Discipline and patience are fundamental to success in the fitness world.
During the winter, it is not always easy to stay focused, but the closer you get to summer, the greater is the concern in keeping your muscles defined and stronger and eliminating excess fat.
There are several concepts in the fitness world and methodologies that can help you set priorities in training, dieting, and even supplementation.
One of these concepts/methodologies is the cutting phase.
This phase is associated with fat loss and muscle definition. Food and supplementation here are a great help, but the practice of physical exercise is also essential.
If you’re looking for some cutting training tips, then this article is for you.
Cutting: what is it?
Cutting and bulking are two distinct phases of the fitness world. Normally, during the bulking phase, in which the goal is to grow and gain volume, it is normal that there is some accumulation of weight and fat.
Check out why in this article.
Therefore, in the cutting phase, the goal will be to eliminate the excess fat that may have accumulated in the previous phase to the maximum to ensure a defined and lean body.
The diet should be a priority and it is essential that you reduce the consumption of sugar and fast food, that you reduce (but does not eliminate) the amount of carbohydrates (or choose the best options, such as vegetables) and that you opt for healthier options to prevent more fat from accumulating.
The protein at this stage should be a priority, both for its influence on muscular construction, and for its ability to reduce appetite, as it increases the feeling of satiety.
Unlike what happens in the bulking phase, at this stage there should be a reduction in the number of calories.
Attention! Don’t try to lose it all at once: you have to concentrate on doing everything gradually, so you don’t compromise your muscle mass, too.
At the end, at this stage, it is essential that you have the most healthy and balanced diet possible.
Check some tips at Zumub’s website of what you can do to burn calories and get shaped.
But the food, by itself, is not enough. Training is a very important part of this process.
Importance of training during the cutting phase
See some exercises you can do during this phase and what kind of workout can be more effective.
Cutting: how to work out
Cardio: yes or no?
Before this phase, and if you have respected the bulking phase, it is possible that there has been some accumulation of fat, something that can happen when the priority is to increase muscle mass and volume.
At this stage, you will eliminate or reduce the consumption of certain foods, something to help you decrease the consumption of calories consumed – fundamental for weight loss and fat.
In the cutting phase you should bet on the practice of cardio exercises, effective when the priority is to burn fat.
You can step up the exercises and add cardio at the beginning of the sessions or at the end, or add a low-intensity cardio day to your workout plan.
But not only.
Cardio, while it will help eliminate excess fat, can also lead to loss of lean mass – which is something you do not want.
The trick is to create a deep harmony between cardio and bodybuilding training.
The training with weights will also help you accelerate your metabolism, burn fat, maintain muscle mass, and tone the body.
A full-body workout involving large muscle groups (where more muscle fibers are recruited) will be essential for burning fat while training bodybuilding.
In addition, you can always do localized exercises – aimed at a particular muscle or certain part of the body – something that will help you to develop and define your muscles in an isolated way.
One way to do it is through the supersets method. See what it is, what the main types and what is its importance in this article.
At the beginning of the training you can warm up on a cardio machine for about 15 minutes (avoid heating up with strength exercises, for example elevations and pushups, you can create injuries in the medium long term-because the body has not yet heated).
Then you can do bodybuilding training between 30 to 45 minutes with medium-high intensity.
In the end, you can go back to cardio a little more, for example by doing a 15-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Repetitions, sets and rest time
It’s not enough to exercise without thinking about anything else. There are other issues that you should take into account, such as the number of repetitions and sets and the rest time.
Check the importance of this three factors and some recommendations here.
These numbers vary according to each person’s goals, but when the goal is to burn fat and define, my recommendation is:
Number of sets: 3
Number of repetitions: 10-15 repetitions
Rest time between sets: 30 seconds to a minute
Types of Training for the cutting phase
HIIT training can involve both cardio exercises and bodybuilding exercises.
It always involves intensity. This kind of training reaches the maximum intensity for a short period of time, reconciling it with little rest time or none.
For example, jump for 30 seconds to a box and rest for 30 seconds.
In relation to a regular cardio workout – the intensity of which is maintained and there are no variations – HIIT can promote superior muscle mass gains and will still allow for different stimuli to the body.
In addition, it speeds up metabolism and increases calorie burning in breaks and in post-workout, as oxygen consumption increases during these periods.
You can do it with typically cardio exercises, like running, but you can also do it with body weight exercises or weight training, eliminating the breaks between series and decreasing the rest time, for example.
The supersets training involves the execution of two different movements in sequence in which you work the same muscle or different muscles without rest between them.
It is an important technique to simultaneously increase hypertrophy and define.
One of the types of training that I recommend is full-body circuit training with polyarticular movements (which involve more than one joint).
The circuit training assumes the realization of several exercises, which follow each other, without time of rest (or with little time of rest) between them.
Doing a circuit training allows you to spend more calories not only during exercise but also during rest periods (as in HIIT).
If you reconcile with a full-body workout and polyarticular movements, the advantage is that you work several muscle groups at the same time and you accelerate the fat burning even more.
You can include in your workout in circuit exercises such as: squats, bench press, row, deadlift.
If you choose to have a day just dedicated to cardio, do, for example, a circuit-only with cardio exercises.
See some examples of circuit training in the article “Benefits and examples of circuit training.”
During the cutting phase, you should prioritize exercises that help you burn excess fat and define, balancing cardio with weights or body weight exercises.
There are several methodologies that can accompany you in this process. HIIT, Circuit or Supersets training are just a few examples.
Stay focused. Keep training with intensity, take advantage of the benefits of cardio, make a balanced diet and rest.
Good training and good rest.