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Thread: ***Dieting 101: Carb Cycling***

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    ***Dieting 101: Carb Cycling***

    Dieting 101: Carb Cycling

    Carb Cycling: What is it?
    Carb cycling is a pretty basic concept that can be applied to your nutrition regimen to help reach your goal. The great thing is, it can be used for virtually any goal: bulking, cutting, maintaining, and everything in between (whatever that may be! )!

    Simply put, it's the manipulation of the carbohydrate macronutrient within your weekly diet plan. You should know up front that there are MANY ways to set up a carb cycle; there's no right or wrong, but I will give you examples (later) of what I think is optimal, what I've personally used and have had success with. Typically, a well-thought out carb cycle will follow some sort of pattern on a daily basis... e.g. Monday - high carbs, Tuesday - low carbs, Wednesday - no carbs, etc. I say "well-thought out" because we shouldn't just arbitrarily change carb intake from day to day; there has to be a reason behind it, a goal. Let's start with 'bulking'.

    Carb Cycling For Bulking
    First, if you've read my posts or Lean Bulking sticky (found here: http://forums.steroid.com/nutrition-...%2A%2A%2A.html ), you know I'm not personally a fan of 'bulking' per se; I am a fan of adding as much lean mass as possible, with as little fat gain as possible. This, IMO, is where cycling carbs can REALLY help.

    I believe in taking in energy (i.e. carbs) when your body needs it most. A weight training session, high intensity cardio, a hike, playing sports, etc. - all good times to have energy stores ready to go. On the other hand, not as much energy is required during downtime; off days, etc. For example, if you're eating 3500 calories on workout days, and that's 500 calories above maintenance, I see no need to consume 3500 calories on off days (which could be looked at as additional caloric overage beyond 500). Since I always keep protein and fats moderate no matter what, I can reduce carbs which will, by default, reduce overall calories. Some disagree with this logic, but you will have to decide for yourself what makes sense, and more important, what works for you. Let's look at an example:

    5'11 male, 200lbs, 12% bodyfat. TDEE is roughly 2600 calories. He's lean bulking, and wants to keep his bodyfat as close to 12% (or lower) as possible. He's decided that on workout days, 3100 calories is what he needs to add lean muscle tissue. He's going with a 40/45/15 (Protein/Carbs/Fats) macro split which puts him at 310g protein, 350g carbs, and 50g fat. He'll be working out on a 3 day split, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He'll be doing cardio on Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Saturday's, with a complete rest day on Sunday. Here's the way I'd set up his carb cycle for optimal muscle gain with minimal fat:

    Mon/Wed/Fri - High carb days (350g carbs)

    Tue/Thur/Sat - Moderate carb days (175g carbs, total calories are now roughly 2400)

    Sunday - Low Carb day ( mostly fibrous veggies, <50g starchy carbs, total calories are at roughly 2000, not counting veggies, which, if you eat enough [and you should], can actually add up )


    On workout days, he's fueling his workouts, with plenty of spare carbs left over for recovery.

    On his cardio only days, he's taking half the amount of carbs (lesser activity), but still enough to aid with continued recovery and growth.

    On his rest day, he's taking in very few starchy carbs, and eating mostly fibrous veggies instead. He's been eating plenty of carbs all week, glycogen stores are close to full if not 100% full, and although this is a total rest (i.e. recovery) day, there's no need for a large amount of additional carbs.

    Some people might look at total calories and think they are too low for a 'bulk'. Remember that a) this isn't a traditional bulk. It's a lean bulk - we don't want to add a bunch of weight (fat) just to have to spend months later cutting to get it all off and (hopefully) yield a few lbs of LBM. Further, in my experience, most people think they need a lot more calories than they actually do. This is especially true with beginner dieters, and so called hard gainers (who just haven't learned to eat and/or train optimally yet).

    Again, this can be set up other ways, this is only one example. Not everybody works out only 3 days a week, but the underlying objective still applies: more energy taken when needed. If you workout 5 days a week and follow a typical single bodypart split, you may want to consider moderate carb days for shoulders and arms, and save the high carb days for bigger workouts like legs, chest and back. You have endless combinations and numbers to play with; experiment, stick with it for a bit, and see what works best for you.

