T Nation

Alessi/Poliquin protocol differences

Greetings, T-Nation! I’ve been following the Poliquin-style diet for about a month now with awesome results, but I’ve been maintaining a little more than I like (just have 3 mm. left to go on the ab skinfold), so I modified it closer to Don Alessi’s protocols and started Meltdown training this week. A couple of questions: why is there such a difference in some of their diet recommendations when they both come from the same camp? CP recommends 1.5-2 g. protein per lb, where Alessi says only 1.2-1.8 g/kg. This is a pretty big difference. Also, the math doesn’t come out exactly right on Alessi’s unless I’m screwing something up. At my bw (160), I would be sitting at around 130 g. protein, 50 g. carbs, and 50 g. smart fats. This is only around 1300 cals/day. Is the smart fats in addition to the fat that is naturally occurring in one’s diet (eggs, meat, etc)? I have to think this is where the difference is. I can’t see how you can go low carb, relatively low protein AND low fat. Any input, people? Logic would suggest that after total cals, carbs and protein, ALL the remainder would come from fat, but I have a hard time with such a low protein intake…it’s much better for me to do at least 1.5 g/lb. Also, does anyone have any preference to the carb-up? CP either uses a half or full day, where Alessi says 200 g. in one meal. I find that if I do the one meal and take a ton of alpha lipoic, fiber and glucosol, this works well, where if I do it in more meals, I have a tendency to binge-eat…don’t know why. I have been doing 200 g. or 4 servings of plain white pasta w. garlic pepper seasoning…I know, I’m weird. Works for me though. How about it? Eric? JC#10? Steve?

I’ll see what I can dig up on the Alessi vs. Poliquin protein intake issue. To be honest, I can’t recall where I saw the Alessi protein recommendations. Personally, I’d go with CP’s recommendation of 1.5-2g per lb./LBM.


For the carbup, I encourage you to experiment with different approaches. Try half days for a few weeks, monitoring body comp changes and training quality throughout, and then try the full days. You can always play around with frequency as well. Although I’m going to be going off the diet after my current cutting cycle is over, I’m using an every sixth day approach with a 2/3 day (about) carbup (5/7 meals). When bulking, I did 7/8 every fifth. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything.

That’s cool…I appreciate the quick response, Eric. Actually I’ve done most every type of carb-up. I have the most difficulty when I do multiple meals…started when I did Lyle McDonald’s cyclic keto approach. I can literally eat myself into an insulin-induced coma, passing out on the couch and waking up drenched in sweat and storing an ocean’s worth of water…not a pretty sight. When I do one concentrated meal as Don Alessi recommends, I don’t have a problem.

The protein recommendation from Alessi came from the T-Mag interview "The Next Poliquin." He said he has his clients on 1.2-1.8 g/kg. I thought it was a misprint at first...per lb. sounded much more reaonable. Right now I'm carbing every seventh day, which works well for my schedule as I'm not using the Poliquin 5-day split but M-T-Th-F, with Meltdown as my training protocol. I like a calendar split much better so I've got to figure out how I'm going to pull this off when I start mass phase. I did see that CP has a pretty sound 4-day split that is very similar to Ian King that I will likely use...problem is I'm leary of doing GVT with both squats AND deads. I guess I could use EDT and use the compound lifts.

Well, just because two individuals are “from the same school of thought” doesn’t mean that they have the exact same opinion on everything!

As an olympic lifter and olympic lifting coach I find myself to have much of the sameview of things as Charles Staley does. However our methodologies are not the same!

As far as nutrition goes I'd trust Alessi before Poliquin any day of the week. Charles is a pretty good coach and has proven in the past that he can work wonders. BUT I know some things that make me doubt that his success is due solely to his methods. So hands down, Alessi has my vote of confidence.

How about the 1-2 carb meals in the morning on Wednesday and Sunday? I wouldn’t worry about the GVT split; you can do both deads and squats. Try pairing one with gastroc and one with soleus. Then, use abs and lower back work for your “B” exercises.

Not really much for me to add at this point, except that I have been pleased with my results from doing a half day carb-up on Wednesdays and Sundays (my weight training sessions are M,T,R,F).

id keep the 1.5-2 grams of protein. you are already cutting so much out of your diet that you need a replacement. i prefer a full carb up day. your not going to store it as fat because your so glycogen depleted, so might as well go the full day. and it doesnt have to be all oatmeal. hell ill make sandwhiches, eat a bagel, whatever. and like the cheaters diet, if you want to carb up on pizza, then do it every so often. wont hurt if your eating something bad like once a month or so. hope that helps.