T Nation

Low-carbs and maximal weights

Brotherman…my BAG, baby! How the hell you picked that out of the whole mess of posts beats me…but right on, bro. Saves me some face.

Teddy…man, how long have you been in this game? I probably asked you that before, but it seems like you’ve got things down so awesome! I just read one of your other posts and realized how much ace you kicked on your last diet phase–from 17% to 5% without losing a lick of LBM and gaining strength…truly remarkable. Do you want to train me? And you got your post-workout plan all set up…I just wish–and I know it takes experience–that I could just make up my mind sometimes, be confident in decisions and find out what works well for me. I digress…so tomorrow’s the big day for ya? Dia numero uno para El Mass Phase. Are you pairing antagonists for Max Weights? I don’t want to bug ya too much, buddy. Oh, about the postworkout, I agree on sitting on the sidelines till the boys release it. I just wanted an idea of about how much you take in and in what ratios–because of the similarity of our body comps. As far as anabolics go, I know exactly what you’re saying. I think along the same lines and really never thought about resorting to anabolics…we’ll see. Thanks again, teddy. You truly are a bodybuilding guru who knows how to live this lifestyle and make it a lifestyle.

Brotherman, actually it depends on where you live. In Cape Breton it’s “my bad”. Actually I’ve never heard “my bag” before. Sounds kind of dumb.

Well I really appreciate the kind words, but you might be giving me too much credit. I’ve been lifting on and off for nine years, but you can really only count the last two since the first years were “learning stages” so to speak. Every gripe we hear daily from newbies/gym rats-been there, done that. I’ve taken plant sterols, Cybergenics, Mega Super Ultra Mass 25000, etc. Geez, even when I was on soccer scholarship at Briar Cliff I was enduring 2x/day practices, then going in and lifting for 2 hrs including game days, and you know what lifts they were-benches and curls. I was the prototype gym rat wannabe. I always bitched and moaned about not being able to lose fat or not being bigger. Then one day I decided to check my ego at the door. I think the first thing that really made me think was the old MM2K article about bodybuilding’s 30 biggest lies or something to that extent. I believe TC put that together but I might be wrong. Then day by day I gradually started doing things right. The first time I ever achieved something was when I did one of the first BFL Challenges (I know, I know-don’t even say it). This was the first time I got ripped (6 percent, but it wasn’t from the loads of Myoplex and Betagen and everything else I took, it was all about consistency in diet and training hard but not overtraining. I also learned that there really are more muscles than just chest and arms. Trial and error for the most part got me to the level I am now (whatever that is anyway), but I cannot take credit in my methods fully. That credit goes to Lyle McDonald, Charles Poliquin (even though he’s an egotistical jerk), Ian King (this guy is light years ahead of his time), Charles Staley, Bill Starr, Dan Duchaine, TC and everyone at T-mag including many of you that are regulars on the forum. Okay, enough of my “diatribe” as someone described it earlier. My Max Weights program is basically like his original. My arm program is identical to the one in the Max Weights article, then I am using the same exercises that are in the 1/6/1 program but different angles/hand positions such as on chins.

Teddy, Please keep me posted on your mass phase. I’ve also been lifting for a number of years and my bodyweight and bf % is relatively close to yours. I weigh a bit more but I’m around 6-7% bf. Low-carb has been the best mode for me in recent years. I can knock off rather incredible body fat losses with strict diet and never any aerobics.

I really want to make the low-carb a long term strategy for putting on muscle. In the past, I’ve always shifted back to a mixed or high carb diet (on some very moderate and high calorie schemes) but the minimal results did not outweigh any of the fat regain. And I have already tried so many different types of workout regimens. I think my suboptimal mass results are because of my massing diets. Like Chris said in the Diet Manifesto “It’s your diet stupid” Any advice or experience you have going forward will be a tremendous help. Good luck

Well I’m flattered that people are interested in my approach-makes me feel kinda warm and fuzzy (LOL). Okay, today was day 1 of Low carb/maximal weights. I only got 5 hrs. sleep (I bartend so I’m having some late nights) but I took some ZMA and Kava so I felt pretty good. I took the exact protocol from Poliquin’s Ultimate Workout meal, and I just finished the chest/back workout, which is the same exercises as the 1/6/1 except I used shoulder-width supinated chins instead. I must say I was quite impressed w. the workout as I’m not a “morning person” by any stretch of the imagination (usually lift mid-afternoon/early evening). It should be noted that I had a mini-carbup from 5 pm to 1 am yesterday so I had some glycogen in my system but nonetheless so far so good. The higher protein from the eye of round/eggs combined w. the other supps. definitely made a difference. I think I may be on to something (or actually Coach Poliquin I mean) I had a suspicion this might be the route to go for me anyway. It sure was nice to lift some heavy weights-I’ve been on a 17 week cutting phase so it was a nice change of pace. Timbo/BT: out of curiosity what are your blood types if you don’t mind me asking. I have a theory that certain types may do better w. this method (incidentally I am O positive).