    Carb Cycling For Cutting
    So how about those of us who want to shed bodyfat? This, IMO, is where carb cycling really can shine. The carb cycle that has worked extremely well for me in the past (I also happen to be running it as of the time of this write up) is similar in many ways to Lyle McDonald's UD2.0 plan - if you're not familiar with it, google it. It's tougher than anything I'm presenting here, but a very good read.

    The sole purpose of cycling carbs with regard to cutting is depleting (and later, replenishing) glycogen stores. Glycogen is a molecule made up of glucose and water, stored in muscle and the liver. Without going too much into it, our bodies use glycogen as a primary energy source. When glycogen gets depleted (via training, exercise, activity, etc.), our bodies begin to mobilize fatty acids, which can then be burned as fuel in place of/in addition to glycogen and glucose. As such, carb cycling for cutting should be set up very differently from that of bulking. Let's take the same example from earlier:

    5'11 male, 200lbs, 12% bodyfat - wants to reduce his bodyfat to < 10%. His TDEE is still around 2600, and he's decided to go with a modest deficit of 2200 calories to start with. Now we have a number to start working out a carb cycle. He's training Monday through Friday, doing cardio Monday through Saturday, and taking Sunday off to rest completely. That's actually my current schedule; here's how my carb cycle is set up:

    Mon/Tues/Wed - Moderate Carbs
    Thurs/Fri/Sat - Low Carbs
    Sunday - High Carb/Refeed


    Using 2200 calories as my 'baseline', I'd apply that to my moderate carb days and set macros up as follows:


    Moderate
    275g protein (roughly 1.5g/lb of LBM)
    55g fat
    150g carbs


    So for Monday through Wednesday, we're following this calorie/macro scheme. I'd also be focusing my more intense training sessions (e.g. legs, back, etc.) during this period. I'd then start a 3 day carb depletion phase on Thursday:


    Low
    275g protein
    55g fat
    0g carbs* (no starchy carbs. Fibrous veggies only!)


    That's roughly 1600 calories. The absence of (starchy) carbs furthers the caloric deficit by default. Too low? Not really. For one, we're only talking about 3 days, and secondly, this will be followed by a high carb refeed day.

    Note the asterisk next to '0g carbs'. You won't really be consuming 0g. For one, there will likely be trace amounts of carbs in the foods you eat on a daily basis (e.g. cottage cheese, protein powders, condiments, etc.). Secondly, you will ideally be consuming lots of fibrous veggies. While they are relatively light in terms of carbs, they do add up. You'll probably wind up eating somewhere between 50-100g carbs on these days, but again, mainly via fibrous veggies.

    Workouts during the depletion phase (Thursday through Saturday in this example) should change to fit the goal (glycogen depletion). Higher reps/lighter weight, more sets, total body exercises, bodyweight/depletive type workouts, etc. Remember that you will be doing cardio as well (moderate and low days).

    This 3 day window is your fat burning sweet spot. Glycogen should be close to depleted after about 1.5 days, BGL will be low, and insulin will be suppressed. You'll mainly be running on fatty acids. By the end of day 3, you may be at the onset of ketosis - but don't bother buying keto sticks. The goal here isn't to enter ketosis.

    Sunday: After 3 days of depletion, you're ready to replenish glycogen stores with a carb refeed. With any luck, you may also have a small window of growth as you will be overfeeding and in a very anabolic state, albeit for a brief period. As such, this high carb/refeed day should take place on a complete rest day. No training, no cardio. Just relax, recover, and try to enjoy yourself a bit. You're not only recovering, but preparing your body for the cycle to start over again the following day.


    High/Refeed
    275g protein
    55g fat
    400g carbs


    This breakdown will put you at roughly 3200 calories, 600 over maintenance. Carbs should consist of mainly starchy (potatoes, pasta, breads, rice, quinoa, lentils/beans, etc.), but feel free to enjoy life a bit with some fruit, or something you've been craving all week. Personally, I like to take an 'IIFYM' (If It Fits Your Macros) approach on this day. It gives me a mental break and allows me to enjoy some of the foods I normally don't eat while cutting. Just be careful not to go overboard, particularly with fat, because you are already consuming lots of carbs. Once glycogen stores are full, you'll experience the 'spill over' effect, which means additional energy (carbs/fats) gets stored in... fat cells! Definitely counter-productive. Just be mindful of what you're eating, do your best to hit your macros, and you'll be fine, especially if you've been perfect all week long.

