T Nation

Who is Carb Cycling for?


I've read through several articles pertaining to carb cycling, and I still cant seem to find a concrete answer to which body-fat percentages carb cycling is targeted towards.

I'm at around 16% right now, 200 pounds--would carb cycling work for me if I want to get down to 10%? Or do I need to tailor it to fit my needs better (as my body handles carbs poorly)? Or should I just stick with low carbs all day and some sort of refeed?


Should work,... honestly, it's an approach that can be tailored (as far as the actual numbers and amount of high/low days) to suit your needs.



Thanks Stu. Do you have any advice on what the days/schedule should look like for someone in my shape? My main concern is regarding fat intake--how high do you take it on moderate/off days exactly?


High carb day 2â??3g per lb/bw 1â??1.5g per lb/bw as low as possible
Low to moderate carb day 0.5â??1.5 grams per lb of bw 1.25â??1.75g per lb/bw 0.25â??0.5g per lb/bw

Hopefully this comes out readable, these are some guideline numbers that Shelby Starnes has put out for baseline carb cycle plans. http://www.elitefts.com/documents/carb_cycling_mma.htm It says MMA, but it applies across the board.


I think the schedule depends on your training schedule. I do carb cycling when cutting and I train 4/5 days a week when cutting.

Day 1: Chest / Back (high carb)
Day 2: HIIT (medium carb)
Day 3: Rest (low carb)
Day 4: Quads / Hams (high carb)
Day 5: Shoulders (medium carb)
Day 6: HIIT (medium carb)
Day 7: Rest (low carb)

High Carb days - high carb 200-300g, high protein 200-300g, low fat 50g
Medium Carb days - medium carb 100-200g, high protein 200-300g, medium fat 50-100g
Low Carb days - low carb <50g, high protein 300+g, high fat 100-150g


Thanks for the help everyone.

Ethanwest- what bodyfat percentage do you usually start at with that type of protocol and for how long do you keep it going? Do you do any sort of refeeds/carb-ups?


I used this method to go from 15% body fat to 7-8% body fat earlier this year. I think it would be a good approach for you at 200 lbs and 16%. That's about where I was.