The debate on how to train when trying to cut down is an endless one. Some will say high reps and low weight while others will argue vice versa. This is a tough debate in the world of modern kinesiology and the science of working out. Some will say that working with higher reps will tone the body more, while others argue that higher reps will actually cause less muscle to be maintained while cutting down. The opposite is also true, some will argue that working super heavy will cause more muscle loss while cutting due to a lack of nutrients for repair, while others will argue that with heavy training more muscle is used, therefore maintaining more of it.
I for one believe in training super heavy while cutting, due to the fact that I train as both a natural bodybuilder and a powerlifting competitor. I believe that 5x5s will be the optimal set/rep style for when you are cutting down, particularly now for the summer. This heavy style will allow you to use all of your muscle and to make this muscle denser while you are cutting down, with proper nutrition of course. This heavy style can also allow you to gain strength, which is not only great for showing off (showing off not advised), but also for lifting heavier and working more muscle when you go back to bulking up.
Now for the higher rep ranges, the style that incorporates 2 sets of 25 repetitions is a style that has been used for cutting for the longest time, and to be fair it has worked for many people. The only downside to this is that you will be more likely to lose muscle mass cutting down this way, though with proper nutrition and supplementation anything is possible, it is more likely that muscle mass will be lost this way. The other issue is that even when muscle mass is not lost, I find that you get a flatter look with this type of training as opposed to a heavy powerlifting style training.
Hope this helps you all with your cutting down for summer.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013