T Nation

Low Carb Mr. Olympia?

I was wondering If anyone in the Olympia Follows a LCD year round? Not just talking Pre Contest.

I was watching some Frank Zane Olympia clips, and caught an article Arnold said that he thinks Frank Zanes Physique is stringy because lack of carbs. I thought that was funny.

THen I thought to myself I wonder which bodybuilders in the top 20 eat LCD year round? Are their any still around?

Jay Cutler, someone who possibly stays the most strict with his diet out of most pro bodybuilders, claims to get around 4-5,000cals in the off season from carbs alone. I personally don’t think low carb diets are compatible with “gaining the most muscle mass possible”. They are fine for dropping body fat but expecting your body to run optimally that way and make the most of your time in the gym on low carbs would be an exercise in futility for most. I would say this is even more the case for larger bodybuilders who definitely need the calories.

This is really an interesting concept to me since I have been blowing my diet the past week and I swear I lost some fat. Have to check with calipers to see where I am, but I can say since my carbs are up I feel better.

Can someone help me out here? I thought low carb high protein was the way to go for bodybuilding. Is it only for contest shape?

I am kinda naive in this area since I have always just wing my diet keeping protein high and carbs low.

Don’t quote me but I believe Tony Freeman follows a low carb diet year round.

Believe it or not, carbs ARE your friend.

[quote]E-man wrote:
Don’t quote me but I believe Tony Freeman follows a low carb diet year round.[/quote]

Just a sidenote: in an interview, he mentions getting serious about BB and then putting on 55 lbs in 10-11 weeks. Now that’s some sweet genetics.

[quote]Petedacook wrote:
This is really an interesting concept to me since I have been blowing my diet the past week and I swear I lost some fat. Have to check with calipers to see where I am, but I can say since my carbs are up I feel better.

Can someone help me out here? I thought low carb high protein was the way to go for bodybuilding. Is it only for contest shape?

I am kinda naive in this area since I have always just wing my diet keeping protein high and carbs low.

[/quote]

First of all Pete, you look better than I do, so you gotta be doing something right.

I think that super high metabolism fat burning, feeling good phase that you just had for the week is normally a short lived thing.

It’s hard to say without seeing your specific diet, but if your carbs are too high all the time, your just going to blow up and gain too much fat. You need high protein, you need some good fats, and yep, carbs are gonna make you feel good, and give you tons of energy… But if you have high protein, high carbs AND moderate fat, that’s a lot of calories, no?

I’m interested to see, but my guess is a lot of folks round here do carb cycling. Keep the protein and fat generally the same, just change up the carbs. So that would have been your high carb week, followed by a low carb week, and 2 moderate carb weeks, or something like that.

It should keep your fat levels in check, and the cycling should keep you from being too run down from only low carb, or gaining too much fat from only high carb.

Also, if energy is an issue, you might want to seriously consider your nutrient timing, like:
-big breakfast of all macronutrients
-make sure to eat at the appropriate time before your workout (for me, this is meal #2, around 11am) then i workout at 12:30pm.
-proper post workout nutrition (high carb)
-lower carb evenings

It’ll be neat to see if anyone around here agrees with me on this…

It has always annoyed me when I see ads for MRPs in ads in muscle magazines touting a product as having low carbs. How do you get bigger on those? It’s as if supplement companies thin that their target customers diet down for contests all the time. It’ll be the day when I see an ad that says “500 GRAMS OF CARBS PER SERVING!” or something like that.

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
It has always annoyed me when I see ads for MRPs in ads in muscle magazines touting a product as having low carbs. How do you get bigger on those? It’s as if supplement companies thin that their target customers diet down for contests all the time. It’ll be the day when I see an ad that says “500 GRAMS OF CARBS PER SERVING!” or something like that.[/quote]

You’re starting to see more and more products like Surge now. Inexplicably, Pacific Health’s Countdown just got pulled from the market…but Endurox and others are out there. I think we’re going to be seeing a better adherence to the NTS (Nutrient Timing System) in a lot of supplements, aimed at the Energy, Anabolic, and Growth phases (with NTS labels, and then a label that denotes which phase the product is meant for).

Low Carb products are definitely here to stay, but they should be marketed more appropriately: as aids in low carb diets or for the growth phase and the night time pre-bed shake.

Everybody’s genetics are different, but I just don’t see how it can be done; not at the upper echelons of the sport.

I know all of the Anabolic Dieters will probably jump in claiming blasphemy, but I’m still not sold on the AD for bodybuilding purposes. I’ve seen some very big guys who claim to have gotten that way from the AD, but getting big and competing at a high weight are two very different things.

I honestly have yet to see an AD’er with a physique that I could see someone stepping on stage with, even after dieting down. I’d be willing to admit I was wrong if someone could be prove me so, however.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Jay Cutler, someone who possibly stays the most strict with his diet out of most pro bodybuilders, claims to get around 4-5,000cals in the off season from carbs alone. I personally don’t think low carb diets are compatible with “gaining the most muscle mass possible”. They are fine for dropping body fat but expecting your body to run optimally that way and make the most of your time in the gym on low carbs would be an exercise in futility for most. I would say this is even more the case for larger bodybuilders who definitely need the calories.[/quote]

This is true, though there are some who would even dispute that, I believe wrongly.

