T Nation

Carb Cycling to Gain Mass?

I recently switched up my nutrition to a more healthy approach. I based the diet on much of what I could find written by John Berardi, and a few others on here.

*5-8 meals a day
*Fiber at every meal
*Protein at every meal
*Fat at every meal (except post workout)
*Post workout protein and carbs
*6-12g fish oil
*TONS OF VEGGIES
*Little bit of fruit
*Taking creatine as well

Thats a basic overview of it, and it really doesn’t neet to be more complicated than that.

Also, I took a carb cycling approach, in which:

M,T: Very low carb, only coming from veggies
W,TH: Low carb, from veggies, fruits, and small amount startch
F,S,SUN: Moderate carb, all sources, (except sugars, and refined carbs)


I cant say im displeased so far, but I also cant say im very happy with progress.

This nutrition strategy wasn’t meant to be one for drastic results, but instead more for the long term. I thing for that it will do well, but currently im wanting a little bit quicker results.

I set a goal of being around 10% bf by end of July, I have decided I may want to go on the velocity diet, just prior to this, but if im going to take that approach then I need to put on some mass stat.

Im currently 5’10-5’11" 190lbs, @ around 13-14% BF, I would like to be 190-200 @ around 10% BF.

190lbs
13-14%bf
164lbs LM
25lbs fat

GOAL:

190
10% BF
171lbs LM (+7)
19lbs fat (-6)

This will be hard to achieve, but I think its doable. My workouts are in order, and its really gonna come down to strategic eating…


Which brings my questions about carb cycling for mass.

The approach Ive been taking is lower carbs at the beginning of the week and systematically increasing them as the week goes on.

WOULD I BE BETTER OFF, JUST DOING LOW CARB ALL THE TIME, BUT LOAD UP ON CARBS DURING AND POST WORKOUT. (IM WORKING OUT 5 DAYS A WEEK) SO THIS COULD BE A LOT OF CARBS.

I was thinking my during/post workout shake could consist of orange juice, protein powder and maltodextrin and contain around 100g and 30g protein.

Any recomendations on this. I would really like to add around 10lbs of mass in the next 6 weeks, while adding as little fat as possible.

If your going to try to watch your carb intake. Intake as little carbs as you can on your off days and have carbs for breakfast and peri-workout on your training days. You can have at least one or two of those 5 training days where you have an additional carb/protein pwo meal after your shake.

Have you read this?

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Have you read this?

http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=811783[/quote]

No, ive never seen it, thanks so much, gonna give it a read right now.

I just took the time to read all of Berardi’s stuff on here again, and am thinking my original idea of adding carbs during and post workout, throughout the week is a good idea, and eating low carb the rest of the time.

The weekly carb cycling was a good idea in theory, but may be too hard for someone like me to get enough calories in.

I’ll give that article a read, and see if I have any more questions, thanks again.

I gave that article a read, and it seemed to be just what I was looking for. The concepts make sense to me, and it goes along with what I just read from Berardi’s two nutrient timing articles.

Though, im not one for calorie counting, and I like to keep things simple. If im trying to gain weight, and do not gain, I eat more, and if im gaining at a good rate I keep things the same. I just think counting calories, and trying to get exact calculations is a waste of time.


So what Ive decided is to keep my diet how its been, and add carbs for breakfast, during/post workout shake, post workout meal.

I know ive seen recomendations on during/post workout shakes, and many suggest going with Surge, but i prefer to make my own shake.

Any idea’s what the recomendations are on quantity, and type of carbs in the shake?

Would gatorade, maltodextrin, and protein powder be fine?

thanks again.

malto/whey is cool. I’ve heard of people buying Gatorade powder (doesn’t have the HFCS) and mixing it into their shake as well.

[quote]elusive wrote:
malto/whey is cool. I’ve heard of people buying Gatorade powder (doesn’t have the HFCS) and mixing it into their shake as well.[/quote]

Ya, i got some gatorade powder, and its got like 30g of carbs with no HFCS, and was thinking of adding another 30-50g of cytocarb (malto) and putting 30g of whey. It tastes pretty good, may need to dilute it a bit, or add a little orange juice though.

[quote]dankid wrote:
I gave that article a read, and it seemed to be just what I was looking for. The concepts make sense to me, and it goes along with what I just read from Berardi’s two nutrient timing articles.

Though, im not one for calorie counting, and I like to keep things simple. If im trying to gain weight, and do not gain, I eat more, and if im gaining at a good rate I keep things the same. I just think counting calories, and trying to get exact calculations is a waste of time.
[/quote]
I agree to a point. I think it can be valuable to keep a log for a week or two when you’re making big changes, at least from a macronutrient standpoint. I have a hard time getting all the carbs in and keeping it clean, so I have to watch myself. Going low-carb, on the other hand, is the easiest thing in the world for me.

I lift three days a week. So for the low carb days I just spread my carbs out through the day. Lots of fruits and veggies. For the moderate days I either do breakfast (non-training day) or peri-workout and about an hour after workout (training day). The other two days I do breakfast and around the workout.

I agree as well to a point about tracking calories/macro nutrients when your making changes. At least until it becomes a habit.

My whole thing is that i dont put weight on easily, and thus I can easily error on the side of too much food and not have problems.

So when I switched to “low carb”, i just focused on keeping the carbs down, and eating as much as I could. After 2-3 weeks I did not lose a single pound, but I also didn’t gain a pound. Im thinking with greater carb ups though, i’ll probably be putting on some good LBM.

I also think some people should count calories and keep track of everything, while others would be fine without it. Im a big fan of eating/training instinctively. If you get too focused on numbers and calories, it takes your focus away from the big picture. There are so many variables that IMO its almost impossible to reach an optimal diet or optimal training. Instead you just gotta try things and adapt them as things go.

Thanks for all the replies.

I had my shake today which was during/post workout, containing 60g of carbs(coming from gatorade, and cytocar) and 30g of whey. Seemed to be fine, im gonna have my post workout meal now, containing chicken, yam, and veggies, then go back to normal “low carb”

im in a similar situation…im just curious about your workout, what your plan about that?

[quote]Rampage74 wrote:
im in a similar situation…im just curious about your workout, what your plan about that?[/quote]

Im basically doing the real fast fat loss program, but I took out the DB swings, and switched the TABATA cycling to the B workout.

I do that 3 days a week, and am doing 2 days of EDT for my heavy compounds.

Since right now im trying to add a bit of weight, im focusing on eating a ton, and now i will be carbing up during/post workout.

Workout A:

1:Deadlifts 15:00 (goal is 14 sets of 2)

2A: BW rows 8x5
2B: Pushup variation 8x5

***the reps are not exact for these two exercises, im sorta trying to do it how EDT does, with a pr zone, and trying to improve.

Workout B:

1: Zercher squats 15:00 (goal is 14x2)

2A: Pulldowns 8x5
2B: Incline DB bench

Thats it basically, the workout isn’t set in stone as of yet, but thats what ive been doing for the past two weeks. If I need to cut down on the number of exercises, i’ll probably just have one strength day per week, and do deadlift, BW row, and floor press or something similar.