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Calories on a Cut. I cannot comprehend it. Big Guys Help me Out.

omoplata

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Over the years I have read a lot of bodybuilders' cutting diets and the numbers never make sense to me.
This topic has been discussed a lot and different people need different levels of caloric intake, of course. However it is not at all unusual for a 230-240 lbs guy cut on let's say 3,700 calories. These levels of caloric intake are just ridiculous to the eyes of someone like me, who worked with clients that were regular dudes and gals as opposed to bodybuilders.
How can a person lose fat on 3,700 kcal per day? That is just insanity. So help me understand what is going on here.

I know... a bodybuilder carries more muscle than a regular Joe and hence has a higher resting metabolic rate. OK... But just how much more? A 230-240 lbs bodybuilder has, let's say 70 lbs more muscle than a typical white collar guy who comes to me for training and diet advice. My guy -even if he expands calories through exercise- cannot lose weight until he goes down to or below 2,000 calories (and definitely even lower for many guys). Yes it varies from person to person and there is always that one individual out there who has a very fast metabolism. But the vast vast vast majority of people suit the description above.

Let's take a bodybuilder now. He loses bodyfat while taking 1,700 calories more (3,700 compared to 2,000). How the fuck is that possible? The additional 70 lbs of muscle burns around 6*70 = 420 calories a day. We can argue all day long how much more calories you will burn per additional pound of muscle, but I guarantee you it is not 10 calories per pound per day. I discussed this to death over the years. Some trainers I saw throw around stupid numbers to motivate their clients like "we can have you burn 500 calories a day more by putting muscle on your frame". Bullshit.

OK but bodybuilders do cardio, so that explains the numbers right? I don't think so. Yes a few dedicated guys do like two 45 minute sessions a day on a cut, but I really doubt this is the norm. Been around bodybuilders a lot and IMO very few do excess cardio. I don't even think most people can handle 90 minutes a day while on a cut. So you burn let's say another 430 calories a day through carido (I picked a number that both makes sense to me while also resulting in a nice, round figure) ... The 420 extra calories you burn through additional muscle mass + 430 from cardio = 850. This explains exactly half of the 1,700 additional calories you can take in compared to my white collar, pencil pusher. So what is going on?

For me there is no way to explain these observations other than to say that the high dose AAS cycles bodybuilders do on a cut burn extra calories.
Now don't get too hung up on the exact numbers above. No way for anyone to conduct a study on bodybuilders and come up with exact figures. But overall I do not think the figures above are too far off.

Big Guys, especially Luki... Am I off base?
 
Basil Metabolic Rate (outside of actual metabolic disorders, or other usually rare medical conditions) actually does not vary that much in most people. The biggest factor that swings caloric intake determining deficits or surpluses is NEAT. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and secondarily TEF, The Thermic Effect of Food. The third factor is under or over-reporting caloric intakes or poor tracking of intakes. So someone with a high NEAT burns way more calories in a 24-hour period than someone who has low NEAT. Protein consumption is more metabolically expensive than fats. High protein diets burn more calories to process than low protein, high carb high-fat diets. Finally, most guys that say they are cutting on 3,700 are not accurately tracking and they are eating less than they think. Some cutting drugs do play a role, sure, but that is a very small percentage of the population. Food choices matter little, at least when comparing whole food sources. i.e. "fish thin the skin" is complete and utter horse shit.
 
Genetics
Drugs
Lifestyle
Muscle to bodyweight ratio
Consistency
Intensity of training

Inflation of the truth it’s trendy to say you can get into shape on high calories, minimal output and minimal drugs this isn’t necessarily the truth though. Justin shier recently said he was on 1700 calories last few weeks of prep and he’s bigger than 99.9% of people
 
I lose weight when I go below 4,000 cals 🤷‍♂️. If I’m getting peeled for something specific I’ll drop to 3,000 but yeah, it’s training intensity + NEAT + drugs.
 
I lose weight when I go below 4,000 cals 🤷‍♂️. If I’m getting peeled for something specific I’ll drop to 3,000 but yeah, it’s training intensity + NEAT + drugs.

You mind sharing your protocol? As in the whole thing including AAS, resistance training and cardio...
You look like you're in great shape, but your pic doesn't look like you are a mass monster. I am honestly curious how anyone can lose weight on 4000 calories.

As an aside my buddy is a dietician and works with very advanced athletes some of whom went on to compete on national level and 1-2 were on olympic teams. Some of the heavier wrestlers do lose weight on 4.000 cals but those guys train to the point where they like collapse on the mat at the end of the session. A bodybuilder cannot under any circumstances work out like that -he'd just lose huge amounts of muscle. So yes it is possible to be losing fat at 4000 calories; I am not disputing that. But I just don't think a bodybuilder can lose fat at 4000 cals without huge AAS doses.
 
