This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Gaining Mass on The AD Diet:
It IS possible to gain muscle and strength on a low-carbs diet. My friend Hugo Girard, who used to be top 3 in the world in WSM (World Strongest Man) is training to make a comeback (after tearing his Achilles tendon) and he is eating a lowcarbs diet. It is even stricter than the AD since he only has one carb-up day a week and he doesn't consume as much saturated fat as those using the typical AD. While he is not a bodybuilder, the fact that as of last Friday he is 332lbs at 10.5% bodyfat (trust me, he IS that lean!) on 6'2'' kinda makes me believe that his results are applicable for bodybuilding purposes! So yes, it is possible to gain on such a diet. But caloric intake must be high enough to fuel muscle growth. A lot of peoples consume too little calories when trying to gain on a low-carbs diet. In fact, it is one of the fat-loss benefits of such a diet: you are not that hungry and it's harder to get a high amount of calories in. To build muscle you need: - A sufficient amount of protein. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle; the raw material used to build a house. Without sufficient raw material you cannot build the house. - A sufficient energy intake. Building muscle is an energy-dependent process. Yes you need protein to build muscle, but the process of using those protein to fabricate new muscle tissue require energy, and lots of it. See energy as the salary you pay the workers who are building your house: if you don't pay them enough they will not work as well and as fast. Furthermore, building muscle is just about the last priority of your body, behind all the other stuff necessary for survival. So only the energy left over from fueling your daily activities and bodily processes can be used to build muscle. Energy is essentially either carbs or fat. Protein can also be used for energy, but we don't want that! So if you cut your carbs, you NEED to have a high fat intake to have enough energy to fuel your daily needs THEN build muscle. - An adequate amount of the essential nutrients. There are no ''essential carbohydrates''. However there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Amino acid needs will be covered if protein intake is high. Essential fatty acids, especially the DHA/EPA ones are often underestimated yet they are essential for optimal muscle building, especially on a low-carbs diet. - An insulin spike at the right time. To maximise post-workout recovery and anabolism we need an insulin spike post-workout. Normally we use carbs post-workout to spike insulin, but on a low-carbs diet we can't. However several amino acids do have pro-insulin properties. The BCAAs and especially leucine, glutamine, glycine can all spike insuline. Whey isolate also has a pro-insulin property. So it is very important to consume a large amount of protein, BCAAs (15-30g), glutamine (10-20g and more if your stomach can handle it) and ideally glycine (5-10g or more if your stomach can handle it). - Glutamine, even though it is a somewhat overrated supplement, especially if you are eating carbs, can be very useful on a low-carbs diet because it can be turned into glucose than stored as glycogen in the muscle. So even though you are not consuming carbs, if your daily glutamine intake is high, your glycogen stores will never be depleted. - Glutamine can also increase blood pH; in other words it makes the body/blood less acid. A high protein intake has the opposite effect (it makes it more acid). When blood pH
. but you will have a hard time staying in fat burning mode and that means that you will feel lethargic and lack energy because fat will never stay your primary fuel source.Dave Palumbo who does it for a more practical reason: if you have your carbs at your last meal. When you have a full day of carbing-up (especially if it is excessive) it will take you 2-3 days to get back into ketosis (using primary fat/ketones for fuel). after 90 minutes or so insulin levels will be back to baseline. Time to Carb Up: I always recommend carbing-up with clean food. Carb Ups & Body Fat: Never. Then they can normally have one carb-up meal every week. Note that green veggies have the same acid-lowering property as glutamine. Furthermore you WANT an insulin spike post-workout. when properly timed it is a highly anabolic hormone that is almost mandatory for growth. . Actually the REAL reason why low-carb diets work is not so much because of the low insulin levels (which does play a role mind you) but rather because your body is forced to turned to other fuel sources for fuel. While insulin can lead to fat storage.. you will not be as tempted to eat them again during the day. I do not recommend a full carb-up day unless you are under 10% body fat.is low (more acid) muscle building and fat loss are decreased. Normally I will allow SURGE postworkout and then a clean carb meal of around 150g of carbs at the last meal of the day. If you have carbs early. I recommand anywhere from 1 carb-up meal per week up to half a day (3 meals) depending on the degree of leanness. BCAAs and glycine. you will often crave them for the rest of the day and end up doing an excessive carb-up. YES replenishing SOME glycogen via the use of other products still allow you to maintain a decent intra-muscular glycogen level.. BUT when you start this diet you CANNOT have a carb-up until you are clearly fat adapted.Charles Poliquin who showed me that during a low-carbs diet you are actually more insulin sensitive in the evening AND the carbs will help you sleep better. You can replenish some glycogen with glutamine. but not enough to prevent a metabolic shift to using fat for fuel. I used to recommend having it at breakfast but changed my mind because of: . so that leave you around 3 days for real fat loss. Now. So ingesting 5g of glutamine with every protein meal is a very effective way of improving the efficacy of this diet. But this doesn't prevent adaptation to using fat for fuel as long as you are no consuming carbs. That's why my clients cannot have carbs until the end of the second week of dieting.. So it doesn't interfere with fat burning.. if your main goal is to gain mass this aspect isn't as problematic. It simply means that you will have a bit more ''gas'' for your high-intensity workouts. BUT the insulin spike from the consumption of glucogenic amino acids will be short lived.
