T Nation

CBL Results/Progress


Okay. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding all so-called "fad" diets. Carb Back Loading is no different. So I thought I would post my experience with it so far and hopefully people will gain something valuable.

I've been following the system for roughly 16 weeks including the infamous 'prep-phase'.

I follow wendler's 5/3/1.

I have kept a fairly detailed log of diet and training during this entire period.

I'm 24 years young, about 5'9", started at a BW of roughly 74.5kg (and I measure my weights using the metric system...)
Starting lifts were:
Squat: 135kg x 1
Bench: 100kg x 2
Dead: 120 x 9
Press: 60kg x 9

I finished the 'phase' still at 5'9", weighing roughly 81kg and hitting a peak BW of 82.4kg.
Finishing/ Peak lifts:
Squat: 125kg x 5
Bench: 120 x 1, 95 x 10 (couple to spare)
Dead: 140 x 10 (couple to spare)
Press: 70 x 8

A note on my poor squat improvement: my initial max was done with a very wide powerlifting stance, taken to a questionable parallel. During these 16 weeks I changed to an Olympic style squat due to an old back injury giving me trouble. I was then squatting narrow and 'ATG'. So the 'lack' of improvement is slightly miss leading; on tope of having to learn a new squat style, it is also generally a 'weaker' style. Thus the numbers may be slightly skewed.

Okay. I think that's enough bollocks intro.
Please ask questions, leave comments/ critiques and troll as you so desire.



Photo was meant to appear below pre prep…
Anyway; post prep ( lost about 2.5kg) doing this phase; I was eating pretty low carb already so had less water weight to lose…


More post prep (I’m new to this so not sure how to get more than one photo per post…)
I also apologise for any ridiculous facial expressions/ poses - I’m new to this.


1 week in


1 week in


Couple of weeks in


AAnd another one at two weeks


From here I wasn’t very regimented with photos, so I’ll just post the random ones I did take to show progression…


I know its not optimal with differing lightning…






Now I’m even posting unrotated pics it seems… Never considered myself this computer illiterate… Well, I will learn.

The end result after about 16 weeks.




Final pic


Awesome results man. I just started cbl last night. I’m guessing you were doing the density bulk as you put on some good size. How many carbs were you eating when backloading and what time did you usually train?


OK so my conclusion, thoughts and mistakes/ lessons learned thus far:

I have undoubtably gained some fat, some muscle and some strength. Mist importantly in my eyes; this is the leanest I’ve been at this bodyweight and, probably, the strongest too (I haven’t actually worked up to a 1RM on anything except the bench.

My target weight before beginning this phase was 81kg and I’ve landed right on top of that; so I’m please in this regard.

Training was extremely fun; after being on super low carb diets or Tim Ferris’ ‘slow’ carb diet the comparative intensity I could bring to my workouts was incredible for me.

Eating was fun ( although at times down right disgusting). The main reason this plan sells: eat junk and don’t get fat…
Well like I said and like you can see - I did in fact gain some fat. But considering I back loaded every night of the week save one; and considering some of the content of my back loads…

One eg. Would be 400g royal blue potatoes, ~300g kangaroo steak, 8 (fairly large) chocolate chip cookies and 1 litre of ice cream. All of this on top of a pwo shake with ~100g carbs/ 50g protein (60g dextrose and a large banana)

…I think the fat gain really is minimal, I truly did not hold back on that pwo binge.

One thing I did make sure to do was have all of carbs in one meal. I have quite an ability to just keep eating, this at least put a limit on how much I could consume.

On my off day back loads I would aim to get in some ‘healthy’ carbs, lots of fibre; pumpkin, sprouts, brocoli , cauliflower along with a load of sweet potatoes. Whether this had a negative affect on my results or not I do not know. Its just what I decided to do.

Fat intake was largely pre workout and sourced from animal fats: butter bacon, cheese even, heavy cream, and coconut oil. I did not make any special effort to avoid fats in the post workout binge. I believe this may have been one of my biggest mistakes - simply causing me to take in too many calories to keep the fat off…

Hmmm what else ( I should have planned this out before beginning to type - something else I have learned for future posts). During the first half/ ULC (‘ultra low carb’) part of the day I would always hold of eating for at least 3 hours and solely consume the recommended coffee w/ cream or coffee with small amount of whey and CO. Mist of the time I would not be eating for 5-6 hours after waking. Then I would have 1 or 2 meals depending on how I felt.

Anyway, I’m on a short hiatus currently, but when I’m back in my own territory I plan on continuing to follow the programme and keep better photo documentation.
I will also be experimenting with trying to change a few things around and see how my body responds. Namely bringing back some more clean carbs some how - the cookies and ice cream are great but my skin has got considerably worse from all the junk.

I will add any notes that I’ve forgotten as they pop into my head. But please ask any questions you may have. Although don’t expect a very scientific response. What you will get is an in biased, honest opinion of how it has all worked for me.



[quote]logancincp wrote:
Awesome results man. I just started cbl last night. I’m guessing you were doing the density bulk as you put on some good size. How many carbs were you eating when backloading and what time did you usually train?[/quote]

I actually started the programme with the intention of following the SA but then after the prep phase decided I don’t want to be some skinny pretty boy ( no offence meant to anyone who does…)

Re: carb count. on most training ddays anywhere between 300-500g I would say. One great thing about the diet is you can tell when you’ve over done it by simply looking in the mirror in the morning ( which I’m sure we all do anyway) if you’re muscles look full and tight, it was a successful back load, soft? Too much, flat? Not enough. Then just adjust for the next time.

For the ,most part I training in the ‘ideal window’. Although that was sometime as early as 1400 if I was getting up at 0400 for work. During the last week and a half I trained mornings fasted with heavy backloada the night before. As I said though, usually start training between 1600-1800.

Thanks for the kind words


Nice Work!