Carb Cycling - 2 Questions + advice?

  1. Carb Cycling - 2 Questions + advice?

    Hi guys, been a while since I've posted or even read around on these forums, so help out an old friend :P

    Background info: Age 21, Height 6'0". Started "bulking" start of 2009 @ 170lbs ~ %14BF.
    By August I was 218lbs measured in at ~18% bodyfat. Became noticeably larger but at the same time 18% was uncomfortable.

    Since august I've cut down my food intake (all healthy, every 2-3hours comfortable portions) etc, however nothing strict, no calorie/macro counting. Did 2-3 days a week of HIIT cycling, now have changed it up to sprints and occasional jump rope.

    Today I am 190lbs and I ESTIMATE my bodyfat by mirror to be in the 14% area again. When I got to 218lbs I had a 39" waist line... it is now down to 33". (6inches lost feels excellent - feel good in a shirt now but want to take it further).

    I think taking another 2 inches off it will give me a flat stomach as I'm just very MINIMALLY starting to see abs now and am sitting with a puppy layer of fat.

    My current routine which suits me looks like this:

    Monday - Leg day (squats, SLDLs, etc)
    Tuesday - Chest/Triceps (bench, dips, and any other large crap I can throw in)
    Wednesday - cardio day if my legs can handle it
    Thurs - Shoulders (military press, rows, shrugs, etc)
    Friday - cardio
    Saturday - back + bis (deads, t-bars, bent over, lat pulls, pullups etc)
    Sunday - cardio

    My strength has dropped (as expected I guess) however down to numbers much lower than I had anticipated especially with squats.

    I'd like to maintain as much strength as possible and just finish off this "diet" because I think its evil and I just want to lift heavy again, and from what I've read and been advised - carb cycling may do me the trick - keeping me strong on lifting days while helping me shred on cardio days.

    My first question:

    for a 190lb guy at aprox 14% bf (guestimate) how many cals should I be aiming for on high/low/med carb days? None of the article's I've read have really given me any advice on calculating this, let alone the percentages of calories to come from fats/proteins/carbs on each day.

    One calculator I came across on a website worked out that for me to lose weight about 2000-2100 cals should be fine for me, however I am wondering if this is too low and maybe something more along the lines of 2500 on no/low carb days... and hovering around or above the 3,000 mark on high carb days?


    My second Question is this: How should I structure my high carb / low carb / no carb days around my workouts?

    I was thinking of doing it something like this... high carb day definitely on leg day, and the no-carb days on cardio day. I dont know where to put my remaining 2 LOW carb days and 1 HIGH day.

    M: High Carb
    W: No Carb
    F: No Carb
    S: No Carb

    I was thinking the remaining HIGH day should go Tuesday (just to really carb me up over that 2 day period and keep me strong for chest/tri day) but am wondering whether this would risk stalling fat loss? And maybe it would go better on Saturday's back day?


    Sorry for the lengthy post but am really looking to get some advice here as I know diet will now play 95% of the role in losing these last 2 inches or so.


  2. Structure the high carb days around your training so Sat (with deads) should be the other high day and then Tue/Thur can be the low days.

    As for calories it really depends on your metabolism. I am on a carb cycling diet as well but my metabolism is quite slow. I've done the diet a couple of times so know the calories that work for me. I use:

    No carbs - 1750 (25g of carbs)
    Low carbs - 2200 (125-150g of carbs)
    High carbs - 2750 (300g of carbs)

    I'm 6', 39 and 200lbs. If your metabolism is pretty quick then you should be able to increase the calories and you can always make changes on a weekly basis if you aren't losing fat quickly enough or are starting to lose muscle.

  3. What's defined as a "fast metabolism" ?

    I hit the toilet for number 2's each morning as soon as I wake up... ie once a day every 24hours...

  4. LOL, I am not sure whether going for 'number 2's' is related to your metabolism. A decent start for your intake on 'No' days is 10-12 times your body weight. Some diets specify this number of your lean body weight i.e. without any fat mass.

    For a start you could run the No days at 2000 cals, Low days at 2250 and High days at 2500. Check where you are after 2 weeks and if you are losing fat but not muscle then leave it as it is, if not then raise the cals if you are losing muscle or lower them if you are not losing fat.

  5. I've been thinking about this a bit more. If your estimate of 14% BF is fairly accurate it means that you have 164/26 (LBM/Fat). To reduce your waist by 2" down to 31" you would prob need to be around the 10% BF mark, which would be a total weight of 180 if you didn't lose any muscle so you could use the 180 value to work out your calories:

    No carbs - 1900 (10.5 times your goal weight)
    Low carbs - 2300 (13 times your goal weight)
    High carbs - 2700 (15 times your goal weight)

    Again, after 2 weeks you can re-assess your fat/muscle loss and see where you are. As you get closer to your goal you may need to change the calories in order to lose the last few pounds.

  6. warsteiner - thanks... I'll work something out around those rough numbers.
    Interesting that your second set of daily cals are higher except for no-carb day.
    Just wondering where you got the ratios from? ie 10.5, 13, 15x bodyweight?

    Also what about calorie %'s from proteins/carbs/fats on each day?

  7. The ratios are very general one's that I have seen people use in articles (Mind and Muscle,, etc.) and it is only through trial and error that you will know what works for you. Once you have spent a few weeks carb cycling you will have a better idea of the ratios that work for you.

    I base my diet on the Carb Cycling article by Twin Peak ( He recommends having 1g carb per body weight on the Low days but I've found that lowering that to 125-150 works better for me.

    For calorie % I tend to keep protein/fats pretty much the same and just raise and lower the carbs depending on the day. Protein should be at least 200g. I will use:

    No - 25g carbs, 250g protein, 90g fat = 5/55/40 ratio
    Low - 125g carbs, 250g protein, 65g fat = 25/50/25 ratio
    High - 300g carbs, 200g protein, 65g fat = 50/30/20 ratio

    The above amounts are pretty rough but I will always keep protein at 200g or above each day and carbs at 25g or less on No days. Carbs will be anywhere between 125g and 160g on Low days depending how I feel and I rarely go above 300g carbs on High days as I start to feel very lethargic with too many carbs.

    If I have been on the diet for a while (4 weeks or more) and I plateau then I will either change the days around or run 2 high days in a row and then continue with the plan where I left off.


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