What Workout Should You Do When Cutting?

If you’re cutting and trying to lean out, you need to be strategic about your workouts. Here’s what you should be doing to make the most of your time in the gym.


Cardio is an important part of a cutting workout program. It can help you lose weight and burn fat without sacrificing muscle mass. Cardio can also increase your aerobic capacity, which can lead to improved performance and faster recovery time. In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of cardio and their benefits when cutting.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is an effective way to maximize calorie and fat burning in a shorter time than with traditional cardio. Your workout time for HIIT can range from 20 minutes to an hour and involves alternating between intervals of intense activity with periods of low intensity activity. Examples of HIIT include intervals of jumping jacks, jump rope, burpees, mountain climbers and sprints. During your breaks, you can rest or participate in light exercise such as walking or cycling at a slow pace.

HIIT maximizes calorie burn since it works multiple muscle groups at the same time and increases metabolism even after your workout is complete. Additionally, studies have shown that HIIT can help reduce risk factors for many diseases including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

If possible, it’s best to break up your workout into short sessions over the course of several days each week depending on your fitness goals. Increased intensity requires taking shorter breaks so that total workout time is reduced while still providing results. Lastly, make sure to warm up before each session and cool down after by stretching all major muscle groups for five minutes each to reduce risk of injury and allow your body to recover more effectively afterward.

Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS)

Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio is a form of exercise where you keep your heart rate and speed at a lower intensity for an extended duration of time. This type of cardiovascular activity is among the most common type of cardio used when people are trying to reduce excess body fat. The main reason why people use LISS as a part of their fat loss regime is because it helps you burn calories without spiking your cortisol levels, which works to manage stress hormones in the body that may impede fat loss goals. Additionally, LISS allows for more flexibility and can be performed at any level from walking up to running or biking.

Overall, performing LISS does not provide the same level of cardiovascular health benefits as traditional HIIT (high-intensity interval training), but for those looking to lose body fat it can be much more effective than traditional long-distance endurance training due to its ability to help manage cortisol levels associated with stress. Generally 20-60 minutes sessions with low intensity are recommended 2-4 times per week for optimal results when cutting or will being used as a primary method during any weight loss regime.

Strength Training

Strength training is an important component of any cuttting plan. It helps to build muscle, which can help you shape and tone your body while also burning more calories. Strength training also helps to raise your metabolism, which can contribute to burning fat as well. Let’s look at the benefits of strength training and how to get started.

Full-Body Workouts

Full-body workouts are the most common form of strength training and are typically recommended when looking to cut body fat. This type of workout includes exercises that target all major muscle groups within one session and is especially beneficial for those with limited amounts of training time available. Since intensity levels can be kept high and rest times can be narrowed, full-body workouts are one of the most effective methods for maximizing fat loss. Examples include:

• Squats — use barbells, dumbbells, ankle weights or weighted plates to increase their effectiveness
• Deadlifts — a compound exercise which works multiple muscle groups at once
• Pushups/pullups/chin ups — exercises which help in building endurance and upper-body strength
• Bent-over Row — this exercise is great for developing back size and strength
• Shoulder Presses — great for improving posture and building shoulder strength
• Lunges — promotes balance, flexibility, and coordination while working your lower body

Split Routines

Split routines are a type of workout where the exercises are divided up into different days. This allows for different body parts or muscle groups to be targeted on specific days, rather than all at once. For instance, if you were doing a three-day split routine, you might target one major muscle group each day. This can create greater focus and allow for more time to recover in between workouts.

In addition to targeting muscle groups on specific days, a split routine also allows for more variation in rep ranges and exercise selection than an all-in-one approach. Depending on the type of results you’re after (such as strength gains, size increases or fat loss), this can make the split routine an excellent choice when cutting – more time to focus on working particular body parts so that they can be worked in a way that will burn off fat without compromising their size and shape during the cutting process.


