T Nation

Carb Cycling Questions


#1

1st off, thanks for answering me on Twitter and not ignoring me or straight up blocking my ass. Cheers on that for sure!!! 2nd thanks for all the help, it means a lot to us average joe's trying to become above average.

Ok now to it...

Been Carb Cycling now for a week and I have a few questions. Using:
https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/carb-cycling-that-actually-works

  1. In carb count the total, can you subtract the fiber, and/or can you subtract the Sugar Alcohols?
  2. Is this a good idea for trying to pack on muscle/get the "hard body" look (carb cycling). Goal is to pack on muscle not body fat.
  3. What if I reach my total Protein for the day but haven't hit my allotted carbs or fat or calories. Like what do u do if you don't hit all the number right on?

Current stats: 6'3", 215 lbs, 12.56% bf, Weight Train 4 days a week, typical early morning; program based off:
https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/tried-and-true-bodybuilding-program-template

Also doing the Chin-up Project: https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/chin-up-project


#2

I would personally avoid sugar alcohol. Even though they do not raise insulin as much as cards do, they still to some extent AND they have calories. When I was younger I didn't know any better and I ruined my own bodybuilding preparation by consuming sugar alcohols.

Fiber from grains and nuts I would count., Fiber from fibrous veggies like celery you don't have to.


#3

It is, if you know what you are doing and are able to make adjustements to your days based on how you are changing.


#4

You die.

Seriously though that's why it is important to plan your diet, not just write down what you eat and at the end of the day try to even it out or make up for it in your later meals.

You are trying to do something that is NOT easy: losing fat and adding muscle at the same time. You can't just wing it. You need precision because to be able to add muscle and lose fat to a significant extent you will be walking on a fine line. And you WILL need to make adjustments as you go along. Recommended numbers are just that... you need to modify them as you discover how your body is responding. And how can you carefully adjust your nutrients intake if you don't know exactly what you are eating.

Not to mention that nutrients timing plays an important role in body transformation. Carbs consumed prior to a session will not have the same effect as carbs consumed in the evening for example.


#5

Noted, I'll count it all from now on.


#6

Ok so I told Coach Lee Boyce I am here to mass up, gain muscle. I was shooting for the ol' six pack but I have some fundamentals to work out 1st... obviously. I'm going to attach my current workout:

Chest & Biceps, Sets x Reps, Rest
A. BB Bench – 5 x 5, Long
B. Cable Fly – 3 x 6-10, Moderate (we have no pec-deck)
C. Machine Incline – 4 x 12-20, Short
D. Dips – 3 x 10 - 12
E. BB Curl – 4 x 5, Long
F. Chin-ups – 3 x 8-12, Moderate
G. Spider Curls – 3 x 10-15, Short/Moderate
H. Hammer Curls – 3 x 12-15, Short

Back & Abs, Sets x Reps, Rest
A. Deadlift – 4 x 6-10, Long
B. Rev Grip Bent Over Row – 4 x 6-10, Long
C. Pull-Up – 3 x 8-12, Moderate
D. One Arm DB Row – 4 x 10-15, Short
E. Palloff Press – 4 x 10-12 Moderate
F. Stir-the-Pot – 3 x 10-20 Short

Shoulders, Triceps, & Abs, Sets x Reps, Rest
A. Overhead Press – 4 x 5, Long
B. Landmine Lateral Raise – 4 x 8-12, Moderate
C. Front DB Raises – 3 x 10-15, Short
D. Face Pulls – 3 x 12-15, Short
E. CG Bench – 3 x 6-10, Moderate
F. French Presses – 3 x 8-12, Moderate
G. Rope Pushdowns – 3 x 12-15, Short
H. Kickbacks – 2 x 20, Short
I. Roll Out – 4 x 6-12, Moderate

Quads, Hams, & Calves, Sets x Reps, Rest
A. Zercher Squats – 5 x 6-12, Long
B. Step-ups – 4 x 8-15, Moderate (My gym doesn't have a leg ext machine)
C. Stiff Leg Dead’s – 4 x 6-10, Moderate
D. Standing Leg Curls – 4 x 8-15, Short
E. Shrugs – 4 x 12-15, Short/Moderate
F. Standing Calf Raises - 4-5 x 6-12 Moderate

NOTE – I got and built all of this from T-Nation:
https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/tried-and-true-bodybuilding-program-template


#7

And I'm dead... great...

Father of 2, family man it is a bit difficult keeping my diet clean BUT I do meal prep, weigh food, I just need to plan a month out I guess.. prep better. I'm that morning lifter so I'll follow that schedule closer.

Can I put in a lower weight and use those numbers to aid in building muscle, not bulking fat? In my spreadsheet I mean for the carb cycling. Like I could get my bf but say I weight 215, then I enter 200, that will lower my totals for the day.

I always have the worry of the soft, squishy lifter. I'm tired of people asking, "you still working out?" I want them to know I do. Vanity I know but its been a goal of mine since I was a fat Jr. High kid..