    Carb Cycling For Maintenance

    IMO, running maintenance is, at certain times, just as important as cutting or 'bulking'. For one, giving your body a break from either of the 2 latter is always a good idea. Since doing 'nothing' wouldn't be a good approach, running maintenance, even if just for 4 weeks, is a good idea. Further, some people like to just maintain throughout the summer. They don't want to 'bulk' (for obvious reasons), and may already feel they're lean enough and/or don't want a flat/small/depleted look while they're at the beach. Even still, there are people who *need* to run maintenance for several months in an effort to 'reset' their body's 'set point'; e.g. maybe you've just finished a successful cut after years of being heavier/fatter. Jumping right back into a regimen where gaining weight is the goal would be a terrible and disastrous idea (I speak from experience)... you're body isn't yet 'comfortable' with it's new composition and needs an adjustment period, i.e. maintenance. Whatever the case may be, carb cycling can be applied to this as well.

    I'm not going to provide sample cycles in this case simply because there is no specific goal per se; essentially, you want to maintain your current weight and/or body composition. You want to keep bodyfat in check, and maintain muscle mass. You could set up a carb cycle many different ways to help accomplish this, but the important thing is that you don't arbitrarily do so. Picking random days of the week and saying "I think THIS will be a high carb day, and THIS will be a low day, etc." probably isn't a great approach. Make it count. Training legs Tuesday and taking off Wednesday? Perhaps you should make Monday a high carb day, and Tuesday moderate. A carb cycle will only be as effective as the workout it's built around. That is, I build my carb cycles to compliment the training regimen.

    One noteworthy point is with regard to maintenance calories. Running maintenance doesn't mean you have to eat at your TDEE every single day. You could do that, but you don't have to. Keep in mind that your body doesn't add up calories at the end of the day. We're continuously going through the process of breaking down and building up, caloric deficits and overages (even when eating in a deficit or overage), etc. As such, given a maintenance of 2200 calories, you could consume 1800 one day and 2600 the next, or vice versa, and manipulating carbs is what allows you this kind of flexibility.

    In summary, carb cycling is a tool that can be used as part of a balanced, intelligent nutrition plan. Like anything else, if it isn't applied with consistency, results will be lackluster. There is no magic here, no smoke and mirrors, no perfect diet plan - only the knowledge to succeed, and your drive to apply it consistently. Enjoy!

    ~GB
    Last edited by gbrice75; 05-02-2013 at 02:49 PM.
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    Awesome!!!!
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    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Excellent GB!

    I have had this in my arsenal of links for awhile now. Im glad to see it became a sticky. Good job, once again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox
    Excellent GB!

    I have had this in my arsenal of links for awhile now. Im glad to see it became a sticky. Good job, once again!
    You did? Not sure how... I just finished writing it up today, lmao.

    Either way, thanks bud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    You did? Not sure how... I just finished writing it up today, lmao.

    Either way, thanks bud.
    Miss Cleo?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    You did? Not sure how... I just finished writing it up today, lmao.

    Either way, thanks bud.
    Really?? Let me double check and ill post what i have..

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    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Sorry, its Carb Cycling buy another respected Staff member (405). I knew i wasn't seeing things..lol

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    MickeyKnox is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by slfmade View Post
    Miss Cleo?
    haha

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    Holy thoroughness batman! Nicely composed sir. I can't disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slfmade

    Miss Cleo?


    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyKnox
    Sorry, its Carb Cycling buy another respected Staff member (405). I knew i wasn't seeing things..lol
    Yea, I just remembered the 'what is carb cycling' post. Good memory! Hopefully it'll be a bit easier to direct inquiring minds to a sticky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbs8
    Holy thoroughness batman! Nicely composed sir. I can't disagree.
    Thank u sir!

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    Awesome write up, but Im still not going to try... far too stubborn =)
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    Great write up Gbrice. I've been carb cycling for over a month and half now. My protein intake wasn't 1.5/1LBM because I don't drink any shakes. All my protien is whole foods so its so tough for me to add up 1.5. I do 1. Maybe I will try 1.5 once cycle starts. I think i'll def give this a shot. Its funny because the stats for the male you listed is pretty much me so I can just use the chart exact. So thanks man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knockout_Power View Post
    Awesome write up, but Im still not going to try... far too stubborn =)
    lol... someday you might budge!