Oh, I forgot something. In addition to the Ultimate Workout stack I also added Vinpocetine. This is an underrated one fellas!

Hey Timbo and TeddyKGB: You guys have put an interesting twist in my plans - my lean out cycle starts in 3 weeks - 2 more weeks of Ian’s get buffed program, a 1 week layoff, and then 5 weeks of the t-dawg diet (if it goes well, it may be a lifestyle change, at least through the end of summer). I was planning on something like a GBC program, just so it’s radically different then the last part of the get buffed program, but your making me thing that perhaps the GVT(2K) program is a better idea. Let us know your results, and I’ll be sure to post my before/after stats. BTW, I’m type O-, CMV-. I’ve never read any decent scientific proof relating the optimal diet to blood type, but it could be interesting. See you guys in San Diego when you get tired of the cold! Steve(o)

Teddy…glad to hear you hit it pretty hard today. I am already pumped as hell about training tonite and just getting absolutely fried and then eat HUGE. Anyway, I cannot for the life of me remember what my blood type is (it was probably like 12 years ago on a second grade class field trip to the lab that I found out). It’s probably something I could do on my own, but something I should do in the near future.
Is that the first time you’ve ever tried Poliquin’s Ultimate Workout meal? I’ve tried it in the past–chicken instead of eye of the round cause I’m not a big red meat fan–and I personally think I train better with protein only preworkout meal. The only this is I’ve had trouble noticing the PowerDrive in my workouts. I’ve tried it on an empty stomach 10 min before my meal and also 30/45 minutes after a meal but I just don’t seem to get the buzz that some proclaim. Teddy, I also remember you saying that you use ephedrine or ECA, what is your brand/stack of choice? I’ve tried MD6 for purposes of getting jacked up, but I don’t think it does nearly the job that some good ol’ ephedrine does for me. About the vinpocetine…what’s it do for ya and where do you get it? I’m always up for blowing some cash on a new supp! I had to laugh at some of the stuff you did in your early days, Teddy. I did some of the same ignorant things. Like train 6-7 days/week for an 1 1/2 hours then run a couple miles…just absolutely demolished my body but as long as the numbers on the scale were dropping, it was fine by me. Now, I kick myself in the ass every time I think about that. Whole bunch more I want to post, but I gotta get moving, pal. Take it easy and I’ll post tonite how my training went.

Hey Steve. If you’re going on a cutting phase I would advise against GVT2K. This is a hypertrophy program. GBC would be an excellent approach, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you added a slight bit of lean mass from it although I wouldn’t expect it. One of the benefits of GVT/GVT2K is that it also seems to boost GH levels, but you get that-and to a bigger extent-with the GBC. Thanks for the input on blood type, and most definitely keep me posted. Good luck!

I am blood type O+.

How have people done mass-training in the 6-8% bf range. Most of my reading indicates better muscular results hovering in the 8-10% range. What do you guys think?

Hey teddykgb, just caught your thread and it brings up many interesting points. First off, I agree that a certain percentage of the population can function very well on near zero carbs. Like Poliquin says you have basically the 70/15/15 percentages theory of who responds to what. Personally I find that I cannot gain mass unless I incorporate approx. 40% of my calories from carbs, but again this is very individual. I think your approach to training phases is well thought out and will help you accomplish your goals very readily. Incidentally instead of grape juice after your workout, I have found pineapple to accomplish the desired result better.

I have attended two Poliquin seminars, and found that the first one provided an absolutely enourmous amount of info, but later that year when I attended the second the amount and quality had dropped substantially. It almost seemed as if Charles was pissed at the world about something that day. Nonetheless he has more knowledge than all of us combined and I suppose he can affford to have a slight attitude! I must say though that I have never found his behavior to be in the range of being a jerk. I am just curious about what seminar you may have attended (or other readers) and any experiences that relate to that.

