T Nation

Two Options for Cyclical Dieting?

I want to make a change to my diet. In the past couple of months, I increased my weight to 210 lbs. Im 5’11". Eventually I want to be around 220lbs, and want to be a bit leaner. Currently im around 15-18% BF. So initially I was going to “cut” first, and then do a clean bulk to 220. But Ive decided to give cyclical dieting another try.

Here are the two options I see.

A) “High days” on all workout days, and “low days” on off days.

B) 3-4 days straight of “high days” followed by 3-4 days of “low days”

Initially the high days will probably be +500 calories over maintanence, and the low days will be -500 under maintanence.

My current workout schedule is similar to a westside template. (4 days per week, S,T,Th,F)

I think i’ll give both options a try just to see how easy they are to follow, but I was basically thinking option A would work fine, because you are always taking in more when you are working out.

But I can make option B work, by doing “low days” at the point of my training week that involves ME work. This work is heavy, but its low volume, and I can probably do fine with a deficit and some caffeine. And the DE days would be in a surplus, and this would work out fine since they are higher volume.

What are your guys thought? And what has worked for you?

go with option A. Thats what I would do if I had to choose. Maybe even throw a medium day with your easiest day.

[quote]elusive wrote:
go with option A. Thats what I would do if I had to choose. Maybe even throw a medium day with your easiest day.[/quote]

sounds like a good approach.

S

Ok, sounds like a plan.

One further question. I work out at around 7-9 pm on S,T,Th,F. Does it make sense to have high/low days that are based on a normal 24-hour day? Or should I do it more based around when im working out? Basically, is it more important to be in a surplus before the workout, or following the workouts?

Because I could have a large amount of calories before and after my workouts, and then the following morning and lunch, and then go to a “low day” that would last right up until about 2-hours before my next workout?

I had great success a while ago with a low-med-high 3 day cycle, where I was cycling carbs. Protein stayed constant throughout. Low day was less than 30g carbs. This tends to at least maintain muscle mass but really cuts down on the body fat. The 3 day cycle seems to work well controlling leptin response, or so I was told.