some nuts and seeds) and less ''bad fats'' (I like to rely mostly on wild red meat like buffalo.Fat: 0. It has some shortcomings: .During the low carbs day protein can be as high as 50-55% and fat around 40-45%.Amount of carbing-up depending on your degree of leanness. venison. I actually don't count percentages.His Version of The AD: OK. YES you will ''feel'' smaller because your muscles will be depleted of glycogen and water. Most should stay between 1 and 3 carb-up meals during a day for no more than 200-250g of carbs total .Carbs: less than 50g So if you are 200lbs that would mean 300-350g of protein. but if you do everything right you will not regress. deer instead of beef.75g per pound . chicken.5 to 1. I do. 100-150g of fat.no distinction in the type of fat consumed .60-70% of the calories from fat I prefer a low-carbs (less than 50g/day like the AD) but with the following differences: . Heck. * Adjust these amounts weekly depending on how your body is reacting. and this is for very lean individuals. I recently broken my record on the incline bench press (405lbs) while being on a fat loss diet. I go with an amount of nutrients relative to bodyweight. As a baseline if you main goal is to lose fat: . olive oil. turkey and fish) . contrary to carbs which have to be ''loaded'' since you cannot store a lot of it.5g to 0. Fear of Loosing Muscle: When dieting is done properly. If you are trying to add size you should start by adding around 10-15% in protein and fats and adjust from there. In fact I always say that when dieting down you should ALWAYS strive to push your strength up. I never recommend more than one day of carb-up. you are not losing muscle mass. I personally do not advocate the Anabolic Diet itself.Protein: 1. . As long as your strength goes up or is at least maintained. I also like to use a lot of ostrich. less than 50g of carbs per day. Pre & Post Workout Supplements: You don't really need a special meal pre-workout once you are adapted to using fat/ketones for fuel since you will never run out of it. bison. coconut oil for cooking.two days of carbing up and no limits to the carb-up . however recommend taking in 10g of BCAA and 10g of glutamine pre-workout (immediately before) and another 10-20g (at least) of BCAAs during the workout (for its anti-catabolic properties.focus on integrating more ''good fats'' (plenty of fish oil.75g per pound . first and foremost. you should never lose strength or muscle mass.
At 75-100g of carbs you can burn a significant amount of fat without being in ketosis. which naturally relies on carbs/glycogen for fuel). ketones and fat CAN be used as a fuel source too. NOW. Poliquin use the same method with his clients (which includes a lot of high level athletes).50g). ketones are glycogen-sparing.Post-workout I recommend 2 scoops of whey protein. it sounds bad to turn amino acids into glucose. metabolic rate and activity levels..25-1.. that way you will use the amino acids left in the free amino acid pool to produce glucose instead of breaking down muscle tissue. For years it was believed in the scientific community that the brain could only function on carbs. using a low-carbs diet without being in ketosis leads to cravings and mood swings. While I do agree that carbs are more efficient during intense strength work. Why? Because some individuals can actually consume more carbs (up to 100g) and still be in ketosis. otherwise survival of the species would be impossible. Why? Because the brain can only use carbs and ketones for fuel (not fat directly). Since you are not producing a lot of ketones (you are not in a ketogenic state) your brain might feel deprived. And as it was mentionned. However some peoples feel like shit on this type of dieting. the ''backbone'' of the fat molecule can also be turned into glucose. the human body is the ultimate adaptive machine. But that's why I recommend a higher protein intake when doing a ketogenic diet (1. EVERY tissue in the body in EVERY circumstances can adapt to use more than one source of fuel. The Myth of Glycogen Being Needed For Weight Training: If that were the case (can only use glycogen for anaerobic work) the human race would not have survived past the stone age!!! Especially in regions without much fruits. For these peoples. Those who can function well with 100g of carbs per day will have no problem losing fat provided that their energy intake is correct. you can lose fat by consuming a high carbs diet as long as your energy intake is lower than your expenditure. Some people (myself for example) do not have that problem. And even if you go low-carbs (50g or less per day) you will not completely deplete muscle glycogen ever.75g per pound instead of 1. IF those amino acids come from muscle tissue. at which point you will have problems focusing. but those who need to consume less carbs to stay in ketosis will feel like crap. Don't be fooled. and it is. Heck. Vince Gironda used it with his top . you will suffer mood swings. Ketosis & Energy: You do not have to be in ketosis to burn fat.. turns out that ketones are just as effective for that purpose. lack energy and drive and will have huge carb cravings. another 10g of BCAAs and 10-20g of glutamine. Glycerol. The body will always maintain a ''survival amount'' of glycogen by converting some amino acids into glucose than store it as glycogen. This is mostly due to insulin sensitivity. The one carb-up meal a week is not used only by me.. so your body can ''stretch'' the glycogen stores it has for a longer period of time. So at 100g of carbs per day you might not be giving enough for your brain to function optimally (especially if you perform a lot of strength work.