Nutrition plays a key role in any cutting workout. In order to lose body fat and get leaner, you have to be in a calorie deficit which means eating fewer calories than you burn. You don’t have to starve yourself, but you should be mindful of your eating habits and make sure you are consuming a balanced diet. The type of food you are eating will also play a role in your success. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your nutrition for a cutting workout.

Calculate your macronutrient needs

In order to achieve and maintain a healthy metabolism, it is important to calculate your macronutrient needs for a cutting phase. Macronutrients (also referred to as macros), consist of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Each macro has a different purpose in the body and contributes to the overall health.

Protein is a macro-nutrient comprised of amino acids, which are essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery. It also keeps hormone levels balanced, helps with muscle maintenance & nutrition transfer in the body. Protein should make up approximately 25% to 30% of your total caloric intake during a cutting phase.

Carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide an energy source in order to fuel physical activity and are essential for creating ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules that facilitate energy transfer within cells. Carbohydrates should compose around 40% of daily caloric intake when cutting.

Finally, fat is essential during any dieting period as it is an energy source that provides long-lasting fuel and helps regulate hormones in the body so they remain at healthy levels while you cut calories. When cutting calories fat should make up 20% – 25% of your daily nutritional intake but be sure you’re consuming healthy fats such as nuts & seeds or fish which are full of omega-3’s rather than trans fats or saturated fats found in processed foods like potato chips & cookies!

Eat the right foods for cutting

When cutting calories and aiming to shed body fat it is essential to maintain an adequate calorie intake, eat nutrient rich foods and foods that will keep your energy and satiety levels high. Eating the wrong types of food when cutting can not only lead to poor performance in the gym, but also impact your immune system, leading to increased hunger, cravings as well as fatigue.

To ensure you are meeting your nutrient needs but also sustaining your energy levels whilst cutting it is important to choose protein-rich foods including lean meats – such as chicken and fish – beans, eggs, quinoa and tofu. Carbohydrate sources should be predominantly complex – such as oats, quinoa or sweet potatoes. Consuming some healthy fats – such as avocados, nuts or seeds provides essential fatty acids that promote cortisol control needed for an effective cut. Additionally aim to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables daily in your meals as these pack a nutritional punch whilst being low in calories.

Including a selection of real whole food sources across meals will ensure you are getting nutrient dense calories whilst helping to provide an improved satiety response throughout the day. This will help reduce any sudden urges for processed food which may lead you towards derailing from progress made from consistent effort over weeks or months!


When people think of a successful cutting workout, they often think of intense weight lifting and low-carb diets. While these are important pieces to the puzzle, it’s important to consider the role that supplements may have in your cutting journey. Here, we will discuss the various types of supplements available and their potential benefits.


Protein is necessary for many bodily tasks, specifically muscle repair and growth. Protein is a macronutrient made up of amino acids and can be found in both animal or plant-based foods. Feeling fatigued after workouts? Adding adequate amounts of protein to an optimal number of calories helps maximize energy levels and protect healthy muscles – important when losing weight. To make sure you’re taking enough protein while cutting, aim to include 20-30g at every meal as an easy way to ensure adequate consumption throughout your day.

Additionally, supplementing with protein powder can be beneficial when trying to maintain or lean your body and obtain the desired physique. Protein powder is a convenient way to hit your daily macros quickly and effectively without forcing down multiple small meals throughout the day. When buying protein powder, look for whey concentrate or whey isolate as these contain higher levels of quality proteins that can help assist with gaining muscle tissue while in a calorie deficit phase.


Creatine is a supplement that has become one of the most popular workout supplements on the market today. It is an important component of muscle metabolism and helps to increase strength, power, size, and endurance. Creatine also helps to reduce fatigue and aids in recovery after a hard workout.

Creatine provides your muscles with energy by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in your cells. This energy can then be used for explosive activities like sprinting or weightlifting. During periods of heavy exertion, creatine can help to buffer lactic acid build-up and reduce muscular fatigue. Curating your intake of creatine will ensure optimal performance during intensive weight lifting sessions or explosive cardio that you may encounter while cutting calories for fat loss.