What’s up Dave! I’m aware of the pineapple juice thing-actually I used to use it post-workout mixed w. a vanilla MRP, small amt. of coconut ext. Tastes like pina colada w.o the alcohol-really good! The reason I was using grape juice was because I am loading creatine using Ian King’s approach and I would think this would be better suited. What exactly is the reason for pineapple juice, is it the bromelain? When I worked at GNC we sold a lot of bromelain for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. I haven’t attended a seminar, and maybe I’m being a bit presumptious but I just compare him to someone like Ian King. Charles is always “name-dropping” and I get the impression from his readings sometimes that if you’re not an Olympic or pro athlete who can do 20+ chin-ups, bench 400 lbs. and have 20-inch arms that you’re unworthy. I also remember someone saying that he humiliated someone at one of his seminars, making a reference to “pink weights” or something to that extent. I guess the best ones are usually like that, take Vince Gironda for example. I wouldn’t respond well to someone like that. When I played soccer in college (went to 2 different schools) I had two coaches. My freshman year playing NAIA my coach was just right for me. He knew when to nurture you and he knew when you needed an ass chewing. I was the only freshman to make all-conference (honorable mention) that year. Then I transferred to a JUCO and my coach was a real prick. He used fear as a constant motivator and I was so afraid of screwing up that it affected my play and I ended up a reserve for virtually all year. Sorry to get off the subject there. I will give credit where credit is due-Coach Poliquin definitely is one of the most well-versed if not the most strength coaches in the world.

Hey teddykgb, okay where do I start. Pineapple juice, I think the reason Charles recommends this was some info he got from Dan Duchaine many years ago. When Dan came up with the “corn flake shake” he was looking to spike insulin as much as possible post workout to blunt cortisol. Supposedly pineapple juice is about the highest fruit juice on the GI scale, papaya juice is close too. He includes some fruit juice with the maltodextrin powder because supposedly the fruit juice replenishes liver glycogen the fastest so the malto can get to the muscles.

Actually it’s funny you mention the pink dumbell thing because I was at that seminar in Buffalo. I think it was overblown because it wasn’t meant to be completely humiliating. Basically the guy volunteered to do the shoulder routine which consisted of laterals, then partials until no more could be done, then a modified 21 shoulder DB press with varied ranges of motion. The guy looked much stronger than he performed because on the presses he was struggling with 30’s, then 20’s, then they finally gave him 15’s which I think could have been easily handles by some of the women there. It was discovered later that the guy had a nerve impingement which did not allow him to fire his delts very efficiently at all, so I think Charles performed ART on him (for free no less). Like I said, Charles seemed pissed about something that day, but he is one great guy to talk to if you get the chance, a very cool person with a hilariously synical sense of humor.

Oh, one last thing, and this also came from the seminar. You mentioned peanut butter, and Charles said that recent research has shown lignans to be estrogenic and said we should avoid all types of peanuts or peanut butter like the plague. He did say almond butter and other similar products are fine though. So long as there not soy I guess!

Teddy and Co…what’s the haps, fellas. T-Men, I’m on top o’ the world right now…nah, I’m not drugged up, just high on life and bodybuilding (although the preworkout PowerDrive and ephedrine, along with the DMX pumpin’ right now might have sumthin’ to do with it).
Well, I just got done training. My bod and I are truly ready to take this thing to the next level…we’re ready to pack on the mass. No more messing around. Today was the first day of what we’ll call TVT2K (Timbo Volume Training). It still needs some fine-tweaking but the premise is basically volume, little rest, more volume, less rest…well, it’s hypertrophy training. I did Chest and Tri’s today–which is definitely a shock to my bod, as I normally pair pushing and pulling (ie. Chest/Back or Chest/Bi’s). Right now my chest and tri’s are pumped and the DOMS is already kickin’ in my tri’s. This was much needed after a week off of no weights following less than optimal training. I was losing focus, desire and what seemed like size and strength. After a week off, I feel better than ever.


Basically, I’m doing 3 sets of an exercise for 8-10 reps with 60 sec RIs. Today I went to failure on each set and decreased the weight on subsequent sets. I feel that the TUT is the key during hypertrophy training. However, I’m slowly uncovering the fact that I am predominantly fast-twitch as my performance levels decline somewhat quicker than the normal 10%/set as Coach Poliquin recommends. Therefore I think I might lower the rep range to 6-8. I also might only change things so I’m only going to failure on the third and final set, keeping the weight constant on all three sets for each exercise. I don’t want to take the load too low, as I don’t want to exit the necessary %1RM. Any thoughts, fellas? It’s just something I’m toolin’ around with and it definitely needs a little tweaking. However, the thing that pumps me up the most is my mental and physical energy levels. I’m back, fellas…Timbo’s back and ready to GROW! No fear, this is my boy Teddy’s world and I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut!

carb intake depends on how active you are if you just sit on your arse all day and then just lift weights then you dont need much in the way of carbs or you will just look fat an smooth but if you have a hard job or nervouse disposition then a high carb intake is needed.