    Quote Originally Posted by TbolzNdbols View Post
    Great write up Gbrice. I've been carb cycling for over a month and half now. My protein intake wasn't 1.5/1LBM because I don't drink any shakes. All my protien is whole foods so its so tough for me to add up 1.5. I do 1. Maybe I will try 1.5 once cycle starts. I think i'll def give this a shot. Its funny because the stats for the male you listed is pretty much me so I can just use the chart exact. So thanks man
    Thanks brother. Like you, I always found hitting my protein macro with whole foods tough too... and at times, I'd be 50/50 powder/whole food. Then I found the holy grail: liquid egg whites!!!

    I drink about a carton a day (not all at once) which provides roughly 100g quality (some consider gold standard) protein. Because of this, I now use very little protein powder these days.

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    Great article GBrice75, much appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianBeefcake
    Great article GBrice75, much appreciated!
    Thanks buddy, glad you enjoyed it!
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    Thanks for filling in some gaps, great job.

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    Thanks for thread

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    Thank you for posting, good info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Brown View Post
    Thanks for filling in some gaps, great job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hulking2016 View Post
    Thanks for thread
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    Thank you for posting, good info.
    Thanks guys, glad you're finding the post useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    Dieting 101: Carb Cycling

    Carb Cycling: What is it?
    Carb cycling is a pretty basic concept that can be applied to your nutrition regimen to help reach your goal. The great thing is, it can be used for virtually any goal: bulking, cutting, maintaining, and everything in between (whatever that may be! )!

    Simply put, it's the manipulation of the carbohydrate macronutrient within your weekly diet plan. You should know up front that there are MANY ways to set up a carb cycle; there's no right or wrong, but I will give you examples (later) of what I think is optimal, what I've personally used and have had success with. Typically, a well-thought out carb cycle will follow some sort of pattern on a daily basis... e.g. Monday - high carbs, Tuesday - low carbs, Wednesday - no carbs, etc. I say "well-thought out" because we shouldn't just arbitrarily change carb intake from day to day; there has to be a reason behind it, a goal. Let's start with 'bulking'.

    Carb Cycling For Bulking
    First, if you've read my posts or Lean Bulking sticky (found here: http://forums.steroid.com/nutrition-...%2A%2A%2A.html ), you know I'm not personally a fan of 'bulking' per se; I am a fan of adding as much lean mass as possible, with as little fat gain as possible. This, IMO, is where cycling carbs can REALLY help.

    I believe in taking in energy (i.e. carbs) when your body needs it most. A weight training session, high intensity cardio, a hike, playing sports, etc. - all good times to have energy stores ready to go. On the other hand, not as much energy is required during downtime; off days, etc. For example, if you're eating 3500 calories on workout days, and that's 500 calories above maintenance, I see no need to consume 3500 calories on off days (which could be looked at as additional caloric overage beyond 500). Since I always keep protein and fats moderate no matter what, I can reduce carbs which will, by default, reduce overall calories. Some disagree with this logic, but you will have to decide for yourself what makes sense, and more important, what works for you. Let's look at an example:

    5'11 male, 200lbs, 12% bodyfat. TDEE is roughly 2600 calories. He's lean bulking, and wants to keep his bodyfat as close to 12% (or lower) as possible. He's decided that on workout days, 3100 calories is what he needs to add lean muscle tissue. He's going with a 40/45/15 (Protein/Carbs/Fats) macro split which puts him at 310g protein, 350g carbs, and 50g fat. He'll be working out on a 3 day split, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He'll be doing cardio on Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Saturday's, with a complete rest day on Sunday. Here's the way I'd set up his carb cycle for optimal muscle gain with minimal fat:

    Mon/Wed/Fri - High carb days (350g carbs)

    Tue/Thur/Sat - Moderate carb days (175g carbs, total calories are now roughly 2400)

    Sunday - Low Carb day ( mostly fibrous veggies, <50g starchy carbs, total calories are at roughly 2000, not counting veggies, which, if you eat enough [and you should], can actually add up )


    On workout days, he's fueling his workouts, with plenty of spare carbs left over for recovery.

    On his cardio only days, he's taking half the amount of carbs (lesser activity), but still enough to aid with continued recovery and growth.

