carb cyclingIf you’re not experiencing:

1 Powerful fat-free muscle gains and,
2 Great performances in the gym on the MANS diet…

you’re doing something wrong. From the feedback I receive, no.1 is being accomplished by most if not all cyclical carb dieters.

A few have expressed concerns about gym performance, particularly energy levels. Luckily, this can be easily remedied.

The Mid-Week Carb Spike

Your muscles are like tanks for glycogen. We don’t want to overspill the tanks as this will lead to lipogenesis i.e. fat storage. This is why MANS recommends you refill the tanks once a week with a carb-loading period.

We are all different. If I had a chance to coach you 1 on 1 I could assess your diet and workout performance and tailor fit everything to your individual body and goals with precision. At this point in time that’s not possible, so if you’re having trouble with workout performance as you head towards the end of the week, I recommend you load up those glycogen tanks again.

This is something I’ve implemented myself over the past few weeks with good results. I noticed that my progression of chest & legs (Thursday & Friday) was not occurring at the same rate as shoulders and back (earlier in the week) and wondered would a second carb-up help.

I carb-up from 6pm on a Friday to Midnight Saturday every weekend. That means my low-carb days are:

  1. Sunday
  2. Monday
  3. Tuesday
  4. Wednesday
  5. Thursday
  6. Friday (up to 6pm)

Looking at this I decided my mid-way point was Tuesday, having 2 full low-carb days either side of it.

So now I’m eating a high protein, high-carb (mostly low GI), low-fat diet all day Tuesday. This is not the only way it can be done though. You can also:

  1. ‘Bracket’ your workout by consuming high carbs before and after the workout only.
  2. Have High carb mornings
  3. Have High carb evenings

There’s no right and wrong, you simply have to do your own testing to find out what will work best for you.

Calories

Calories count on your carb-up day. If you’re not like me and can virtually count calories by looking at a plate of food, you should get a rough idea of how many you’re eating.

Firstly, click the link to learn how many calories you need to spur on muscle growth.

Let me make it clear that for those of you who are already experiencing great results on MANS, this is not necessary. Only consider it if you think you need it. I’m very supportive of people testing out things for themselves. Theory is ok, but experience is so much better.

Just before I finish up here, there are 2 more points I’d like to make to those of you who feel a little drained by the end of your low-carb period. These are:

  1. You may need to eat more carbs
  2. The ‘Metabolic Switch‘ can be tough

Remember that my article about the CKD bodybuilding diet instructs you to START at 30 grams and assess your needs from there. Some people feel great at 30 or less (like me), and some of you may need more. Please give it 2 weeks of solid carb-cycling before you decide to make a change though.

That’s because it can take up to 14 days for some people to make the ‘metabolic switch’ to burning fat as your primary source of fuel. Most people, however, make the switch within 72 hours. Please allow for this if you’re new to MANS. Don’t go giving up or increasing carbs until you can be sure that you’ve become a fat-burner.

There’s no reason why you can’t train at 100% intensity all the time and keep getting better every single week. Let go of limitation my friends!

Mark McManus

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