my relative strength actually went up since I lost 20lbs. you will never completely deplete glycogen because.25g per pound is about the limit. So in theory you would deplete your glycogen in 4 weekly workouts. alanine. glycine and threonine being the most glucogenic amino acids) which can then be stored as muscle glycogen. you might only use up half as much glycogen. How Much Glycogen do we Use in a Workout: It depends on the type of training you use..0 to 1. For example doing a biceps-only session will use less total glycogen than a lower body session.. A carb load is ingesting a ton of carbs over a period of 1-2 days. when I train twice a day. ''Won't this reduce the amount of protein that we can use to build muscle?''. Individual who are fatter need to space out their carb meals more. BUT I'm extremely lean. If you do 30 sets per workout you will use more glycogen than if you do 5 sets per workout.75g per pound.5 to 1. in which case you will need more frequent loadings. So you could. The human body can store around 400g (up to 500g if you are a more muscular individual) of glycogen in his muscles. B) Even in the absence of carbs. . But even if that is the case. Heck. in theory require 8 workouts to deplete glycogen. I'm talking about a carb MEAl. But I do dispute your claims that your body CANNOT use anything by glycogen for fuel during strength training. Obviously you want to avoid breaking down muscle amino acids to build new glucose. It will do so by transforming certain amino acids into glucose(glutamine. if you are a natural trainee there is a limited amount of protein that you can use to build muscle tissue. That having been said I will not argue against your diet since it's basically how *I* am eating right now (read my First person article). unless you are training twice a day everyday.bodybuilders (including Larry Scott and Momo Makkaway) and recently Dave Palumbo uses it with all of his clients. There is no sense in doing a huge carb-load consisting of 2000g of carbs consumed over 2 days. And I did not lose strength. I have to have a carb containing meal every 4th day. Since you are never depleting your glycogen stores completely. Should I Not Carb Load more often Than Once a Week: Yes. but most cyclical diets go overboard on the carb-up. I once ate less than 50g of carbs/day for 4 months while still competing in olympic lifting and training twice a day. which is why a higher protein intake is important if your carbs intake is low: in that case the body will use the amino acids from the free amino acids pool to produce new glucose.. BUT this isn't so because of two reasons: A) When you are fat adapted and in a ketogenic state. serine.. Over 1. your body will still replenish the glycogen stores to some extent. which is glycogen sparing. Not really. so if your protein intake is at 1. This meal normally provides 200g of carbs. If you do sets of 8-15 reps you will use more glycogen than if you do sets of 1-5 reps. 200-250g every 7 days is enough. But and ''average non-idiotic'' training session will use around 90-150g of glycogen. AND it is NOT a carb load. you will be able to use the excess to form new glucose without interfering with protein synthesis. When I train only once a day I have to eat a carb meal every 7th day. especially considering that when you are fat adapted you will not fully deplete your glycogen stores anyway. Me personally.
Post Workout Carbs When Gaining Mass: Personally. when training to gain I like to add carbs during and post-workout. It is NOT a second carb load. my ex-girlfriend (a natural competitive bodybuilder) was extremely insulin-sensitive and thus could eat a large amount of carbs without any problems. Adaptation is meant for survival of the species. It seems like you are one of these guys. trace carbs and nuts). some are just not built to optimally function in a very low carbs environment. If your body is acid all the metabolic processes (including protein synthesis and fatty acid mobilization) are rendered less effective.Di Pasquale recommended a mid-week carb spike when and individual is lean and using the Anabolic diet to gain size. But even then I rarely exceed 75-100g per day (100-125g if you count veggies. But it is an individual thing. The one meal carb-up is for body composition only. ideally post-workout. If you read my article ''refined physique transformation'' you will find that my recommendations change depending on the degree of leanness of the individual. much like I do (and it is exactly what Gironda recommended). YES your body can adapt. but I find that a this amount of carbs. That's why green veggies are important. For example. Glutamine can also help keep the body alkaline. or in other words to MAXIMIZE fat loss. while ingesting a high protein/moderately-high fat (mostly good fats) diet the rest of the day is what allows me to add muscle without gaining much fat and while feeling great. People That do not Respond Well To a Low Carb Diet: 25% of the population will actually do better on a moderate carbs diet (40% protein. in her fat-loss/pre-contest diet she would still consume 300g of carbs per day (she was 135lbs). but rather small spike of 100200g on Thursday. Charles. Put her on a low-carbs diet and she will not be gaining much muscle mass (she is among the 25% of the population who do better on higher carbs). 20% fat) than on a low carbs diet. recommend a moderate amount of carbs every 4th day IF the individual is lean enough and insulin sensitive enough. Importance of Keeping the Body in an Alkaline State: It is of EXTREME IMPORTANCE to keep your body alkaline. Body Comp Goals & Recommended Carb ups: The thing is that you are somewhat misinterpreting my recommendations. Some with better insulin sensitivity than me can handle a higher carbs intake than this without adding too much fat. not looking hawt on the beach.75g of carbs per pound every 14 days . 40% carbs. These recommendations are: For men Above 20% body fat: carb-up at around 0. Heck. but it means that you will be able to function and survive NOT achieve your body comp goals.