    On his rest day, he's taking in very few starchy carbs, and eating mostly fibrous veggies instead. He's been eating plenty of carbs all week, glycogen stores are close to full if not 100% full, and although this is a total rest (i.e. recovery) day, there's no need for a large amount of additional carbs.

    Some people might look at total calories and think they are too low for a 'bulk'. Remember that a) this isn't a traditional bulk. It's a lean bulk - we don't want to add a bunch of weight (fat) just to have to spend months later cutting to get it all off and (hopefully) yield a few lbs of LBM. Further, in my experience, most people think they need a lot more calories than they actually do. This is especially true with beginner dieters, and so called hard gainers (who just haven't learned to eat and/or train optimally yet).

    Again, this can be set up other ways, this is only one example. Not everybody works out only 3 days a week, but the underlying objective still applies: more energy taken when needed. If you workout 5 days a week and follow a typical single bodypart split, you may want to consider moderate carb days for shoulders and arms, and save the high carb days for bigger workouts like legs, chest and back. You have endless combinations and numbers to play with; experiment, stick with it for a bit, and see what works best for you.

    Carb Cycling For Cutting
    So how about those of us who want to shed bodyfat? This, IMO, is where carb cycling really can shine. The carb cycle that has worked extremely well for me in the past (I also happen to be running it as of the time of this write up) is similar in many ways to Lyle McDonald's UD2.0 plan - if you're not familiar with it, google it. It's tougher than anything I'm presenting here, but a very good read.

    The sole purpose of cycling carbs with regard to cutting is depleting (and later, replenishing) glycogen stores. Glycogen is a molecule made up of glucose and water, stored in muscle and the liver. Without going too much into it, our bodies use glycogen as a primary energy source. When glycogen gets depleted (via training, exercise, activity, etc.), our bodies begin to mobilize fatty acids, which can then be burned as fuel in place of/in addition to glycogen and glucose. As such, carb cycling for cutting should be set up very differently from that of bulking. Let's take the same example from earlier:

    5'11 male, 200lbs, 12% bodyfat - wants to reduce his bodyfat to < 10%. His TDEE is still around 2600, and he's decided to go with a modest deficit of 2200 calories to start with. Now we have a number to start working out a carb cycle. He's training Monday through Friday, doing cardio Monday through Saturday, and taking Sunday off to rest completely. That's actually my current schedule; here's how my carb cycle is set up:

    Mon/Tues/Wed - Moderate Carbs
    Thurs/Fri/Sat - Low Carbs
    Sunday - High Carb/Refeed


    Using 2200 calories as my 'baseline', I'd apply that to my moderate carb days and set macros up as follows:


    Moderate
    275g protein (roughly 1.5g/lb of LBM)
    55g fat
    150g carbs


    So for Monday through Wednesday, we're following this calorie/macro scheme. I'd also be focusing my more intense training sessions (e.g. legs, back, etc.) during this period. I'd then start a 3 day carb depletion phase on Thursday:


    Low
    275g protein
    55g fat
    0g carbs* (no starchy carbs. Fibrous veggies only!)


    That's roughly 1600 calories. The absence of (starchy) carbs furthers the caloric deficit by default. Too low? Not really. For one, we're only talking about 3 days, and secondly, this will be followed by a high carb refeed day.

    Note the asterisk next to '0g carbs'. You won't really be consuming 0g. For one, there will likely be trace amounts of carbs in the foods you eat on a daily basis (e.g. cottage cheese, protein powders, condiments, etc.). Secondly, you will ideally be consuming lots of fibrous veggies. While they are relatively light in terms of carbs, they do add up. You'll probably wind up eating somewhere between 50-100g carbs on these days, but again, mainly via fibrous veggies.

    Workouts during the depletion phase (Thursday through Saturday in this example) should change to fit the goal (glycogen depletion). Higher reps/lighter weight, more sets, total body exercises, bodyweight/depletive type workouts, etc. Remember that you will be doing cardio as well (moderate and low days).

    This 3 day window is your fat burning sweet spot. Glycogen should be close to depleted after about 1.5 days, BGL will be low, and insulin will be suppressed. You'll mainly be running on fatty acids. By the end of day 3, you may be at the onset of ketosis - but don't bother buying keto sticks. The goal here isn't to enter ketosis.

