It’s that time of the year! Memorial Day, the semi-official starting day of beach season (for us non-coasties), is right around the corner and who doesn’t want to look good for that?
Hopefully, most of you, as readers of NLU who might be utilizing Jamie Lewis’s Apex Predator Diet or are already watching your diet, are already sporting that beach body or are almost there. For those of you with a handful of pounds left to go, there is a pretty easy way to kill off the last of that in as little as a month if you can get some discipline. Allow me, your resident guinea pig, to explain:
Last month, at the conclusion of the Winter Bulk Up ’13-’14 (my last “bulk up” I’ll ever do due to a change in thinking) I was at 196 pounds. At that point, I had already begun cutting and a month prior I had been as heavy as 207. Now, I am fluctuating between 191-194 and that hasn’t budged in two weeks unless I get drunk, where I’ll wake up pretty shredded at 189 with nearly zero water weight. I am convinced there isn’t much left I can lose without taking it up a notch to Clen/T3 and other stuff like that, which I am not wanting to get into yet.
I managed to cut while not only keeping my muscle, but even growing them (a bit). I know it goes against conventional thinking, and it may be because of my young age and the fact that I have been giving my muscles a huge stimulus by going through my first round of Doggcrapp, but it is true. I kept my protein high and went H.A.M.
This cut was a departure from the Apex Predator Diet and is more of a bodybuilding style cut (with traces of intermittent fasting), and for inspiration I can credit Jay from Fab Fit Over 40 with articles such as 12 Steps To A Fabulously Fit Body! and Are 6 Pack Abs Realistic For Anyone? as well as his podcasts with Mike from Danger and Play such as How To Gain 10 Pounds Of Muscle Without Bulking.
It is a hard cut. You figure your maintenance calories, which for me is around 2800, and then subtract 1000. Calories in, calories out with a huge deficit. I did that almost daily, with once in a blue moon days where I’d eat maintenance calories to switch it up. Protein stays high (at least 1 gram per bodyweight) to protect your muscles from catabolism, and slow clean carbs are eaten before and after lifting. Thermogenics are taken at least twice a day and there is cardio on off days (or long walks through downtown).
- 7 AM: 48 g (two scoops) whey isolate protein shake and thermogenic (I use Complete Nutrition Assault)- 220 calories, 48 g protein
- 12:30 PM: 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 lb lean ground turkey/beef- 530 cals, 44 g protein
- 4 PM: Thermo, BCAAs for pre-workout
- 5 PM: Post-workout shake- 220 calories, 48 g
- 6 PM: 1 cup brown rice, 1 lb lean ground turkey/beef- 860 calories, 92 g protein
Total: 1830 calories, 232 grams protein
Some days I would add a couple tablespoons of peanut butter as a mid morning snack, adding 380 calories and 16 g protein, and/or a protein shake before bed, pushing me up to 2100-2200 calories. Either way, I was running pretty huge deficits while getting carbs in for energy at the gym and lots of protein to make sure my muscles stay good. This was literally about what I ate every day, though I did try sweet potatoes instead of rice a couple days (the jury is still out on whether I like those things).
Off days were pretty much the same because they aren’t really off days, though sometimes I would cut out the carbs. I was either in the gym doing full incline treadmill at 3.2 mph for a half hour and abs after, going on long ass walks downtown exploring with my hombre Unlucky Devil, or playing golf and otherwise staying active. I credit this additional “off day” activity with helping speed things up, with the joys of being active every day a “good” in itself.
To sum it up-
- Hard calorie deficit
- Muscle-sparing protein intake
- Thermogenics and Cardio
- Activity every day
- Carbs pre and post workout
Whenever I write things like these I realize I probably make a couple of assumptions that some may not have or accidentally gloss over something that may be important that. If you have any questions, definitely leave a comment!
Also, on a final note, if you’re not taking drugs or shredding out for a bodybuilding meet, you are not going to have muscle mag style abs. Don’t feel bad at all that you don’t look like that, it is nearly impossible for the vast majority of us to look like that without getting into all of that stuff. Like I said earlier, I only really look like that if I clear out all my water with old fashioned Black Velvet and I’m not looking to get into that fancy stuff (yet).