I remember the first time I picked up a bodybuilding magazine, it was a Musclemedia 2000 and I was ready to get jacked, yoked, swole and ripped. You know, like Brad Pit in Fight Club… I had a plastic weight set in my basement that I assumed would take me from awkward to awesome in a few hardcore 3 hour workouts followed by a chocolate-like powder that I’d need a high-powered blender to attempt to dissolve the colossal floating orbs. What I didn’t realize is that I needed more than a protein packet or two to recover from a 3-hour smash sesh, and it was going to take much longer than I anticipated to see my first visible sight of abs - it’s a good thing Instagram wasn’t around then… I wish I had someone to provide me with some realistic expectations and a plan that was actually doable. To help those in the same position that I was in once, we’ve recruited TEAM USPlabs’ Dustin Starr to aid anyone that is ready to take their physique to the next level.
In the last few editions of The Cut, I shared tips on how to prepare and get started for this phase of your training. Now that you're on board, it's time to set some realistic expectations.
First and foremost, this is very hard. It certainly isn't easy by any means. It takes a significant amount of focus, passion + self-control. If it were easy - everyone would do it. So, step up and get the job done.
When changes are made to a diet or workout routine, it will take weeks before you truly begin to see results. So, stay consistent and be very patient.
When The Cut is in full swing, some tend to worry about the amount of food being consumed. Remember - I put an emphasis on eating 6-7 meals per day. Do not let this get in your head. You will not "get fat" unless you aren't being true to the plan.
Keep a log of accountability to help keep track of meals and exercises. Also, make sure your food is not only prepped, but make sure you have it with you and ready to eat.
The easier the access makes for an easier prep.
For me, the biggest hurdle during The Cut is controlling my snacking habits during the evening. I'm pretty sure that many of you would agree - snacking at night is a true struggle. Just simply don't do it.
Another hurdle for me is patience. You must be patient during The Cut. Give yourself enough time to be successful with your goal. If you think you may need 6 weeks to get where you need to be - you may want to allow yourself 8 weeks instead. Be conservative + realistic in the fact that everyone's body reacts differently to change.
Again, I have to preach the importance of logging, tracking and planning every detail of The Cut. You can always use this information in later preps to tweak and get better each time.
What to Expect
First, expect to be full. With all of the new foods you will be taking in, you'll be a little bloated and wondering if you're doing the right thing. I assure you - you are.
After 2-3 weeks of being consistent with your meals, cardio + lifting routine - little by little you'll notice a difference in your clothes. Your clothes will begin to fit a little looser than usual. In the next upcoming days or weeks, you'll begin to see a difference in the mirror.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Upon completion of The Cut, you should be in the best physical condition of your life. Whether you started The Cut as a rookie weight-lifter or someone who is far more advanced - you should notice a considerable difference from start to finish on your cutting phase.
Take before and after photos. What better way to track your progress than looking at the difference you've made? Another great way to see what impact you've made during The Cut is to measure yourself. Waist, arms, legs, shoulders - where you'd like to track your "gains". This will speak volumes.
Your true goal should be to beat your own progress each time. The only true competition is yourself.
Written by Dustin Starr
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The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.