Supplementing with creatine monohydrate has been seen to be beneficial for athletes in many sports, including endurance events, team sports, and contact sports such as football or rugby. Therefore it is advised that people who are cutting include creatine in their supplement stack since it has been proven to bring benefits not only to strength training but also aerobic activity when consumed at the recommended dose of 3-5 grams per day on a regular basis over a period of time – usually six weeks or more – beginning with a loading phase of 20 grams/day for five days before maintenance dosage begins.


Caffeine is one of the most commonly used supplements when it comes to cutting because it can provide an energy boost to help you power through your workout. Studies have shown that caffeine can increase your metabolism and fat burning potential, making it a great tool when getting lean. When trying to shed the extra pounds, maintaining an alert state is key, and caffeine can give you that extra edge you need in the gym. Caffeine should be taken pre-workout and should not exceed 500 mg per dosage. To maximize its effectiveness look for caffeine sources with a slower release formula like coffee or tea extracts. Be sure to limit your intake as too much caffeine may lead to anxiety, headaches or restlessness.


When cutting, it is important to take into consideration not just your diet and the workouts that you do, but also your recovery. During cutting, your body is in a state of caloric deficit, which means that it is essential to get enough rest between workouts and to fuel your body with healthy foods. Recovery should be a priority for anyone wanting to see results from their cutting phase. Let’s explore the importance of recovery further.

Get enough sleep

Getting consistently high-quality sleep is absolutely essential to any successful cutting program. Not getting enough sleep can cause your body to produce an excessive amount of cortisol, which can lead to fat storage and inflammation. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sound sleep per night is a must when trying to cut body fat. Make sure you prioritize going to bed early, creating a dark bedroom environment, and avoiding screen time in the evenings. Additionally, supplementing with zinc and magnesium before bedtime may help aid in sleep quality for some individuals. Lastly, a pre-bedtime yoga or stretching session might also be beneficial for achieving deeper relaxation. Remember — good rest is essential for maximum performance!

Manage stress levels

While physical recovery is definitely important, don’t underestimate the importance of managing stress levels. Stress can sabotage weight loss efforts by telling your body to hold onto fat stores, suppress your appetite and shift hormone levels. Proper stress management is key for cutting in order to help create the balance necessary for progress. This can involve anything from deep breathing, meditation or mindfulness exercises to spending time with friends and family throughout the day and getting sufficient sleep (7-9 hours). Each of these will help restore mental energy to keep you going—and could even speed up your ability to reach your goal.

Use foam rolling and stretching

Foam rolling and stretching are important components of any rehabilitation program. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that uses deep compression massage to improve body awareness and mobility, reduce pain and accelerate recovery. In addition, foam rolling can enhance an athlete’s proprioceptive capabilities by optimizing muscle tension. Stretching helps to increase flexibility, reduce muscle soreness and contributes to greater athleticism.

There are 2 main types of foam rolling: myofascial release (MFR) and dynamic recovery (DR). Myofascial release is the use of a foam roller to apply deep pressure over tight muscles or trigger points in order to release knots or adhesions that can cause muscle pain and restricted movement. Dynamic recovery involves using a foam roller actively as part of flexibility drills for further range of motion gains, increased blood flow/circulation, improved posture/mechanics, injury prevention and improved performance.

Stretching can come in the form of both dynamic stretching, which uses active movement such as joint rotations or leg kicks to improve range of motion, mobility, strength and coordination; or static stretching which is used for longer duration holds (30 seconds or more) to target specific muscles groups with the intention of increasing flexibility. Both forms have their benefits depending on goal and desired outcome.

In summary, implementing foam rolling technique and utilizing both dynamic & static stretching can help athletes achieve enhanced range of motion while accelerating the body’s natural recovery processes following any workout session when cutting weight quickly.

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