One of the biggest obstacles for people trying to successfully cut their first time is keeping their strength from dropping.
But in reality, that isn’t an obstacle at all because it doesn’t matter.
How Important Is Strength To Cutting?
I don’t worry about strength one bit; not hitting personal records every week doesn’t dictate the type of progress I’m trying to achieve. Strength is only important to those that actual value it while cutting. Some people have a number one priority of being insanely ripped to the core while being a decent size, with strength being nothing but a “bonus” if that. That’s the category I fall into. I don’t worry about strength one bit; not hitting personal records every week doesn’t dictate the type of progress I’m trying to achieve.
People that associate strength loss with muscle loss are forgetting something very important: human strength is more of a function of your central nervous system than it is of your muscles. Another thing, strength loss can be a factor of fatigue that’s set in from lack of calories over the week and/or lack of total carbs that you’ve been taking in. Pre-workouts help to some degree, but you can’t replace carbs with supplements and expect miracles to work. Caffeine and ephedrine may be worth trying for an extra boost of energy if you aren’t big on pre-workouts.
Your average person is going to start losing strength around 2-3 weeks into a cut, depending on actual calorie deficit and carb intake. For me, I cut calories at all costs and protein takes priority of the three macros that I take in, which usually means my carb intake is going to take a severe hit. A lower carb intake = less water being held onto by the muscles, glycogen storage, etc (don’t forget, 2/3 of the muscle is made of water, pretty important to have for strength). Add that with less calories than usual from day-to-day and you can almost expect your strength to drop off at some point.
Basically, don’t worry about it. If being lean at a decent size is your goal, then you’re in luck. If you’re looking to cut but some reason want to keep all of your strength plus gain some, then I can’t help you. I’d recommend picking one or the other either way.