    Sunday: After 3 days of depletion, you're ready to replenish glycogen stores with a carb refeed. With any luck, you may also have a small window of growth as you will be overfeeding and in a very anabolic state, albeit for a brief period. As such, this high carb/refeed day should take place on a complete rest day. No training, no cardio. Just relax, recover, and try to enjoy yourself a bit. You're not only recovering, but preparing your body for the cycle to start over again the following day.


    High/Refeed
    275g protein
    55g fat
    400g carbs


    This breakdown will put you at roughly 3200 calories, 600 over maintenance. Carbs should consist of mainly starchy (potatoes, pasta, breads, rice, quinoa, lentils/beans, etc.), but feel free to enjoy life a bit with some fruit, or something you've been craving all week. Personally, I like to take an 'IIFYM' (If It Fits Your Macros) approach on this day. It gives me a mental break and allows me to enjoy some of the foods I normally don't eat while cutting. Just be careful not to go overboard, particularly with fat, because you are already consuming lots of carbs. Once glycogen stores are full, you'll experience the 'spill over' effect, which means additional energy (carbs/fats) gets stored in... fat cells! Definitely counter-productive. Just be mindful of what you're eating, do your best to hit your macros, and you'll be fine, especially if you've been perfect all week long.

    Carb Cycling For Maintenance

    IMO, running maintenance is, at certain times, just as important as cutting or 'bulking'. For one, giving your body a break from either of the 2 latter is always a good idea. Since doing 'nothing' wouldn't be a good approach, running maintenance, even if just for 4 weeks, is a good idea. Further, some people like to just maintain throughout the summer. They don't want to 'bulk' (for obvious reasons), and may already feel they're lean enough and/or don't want a flat/small/depleted look while they're at the beach. Even still, there are people who *need* to run maintenance for several months in an effort to 'reset' their body's 'set point'; e.g. maybe you've just finished a successful cut after years of being heavier/fatter. Jumping right back into a regimen where gaining weight is the goal would be a terrible and disastrous idea (I speak from experience)... you're body isn't yet 'comfortable' with it's new composition and needs an adjustment period, i.e. maintenance. Whatever the case may be, carb cycling can be applied to this as well.

    I'm not going to provide sample cycles in this case simply because there is no specific goal per se; essentially, you want to maintain your current weight and/or body composition. You want to keep bodyfat in check, and maintain muscle mass. You could set up a carb cycle many different ways to help accomplish this, but the important thing is that you don't arbitrarily do so. Picking random days of the week and saying "I think THIS will be a high carb day, and THIS will be a low day, etc." probably isn't a great approach. Make it count. Training legs Tuesday and taking off Wednesday? Perhaps you should make Monday a high carb day, and Tuesday moderate. A carb cycle will only be as effective as the workout it's built around. That is, I build my carb cycles to compliment the training regimen.

    One noteworthy point is with regard to maintenance calories. Running maintenance doesn't mean you have to eat at your TDEE every single day. You could do that, but you don't have to. Keep in mind that your body doesn't add up calories at the end of the day. We're continuously going through the process of breaking down and building up, caloric deficits and overages (even when eating in a deficit or overage), etc. As such, given a maintenance of 2200 calories, you could consume 1800 one day and 2600 the next, or vice versa, and manipulating carbs is what allows you this kind of flexibility.

    In summary, carb cycling is a tool that can be used as part of a balanced, intelligent nutrition plan. Like anything else, if it isn't applied with consistency, results will be lackluster. There is no magic here, no smoke and mirrors, no perfect diet plan - only the knowledge to succeed, and your drive to apply it consistently. Enjoy!

    ~GB
    Had a question if I were to start cutting and follow you carb cycling which I admire very much great thread man, but my training wasn't high reps I do DY's training to failure but I run 3 times a week HIT would this hinder my cutting? Also can I still train till failure with a lighter weight to imitate more reps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougiefresh7707 View Post
    Had a question if I were to start cutting and follow you carb cycling which I admire very much great thread man
    Thanks man!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougiefresh7707 View Post
    but my training wasn't high reps I do DY's training to failure but I run 3 times a week HIT would this hinder my cutting? Also can I still train till failure with a lighter weight to imitate more reps?
    IMO, HIT style training isn't ideal for cutting. It's designed to add mass, not cut. There are other training methods that do a better job with regard to the goal (fat loss) - high volume and/or circuit training among the best.