Hey Teddy, what split will you use when you do GVT 2000?, And if you do say Chest/Tri’s will you do 20 sets total or like 10 for chest and five for Tri’s , thanks Teddy and congrats on your diet

Hey guys. Sorry I didn’t post yesterday but it was a hectic one. I had to drive to a gym 90 miles away to get my workout in (oh, the sacrifices we T-Men make) plus the bar I work at had their dinner theater last night so I didn’t have time to even think much less anything else. Okay, day Two: this was my FUN day, legs. Supersetted back squats/leg curls and deads/standing calf raises. Went surprisingly well, and what’s surprising is that my muscle soreness is minimal despite the fact that I’m pushing some heavy (for me anyway) weights. This was the first time I didn’t use straps on my deads so I think my grip gave out a little before my legs/back were ready to, but that’s okay. I think my nervous system is getting a shock though as I’ve been requiring a short nap mid-afternoon and today I slept until 11 am, where I usually only sleep til 7-9. I think I’m just getting caught up on the previous night’s lack of sleep. I decided to make a couple of tweaks too. One thing I’m doing is consuming a couple pieces of low-glycemic fruit on lifting days-an apple w. lunch and dried apricots or an orange later in the day, and I’m going to experiment w. a lower calorie/protein day on one of my off days such as today, since I have no plans other than resting and working my finger muscles talking to you people on the forum. I brought this up to Lyle McDonald last summer, throwing in a couple of lower-cal days during a mass phase to minimize fat gain, but I was also eating like a horse on the other days so I thought this might serve as a bit of “damage control.” I’m not going to do this more than once a week on this plan, however.

Thanks Davan. As far as GVT2000 goes, most of it will be the exact program that TC outlined w. the exception of shoulders. Since there is no direct delt work in Maximal Weights I’m going to use the Poliquin heavy/light program that was in his Poliquin Principles book (first exercise 4-6 reps, second exercise 6-8 reps, last exercise 15-20 reps-all exercises have different rep speeds too). I did see in a previous Reader Mail that Chris Shugart (I think it was him) had a variation that he thought would work better for fast-twitchers showing an example of a chest/tri workout that was more like what you suggested. I could see where this could work, but I’m going to try TC’s plan first.

Teddy…good to hear from ya, bud. 90 miles, huh? That’s one helluva T-Man! I would have been your co-pilot (over breaks I have to travel about 45 minutes to get to the gym). So, for your Max Weights are you doing a 2 on, 1 off, 1 on, 1 off schedule? Are you doing any direct delt work? I used to always have a separate shoulder day in my split until I came across T-mag and Poliquin’s Principles. Since, I really haven’t done much if any, and my delts used to be my real strong bodypart (they literally overwhelmed everything else), but since I think I’ve lost a bit. However, in this phase I’m throwing in the two pre-exhausion supersets for medial and rear delts in Poliquin’s book on hip-dominant leg day. I used to train legs all on one day, but since starting Ian’s Limping program and reading T-mag, I’ve split up hams and quads pretty much. I find if pretty effective.

So things went okay with squats and deads on the same day? I was thinking about switching things up and doing legs altogether again and would like to do them both. About the low-cal day, I really believe that it’s a good idea to throw in a lower calorie day or two during the week (depending on how much you’re eating the other days). I particularly believe–and do this myself–that energy needs aren’t nearly the same on off days as they are on training days. I probably get too technical with it, but being the anal bastard I am, I don’t see the point in way over-eating. However, I don’t think I’m getting quite as much on training days as I would like, so I’m really shoveling it in on the off days also. This might sound familiar, but today I slept in a bit and plan on hitting it kinda early to get back into things and won’t get the six big meals that I would like (probably just 5). But I don’t see the point in trying to get as much in 12 hours as I would in 14-15. I also like to switch things up on my body so it doesn’t get used to the same energy intake, and I think that it might help with bringing up appetite and metabolism a bit (as if it’s not already kickin’ some major butt already).

Thanks for the update, Teddy. Today's an off day for me also. Yesterday was quad-dominant legs. Kicked some major butt--that's how I feel anyway. Most people probably wouldn't understand why I was struggling under the squat bar, but had I told them I was on my 18th rep of 20-rep breathing squats, they either would have either got the message or been clueless. Tomorrow's TVT Back/Bis...Damn, I'm already stoked!

Teddy, you might not have caught it in a previous post, but I asked what ephedrine you took. Also, the vicopetine that you referred to, where can I get it and what’s in it again? Thanks, buddy. I’ll probably be back in a bit.

My split is the standard Poliquin method-Chest/back, Legs/calves, off, Arms, off. I was a little hesitant to do squats and deads in the same workout but I did alright, especially considering it was the first time I didn’t use straps on my deads. Ephedrine-wise I go back and forth. I’ve used pure HCL, Adipo, MD6, and due to a good deal I got I even tried the Betalean. The only Vinpocetine I have seen is the GNC Natural Brand, which also contains Green Tea Ext, but I’m sure there are others that make it. Maybe Life Extension? It is great for enhancing mood/focus. I only take it pre-workout. If I recall correctly one of the new Biotest products is supposed to contain Vinpocetine (Euphoria, maybe?)