T Nation

Keto to Bulk Adaptation

Hi guys, im new to the forum, although i’ve been reading the articles and posts for well over a year. I love the brutal honesty on these forums and have learnt so much from just reading!
I’ve been on a slow cut, starting with carb cycling, then the anabolic diet.

I’ve seen some good results so far, no muscle loss (measurements taken every 2 weeks) just fat. I want to lose a few more % BF then start a bulk. However, im confused about how to do it. I’ve read Beradi’s gettin unshredded and also CT’s advice of starting with PW carbs then breakfast etc. However i have also read about the anabolic rebound you can get from going straight to a bulk.

I need some experienced heads to give me some advice:

  1. slow adaption (PW carbs week 1, 2nd PW carb meal week 2, carb breakfast week 3)
  2. straight to bulk (clean focusing around PW and Breakfast)
    Thanks in advance guys.

Last year I cut down using a Keto diet. When that was done I went straight into my bulk (600-800g CHO daily). Judging by the amount of people on this forum that claim they “can’t” handle carbs, I guess I’m very lucky and I’m a rare case to be able to do that. I’m just letting you know that a straight conversion can be done. If calories are where they should be, I don’t see how adding carbs back into one’s diet can cause this carb retaliation fat gain. The body doesn’t forget how to metabolize glucose.

On a side note, I think many people confuse the bloated, water retention look you can get from upping your CHO intake with fat gain. Then they panic and claim they can’t handle carbs.
/rant over.

Even though I like the advice you give elusive, I have to disagree with you here.

I think it really depends on what you were like before you started training.

Elusive, from the before pics in your profile, you looked slim, almost skinny, so your body has had a lot of years to adapt to that as your base. So no matter what you do over the course of a year or two, that will always be your base, and your body will always gravitate back towards that easily.

On the other hand, if someone has been overweight/overfat for 15-20 (even more) years of their life, then that will always be their base (fat set point), so although they can loose a lot of fat in 1-2 years, their body will always want to spring back to being fat (CT says it can take years to change your ‘Fat Set Point’). Which is why they have to take a more cautious and slower road when embarking on the muscle gaining route.

OP, answer this, have you been skinny your whole life, but just got fat over the last few years because you just let go? or

Have you been fat all/most of your life and have just decided to loose it in the last couple of years?

The answer to that question should help decide how you transition to muscle gain.

If you’ve been fat your whole life, start slow, and then tweak the diet from there if you don’t see the gains, but

If it’s the other way around, just go the elusive route and knock yourself out!


EDIT: This doesn’t mean that I’m against carbs, but maybe you should try starting out with 200-250g per day and then tweak if needed, instead of jumping straight to 600-800g a day.

[quote]elusive wrote:
On a side note, I think many people confuse the bloated, water retention look you can get from upping your CHO intake with fat gain. Then they panic and claim they can’t handle carbs.


people read someone like Poliquin saying only 25% of the population can handle carbs, and they say “Gosh, i don’t have a visible six pack, i MUST be carb intolerant.”

…then they go mix their protein shakes in heavy cream, or eat bacon wrapped cheese or something stupid like that, and start avoiding oatmeal.

I plan to be doing the following when I come off one of thibs diet plans:

  • Introduce simple carbs to PWO
  • P+C for breakfast, all other P+F on off days
  • Equal P+C and P+F on training days with P+C around training and breakfast.
  • Make all non training carbs UBER clean for at least 1 week - nothing dirtier then some non starchy fruit or some berries.

elusive - thanks for the advice. Its good to know that it can be done without too much spill over.
london runner - I’ve never been fat, always hovered around the 16-18% BF marker i’d say. But i never seem to get the balance right when tryin to bulk. I’d always end up with by gut sticking out in front of my chest, which would lead me to cutting.

I know now that some heavy upper chest work would combat that problem, but due to a spinal condition (Scheuerman’s kyphosis) too much chest work and my posture will be even worse, so im kinda stuck in catch 22. Anyway back to the subject, carbs do make me bloat, and my crap is pretty loose when im eatin them, so im guessin slow and steady will win the race.
ben moore - i think i’ll be following something similar.
Thanks for the replies guys.

I wasn’t trying to “push” a certain dietary approach on you, sorry if it came off that way. As always, a little self-experimenting is going to be best way to go. Pick something, try it out and you’ll learn how you handle it. Good luck with whatever you decide.

No worries Elusive, didn’t come across like that anyway. Its frustratin cos i know that the body will love the carbs im givin it cos my carb ups at the weekend are goin well, no huge bloat, just full muscles. But there’s that voice in the back of my head thats sayin one false move and we’re back to square one big boy.

My housemate used to compete in shows, he dieted for around 13 weeks and after the show he blew up, no bloat, just put on about a stone in a little under two weeks (obviously some glycogn replensihment), he looked f**kin awesome!

Im currently on about 10 net carbs a day (only eat broccoli or cauliflower 500g worth), would there be much point in goin for a good dose, say 50g carbs (200cals) post workout per day and keep the rest of the meals protein and fat?? Any advice will help.
Thanks again.

  1. With that little carbs, Berardi would have no prob with you just combining the veggies with all meals.

  2. The biggest factor in being able to get huge from a bulk post keto cut, is the fact that your body is primed for insulin sensitivity. Look into something like receptor max, and or Source Naturals Promilin? Fenugreek Extract (which yeilds a ridiculous amount of 4-hydroxyisoluecine per serving). These supplements will allow you to stay very sensitive even while bulking. Also berries help with insulin sensitivity.

So slowly add the carbs back in. Sounds like you’ve never been in the mid signle digits, but hopefully you can get ther. The only way to learn how you’ll respond to carbs in this new state is to get there.

  1. 50 grams carbs in PWO is a pretty safe approach to begin the process.

Good luck.