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Cutting weight, Injuries, and Rehab

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  • Cutting weight, Injuries, and Rehab

    51, current BW 187, down from 204. Started “cutting” at 198, with a goal of around 175. I’ve been training 5 years, and have experienced multiple muscle belly tears/pulls/tweaks over the years. I seem to tweak muscles more often when in calorie deficit. This has historically led me to abandon the weight loss effort. This time, I don’t wish to, but not sure I can cut and rehab.

    Current injury status: mild tweak of L quad (2 weeks ago at warm up weight) mild tweak of R hamstring (1.5 weeks ago - also at warm up weight); mild tweak of L hamstring (today) at a targeted rehab weight work set of deadlifts. As you might guess, I’m a little frustrated at this point. I was addressing the first 2 injuries with 8s of 3-0-3 tempo squats plus 12s of 3-0-1 leg presses with feet placed to fatigue both hamstrings and quads, and seemed to be making some progress. Today, of course, I tweaked the other hamstring. I didn’t panic, but deloaded some weight and did 3 sets of RDLs for 3 sets of 8, and then my usual leg presses at a lighter weight than usual.

    So now the question: can an effective rehab program be pursued while cutting? If so, should the calorie deficit be within a certain range? My current calorie deficit is pretty aggressive. Lastly, are my methods in the ballpark of a good approach? A perusal of posts suggests tempo squats plus targeted accessories is the general approach, but not sure if my choices make sense. Feel free to move this to nutrition if the diet aspect predominates.

  • #2
    ckehoe sorry to hear about the recent issues. I’m not aware of any evidence regarding caloric restriction and increased injuries - that’s not taking away from your personal experience but rather there’s not data on this to my knowledge. With that said, typically symptomatic issues are often related more to loading, fatigue, and stress coping issues. We’d likely need a consult to give individualistic advice but if you are having muscle strain issues then typically we want to slowly progress you back to normative range of motion for your desired tasks and slowly titrate up training loads back to baseline. I think it’s pertinent to mention, symptoms don’t actually always imply injury, meaning you may have pain in an area but that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong, damaged, or injured. If we are indeed addressing muscle strain(s) then often I do advocate for isolation work in the initial stages with eccentric focus. Let us know if you have any other questions.

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    • #3
      Thanks, Michael. I searched the forums and saw your recommendations for isolation exercises with eccentric focus in other threads. I have been doing just that (Nordics, Tempo RDLs and tempo leg presses in positions that seem to use the injured areas). I will reintroduce tempo squats today, and proceed slowly. I have been impatient with injuries, past and present, and have (finally) accepted that I need to titrate up more slowly than I want to.

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      • #4
        On the bright side, I am down 20+lbs and have not lost any upper body strength (although work capacity seems to have suffered a bit).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ckehoe View Post
          On the bright side, I am down 20+lbs and have not lost any upper body strength (although work capacity seems to have suffered a bit).
          Sounds like you are on the right track! Keep us posted.

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