Mufasa - when i mentioned my “natural” state i was alluding to the idea of the “setpoint” just as Kelly mentioned. i have never been able to maintain 7% bf like Zev without even thinking about it. i have to really watch my intake, measure body composition frequently and adjust my diet accordingly.
i do however believe it is possible to change your “setpoint” as long as you push past it and maintain that state for a long enough period of time. i don’t have any studies to back this up though. just my experience. after the very difficult initial push to 4% i was able to increase back to 6% (to relieve the stress) and slide around the 6-10% range at will. although i am sure that my body would happily set itself back if i allowed it to.
my complete cycles are 6weeks (3 leaning and 3 bulking). i will adjust this time frame if it is necessary to do so, but this seems to work well for now. i keep my ratios constant and try not to let my protein intake drop below 200g. bulking ratios are 50c,35p,15f. leaning ratios are 35c,50p,15f.
while leaning i use a caloric staggering approach. here is my current leaning phase:Mon-1800cals (cardio), Tues-2000cals (lift,cardio), Wed-1800cals (cardio), Thr-2000cals (lift,cardio), Fri-1800cals (cardio), Sat-2600cals (lift), Sun-2600cals (lift). i am a big fan of refeeding during leaning to keep my leptin levels up, so i have thrown two 2600cal days in on the weekend which are also the days when i perform my most strenuous workouts. plus it helps me better enjoy weekend social gatherings. i do much more cardio than most (1 hour sessions up to 2x per day) and supplement with MD6 to help get me through. this does not seem to have any detrimental catabolic effects on me (knock on wood). i distribute my macronutrients and calories throughout the day to help maximize fat loss during cardio. it’s not exactly massive eating, but similar in most respects.
while bulking each week is different by eating progressively more calories as i go (2700, 3000, 3300 respectively). if i introduce the calories too quickly i tend to gain more fat after the three weeks without really gaining any more muscle. interesting. here is my current bulking phase:Mon-2700cals, Tues-2700cals (lift,cardio), Wed-2700cals, Thr-2700cals (lift,cardio), Fri-2700cals, Sat-2700cals (lift,cardio), Sun-2700cals (lift,cardio). my single cardio session is post lifting and lasts no more than 30min. i distribute my macronutrients throughout the day in a way that is almost identical to massive eating with occassional deviations. i just repeat this for three weeks while keeping a close eye on my body comp.
once back to leaning (which is the toughest part in terms of caloric restriction) i reintroduce the thermogenics and cardio slowly for the first week and hit full stride for weeks 2 and three. i just keep this going 24-7-365 while adjusting my calories and monitoring body comp along the way. this is prolly pretty unorthodox and overly complicated to most, but it really seems to work for me. kevo