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  • slow bulking: need help from those experienced with carb cycling

    if bulking slowly with a 40/40/20fat macro and ~500cals over maintenance for daily cals, would there be any benefit in addition to carb cutoffs before bedtime to limit carbs on off-training days (primarily to keep fat levels in check and possibly even reduce bodyfat over long term), or should carbs still be equally high on offdays to let muscle continue to build?

    thanks.

  • #2
    Reducing carbs on non-training days will help keep fat gain to a minimum. Based on what you say your diet is, a "slow gain," why consume excess carbs when your glycogen stores are likely to already be pretty full and you don't need the energy.

    Of course, this also depends on the type of diet approach you are taking, because if you are doing something like carb backloading you would be consuming them at a different time.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by mentalflex View Post
      Reducing carbs on non-training days will help keep fat gain to a minimum. Based on what you say your diet is, a "slow gain," why consume excess carbs when your glycogen stores are likely to already be pretty full and you don't need the energy.

      Of course, this also depends on the type of diet approach you are taking, because if you are doing something like carb backloading you would be consuming them at a different time.
      well i did something silly like trying to bulk with no carbs generally just avoided them for a LONG time in the last few years. that got me nowhere. now i'm trying to force myself to reincorporate carbs after that previous conditioning. read around and thought of that concept of reducing carbs on lower days.

      plan for food is 40/40/20 split with ~240g carb protein and 60g fat for ~2500 calories on normal days, and for training day add a workout drink which is 80carb/48protein (~500cals)

      currently i have 2 ideas for that:
      offdays, further reduce carbs by half (ex: 240g to 120g or lower) by just lowering the amount of carbs i eat in each meal, and keeping everything else the same (thus losing ~500cals) OR
      do the above but replace with fats to keep calories ~2500.

      boils down to how low i should keep my cals on off days assuming 4days training 10m medium intensity cardio after each, 5'9 160 16%bf intermediate trainer

      any input from your experience is greatly appreciated.

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      • #4
        Do you think you need to drop the carbs that low on off days? You are trying to bulk.... How many off days vs training days do you have. Reducing 500 calories is a decent amount anyways for an off day. your losing another 400 calories dropping it from 240 to 120 on the carbs.
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        2012 Muscle Mayhem Open Middleweight - 1st

        2013 Dallas Europa Open Light Heavyweight - 8th

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        • #5
          Just a quick question or two? Have you gained in the past on 2500 cals a day? Are you really gonna be satisfied going so slowly that you may end up a year later being 5-10 lbs heavier? I'm not saying just have an eating free for all, but it really seems like you have the reigns being held in when you should be letting them go if you want to gain....

          And keeping your carbs low in the past few years time, only to come up at 160 with 16% bodyfat, which is probably higher, does not seem like it was a very good plan, at all. If you are truly 16%, that gives you roughly 25 lbs of fat, so lean mass you're looking at roughly 135.....in my opinion I would say that you throw caution to the wind a bit and eat....I don't think there's anyone on this board that could say that they gained an appreciable amount of muscle by just eating a bit above maintenance. Those who get big, eat big. That's how it works for MOST.....there are those who can grow by just watching Pumping Iron it seems, but not many.....I think Mental's plan obviously works for him but IMO if you are trying to gain, keep cals as high as possible without gaining a ton of fat....you don't hafta look like a pot bellied pig to get big, but you do hafta eat out of your previous realm of eating....Simplicity is key. Do something that is gonna allow you to stay consistent for months and then years and all the while keep an eye on bodyfat....look in the mirror and make small adjustments as necessary.....
          STEEL




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          • #6
            Originally posted by steel1970 View Post
            Just a quick question or two? Have you gained in the past on 2500 cals a day? Are you really gonna be satisfied going so slowly that you may end up a year later being 5-10 lbs heavier? I'm not saying just have an eating free for all, but it really seems like you have the reigns being held in when you should be letting them go if you want to gain....

            And keeping your carbs low in the past few years time, only to come up at 160 with 16% bodyfat, which is probably higher, does not seem like it was a very good plan, at all. If you are truly 16%, that gives you roughly 25 lbs of fat, so lean mass you're looking at roughly 135.....in my opinion I would say that you throw caution to the wind a bit and eat....I don't think there's anyone on this board that could say that they gained an appreciable amount of muscle by just eating a bit above maintenance. Those who get big, eat big. That's how it works for MOST.....there are those who can grow by just watching Pumping Iron it seems, but not many.....I think Mental's plan obviously works for him but IMO if you are trying to gain, keep cals as high as possible without gaining a ton of fat....you don't hafta look like a pot bellied pig to get big, but you do hafta eat out of your previous realm of eating....Simplicity is key. Do something that is gonna allow you to stay consistent for months and then years and all the while keep an eye on bodyfat....look in the mirror and make small adjustments as necessary.....
            Agreed, just keep it clean, and eat a shitload. Don't go overboard. I'm not sure but a good place to start would be like... 1.5 grams of protein per body lb... Substantial amount of complex carbs... I'd go as far as to say i'd hit about 350 400. Fats... 100? what do you think Steel
            2012 Muscle Mayhem Novice Middleweight - 1st
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            2013 Dallas Europa Open Light Heavyweight - 8th

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            • #7
              I think even if he started a bit lower and went up every week or so it would facilitate more gains.....I'm certainly not the expert, as I hired someone to do the thinking for me, BUT it's really not that complex of plan that you need in order to gain....