Look at what a decent 230lbs bodybuilder does during his lifting session.
Now look at what your 180lbs 23% B.F. white collar dude does.

Yep that is an important factor.... And dudes do go long and heavy while building mass
But how hard and heavy and long do guys train in precontest phase? Intensity and weight just have to go down some while cutting, no?
 
You mind sharing your protocol? As in the whole thing including AAS, resistance training and cardio...
You look like you're in great shape, but your pic doesn't look like you are a mass monster. I am honestly curious how anyone can lose weight on 4000 calories.

As an aside my buddy is a dietician and works with very advanced athletes some of whom went on to compete on national level and 1-2 were on olympic teams. Some of the heavier wrestlers do lose weight on 4.000 cals but those guys train to the point where they like collapse on the mat at the end of the session. A bodybuilder cannot under any circumstances work out like that -he'd just lose huge amounts of muscle. So yes it is possible to be losing fat at 4000 calories; I am not disputing that. But I just don't think a bodybuilder can lose fat at 4000 cals without huge AAS doses.
Sure.

Right now it’s:
-5-10iu gh/day
-15-20iu slin/day
-1g test

I’m 230lbs.

Heavy compound lifting 6 days/week
30-60 minutes LISS 4 days/week

I work a desk job (at home)

Hiking/etc 1/2 times/week
 
You mind sharing your protocol? As in the whole thing including AAS, resistance training and cardio...
You look like you're in great shape, but your pic doesn't look like you are a mass monster. I am honestly curious how anyone can lose weight on 4000 calories.

As an aside my buddy is a dietician and works with very advanced athletes some of whom went on to compete on national level and 1-2 were on olympic teams. Some of the heavier wrestlers do lose weight on 4.000 cals but those guys train to the point where they like collapse on the mat at the end of the session. A bodybuilder cannot under any circumstances work out like that -he'd just lose huge amounts of muscle. So yes it is possible to be losing fat at 4000 calories; I am not disputing that. But I just don't think a bodybuilder can lose fat at 4000 cals without huge AAS doses.

I think this is also the case of the outliers just getting your attention. At my peak bodybweight, I'd start my diet on 3,000 and I'd end up around 1,800 to get shredded. John Meadows used to have to go very low and most even super heavy bodybuilders I know have to go pretty low. Look at the Sam Sulek guy everyone is obsessed with he is on 2,500.

Your attention is focusing on the 260 lb freaks on a metric ton of drugs and the outliers Virtuous above. I'm close to 230 and fairly lean. I train full body, every muscle to failure 5-6 days a week and bike 50 miles a week (intensely, outdoors). I eat 3,000 and don't lose weight. If I wanted to get really lean I'd drop to 2,500 and then go down to 2,000.

I know a ton of heavyweight bbers and super heavys that start their diet 16 weeks out between 2,800 and 3,400 calories. and then go down from there usually ending between 2,000 and 2,500.

Look at a guy like Virtuous who is on a decent (and great) cocktail of drugs and has great genetics and he also trains his ass off. Guys like that are just in another category (and yes I'm jealous).
 
I think there are absolutely outliers as @Flex500 said. But there is also a basis to it as well.

Comparing dieting an average individual to a serious competitive bodybuilder is like comparing a Prius to a Challenger Hellcat. One burns much more energy than the other.

1. We’ve spent years “building” our metabolisms, not suppressing them.
2. We carry far more muscle than the average person. Muscle requires more energy or calories than fat.
3. We train hard religiously 3-6 days a week and do cardio 3-7 days and have for years. The average person doesn’t exercise.

Then we get into the other side:

4. We use Test and gear which is anabolic. The average person likely stays in a low anabolic state.
5. We use HGH which creates a higher rate of fat burn and increases IGF. The average person will likely have normal or low IGF.
6. Many use T4 year round at low amounts and increase during prep to stay lean and speed up or optimize our metabolism.

I could keep going with the food choices that we eat year round, lack of added chemicals and crap that the average person consume daily, and our devotion to sleep and recovery which we all know the value of.

At the end of the day it’s not that hard to understand when you really look at all the factors.
 
This issue is incredibly complex, yet simple.

The more you understand your metrics and variable changes, the simpler this is. From there, wisdom and intelligence are involved in the decision making process week to week.

I’ve never had a client, male or female, fail to gain or lose weight, if all the metrics and variables were understood.

If you don’t know your macros, macro timing, energy expenditure (via the use of weareables), and other basic information, you’re just shooting in the dark completely.

If you have a baseline maintenance diet to start from, drugs aren’t fluctuating, and energy expenditure is well understood, it’s fairly easy to just nudge certain things (diet, energy expenditure, drugs, etc) over the coarse of time. You need to be patient with carrying out the variable changes, and can’t jump the gun on changing 5 different things at once. I like to nudge one or two things at a time, give a 1-3 weeks to see how those changes play out, and make more decisions from there.
 
