Restart Hst During Cut Or After?


New Member

More than 15y ago or so I was deeply into weight training and the few last years of that going with HST after it became public. I was pretty big and also strong that time. Later I lost interest and got more into biking, job & family etc.
I am 44y now and figured that I gained too much belly and of course lost muscle.
So begin of Jan I pulled my old food scale and caliper out of the drawer and started to cut to see how it goes. By today I lost 6..7Kg and feel I want to go at least 4..5Kg further to end up somewhre around 15% BF hopefully.
For now I just kept cycling but did not start any weight training yet.
But meanwhile I convinced myself that I probably should and started to check out what's the trend today.
I somehow fully expected that the whole world must be applying HST by today, but after a few hours on YT and the web ...what I surprise. I found and interview with Bryan from 2018 or so by specifically googling for it and that was it :)

Anywas, to not bore you too much, I have one doubt I wanted to clear:
The advised principles from back in the days didn't seem to have changed. Its all still about frequent & progressing mechanical load. So muscles grow bigger while becoming more resistant towards the applied load at the same time.

So I wonder whats the best tactics during my significant kcal deficit and fully decondtioned muscles?

I could
a) start weight training right now. That would probably help to prevent further loss of lean mass, especially towards the later phase of the diet.
On the other hand, I think that I would condition my muscles (ie. making them resistant against load) in a situation where they can't really grow due to kcal restriction. That feels like a "waste of load" in some way.

or b) finish the diet without weight training and accept a greater loss of mean mass. But after, when I start loading my muscle tissue, all the load increment can be turned into actual grow, as I will not be in a caloric deficit any more.

I think if I would put this up as a vote in any BB forum, I'd get 99.9% for a).
But please try to understand the argument I am trying to make. Once one has adapted to a certain load A, there is no going back. So if that load A has not resulted in hypertrophy, once needs to rely on higher load for that prupose later. But we all know that the load you can generate is limited. Ie. weights used can't be increased indefinitely.

Thanks for your thoughts on this!
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A. Unless you really do not want to weight train. Adaption is not a problem at your stage and there are ways around it anyway.
I didn't do the research (so assumptions here):

I've been in the same boat, but never really considered dieting without lifting weights. I think lifting, at the very least, holds on to muscle during a cut, but it also keeps metabolism higher, improves general health markers, and speeds up fat loss. At least for me, it's a lot more fun than endless cardio workouts.

I think the key is to start low, and very slowly ramp the weights back up.

I've gone down the rabbit hole off and on over the past few years trying to structure the perfect training split. At my point in life (work/family/time commitments), I finally (!) realized it doesn't matter until later. I just need to consistently move throughout the week, hopefully build a little muscle, and cut the fat.

I stated the year off with super light weights (I'm talking probably taking a guess for a 50rm and doing it for 30 reps!) doing a basic circuit (working out at home) of neutral grip pull ups (easy clusters), goblet squats, DB bench, DB chest supported rows, DB upright rows, and kettlebell swings. Then increased the weights a little whenever it felt good. Just under two months in, and this is the best I've felt in years. I miss it, so I am going to start a normal HST split soon.

I think the "adapting to soon" thought process, while a few good thoughts, is missing the boat. Assuming lifting improves fat loss, and at the very least holds onto muscle, you'll be at a better starting point (healthier and more muscle) when you want to start bulking.

I'm guessing (another assumption), beginners, or folks getting back after a long (year+) layoff, can train consistently for 9+ months without running into RBE. If you hit the wall, take two weeks off, then start lifting again.
Thanks both!

The base of my thinking was the assumption that in a caloric deficit hyperthrophy would be impossible (I feel I heard that in said podcast with Brian but maybe I misunderstood something). So that in best case I would only be able of keeping more muscle plus the RBE.

I spent now a day or so in looking through science myself (wow, there is so much more relevant one to be found compared to 15y ago...) and there is just plenty of evidence of actual recomposition (losing fat + building lean mass simultaneously) out there for all kind of groups (men/woman, young/old, beginner/competing athletes, obese/lean...).
So I started lifting the very same evening and enjoy the long forgotten permament soreness since.

Same as you @Clayton, I im starting very light, like my 30 or 40RM, 15 reps daily for any exercise. Now slowly pushing up volume and then I might increase weight by 10% every 2 weeks or so. It least that worked well back in the days. Together with some natural breaks for vacation etc that should bring me easily into next year until I migth need to step into excentrics.

I do wonder how much I can expect from muscle memory after such a long time. I guess I will see.
One thing I am noticing unfortunately already is that my carb cravings increased. I struggle quite a bit more with kcal discipline than before touching that weights :(
Old and Grey posted a cool chart from on training age/adding muscle in a caloric deficit:

The way I interpret it: Untrained folks (or after a multi-year layoff) that need to drop fat should feel free to diet aggressively at the beginning (may as well take advantage of this phase and get both fat loss/muscle gain while we can) of getting back into lifting, then be more moderate once improvement slows. I don't recall which podcast, but one rationale with dieting harder at the beginning is that it is better because people see results quicker, and then stick with it. I started the year off with a more moderate approach, but I'm going to see how it goes over the next 3 weeks with eating less, and walking more, while still following an HST inspired split.