Originally Posted by conceptionist
the general thought is that for naturals - strength = size.
By going for lower weights on a deficit, there is a risk that you strength and thus muscle mass. You also have to gain back that strength later on which is a "waste" of time.
Isn't that just due to the muscles being more full from the pump though? Also, higher volume will def have you burn more calories, putting you in a bigger deficit = faster weight and fat loss in comparison to lower volume.
Another reason lower volume is recommended, is that most people reduce mostly carbs when they cut. Carbs are the bodys preferred fuel source and a higher intake has you tolerating higher volume a lot more due to higher endurance. Pure strength is not related to endurance in the same way so it could still be pushed hard.
I could be wrong here, but that's just how I think about it logically.
being pumped has a lot to do with it, for sure. i also felt a big difference in performance after a carb-up or big over-maintenance day, to lend credence to the effect of carb reduction. with that being said, trying to sustain progress or even maintain with heavy weights was pretty punishing for me mentally, whereas eking out "one more rep" with lighter weights wasn't as much of a task.
i dont think its a right/wrong thing, nor do i think it has to be a binary thing that has to be decided upon - low volume/heavier weights vs higher volume/lighter weights. i think it would be prudent to continue training as normal and then adjust the volume of high-intensity sets (not all sets) downwards or limit the amount of "psyche-up" moments as progress starts to stall. i think the "carbs are energy, high volume requires more energy, therefore low carbs and high volume = bad" is a little simplistic. in my experience, calories had the biggest effect on gaining strength at low rep ranges. with a lack of calories, being able to maintain volume at a high level of intensity/low rep range was difficult. being able to maintain volume at a lower level of intensity was much easier. based on how i feel on a calorie deficit, trying to do 5's weekly was tough. i would rather do 1x3 / 1x2 / 1x2 and then 3x8-10 rather than trying to maintain 5x5 or 3x5 or 2x5 every week.
as far as the losing strength thing goes - i don't think that's nearly as big of an issue as its made out to be. continuing to train in a calorie deficit is the important thing; nobody's going to be performing post-cut as they were pre-cut regardless of what parameters they use. simply because absolute strength is explicitly defined in terms of a 1rm doesn't mean training with low reps is mutually exclusive to maintaining or improving in that particular range; higher rep ranges with lighter weights at greater volumes also provide benefit to said strength, albeit differently. i dont think someone who chose 3x10 versus 2x5 for squats would be all that far behind, if at all, when it came time to bulk again. once the calories come back, the volume on higher intensity lifts will come back also.