I think that @Flex500 and @bbxtreme wrote everything and I don't think there is anything more to add here - I can only write that during the preparations I very rarely went down to 4000 kcal a day, and if I did, it lasted for literally a few days and I had to increase the calories again because I was losing not only fat but also muscles - I was usually stage ready eating 4,500 calories a day

and yes - large doses of hormones will certainly speed up the metabolism, especially strong androgens
 
They are also carb cycling hard as fuckkkkk
 
I can eat an additional 800 calories from taking at least 5 ius of GH per day. Right now I am eating 3700 and I only weigh 214. Still fairly lean. I was very lean at 3000 calories at 63 years old. I wasn't doing cardio to get that lean. Posted a picture on the pic thread.

People have different metabolisms and hormones help even more. You can't base calories on a one size fits all. Different macros effect people different. Also keep in mind that people expend calories more per day depending on physical activity and what you are doing in gym.
 
Over the years I have read a lot of bodybuilders' cutting diets and the numbers never make sense to me.
This topic has been discussed a lot and different people need different levels of caloric intake, of course. However it is not at all unusual for a 230-240 lbs guy cut on let's say 3,700 calories. These levels of caloric intake are just ridiculous to the eyes of someone like me, who worked with clients that were regular dudes and gals as opposed to bodybuilders.
How can a person lose fat on 3,700 kcal per day? That is just insanity. So help me understand what is going on here.

I know... a bodybuilder carries more muscle than a regular Joe and hence has a higher resting metabolic rate. OK... But just how much more? A 230-240 lbs bodybuilder has, let's say 70 lbs more muscle than a typical white collar guy who comes to me for training and diet advice. My guy -even if he expands calories through exercise- cannot lose weight until he goes down to or below 2,000 calories (and definitely even lower for many guys). Yes it varies from person to person and there is always that one individual out there who has a very fast metabolism. But the vast vast vast majority of people suit the description above.

Let's take a bodybuilder now. He loses bodyfat while taking 1,700 calories more (3,700 compared to 2,000). How the fuck is that possible? The additional 70 lbs of muscle burns around 6*70 = 420 calories a day. We can argue all day long how much more calories you will burn per additional pound of muscle, but I guarantee you it is not 10 calories per pound per day. I discussed this to death over the years. Some trainers I saw throw around stupid numbers to motivate their clients like "we can have you burn 500 calories a day more by putting muscle on your frame". Bullshit.

OK but bodybuilders do cardio, so that explains the numbers right? I don't think so. Yes a few dedicated guys do like two 45 minute sessions a day on a cut, but I really doubt this is the norm. Been around bodybuilders a lot and IMO very few do excess cardio. I don't even think most people can handle 90 minutes a day while on a cut. So you burn let's say another 430 calories a day through carido (I picked a number that both makes sense to me while also resulting in a nice, round figure) ... The 420 extra calories you burn through additional muscle mass + 430 from cardio = 850. This explains exactly half of the 1,700 additional calories you can take in compared to my white collar, pencil pusher. So what is going on?

For me there is no way to explain these observations other than to say that the high dose AAS cycles bodybuilders do on a cut burn extra calories.
Now don't get too hung up on the exact numbers above. No way for anyone to conduct a study on bodybuilders and come up with exact figures. But overall I do not think the figures above are too far off.

Big Guys, especially Luki... Am I off base?
Your problem is that you’re failing to consider most BBers have their calories tracked ALL YEAR, including off-season. So over the course of an off-season calories will climb to say 6k. And maybe around there they are noticing that in order to maintain 275+, 6k is necessary. But then the cut begins. And we pull calories from that 6k. So any subtraction from that initial 6k maintenance will lower bodyfat and weight. So it may start at 5.5k…lose weight then a plateau. Another subtraction is needed and maybe cardio is added. And so on.
It’s a fairly simple principle. I just don’t think u are taking their off-season metabolism into consideration. I was at 6+k cals this off-season and I’m Low now. But this is what it takes.
 
Over the years I have read a lot of bodybuilders' cutting diets and the numbers never make sense to me.
This topic has been discussed a lot and different people need different levels of caloric intake, of course. However it is not at all unusual for a 230-240 lbs guy cut on let's say 3,700 calories. These levels of caloric intake are just ridiculous to the eyes of someone like me, who worked with clients that were regular dudes and gals as opposed to bodybuilders.
How can a person lose fat on 3,700 kcal per day? That is just insanity. So help me understand what is going on here.

