shown that you continue to burn calories throughout a specific day. This can actually be very time-efficient as well. If you’re looking into a type of exercise that is fast that can help you reap maximum benefits from fat burning, then this might be an excellent option for you.
Take proper precautions, though; it is essential to not over-do your HIIT sessions to go at a relatively high intensity. And since you are eating at a calorie deficit, over-training is possible if you aren’t careful. So time your cardio sessions properly.
Low-Intensity Long Duration Cardio
The direct opposite of HIT; Low-Intensity Long Duration Cardio involves a slow and steady pace of exercise; usually can go over from 40 to 60 minutes. Some people might find some sort of hesitation when it comes to approaching the simple fact that the longer you exercise, the greater your body can teeter overeating your muscles. Which is not such a good prospect to aim for that lean figure.
But! That doesn’t mean this can’t be a reliable form of cardio. Due to its longer duration and steadier pace of exercise, your body will inevitably turn to use fat than carbs as a prime energy source due to its lower intensity.
This can also be an excellent option for people who don’t have many muscle reserves and would like to take a slower pace.
STRENGTH TRAINING ASPECT
The whole purpose of the strength training aspect in cutting is to keep your muscles intact. Not actually get gains since cutting calories would make that literally impossible.
But! Keeping your muscles firm and tight is something strength training can definitely do. That’s why it is such a crucial aspect to incorporate in your workouts. Bear in mind that heavy lifting is entirely out of the picture, similar to overexerting yourself if you took too much cardio. Due to the calorie deficit, your body wouldn’t handle lifting hefty weights.
The key to going over this aspect is to focus on training your large muscle groups and compound exercises.
It is essential to do at least 4 days of strength training in your workout regimen since its primary goal is to keep your body in top shape.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now that we’ve basically gone over the two crucial aspects of the cutting workout. It is time to combine the two in a perfect training split by balancing the Cardio workout days from the Strength Training days. This program can be utilized in 2 options: a 4 Day plan, incorporating the strength training days, or a 12-Week cutting program.
Workout Split: The Cutting Workout Routine
Take note that you are to utilize this program for the 12-week duration. Switch it up if you must, just remember to retain the rest day since it is an important part of your routine to help your muscles recover. You can do a cutting workout plan at home if you prefer, just switch out exercises that utilize gym equipment for at-home body workouts, and you are good to go! You are still much welcome to tailor this program to whichever you may perceive to help you achieve your fitness goal.
Also, this is not only tailored to males only. This program can also be a female do and enjoy!
Cutting Workout Tips, You Need to Know
- Keep your Cardio and Strength Training days separate.
- Leave one rest day to give your body enough time to recover.
- Keep Active during your rest day! You don’t have to go all out into doing some tiring tasks. Doing chores, running errands, tries to find ways to stay as productive as possible without sending your body into exhaustion.
- Keep nutrients intact in your diet. Eating within a recommended amount does not mean neglecting your nutrition. Eat fiber-rich foods found in vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
- Keep yourself hydrated at all times! Drinking water will help you power through your hunger pangs by curbing your appetite. It can improve digestion and overall circulation in your body.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and drinking sugar-filled beverages.
- Cheat days are okay! Just remember to schedule your cheat days carefully into your whole program and don’t over-eat.
- Go at your pace; don’t rush.
- Never Give Up.
Overall, doing a Cutting Workout Plan and Diet can be a tough feat to achieve. But nothing is impossible with hard work and persistence. You just have to incorporate a proper diet that would go ahead and balance over your workout routines. Again, don’t hesitate to switch up the workout program to whichever goes into you and your body’s favor. Go ahead with what is best for you.
Some of these tips might work easier for some people, and others might find it difficult to execute. It is important to note that we all have different bodies with different needs; that’s why we also have different growth paces. But it is a guarantee that this is a worthwhile program that can set you off to the right track on your fitness journey.
Just go at your own pace and keep moving forward.