However a carb CYCLING diet, where glycogen is regularly replenished and metabolic lipid adaptation is allowed to fully occur (usually the missing key), doesn’t suffer from this shortcoming.

This is a big topic and probably beyond full exploration in this thread, but I had to throw it in there.

I’ll def. be keeping an eye on this thread since I just started the anabolic diet a couple of weeks ago. I’m missing my Surge PWO during the week…

[quote]Petedacook wrote:
<<< Can someone help me out here? I thought low carb high protein was the way to go for bodybuilding. Is it only for contest shape? >>>

I am kinda naive in this area since I have always just wing my diet keeping protein high and carbs low.

[/quote]

Check the huge AD thread for info if you’re interested in this type of eating. Reversing the roles of fats and carbs is the key long term. In fact just eating low carb may cost you some muscle as aminos begin to be converted in the absence of any other plentiful fuel source.

the only BB i can think of to follow LCD mostly year round was frank zane. He was probably the smallest Mr. O of all time.

I like steady energy of lcd but I hate the stringy flat feeling. I often have trouble sleeping and relaxing my nervous sytem also on a LCD.

You have to look at the history of why these type of diets were favored in the first place.

I think the lower carb, high protein, high fat diets were favored before drug use was rampant in bodybuilding.

And it made sense, a high fat diet is the best scenario if you trying to maximize your body’s natural homrmones.

But now that drugs are rampant in bodybuilding, and you can alter your hormones and stack insulin, hgh, clen, etc. this type of diet isn’t necessary anymore.

Let’s be honest, when someone is “on” I think the diet can be far more forgiving and higher carbs probably do work better.

The AD is supposed be a “natural” way of maximizing hormone output through diet. While I do have my questions about it for gaining large amounts of muscle over time, there probably is no better diet to cut up on. I think overall, some form of carb cycling is probably best approach. Best of both worlds.

In short, the last place I would like for dietary advice is a pro bodybuilder, especially a current Olymia contender.

Depends on your body type.

I tried a low-carb diet once. Didn’t work well. I was flat, dry, hungry, and cranky. My gym time was tough and I didn’t accomplish all I wanted due to the lethargy.

Against what most people would say, I follow an extremely low-fat, carb-cycling diet before a photoshoot. Of course I stick to starchy carbs, and have them only in the morning and PWO. You get the point.

It’s all about the individual.

[quote]CC wrote:
I honestly have yet to see an AD’er with a physique that I could see someone stepping on stage with, even after dieting down. I’d be willing to admit I was wrong if someone could be prove me so, however.
[/quote]

I know that the guy in this article glows about what the AD did for him. I’m giving the diet another try, because I feel like it was very successful for me in the past.

Even DiPasquale says there’s a certain percentage of people who never do well, but until you’ve given a proper run at least 3 months there’s no way to know if you’re one of those people.

I’ve been active in the AD thread since August when I started the “diet” and the number of people who give it enough time are very few and of the ones that do I can’t think of one who would tell you they’ll go back to a conventional diet.

I’m not one to evangelize either. If somebody’s happy with what they’re doing that’s all that matters. I think I’ve actively encouraged maybe 5 guys, who really sounded like it was what they were looking for check the monster thread.

My point is the criticism I see is usually from folks who misunderstand what it is or gave it enough time to get in the middle of the full transition, but not enough to come out the other side and REALLY see the benefits.

Some people just can’t handle carbs all day long. I get gassy and feel like crap if I have carbs during every meal. I follow a high protein/high fat diet during the day, but around workout time, I’ll consume around 250g of carbs (50g pre-workout and 200 grams spread over two meals afterwards). Around workout time, I don’t feel gassy, bloated, etc.

[quote]HouseOfAtlas wrote:
Some people just can’t handle carbs all day long. I get gassy and feel like crap if I have carbs during every meal. I follow a high protein/high fat diet during the day, but around workout time, I’ll consume around 250g of carbs (50g pre-workout and 200 grams spread over two meals afterwards). Around workout time, I don’t feel gassy, bloated, etc. [/quote]

I don’t believe this is a question of whether something makes you feel “gassy”. If feeling ‘gassy’ helps someone gain an extra 10lbs of muscle in a year, maybe they should accept being “gassy”. The question is whether that is optimal for muscle growth.

I personally wouldn’t expect to gain much on a low carb diet year round. In fact, I would go as far as to say that most people wouldn’t unless their metabolisms were just extremely slow…in which case they probably wouldn’t gain all that much muscle regardless.

[quote]industrialplaid wrote:
CC wrote:
I honestly have yet to see an AD’er with a physique that I could see someone stepping on stage with, even after dieting down. I’d be willing to admit I was wrong if someone could be prove me so, however.

I know that the guy in this article glows about what the AD did for him. I’m giving the diet another try, because I feel like it was very successful for me in the past.[/quote]

While I appreciate the effort, the title of this thread concerns the Mr. Olympia which, as I said earlier, means the upper echelons of the sport.

According to the article you posted, after the diet that guy weighed in at a whopping 175 lbs.

I don’t think I even need to say it, but that’s nowhere close to what we’re discussing here.