My progress on the main lifts have significantly reduced ever since I started doing a very slight cut, close to a point where it has been stagnant for over a month now. I am trying to figure out if I am doing something wrong or if it is my diet. Hence I want to ask, what are some realistic expectation on how much strength one can gain?

Details: Less than a year, Body weight= 90 kg, height= 174 cm

Main lifts: Squat, bench , deads, and rows

  • 2
    I think we need more details to get a decent answer to you here. Strength in which lifts? What is your training age? What is the size of your deficit?
    – Thomas Markov
    Sep 26, 2023 at 16:17
  • I believe it's common to just maintain on a cut, even a slight one, unless you are either/o pretty high BMI or early in your lifting career.
    – joeyfb
    Sep 26, 2023 at 17:41
  • Training age means “how long have you been seriously training?”
    – Thomas Markov
    Sep 26, 2023 at 19:41
  • You're training for less than a year and already doing a cut? how long have you been cutting for? Have you been tracking your calories / macros? did you change anything in your training? Do you do cardio, how often, how much?
    – Luciano
    Sep 28, 2023 at 9:19
  • Im already overweight @Luciano. Rougjly a month. Cardio about two minutes of fast running before each gum sesh
    – Babu
    Sep 28, 2023 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


You mentioned in comments that you're doing cardio before the sessions. When on a calorie deficit your body will receive less energy from food, so by doing cardio before the session you'll be already fatigued before lifting. I'd advise changing it to either later after the sessions or on a different day.

Try to mantain the volume of training by reducing weights and increasing reps. All you need to do is to add enough muscle growth stimulus so you don't lose any muscle during your cut. You can also try smaller increases in weight or reps than you'd normally do; expect slower progress than usual.

Either go agressive with the calorie deficit for a short time (4-8 weeks losing 1.5 - 2kg/month) or have a small deficit for a longer time (roughly 1kg / month). In the second case plan a mini-bulk (small surplus) or maintenance phase (1-2 weeks) every 3-4 months.

Dr Mike has some good tips about training on a cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXVFzcQYj3w

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