(1) In everyone’s experience, do you find that after a cutting cycle, you can gain muscle a SMALL caloric surplus, less than 500 calories? I wonder whether for many people (those without particularly good genetics or hormonal profiles, or those with low LBM) lowering calories below maintanence for a week and then raising them slightly above maintanence for 2 or 3 weeks may be a leaner path to muscle gain than the “bulking” phase.
(2) I’ve been reviewing some of Don Alessi’s nutritional recommendations for hypertrophy. I noticed that a reason they may be effective is as a method of nutrient partitioning on a large-scale. On bulking days, Don is switching his clients from “white” to “red” protein sources, causing a moderate increase in daily calories from fat, probably not even 500 kcal. Then, with the carb refeeds, there’s a whopping intake of carb calories (without increased rate of de novo lipogenesis). The liver will store most of these carbs, and this glycogen becomes the “foundation” for a caloric surplus built on with subsequent increased fat intake. And on the cutting days, clients reduce fat intake and burn more bodyfat then muscle, regardless of how many carbs are in the liver. Poliquin’s bulking method seems to work on this refeed principle too. His lean trainees consume 1000s of carb calories on their re-feed days. Can anyone think of a way to adapt this technique to non-ketogenic dieting, or does this require the so-called “metabolic shift”?