    I'll be starting a DY-esque style training shortly as well, but am holding off until the fall when I start 'bulking' (lean) again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    Thanks man!



    IMO, HIT style training isn't ideal for cutting. It's designed to add mass, not cut. There are other training methods that do a better job with regard to the goal (fat loss) - high volume and/or circuit training among the best.

    I'll be starting a DY-esque style training shortly as well, but am holding off until the fall when I start 'bulking' (lean) again.
    Ok I thought so the other problem is my training partner is bulking and its hard sometime at the gym when you have one working to failure and one not. Do you have any suggestions like any videos I can watch and also maybe if the workout we are doing that day could I just decrease weight and increase reps? Or don't the actually workouts for hit not inline with cutting either. Sry I just never cut befor lol went from 175 to 195 in like 9 months but gained like 4-5% bf while doing so and need get that off now befor another bulk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    Thanks man!



    IMO, HIT style training isn't ideal for cutting. It's designed to add mass, not cut. There are other training methods that do a better job with regard to the goal (fat loss) - high volume and/or circuit training among the best.

    I'll be starting a DY-esque style training shortly as well, but am holding off until the fall when I start 'bulking' (lean) again.
    I agree with GB when your cutting. You can make your workout so you burn more calories while maintaining the muscle you have. HIT is no joke. It takes a lot of practice to have the right mind set to go heavy, short, and balls to the wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougiefresh7707 View Post
    Ok I thought so the other problem is my training partner is bulking and its hard sometime at the gym when you have one working to failure and one not. Do you have any suggestions like any videos I can watch and also maybe if the workout we are doing that day could I just decrease weight and increase reps? Or don't the actually workouts for hit not inline with cutting either. Sry I just never cut befor lol went from 175 to 195 in like 9 months but gained like 4-5% bf while doing so and need get that off now befor another bulk.
    if your right about 4-5% bf you need to watch your bulk. It was not clean at all. You gained more fat then you did muscle. if your calculations are correct. to answer your questions above go check out gb cutting log. He provides you with his workouts and often the exact weight rep range he is using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
    if your right about 4-5% bf you need to watch your bulk. It was not clean at all. You gained more fat then you did muscle. if your calculations are correct. to answer your questions above go check out gb cutting log. He provides you with his workouts and often the exact weight rep range he is using.
    Yea I over exaggerated a little I started at 15 I'm 17 now I didn't check when I was fifteen but pictures looked about 15 so really only 2% maybe 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougiefresh7707 View Post
    Ok I thought so the other problem is my training partner is bulking and its hard sometime at the gym when you have one working to failure and one not. Do you have any suggestions like any videos I can watch and also maybe if the workout we are doing that day could I just decrease weight and increase reps? Or don't the actually workouts for hit not inline with cutting either. Sry I just never cut befor lol went from 175 to 195 in like 9 months but gained like 4-5% bf while doing so and need get that off now befor another bulk.
    In an effort to keep things simple, you can probably get away with doing the same lifts as your HIT partner, however you're going to need to add sets where he's probably only doing 1 (working), 2 max. You'll want to get into the 3-5 range IMO.

    Yes, lower the weight, increase the reps, and don't go to total failure on every single set, IMO.

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    Would you recommend this type of cutting diet for someone with 20-30lbs to lose? I've lifted for several years but my diet has been crap and bf is way up and I need to cut a ton just don't want to lose muscle mass

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolt24 View Post
    Would you recommend this type of cutting diet for someone with 20-30lbs to lose? I've lifted for several years but my diet has been crap and bf is way up and I need to cut a ton just don't want to lose muscle mass
    IMO, carb cycling is one of the best ways to avoid, or at the very least mitigate muscle loss. A standard cut regimen that has you eating at a caloric deficit (usually coupled with lowered carbs) for an extended period of time could eventually lead to a lowered metabolic rate. Refeeding is a great tool to counter this, as it essentially 'resets' the carb cycle every time it's used.

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    Thanks, also read something about carb loading after heavy lifting twice a week and almost no carbs and cardio the other 4 days, any thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    In an effort to keep things simple, you can probably get away with doing the same lifts as your HIT partner, however you're going to need to add sets where he's probably only doing 1 (working), 2 max. You'll want to get into the 3-5 range IMO.