I know... a bodybuilder carries more muscle than a regular Joe and hence has a higher resting metabolic rate. OK... But just how much more? A 230-240 lbs bodybuilder has, let's say 70 lbs more muscle than a typical white collar guy who comes to me for training and diet advice. My guy -even if he expands calories through exercise- cannot lose weight until he goes down to or below 2,000 calories (and definitely even lower for many guys). Yes it varies from person to person and there is always that one individual out there who has a very fast metabolism. But the vast vast vast majority of people suit the description above.

Let's take a bodybuilder now. He loses bodyfat while taking 1,700 calories more (3,700 compared to 2,000). How the fuck is that possible? The additional 70 lbs of muscle burns around 6*70 = 420 calories a day. We can argue all day long how much more calories you will burn per additional pound of muscle, but I guarantee you it is not 10 calories per pound per day. I discussed this to death over the years. Some trainers I saw throw around stupid numbers to motivate their clients like "we can have you burn 500 calories a day more by putting muscle on your frame". Bullshit.

OK but bodybuilders do cardio, so that explains the numbers right? I don't think so. Yes a few dedicated guys do like two 45 minute sessions a day on a cut, but I really doubt this is the norm. Been around bodybuilders a lot and IMO very few do excess cardio. I don't even think most people can handle 90 minutes a day while on a cut. So you burn let's say another 430 calories a day through carido (I picked a number that both makes sense to me while also resulting in a nice, round figure) ... The 420 extra calories you burn through additional muscle mass + 430 from cardio = 850. This explains exactly half of the 1,700 additional calories you can take in compared to my white collar, pencil pusher. So what is going on?

For me there is no way to explain these observations other than to say that the high dose AAS cycles bodybuilders do on a cut burn extra calories.
Now don't get too hung up on the exact numbers above. No way for anyone to conduct a study on bodybuilders and come up with exact figures. But overall I do not think the figures above are too far off.

Big Guys, especially Luki... Am I off base?
The fact that you don't comprehend this tells me you should not be taking on "CLIENTS" right now, build your knowledge base on metabolism, NEAT, thermodynamics, and "building a calorie ceiling" before you decide to help people.
 
I think this is also the case of the outliers just getting your attention. At my peak bodybweight, I'd start my diet on 3,000 and I'd end up around 1,800 to get shredded. John Meadows used to have to go very low and most even super heavy bodybuilders I know have to go pretty low. Look at the Sam Sulek guy everyone is obsessed with he is on 2,500.

Your attention is focusing on the 260 lb freaks on a metric ton of drugs and the outliers Virtuous above. I'm close to 230 and fairly lean. I train full body, every muscle to failure 5-6 days a week and bike 50 miles a week (intensely, outdoors). I eat 3,000 and don't lose weight. If I wanted to get really lean I'd drop to 2,500 and then go down to 2,000.

I know a ton of heavyweight bbers and super heavys that start their diet 16 weeks out between 2,800 and 3,400 calories. and then go down from there usually ending between 2,000 and 2,500.

Look at a guy like Virtuous who is on a decent (and great) cocktail of drugs and has great genetics and he also trains his ass off. Guys like that are just in another category (and yes I'm jealous).
I’m not sure I’m an outlier, but rather just what happens when someone who’s natural set point was 160 lbs gets into this game.

My whole family are endurance athletes (parents bike 100+ miles in 5 hours on the weekends, probably get 3-400 miles total weekly), older sister runs units marathons (ran a 100 mile race, got 3rd overall this year), stuff like that.

I played soccer and did martial arts growing up, and then throwing 50 lbs of muscle over 10 years on my frame means that I’m obligated to keep calories high or I slide back towards 200 lbs quickly.

Currently bulking on 5k+ cals. My ass is eating half a jar of peanut butter mixed with two scoops of whey nightly AFTER dinner, but dude, it’s just math.

Build up your metabolism and don’t starve yourself, cut intelligently, and you’ll have a racehorse for a metabolism.

I’m also a fan of energy flux - being more active and consuming more nutrients (controlling for rest, obviously) builds more tissue for me personally. YMMV.

Not a fan of doing the least and eating as little as possible, the only place i am conservative (relatively) is drug usage.
 
Your problem is that you’re failing to consider most BBers have their calories tracked ALL YEAR, including off-season. So over the course of an off-season calories will climb to say 6k. And maybe around there they are noticing that in order to maintain 275+, 6k is necessary. But then the cut begins. And we pull calories from that 6k. So any subtraction from that initial 6k maintenance will lower bodyfat and weight. So it may start at 5.5k…lose weight then a plateau. Another subtraction is needed and maybe cardio is added. And so on.
It’s a fairly simple principle. I just don’t think u are taking their off-season metabolism into consideration. I was at 6+k cals this off-season and I’m Low now. But this is what it takes.
Thank you. This is me. The first stage of a "diet" is not forcing down 1000 calories six times a day, lol. That's how you can initially lose weight on a 5,500 calorie a day "diet."
 

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