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Carb cycling to gain mass, minimize fat gains

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On a happier note, I started carb cycling yesterday. Workout days, ill be consuming 2200-2500. Non-workout days, ill be consuming 1700-1900 calories. Workout days 250+ grams of carbs, non-workout days 110 grams of carbs or less. I workout 4 days a week with one hiit session a week for cardiovascular health. Giving this a 2 week test drive! I hope to gain muscle, while minimizing the fat gains. Anyone think this is bonkers or is carb cycling for the same reason? Lol

Replies

  • amiaow
    amiaow Posts: 35 Member
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    Not worth the effort IMO, plus it's nice to have cals on recovery days as well. If you want to gain muscle, just eat 100-200 above maintenance and lift heavy. Gains will come your way. It's easy to spend a few weeks dieting at the end to shed surplus fat and if you bulk slowly you shouldn't have much to shed.
  • amiaow
    amiaow Posts: 35 Member
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    Also, mass gains favour muscle if you are starting from a leaner base. I have no idea what your BF% is but it's something to keep in mind when you're deciding when to start bulking.
  • HMVOL7409
    HMVOL7409 Posts: 1,588 Member
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    Well to be honest I've only seen carb cycling done mainly with the cutting phase, not bulking. When I bulked, I did so but just eating at a surplus nothing more. Find what works for you. How long are you bulking?
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    Id like to gain at least 10 lbs, so however long that takes me! Im only 107 lbs right now.
  • kirkor
    kirkor Posts: 2,530 Member
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    Yep, I'm a fan! Martin Berkhan & LeanGains baby! :)
  • LolBroScience
    LolBroScience Posts: 4,537 Member
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    Yep, I'm a fan! Martin Berkhan & LeanGains baby! :)

    Agree
  • Aleysia87
    Aleysia87 Posts: 14 Member
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    Look into Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0.
  • GODfidence
    GODfidence Posts: 249 Member
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    Are you going to be in a deficit on non lifting days?
    If so, building muscle won't happen.
    Whatever works for you in terms of calories but the bottom line
    Is you need to have a good strength training program,progressive overload,
    Rest,and a calorie surplus.
    Good luck!
  • LolBroScience
    LolBroScience Posts: 4,537 Member
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    Are you going to be in a deficit on non lifting days?
    If so, building muscle won't happen.
    Whatever works for you in terms of calories but the bottom line
    Is you need to have a good strength training program,progressive overload,
    Rest,and a calorie surplus.
    Good luck!

    Agree, although you can be at a surplus on your training days...
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
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    Not worth the effort IMO, plus it's nice to have cals on recovery days as well. If you want to gain muscle, just eat 100-200 above maintenance and lift heavy. Gains will come your way. It's easy to spend a few weeks dieting at the end to shed surplus fat and if you bulk slowly you shouldn't have much to shed.

    ^^yep

    The issue is your food does not get digested, absorbed and utilized immediately- so what you are eating on a lift day may not go towards gains. It is very hit and miss and slow.
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    No deficit, my tdee is approximately 1743..ill be getting 1700-1900 on rest days
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    This is the program ive been following: http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-ultimate-female-training-guide.html

    Although, im not taking any of the extra supplements
  • waldo56
    waldo56 Posts: 1,861 Member
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    Is it really worth it to hopfully avoid the 1-2 lbs of fat per month you may gain bulking at a slow-moderate rate without the cycling?


    I mean, adding in a 2-4 week cut every couple months to stay lean is no big deal really.

    The fat gain of bulking is fat more scary in concept than it is in reality. And the post-bulking cut I find to be extremely easy for the first few weeks. The fat just melts away without much effort. You're in such a better place mentally when cutting after bulking than you are when trying to lose weight without bulking experience that it is a completely different experience.
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    Eh, id just like to see definition in my abs. Several months ago when I was bulking, I gaimed 6 lbs in about 4 months, but I still noticed my waist growing!
  • waldo56
    waldo56 Posts: 1,861 Member
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    Eh, id just like to see definition in my abs. Several months ago when I was bulking, I gaimed 6 lbs in about 4 months, but I still noticed my waist growing!

    Then only bulk 1-2 months at a time instead of 4...

    By carb cycling you are trying a bulk and cut multiple times a week, running into the inherent inefficiency that comes with a body that is resistant to changing its current state, which kills both muscle gain and fat loss progress when trying to microcycle. With the cycles longer than only a couple days, your body trying to adapt is much less of a problem.
  • HMVOL7409
    HMVOL7409 Posts: 1,588 Member
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    Is it really worth it to hopfully avoid the 1-2 lbs of fat per month you may gain bulking at a slow-moderate rate without the cycling?


    I mean, adding in a 2-4 week cut every couple months to stay lean is no big deal really.

    The fat gain of bulking is fat more scary in concept than it is in reality. And the post-bulking cut I find to be extremely easy for the first few weeks. The fat just melts away without much effort. You're in such a better place mentally when cutting after bulking than you are when trying to lose weight without bulking experience that it is a completely different experience.

    100% agree.
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    Very good point. Well, just out of curiosity, ill give this a couple of weeks. After that, ill go back to what I was doing before. Consuming 2000-2400 calories, 40%carb, 30%protein, 30%fat. Thanks for your input!:)
  • FunkyTobias
    FunkyTobias Posts: 1,776 Member
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    A couple of weeks is not enough time to judge gains.


    Anecdotally, I've always done well with a cyclic approach - but I'm sure it has more to do with personal preference and adherence than any physiological effects.

    The benefits (as far as I see it):

    1. More calories on workout days = more energy during workouts.

    2. My appetite tends to be directly correlated with my activity level. I have no problem with low calories on my off days, but when I lift, I'm ravenous.

    3. You don't need a huge surplus to gain mass (despite what the GFH/GOMAD clowns may tell you). For a woman, you're really looking at around 200 cal/day. This is well within the margin of error. I find it easier to shoot for weekly calorie goals - this gives you more freedom on your workout days to eat what you want.

    4. Adherence. You never feel like you're dieting. I've done everywhere from slight fluctuations +-100cal to PSMF/EOD refeeds and everywhere in-between. Personally, I've found the latter to be the most effective (for body comp and performance).


    As anything, your mileage may vary. Carb/calorie cycling isn't a magic bullet.

    Try it out for a month or two. If you like it. Stick with it. If not, go back to what was working before.

    .



    PS: Ignore anyone mentioning a strength program for gaining mass. Once you get beyond the noob stage, the correlation between strength and hypertrophy gets lower and lower. If your goal is strength, lift for that. If your goal is hypertrophy, you would be much better served working in the medium to high rep ranges. (Of course, you still want to add weight to the bar, but increasing your 8rm will do much more for size than increasing your 1rm).
  • Nikkimaxim
    Nikkimaxim Posts: 221 Member
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    Thank you! I've decided against it:)