    Yes, lower the weight, increase the reps, and don't go to total failure on every single set, IMO.
    Thank alot GB lot of help man , ill take the advice put it to work ASAP and maybe make a log to help people that may be in the same situation. Also I'm not looking to cut alot I want to get down to 13-15% bf asked a guy at my gym today what he thought I was at and said I'm holding some water but 17% max so it shouldn't take long. Thanks again for all the help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bolt24 View Post
    Thanks, also read something about carb loading after heavy lifting twice a week and almost no carbs and cardio the other 4 days, any thoughts.
    Just another example of a carb cycle. Like I said in the OP, there are countless ways to run one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougiefresh7707 View Post
    Thank alot GB lot of help man , ill take the advice put it to work ASAP and maybe make a log to help people that may be in the same situation. Also I'm not looking to cut alot I want to get down to 13-15% bf asked a guy at my gym today what he thought I was at and said I'm holding some water but 17% max so it shouldn't take long. Thanks again for all the help.
    Cool bro, anytime, and definitely start that log so we can watch you progress!!

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    Cycling and show day

    Thanks for posting! So you're saying cycling will get you better results (less BF) than splitting weekly carbs by 7 and having the same per day? If you're competing in a bikini comp, what does the last week or day look like? Is show day a high carb day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfawkes View Post
    Thanks for posting!
    Glad you like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by bfawkes View Post
    So you're saying cycling will get you better results (less BF) than splitting weekly carbs by 7 and having the same per day?
    Although in your example you're eating the same amount of carbs overall, cycling (as I laid it out for cutting) depletes glycogen and forces your body to burn fat as its primary fuel source for consecutive days, so yes, I believe it's at the very least a more efficient approach to burning bodyfat.

    Quote Originally Posted by bfawkes View Post
    If you're competing in a bikini comp, what does the last week or day look like? Is show day a high carb day?
    I've never competed in bikini (lol), nor have I worked with anybody prepping for a bikini show, but I doubt show day would be high. Unlike bodybuilding (or even physique), you're not trying to pump your muscles up full of water and glycogen. Bikini competitors don't carry much muscle to begin with, and are much higher bodyfat than physique/bodybuilding, so I don't see that as being necessary.

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    Thanks for the info, dieting is my week point so I've been trying to take in all the knowledge I can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 535smasher View Post
    Thanks for the info, dieting is my week point so I've been trying to take in all the knowledge I can.
    Good deal man. You look huge in your avy... get that diet in check and you will look absolutely sick. You definitely have the mass to compete IMO.

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    Hey G,
    Lets say you were going to carb cycle to cut and you were going to run it with an aas/hgh cycle, how would you base your caloric intake during PCT? I always bulk on-cycle and keep my calories high during Pct, not sure what to do in this instance. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Brown View Post
    Hey G,
    Lets say you were going to carb cycle to cut and you were going to run it with an aas/hgh cycle, how would you base your caloric intake during PCT? I always bulk on-cycle and keep my calories high during Pct, not sure what to do in this instance. Thanks
    Hey BB - awesome back width!! Wish I could grow like that...

    Now that we have that out of the way ( ) - for me, it depends on how your ran your calories during the cycle. If you had a pretty significant deficit, I'd run em' at maintenance during PCT, maybe even slightly over. If you were already around maintenance (thereby allowing AAS to do some of the 'work' for you), then I probably would just keep them there. I'd have protein high-ish in either case.

    Hope this answers your question, let me know if I should clarify anything.

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    Thanks for the compliment GB, I must say you are pretty ripped and I would give my eye teeth to have your bodyfat level. Thanks for the help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Brown View Post
    Thanks for the compliment GB, I must say you are pretty ripped and I would give my eye teeth to have your bodyfat level. Thanks for the help.
    Bahaha I'd give my eye teeth (whatever that is) to have my avy BF (again) too, lmao!

    Thx bro.
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    Hey GB so on you low day what veggies woul you say stay away from I know carrots aren't very good but don't know of any others, I don't like veggies much the ones I can stand are broccoli,cauliflower,asparagus,any squash,artichokes, ca I just stic to those? Also started my log if you have some extra time your input is always welcome anything you see wrong I would like your opinion.thanks again man.

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