Thanks Coach Thib...


#8

I will comment on the individual workouts (which I don't really like... too much garbage volume IMHO) but right off the bat I don't really like the split. I don't like a chest/biceps followed by back set-up. Would you fatigue the triceps the workout prior to doing bench? Not likely as it would hurt your performance. Well, same for the biceps work on day 1 hurting back training on day 2.

And about the order of the workouts. You seem to be reasonably tall, so am I to assume that your squat workout is the most demanding of your week? If so, then yes putting it last (Saturday) is fine, otherwise put the deadlift day there.

If you decide to put the deadlift/back day on Saturday (if it is your hardest workout) your week should look like this:

Monday: Overhead day, delts
Tuesday: Squat day, quads, glutes, biceps
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Bench press day, chest, triceps
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Deadlift, hams, back
Sunday: OFF

Which is my favorite split...

If you want to put your squat workout on Saturday it should look like this:

Monday: Bench press day, pectorals, triceps
Tuesday: Deadlift day, hams, back
Wednesday: OFF
Thursday: Overhead press day, delts, biceps
Friday: OFF
Saturday: Squat day, quads, glutes
Sunday: OFF


#9

Okay about the workouts. First you do too much fluff exercises and not enough big lifts,.. and often when you do bigger lifts they are done in the middle of the workout when you are fatigued.

Refer to my latest article. You have 3 big lifts in a workout. The rest, maybe 2 assistance exercises are there to work on a lagging muscle group that might not get fully stimulated by the big lifts. There is no need to do direct isolation work for every muscle. That is just wasting energy that could be spent on growth.

Also, there is no need to do the same volume for all your muscles. If a muscle is dominant versus other muscle groups you do not need to do much volume for it. Remember that your capacity has a limited capacity to positively handle training volume (get positive growth from it)... I know what you are trying to do: you do not want to miss out on any muscle. But doing more volume is actually a sure way to stop your gains unless you are on anabolics.

Pick your first lift (bench press, deadlift, Military press, Squat for example... I like the Zercher squat but it is an assistance lift, not the main one)

Then for each of these 4 lifts select 2 exercises to make this first lift stronger (ideally by emphasizing your weakness). For example:

Bench press / Close-grip bench press / Incline DB press
Deadlift / Goodmorning or RDL/ Glute-ham raise
Overhead press / 1/2 overhead press / Arnold press
Squat / Zercher squat / Split-squat (step ups are basically a waste of time)

Then you can add 2 maybe 3 isolation exercises during the session, hitting a muscle that you feel is neglected by the main lifts or that represent a weakness.

For example...

Bench press
Close-grip bench press
Incline DB press
Cable cross-overs
Decline triceps extension

Deadlift
Romanian deadlift
Glute ham raise
Bent over row
Lat pulldown or chin-ups
Shrugs

Military press
Top half shoulder press from pins
Arnold press
DB front raise
DB lateral raise

Back squat (or front squat if you have long legs)
Zercher squat
Split squats
Hammer curl
Preacher curl

Another mistake is that


#10

Holy crap!!! I was not expecting such a huge response. Ok so you had just published your new articles after I built this so I didn't have time to revamp, but having u respond to this about the fluff stuff sends the need for these bigs home. Thank you SO much for this!!!

I love deadlift/back work. My legs are my weakest asset IMO and can really use work, but fatigue fast so leg days are my most taxing. I read Coach Boyce's article on taller guys and a lot made sense there.

God bless you for this and I mean it.


#11

Another mistake is.. is?!!!?? Edge of seat here hahaha!!

I will begin building this today, refer to t-nation articles for sets x reps. I must ask this, REAR DELT neglect, do I have to worry about that or is that TOO nit-picky?

I don't know how you do it... meaty, well written articles, videos, forum...lift... hats off to u sir and MAJOR R-E-S-P-E-C-T


#12

HI Coach

How would you suggest one could incorporate explosive lifts into the training week, for example the SGHP and power clean/power clean and press?

SGHP instead of dead lift, Power clean and press on instead of Push press, Power clean on leg day with Front squats and sled pulls/pushes as assistance?

Thanks in advance for your input


#13

Let's see it this way, you have 3 big lifts in a session.

Yes there is one main movement that will likely receive more volume/sets but the other two are also trained hard.

While in the best scenario you are using the 2nd and 3rd lifts to correct weaknesses in the 1st one, they can also be complimentary lifts.

For example I often use Farmer's walk or Zercher carries as a 2nd or 3rd exercise in a session. Since they are trained for strength when I use them as a 2nd or 3rd exercise I normally train them for 4-5 sets of 20-40m. But I could also train them for hypertrophy, doing sets of 50-80m.

So the SGHP and Power clean can be done as part of the 3 exercises too.

