T Nation

Thibs Quote about Carbs - I Don't Get It


Here is the quote:

(taken from: http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/nutrition_for_newbies_part_1&cr= )

If your goal is body composition in general, the following rule applies:

Must-have carb sources: green veggies (broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, celery, asparagus, etc.)
Can-have carb sources: other veggies (except potatoes), berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)
Occasional carb sources: Other fruits
Rare carb sources: brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, cream of wheat, potatoes, yams
Should-avoid carb sources: white bread, white pasta, oatmeal
Must-avoid carb source: pastries, cookies, candy and any other junk sugary food

Must avoid is a given.

But I always thought that priority carbs were oats + brown rice (among other things like sweet potatoes) but never in the rare/should avoid category?

For fat loss, I would have thought almost all fruits would be removed.

Surely having green veg for carbs is way too low in actual carb content?

Anyone care to elaborate? Maybe someone who has worked with Thibs on such a diet?


For fat loss it is really heard to go too low in carb content, and if you were one could just supplement with a carb source near exercise (FINiBAR, glucose, whatever).

The berries are in another group as, in comparison to other fruits, they have much lower fructose amounts and higher glucose amounts (my guess for the classification).

For the priority carbs you mentioned, not on a cut.


That article was from 2007. Peoples views on training and nutrition can change quite a bit over the course of several years... Why not post in CT's forum and ask him about his quote from 3 years ago?


Ah yes. I'll give that a try.

I'll also look into berries. Interesting.



1- Everyone tolerates different sources of food differently. In my past preps, there were times when aside from the pre-workout finibars, when my only carbs for the day were oats (and a damn lot of oats, let me tell you! -lol)

2- By 'rare', it's not like Christian is saying to avoid at all costs, but most carbs are okay if you account for timing. Oats are fine for most people, but I still wouldn't recommend having 2 cups of it right before you go to bed (yes, some people will say that timing is less important than daily numbers, but I still opt to consider metabolic fluctuation throughout the day).

3- Fruit isn't 'evil', especially when you consider that the actual fiber content will blunt the 'horrible' effects from the fruit juice. Also, the whole glycemic index concept has been accepted to not be the be all end all of carb metabolism, as any other macros will slow digestion of pure carbs, in addition to most people ignoring serving sizes of individual items.

4- People always dig up older Articles of Christians, and while he's obviously got tons of writing available online, he's always been the first to admit to his ever expanding (changing) approaches. He's usually pretty good about explaining his rationale for current beliefs though :slightly_smiling:



Anticipation for this response is high :!


Stu is right on all counts. To that I'll add...

  1. What I wrote a few years back might not always be the current state of my beliefs. I ALWAYS experiment with training methods and nutritional approaches to learn better ways to get results. So obviously my methods might change from year to year. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WHAT I WROTE WAS WRONG. If it worked 3 years ago, it will still work today. But I sometimes found better options.

  2. That carb piece was written after I got back from working with Charles Poliquin. Charles is one of my "childhood heroes" (if you want to call him that) or one of my early mentors in training. So obviously when he speaks it has a huge impact on me and I am sometimes less obective than I should be. To that, add that for a large portion of my life I was carb-phobic... so obviously it was easy for me to believe that all carbs were evil. After doing some more objective reading and experimentation I came to the conclusion that when used properly, carbs are far from being the enemy.

  3. I still believe that "carb list" for many people who are trying to lose a lot of fat, mostly those who are severely overweight. But I also learned that different body types respond to different carbs (e.g. Daryl being Asia responds very well to rice) and to different amounts (Alex and Daryl both kept at least 200-300g of carbs during their whole pre-contest diet... Kevin has to drop below 75g to get lean).


Thanks for taking the time to respond CT.

That clears a few things up. It means I need to look into fruits/berries with a little more depth now as well. For fat loss, my teacher says no wheat, no fruit. But we're talking competition fat if that makes a difference.

I do like your style of thinking, recently been reading the Jeckyl & Hyde book, although it's a bit old (if that even matters much) what I like is that you don't say: THIS is the only way. It's more: here's one way, here's another way, each has their advantages.

We need more of that in this 'my way or the highway' industry.


A lot of people are against fructose because it is not stored as well as muscle glycogen as other forms of carbs and can be more easily (supposedly) as fat.


  1. Not all fruits have a lot of fructose.
  2. On a diet, a small amount of fructose in the morning will keep liver glycogen full which helps prevent a drop in metabolic rate


Go to:


It gives a list of fruits with low, medium and high fructose and divide them in good (low), moderate and bad (high) glycemic index.

The best fruit choices OTHER THAT TO FILL LIVER GLYCOGEN are those that are low on fructose and have a good glycemic index.

To fill liver glycogen in the morning, go with high or medium fructose fruits with a good glycemic index.


Cheers for the info. Much appreciated.

I did some digging around in wikipedia and found this on the metabolism of fructose:

"When fructose reaches the liver," says Dr. William J. Whelan, a biochemist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, "the liver goes bananas and stops everything else to metabolize the fructose." Eating fructose instead of glucose results in lower circulating insulin and leptin levels, and higher ghrelin levels after the meal.

This reminds me of alcohol metabolism. That said, one can hardly say that eating berries is harmful?!


I've found this in the comments section in some article at elitefts:

"Auto-Regulatory Clustering

Clustering refers to the rest-pause method: you use a heavy load and do single reps with short rest intervals. This allows you to do a lot of reps with a near maximal load while still having a high training density. I like to use auto-regulatory clusters, meaning that I never have a set number of reps to complete, rather I let the completion of each rep dictate if I continue or not.

Iâ??ll stop a set of cluster reps when I can no longer lift the weight fast enough (or smoothly enough). You can use a stopwatch and have a partner time the overcoming portion of the lift or go by feel; it doesnâ??t make much of a difference in most cases. This table will give you a time target to shoot for:

Load (Test 1 RM for that particular lift)
Rest between reps
Overcoming time threshold
Target number of total reps

30 seconds
1.2 seconds

25 seconds
1 second

20 seconds
0.8 second

15 seconds
0.6 second

As I understand, this is a pretty old writing of yours. With your methods evolving, do you still find this a good way to train? Seems like great stuff to me. The rep range/intensity/rest time recommendations are very appealing.


Sorry, wrong thread. Repost in training questions.