On these lowered intake day(s) during the week, how much of a decrease in calories are you talking? And do you recommend keeping carbs low/very low (50g, 100g, only veggies, etc?) on said days to make your body more insulin sensitive and get a little carb cycling effect?[/quote]
It’s all going to be related to what current #s are, how lean you’re starting out, and how ‘not-lean’ you’re willing to get. For a first step in increasing your #s, you might want to simply focus on raising macros on training days beyond their current levels, but keeping non-training days static. With this approach, most people would focus more on carb intake as prot and fats are usually fairly squared away.
As a second step, you could raise your non-training day values as well, although perhaps a smaller step up than you applied to the training day totals. What you play with in terms of macros is going to be dependent on how well you handle carbs. I understand the rationale of lower carb days creating a better handling when the #s are higher, but it’s all relative. If you’ve got 400g of carbs on a higher day, then 200 is going to seem low by comparison, especially if it’s a targeted approach and some of the day is essentially P+F based feedings. Of course this is where the ‘how not-lean are you willing to get in hopes of making better gains’ questions comes in to play.
Some people can benefit from raising to a higher caloric intake, but from Proteins or Fats, while still keeping their carb intake fairly reasonable. I’ve had clients where I’ve been able to prod positive composition changes simply by swapping out some carbs for fats, yet keeping overall calories steady. This can also assist with insulin sensitivity (as you mentioned).
In terms of adding cals during training, I think that’s always a great time. As I was first taught way back when; adding nutrients while training is like throwing more fuel on a fire. With some of my female competitors, they don’t always like eating so much, so on their higher intake days, instead of a simple water/BCAA based drink, I’ll have them use full sugar gatorade and throw their BCAAs in it. The time surrounding (and during) your training is probably the safest place to start adding nutrients without fear of creating excessive adipose.