With the semester coming to a close and the warm temperatures slowly creeping back into the daily forecast, everyone knows what time of the year it is for all of the fitness enthusiasts out there. Considering it’s quite obvious that I fall into that category (and I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you reading this are too because, then again, why would you be here in the first place?) let’s talk about cutting, but first, I have a little story for you guys.
As the almost true beginner that I was last summer – only a few months into training the correct way and having my nutrition on point, I had unrealistic goals of what I would look like after going through a 12-16 week cutting phase that seems to be the norm around this time of the year as I stated before. I assumed that starting at a mere 140 pounds with basically a “skinny-fat” physique and working my way up to about 160 would give me the opportunity to diet down back to my original weight and see the 20 pounds of muscle that I accumulated over the few months that I actually knew what I was doing. As you can imagine, this went south pretty quickly: I immediately slashed my carbs, implemented cardio, intermittent fasting, you name it. If there was a way to diet, I tried it over those few weeks and literally for no reason. I was left depleted, had terrible workouts, and to be perfectly honest, I just started to realize how small I actually was.
At this point, you may be wondering how this has anything to do with what I wanted to talk with you guys about today and here’s the tie in: I, as many others, fell victim to “summer shredding” (shoutout, Christian Guzman), what I thought I was “supposed to do”, and really just jumped the gun. You really have to take a step back and evaluate where you are in your fitness journey and just accept that fact that it takes years upon years to get where you want to be. Also, you just have to be realistic with yourself and look to the future and what will benefit you in the long run and that brings me to the whole point of this: skip getting – or trying in my case, to get lean in hopes that you look better at the beach, by the pool, and maybe even good enough to throw up an Instagram post here or there.
It honestly is not worth it if you’re in the beginner stage for sure or even for some intermediates as I would consider myself. You have to do a cost to benefit analysis and ask yourself, is it really worth it stop your progress, the time where you are most primed to grow and build the base physique needed to actually look shredded as a lot of people do, just to have somewhat of a six pack for a few months? The choice is easy to me and that is why I have decided just to suck it up and keep grinding for the progress in the gym this summer because I know that in the long run it will be for my own good and after all, I am here for the long haul as I assume most of you are as well.
With that being said, if having a six pack is your main goal, then by all means, go for it! Everyone has their own goals and I just challenge all of you reading this now to take a step back, reflect on those goals, and decide what the proper course of action is to achieve them. And I promise you, if you have been in the gym and working hard for any period of time, you will look far better than 75% of the people you see at the beach or by the pool anyway; nobody will be able to tell if you’re sitting at 15% body fat as opposed to 12% and honestly, most people won’t even care in the first place.
So, if you’re dieting for a show and trying to get lean for summer, I wish you all the best along the tough journey you choose to bark upon as I know that it’s a difficult process even from my failed attempt last year. As for the rest of you, I hope you choose to hop aboard the gain train and continue to build your base now while you’re in the best place to do so! I’ll talk to you all soon, but now, as my friend eats his one packet of oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast, I am about to take a nice stroll to Dunkin’ Donuts and grab myself two donuts pre-workout (lol).
Remember, fitness is a journey and something that should add or enhance your life. Don’t overthink it. Don’t let cutting, social media, or what you think you have to do consume your life. Anyway, I know I may have gone off on a little tangent there, but thanks for hanging in there with me and reading until the end!