T Nation

Protein Cycling

I was reading year old archives and I came across the article on protein cycling. I remeber reading it before, but I never actually tried the theory. It does sound intriguing, but does it have any real world applications? I’m interrested if anyone else has tried the program and if so what were your results…

I tried the exact cycling pattern outlined in the article and it didn’t do shit… Stick with high protein consumption all the time.

I don’t recall this article but I know protein cycleing works if done correctly. The Bulgarians used this method to get their lifters out of plateaus, and after they perfected a training regimin with it, these guys would gain 4 pounds of new muscle in 10 days. It works because the body thinks it’s being starved of protein, and then when you give it large amounts after a day or two of really low protein, the body will hang on to every gram you give it and you get a huge anabolic response.

well regarding protein cycling, i am a bit suspect of it myself, and poliquin doesn’t really seem to like it. it isn’t something i would use during normal training because while you were at the phase of low protein consumption your training would be hurt signifigantly, the question is would the effects of when you start eating more protein outweight what you could have gained by just maintaining a steady protein level ? under most circumstances, i do not think so. interesting point about the bulgarian weightlifting team, maybe it has good uses in breaking through plateus.

I would agree with you nothingx that perhaps the gains would be comparable to normal high protein intake. Yet on the other hand I would like to hear from more people on there experimentations. Perhaps protein can be cycled simmilar to steroids. Obviously, as Bill Roberts stated, optimum steroid use is only acheived through cycles. Day in day out applications reult in stagnant receptor response. This may be parralled with protein response. As Doug stated, it did dick all for him, but everyone has a different response…

I watched two guys do this just as the article states and nothing changed. That doesn’t make me want to try it.

When everyone is stating that “nothing changed”, does that mean that the same gains were being acheived as with high protein all the time? I would have said that’s a good thing, as you’re getting the same gains from a lot less protein, which (as the article mentions) will also stop that “big organ” thing, which I occasionally get. The diet was also not designed to cause greater gains, but more efficient ones.
There’s also the reduced cost from not having to eat 50-60 chickens a day. So - what exactly is meant by “Nothing changed”?

Based on reader feedback, I’d say the diet is successful for about 30 to 40% of those who try it. Most say they either lost muscle or didn’t notice any changes. It’s an interesting idea though, but I think it needs more work.

You guys may want to read the anti-protein cycling article by Cy Willson called “The Protein Conspiracy.”

By “nothing changed” I mean that neither person achieved the growth spurt that was supposed to occur when high protien was put back in the diet. In other words, it didnt matter that they did it. You are right though, they probably saved a couple of bucks.