T Nation

Am I crazy

I am wondering if doing German Volume Training on a reduced carbohydrate diet. Notice, I did not say reduced calorie. I had planned on replacing carb cals with fat cals.
This summer I focused on getting 300-350 grams of protien, 200-250 grams of fat (from olive and flaxseed oil, cheese, avacado, and whole eggs), ~100 grams of carbs (when I felt drained Id simply carb load for a meal or two and get back on schedule).
I physically felt better than ever. I wasnt lazy and listless. My stomach felt better than ever; no gas, or neverending trips to the toilet. And I got lean and hard.
Obviosly GVT is off the charts with intensity, so am I setting myself up for failure if Im not eating big carbs?

Don Alessi thinks low carb can be used for bulking. take a look at his response to an almost identical question here.

I haven’t tried it out, but thanks for reminding me. I may start doing this in a week or two.

In faith,

I naturally eat “low carb” and have been doing so for many years. I have also gained several pounds of muscle on this regimine.

Continue to consume quality oils such as Fish Oil. And naturally the highest quality protein.

As I get older, I realise there is no “cut and dry” answer to carbohydrate requirement. Everybody responds differently to carbs. If you are intent on trying out this regime, go for it. I see no real problems with a lower carb diet, as long as you keep calorie intake high enough to gain (FATS!!!). Advocates (as ZEB mentioned) include Alessi (check out his article in previous issues), and CT- both big MOFO’s who claim to have kept growing wth such a regimen.

I would however strongly recommend you don’t cut out the PWO Carb/Protein meal. The evidence is plentiful convincing enough now for that to be a staple, even when going v.low in carbs.

All of us on the forum benefit from this type of “first hand experience” from average Joe’s like you and me (no offence intended). As we used to say in England “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”; SO- if you do start on this plan, give us a rough diet outline for critique and comments, e.g. HOW LOW Carb? And a routine plan too. Then, if you feel like it, progress updates along the way. Good way to keep you motivated, and it would help other T-men/vixens future efforts too.
Best of luck, SRS

personally i feel that the lower your carb intake the lower your training volume should be. gvt is a shit load of volume!

I generally agree with P-DOG … GVT is high volume low intensity - I’d usually want that the other way around while hypocaloric or low carb.

If you can actually keep a hypocaloric diet while limiting carbohydrates and still have good sessions in the gym, I’d go with it. I simply think it would be tough to stay hypocaloric without having a few good P+C meals a day.

Personally, after using a low carb diet (<50/day) to trim some fat last spring, I’ve stayed fairly low carb ever since. I just feel much cleaner and “on” when I stay around 150 g/day. PWO carbs are a must though.

Anyways, experiment! Let us know your whole plan and keep us updated. Good luck!


One thing that has worked for me is to maintain low-carb eating every meal except post workout or during workouts occasionally. I have the surge-like drink after and then watch the carbs most of the time on most days.

Phaedrus- What are you talking about??- Please explain the logic:

“…If you can actually keep a hypocaloric diet while limiting carbohydrates and still have good sessions in the gym, I’d go with it. I simply think it would be tough to stay hypocaloric without having a few good P+C meals a day…”

P-DOG and Mookjong- Yes, the GVT is high intensity. As we all know, the crucial period with regard to replenishing lost carbohydrate (muscle glycogen) is the post-WO period. If we supplement appropriately with carbs at this time, but otherwise remain isocaloric (hypercaloric if trying to gain) on a lower carb diet, why is it not still possible to progress?

It is important to note here that Threedevil is NOT planning a cutting cycle, and NOT planning on going hypocaloric. He simply states that his body seems to function better on a low carb diet (INCREASING fat to make up the difference in caloric intake). Why not go with the flow and see what happens? SRS

i guess it all depends on your goals and that wasnt stated. however imo a high volume program such as gvt mixed with a low carb diet is a recipe for muscle loss and undoubtledly strength loss. yes bodyfat will be lost, but at what cost? imo the lack of carbs will also lead to recovery issues. personally i would add at least 1 more p+c preferably in the morning.