If I use the power clean I prefer to use it as a the 1st exercise in the "deadlift" pattern session. Ideally the SGHP could also be done on that day, giving you something like this for a workout:

A. Power clean
Ramp to a technical solid 2RM
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Deadlift
4 sets of 3 reps

C. SGHP from the hang or blocks
4 sets of 5 reps

D. Pull ups
4 sets of 6-8 reps

E1. Seated rows
3 sets of 8-10 with 2 seconds hold

E2. Face pull or band-pull apart
3 sets of 12-15 reps
(E1 and E2 being a superset)

The power clean can also be done, as you mentioned on squat day, in which case it could be used as follow:

A. Back squat
Ramp to a technical solid 2RM
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Power clean + Front squat
4 sets of 2 power cleans + max reps front squats

C. Farmer's walk
5 sets of 20-40m

D1. Leg extension
3 x 12-15 with 2 seconds squeeze at top

D2. Leg press / hack squat
3 x 10-12
(D1 and D2 are a superset)

E. Biceps work

And like you mention the power clean can be done on the overhead day, but that only works if your power clean and push press are in the same range):

A. Power clean + Push press
Work uo to a technically solid 2RM (clean, press, clean, press)
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Power clean from hang + Military press
4 sets of 3+3 (clean, press, clean, press, clean, press)

C. High incline DB press
4 sets of 6 to 8

D1. DB lateral raise
3 x 8-10 reps

D2. DB front raise
3 x 8-10 reps

D3. DB Arnold press
3 x 8-10 reps

(D1 to D3 are a mechanical drop set and use the same weight)

E. Triceps work

If you really want to focus on your power clean you could actually do all three of these days in a week, then you only have the bench press day to build.


"How to Add 100 Pounds", Exercise Selection
#14

So something like this for a full program:

MONDAY - BENCH PRESS

Activation: Bench press with hanging KBs 3 sets of 5 with moderate weight

A. Bench press
Work uo to a technically solid 2RM
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Close-grip bench press
4 sets of 4 to 6

C. DB bench press
4 sets of 6 to 8

D1. Cable cross-over
3 x 8-10 reps

D2. Dips (no weight)
3 x max reps

D3. Push ups
3 x max reps

(D1 to D3 are a giant set)

E. Triceps work

TUESDAY - SQUAT

Activation: Back squat either with hanging KBs or hip circle around knees 3 sets of 5 moderate weight

A. Back squat
Ramp to a technical solid 2RM
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Power clean + Front squat
4 sets of 2 power cleans + max reps front squats

C. Farmer's walk
5 sets of 20-40m

D1. Leg extension
3 x 12-15 with 2 seconds squeeze at top

D2. Leg press / hack squat
3 x 10-12
(D1 and D2 are a superset)

E. Biceps work

THURSDAY - OVERHEAD WORK

Activation: Military press with hanging KBs 3 sets of 5 with moderate weight

A. Power clean + Push press
Work uo to a technically solid 2RM (clean, press, clean, press)
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Power clean from hang + Military press
4 sets of 3+3 (clean, press, clean, press, clean, press)

C. High incline DB press
4 sets of 6 to 8

D1. DB lateral raise
3 x 8-10 reps

D2. DB front raise
3 x 8-10 reps

D3. DB Arnold press
3 x 8-10 reps

(D1 to D3 are a mechanical drop set and use the same weight)

E. Triceps work

SATURDAY - DEADLIFT

Activation: KB swings 3 x 10, hardstyle

A. Power clean
Ramp to a technical solid 2RM
Lower weight by 20-30lbs and perform 2 reps EMOM for 10 minutes

B. Deadlift
4 sets of 3 reps

C. SGHP from the hang or blocks
4 sets of 5 reps

D. Pull ups
4 sets of 6-8 reps

E1. Seated rows
3 sets of 8-10 with 2 seconds hold

E2. Face pull or band-pull apart
3 sets of 12-15 reps
(E1 and E2 being a superset)

NOTE: in this program I changed the order of both pressing sessions to avoid have the power clean done 2 days in a row without rest.


#15

Thank you coach, your time and expertise is very much appreciated. I'm planning on moving up a weight class in Muay Thai, so am reducing my sparring/bag/technical work and will use the plan you have kindly written for me (abliet with reduced volume in regards to the assistant exercises maybe) to increase my strength and muscle mass. When 'in season' and in the condition I'm aiming for, I will aim to maintain my strength levels with a template based on your methods which fits into my training schedule + eat a pretty high calorie and carb diet to sustain my training volume and weight.

Thanks again, I'll keep drop you a post in 8-10 weeks when I'm starting to train for a fight here in Bangkok (ameteur, as I'm a special needs teacher here)

Moog


#16

2 quick questions:

  1. Was this program for me or moogweasel

  2. Could I Set my macros for a target instead of what they currently are? example: Currently 216 lbs, 12.56% bf, Set up Carb Cycling Macros for 200 lbs, 10% bf and use those numbers until I reach them?

Thanks Again


#17

I have no idea LOL ... if you like it, use it!