T Nation

Low-Carb Bulk

What are people’s thoughts on a Low Carb Bulk? Would it be a way for people to gain muscle and not fat, or is it just plain retarded?

Yes. It can be a way to gain muscle and not fat. There are several ways to do it however. What were you planning on doing, and what are your goals/stats?

Look up the Anabolic Diet. Seems to be what you’re describing.

5’8, 168, 12 % bf. ideally i’d like to maintain bf and go up to 180ish.

i plan on lifting the way i have been, i don’t really change the way i lift based on my nutrition (which might be bad).

my lift schedule is as follows:

monday:

3 working sets bb bench press (or incline or military) x 6
3 working sets cable rows x 10
3 sets seated db military press x 8
3 sets chin-ups x 10,8,8
2 sets curls x 8
2 sets tricep pushdowns x 10
2 sets shrugs x 15
1 set shoulders (10 posterior, 10 medial, 10 anterior) 15 lb weight

w

4 working sets squat x 10, 8, 6, 6 (sometimes 20-rep)
3 ws deadlifts x 8
3 sets leg press x 8
3 sets calves x 15

f
3 working sets bb bench press (or incline or military) x 6
3 working sets cable rows x 10
3 sets seated db military press x 8
3 sets chin-ups x 10,8,8
2 sets curls x 8
2 sets tricep pushdowns x 10
2 sets shrugs x 15
1 set shoulders (10 posterior, 10 medial, 10 anterior) 15 lb weight

thoughts?

Carb cycling for idiots.

Carbs aren’t the enemy.

[quote]Blongo wrote:
Carb cycling for idiots.

Carbs aren’t the enemy.[/quote]

That depends on how you react to carbohydrates in the diet. I have worked with people who grew on low carb and those who cut on high carb. Each person has their own combination of genetics that influences macronutrient composition effects of dietary manipulation. I am quite sure that both those cases would have resulted in massive and utter failure had the opposing approach been taken.

Carb cycling works very well on lower carb diets when done in a planned and predictable manner.

I agree carbs are not the enemy, but for some they are better friends than to others.

As stated by Charles Poliquin, go by how you feel. How hard is it to test out a low carb day and a high carb day and write down how you feel, reviewing after completion and making an informed decision.

Re: thoughts

Does your lifting schedule switch around the next week so you do legs twice and upper body once?

Standing shoulder presses would allow for better movement patterns and long term progress, even though you will lift less weight, the effect is worth it. Check out Cressey’s Shoulder Savers and Mike Boyle’s articles. It will be worth your while.

Some DB presses for chest would not hurt, and switching rows for inverted rows in one of the workouts would benefit you greatly.

Look into the Anabolic Diet.

Thanks for all of your responses guys. To answer some of the questions, I (regretfully) do only one set of legs per week, as 1) it is much stronger than my upper body and 2) my recovery time is significant, as i did a workout wednesday and my legs still hurt like a bitch.

In terms of mixing up shoulder exercises and using db press for chest (which is embarrassingly low weight compared to my bb press), i probably should seek more variety.

in terms of the nutrition aspect, the reason i am fearful of carbs is that i am an ffb, having been (almost 4 yrs ago), 5’4 and 220. Low carb has always kept me pretty lean, and the energy doesn’t suffer all that much (i.e, my lifts don’t drop). what would be the ideal bulk then for me to not gain so much body fat? i’m not completely averse to eating carbs, i just think that it doesn’t help me as much as others.

thoughts?

Low carb should be fine, notice I didn’t say no carb. Judging by your height and weight you would probably get away with 100-150g a day, but that is for you to find out. At 12% you should be more than able to tolerate at least a moderate amount of carb intake which would be extremely beneficial for energy during a clean mass gaining phase. Good luck from one FFB to another FFB.

Dogshit approach. Half of muscle gains are due to increased glycogen storage which, as you guessed, is from CHO.

[quote]hexx wrote:
Dogshit approach. Half of muscle gains are due to increased glycogen storage which, as you guessed, is from CHO. [/quote]

Full glycogen replacement can be achieved without use of carbs if a whey/glutamine/glycine shake is consumed postworkout and BCAAs during. This is the no-carb approach for those seeking lower carb diets. Poliquin and Thibs have both discussed this.

Hexx…
Worst avatar in the history of the interweb, I didn’t need to see that

the only carbs i have been consuming have been from Surge, it really is amazing.

after doing some research, and considering it’s almost impossible for me to eat 5-6 meals a day, I think that I’m going to do the following:

breakfast: hi carb (i.e. three eggs and an egg white w/ cheese + whole wheat toast, orange juice)

lunch: moderate carb (turkey+swiss on wheat)

workout: double serving of Surge (before/during, after)

dinner: low carb (lean protein + veggies)

pre bed: low carb (cottage cheese + pb)

i’ll probably hope to take in around 3100-3500 cals

thoughts?

Cut out the orange juice - waste of calories. Eat fruit instead and add oatmeal.