              Woodshred's got it down.....1.5 g pro per pound.....run carbs for the first four meals with a little fat, run no carbs, just pro/fat for the last 2-3 meals, increasing fats there....try to get maybe 60-75 g carbs for each of the first 4 meals. Take in 100g carbs pwo....etc....you gotta play with it to see what works. If you think that no one ever has to make adjustments to the plan, you are sadly mistaken. Even something like your daily activities could change your caloric needs.....you may switch jobs and start to drop weight like I did last year....gotta go up.....might see your metab start to slow a bit, gotta add some cardio.... You hafta be able to be patient enough to see what's working, but not too stubborn to make some changes.....
              STEEL




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              • #8
                Just for reference, when Skip increased my food last year after I had switched jobs, my carbs and fat went up quite a bit....if I remember correctly I was eating 125g of carbs for my first 4 meals, then another 100-125g pwo.....that's over 600g on training days.....I never cycled the carbs. The only thing that changed from day to day was adding the pwo meal. To me it's more simple this way.....I don't know if Skip cycles things with clients or not, but I know that Skip knows ME, and knows that I want the least complex plan possible. I simply don't have time to think about it. It's gotta be something constant so I can just do it.

                Alot of guys use cycles and what not and I'm sure they work very well. I just cannot dedicate the amount of time to planning it out, as I am always very busy with my kids and life.....
                STEEL




                "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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                • #9
                  I would consider that 100 grams of carbs your throwing in there kind of a Cycle, because your dropping those completely without that Pre/intra/Post carb shake whatever time you may hit it. Just increase your Fats a little on your off days and drop those workout carbs. You'll have yourself "kind of cycling". But I would do like steel said, slowly start introducing 75, 150, 225 grams of carbs into your diet, or whatever it may be, till you get to the point you want to be. You will probably be pretty fing bloated and retain some water if you dont. Which Personally I dont give a crap if i look bloated or what not, as long as your not pounding Mcdonalds and keeping it clean, you should still make some pretty good gains.
                  2012 Muscle Mayhem Novice Middleweight - 1st
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                  2013 Dallas Europa Open Light Heavyweight - 8th

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                  • #10
                    I like the ideas you guys are putting out there. I think a good option is to start with is to increase carbs with each meal, say 25g with the first 4 meals, in addition to you proteins and fats which would be divided up appropriately according to your meals.

                    From there, continue adding carbs to the easiest meals to get down and into your intra or PWO meal.
                    Be true to yourself and fuel your body with nothing less the highest quality supplements. Only available at TrueNutrition.com Use discount code: KSP945 to save 5% on your order!

                    Stickies...just read the damn stickies...

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                    • #11
                      thanks guys. was planning on originally 4 meals but may reconsider and apply some of the info you all gave here.

                      240g protein, 400g carb, 100g fat = 3500cals :p i may stick a little under that and gradually bump it up.

                      and for 2500 cals a day, i actually did not gain on 3000-3500 but that was low carb a few yrs ago. very strange and i used scales on most of my meals, so idk perhaps something odd happened. either way ill start off 2500/3000 for 3off/4training days and work my way up from here.

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                      • #12
                        Out of interest.

                        Do you guys recommending keeping carbs in the first 4 meals find you still sleep ok on a night not having had carbs for several hours.

                        I find I have trouble getting off so have added in some carbs pre bed and I sleep much better.

                        Lately I have been playing around with carb timing. I dnt seem to have any issues taking in more of my carbs at night even on off days n feel a sleep much better.

                        What I have been doing is going careless from rising on off days up until 7pm then consuming 75-100g carbs in the final 2 weeks.

                        I have carbs in 5 out of 6 meals on training days with just pre training meal being protein only.

                        I think as long as there are periods of v low carbs with Cardio in there it may help to keep insulin sensitivity higher.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by WoodShred View Post
                          Which Personally I dont give a crap if i look bloated or what not, as long as your not pounding Mcdonalds and keeping it clean, you should still make some pretty good gains.
                          Off topic, but what's the difference between clean and not clean 3000 calories? McDonalds burger, for example, is a piece of bread, a hamburger patty and pieces of tomato, lettuce, onion etc. Big Mac is about 500 calories and 25g protein. What's so bad about it?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ursus View Post
                            Off topic, but what's the difference between clean and not clean 3000 calories? McDonalds burger, for example, is a piece of bread, a hamburger patty and pieces of tomato, lettuce, onion etc. Big Mac is about 500 calories and 25g protein. What's so bad about it?
                            Look at the ingredients - that is problem that I personally have with that crap. It's not the macronutrient profile, but what it consists of. In addition to the ingredients for the bun and sauce listed below, I also like to stick to organic (preferably grass-fed) beef.

                            Big Mac Bun:
                            Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, soybean oil and/or canola oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate and/or sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin, sesame seed.

                            Big Mac Sauce:
                            Soybean oil, pickle relish [diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), spice extractives, polysorbate 80], distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate, sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar, garlic powder, vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat), caramel color, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, turmeric (color), calcium disodium EDTA (protect flavor).


                            2017 NPC National Championships Classic Physique, Class D - 4th Place
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                            2015 Arnold Amateur Men's Classic Bodybuilding, Tall Class - 4th Place
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ursus View Post
                              Off topic, but what's the difference between clean and not clean 3000 calories? McDonalds burger, for example, is a piece of bread, a hamburger patty and pieces of tomato, lettuce, onion etc. Big Mac is about 500 calories and 25g protein. What's so bad about it?
                              Lol, is this a serious question? How many grams of fat are in that Big Mac? How many grams of saturated fat in a McD's burger? CLEAN means just that....LEAN protein choices not riddled with bad fat, better carb choices than bleached white flour hamburger rolls, maybe not a ton of cheese and mayo, etc.....

                              Edit: also, if a Big Mac is 500 cals and 25g of protein, that means your getting 100 cals from protein, and 400 cals from??????
                              Last edited by steel1970; 09-26-2012, 08:14 PM.
                              STEEL




                              "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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