T Nation

Post-Diet Anabolic Window


Hey guys,
This is my first post and I have a quick question for all of you knowledgeable tnationers out there. I will be coming off a cut in the next 2/3 weeks and I have heard of this "anabolic window". Basically, after a few months/weeks of being on a diet your body enters a catabolic state.

So, when you reintroduce normal feeding levels your test/glycogen levels rebound and our bodies put on muscle mass a lot faster. My question is how long does this window last for? I would assume at least 2 weeks but I am totally clueless. If anyone who answers can site their source or the study, bro-science is evil.
Thank you!
Cody Greco

Post script: I have checked google, tnation, mayoclinic, pubmed, and other various forums and cannot find much information. I think this is due to the various name this phenomenon has. Thanks again!


You can't find this info because no one studies it, nor is there some definitive timeline for this.

How long does it last? Who cares?

How about go on a diet and see?


Come on Brick. That's why he can't find it. He just wants a couple of guys who have competed to give him a general estimate.

OP: ask chitownsfinest, stu, or mm. They all have competed and are good about giving advice.


Thanks a lot dnl! I really appreciate your time :slight_smile: I will definitely ask them. Happy holidays!


I would refer you to the December 2010 edition of Muscular Development. In it is an article written by Layne Norton titled "Pre-contest to Off-season Reverse Dieting: Preventing Metabolic Disaster," which basically outlines everything you are looking for.

Although it doesn't discuss what you refer to as an 'anabolic window,' a phenomenon I suspect is very individualistic and reliant on too many variables to note, it does however guide someone in your situation into an off-season diet.

The article addresses some of the misconceptions surrounding the post-contest bulk many competitors parttake, and focuses on how to practically and immediately restore metabolic activity to a more robust rate with the intention of handling off-season calories for muscle gain as opposed to fat gain.


I'm going to have to find a copy of that article!

OP: I'm not sure the duration of your diet/cut, and like skwasny mentioned, it's highly individual. I can only speak from experience; during post contest I can put down over 500 carbs with a moderate fat and protein intake and 'feel anabolic' if that makes any sense at all.


You should be concerned about the windows and the walls. And the sweat that drips down your balls.


Type "unshredded" at Berardi's forum.

You'll come across a few logs of people coming off the "Get Shredded Diet".