10-12% body fat: Carb-up can include a bit more cheat food. While results will be better with cleaner food. I never said that it was optimal.25g of carbs per pound every 7 days Less than 10% body fat: carb-up at around 1. rice.45g of carbs per pound of body weight per day Less than 10% body fat: 0. Really. preferably around workout time.) 15-20% body fat: carb-up only with clean carbs 12-15% body fat: carb-up mostly with clean carbs.15-20% body fat: carb-up at around 0.) in your refeed day. Even someone who is slightly less lean (12-15%) at the same 200lbs can go up to 70g per day which stills allows some carbs peri-workout.55g of carbs per pound of body weight per day So someone who is relatively lean (10-12% for example) and weighs 200lbs can use 90g per day. burgers. non-green veggies. when you get down below 10% it's okay to include some dirtier meals (pizza. ****** .0g of carbs per pound every 7 days 10-12% body fat: carb-up at around 1. fruits.25g of carbs per pound of body weight per day 12-15% body fat: 0. Less than 10% body fat: the refeed can be more lenient. potatoes.35g of carbs per pound of body weight per day 10-12% body fat: 0. 40g post-workout and 10g of trace carbs during the day.25g of carbs per pound every 4-5 days I also make recommendations regarding the type of food to use for a carb-up: For men Above 20% body fat: carb-up only with clean carbs (yams.75g of carbs per pound every 10 days 12-15% body fat: carb-up at around 1. The point I was making in this thread is that it IS possible to gain size while not ingesting carb. One or two ''cheat'' items is acceptable but avoid eating foods that are both high in fat and sugar. grits. pastries. but still stay away from fat/sugar combo foods. etc. Finally the recommended amount of carbs for the ''diet days'' are also dependent on body fat levels: For men Above 20% body fat: no more than 30g of carbs per day 15-20% body fat: 0. etc. oatmeal. So you could very well have 40g of carbs pre/during your workout. my recommendation to go super low carbs is only for fatter individuals.
In fact most of the ATP is replenished between sets via the fat oxydation pathway.. but last a REALLY long time! When doing intense training this system is used mostly to replenish ATP stores during recovery periods. My educated guess from the available literature which shows no decrease in performance during a low-carbs diet when performing work in the zone that would normally rely on the third energy system (glucose with oxigen) would suggest that ketones are about the same power (speed of energy production) as using glucose + oxygen to produce ATP and it would also last as long as the fatty acid oxydation system. it is the second fastest way to produce ATP but is is also of short duration (around 70-120 seconds) Glucose used under aerobic condition is the third way to replenish ATP. training intensity should not be affected by a ketogenic diet since glucose is not super important during those sets AND that ATP is replenished between sets either by using ketones or fat. sets of 1-5 reps lasting 20 seconds or less . glycogen would indeed be the only way to efficiently fuel your workouts. Creatine phosphate is the first substrate used to produce ATP and it is the fastest (higher power) but the one with the shortest duration (around 12 seconds).. Now what about ketones you say? Very little literature exists on the subject because basically no research studies the energy substrate used during weight training while in a ketogenic state. ATP is the ONLY fuel source that the body can use.BTW. When ATP is depleted the body will use different substrates to produce new ATP and replenish the reserves. . So this tells us that during ''regular bodybuilding'' training (sets of 6-12 reps lasting 30-60 seconds). but the lower energy production speed would be too slow to allow the maintenance of the same intensity. Ketones could also be used. HOWEVER if one is performing work that relies more on the phosphagen system (ATP and creatine) . just a correction regarding ATP. Glucose used under anaerobic condition is the second way to replenish ATP... It is not as fast as the previous two systems but can last longer (up to 15 minutes and sometimes more) Fatty acids via fatty acid oxidation is the fourth way and it is the slowest of the energy production pathways.