George Farah: The Biggest Mistake Bodybuilders Make When Cutting Weight

George Farah explains the true key to cutting weight without diminishing muscle.

George Farah is one of the most legendary bodybuilding coaches in the history of the sport. So when he can share some vital advice to the masses on bodybuilding nutrition and dieting – it’s important to pay attention. In an era where being a mass monster is becoming increasingly more about heavier weight, it’s important to know how to get shredded properly. It’s a struggle, for example, that Big Ramy had for many years before finally earning his Mr. Olympia victory. In our latest GI Exclusive, George Farah details the biggest mistake to avoid when cutting weight in bodybuilding.

The notion of spot reducing fat has been debunked many times by many people. So the unfortunately truth is, if you have impressive muscle but flabby weak areas – there’s no way to spot check the fat without sacrificing the muscle. So how do bodybuilders cut down weight after a bulking cycle without diminishing their hard earned muscle?

We turned to legendary bodybuilding coach George Farah for his advice on this specific topic. His answer is direct, insightful, and something that all bodybuilders should heed when looking long term into their training and dieting plans. There is no trick to only burning fat without burning muscle. Instead, it’s important to prepare for the inevitability that you’ll need to cut down some weight and size overall.

George Farah claims that the biggest mistake bodybuilders make is not staying in shape during the off season. While bulking and cutting is a typical cycle for competitive bodybuilders – the bulking phase should not get too out of control in order to avoid HGH bubble gut and abdonimal distention. Farah holds nothing back when explaining this during our interview:

“Whatever you’re doing, you’re still going to lose muscle when you diet down. Especially if you gain a lot of fat. That’s why I tell people, listen, don’t call yourself a bodybuilder if you don’t have your abs in the off season.”


George Farah goes on to say how he “never understands” how bodybuilders are so shocked when they start cutting and end up losing much more weight than expected. This is because they put on more fat than they think – and unfortunately – muscle is always lost as well during this process.

That’s why a dirty bulk is often frowned upon by serious competitive bodybuilders. Dirty bulk is when you eat any kind of unhealthy food simply to build weight while you are pumping up muscle in the gym. A clean bulk relies on healthier foods so that you have less fat during the bulking phase.

Still, even with a clean bulk, how do you prevent losing too much muscle and underperforming on size and shape before a competition? George Farah says that the cutting phase needs to be longer than most bodybuilders think. Cutting should start off earlier and a bodybuilder should ease into it.


Cutting needs to start slow and progressively become more focused as you get closer to the show. This way you can see how your body reacts, and focus on training certain muscle areas that might start burning away. Adding a premium Fat Burner will ramp up your weight loss diet and allows for more time to fix weak areas of muscle, and more time overall to be prepared on the weekend of a competition.

So for your next cycle of building up muscle, ask yourself, “Do I still have abs during the offseason?” If the answer is no, you should reconsider how you are bulking. You are likely looking at problems down the road when it comes time to burning off weight and prepping your shred.

You can watch George Farah’s full comments on how to lose fat without losing muscle in our latest GI¬†Exclusive interview segment above!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.