Lyle McDonald BodyOpus Infomation Lyle McDonald BodyOpus Infomation Lyle McDonald BodyOpus Infomation
This is probably the most critical part of the CKD. The carb up phase
accomplishes two things:
1. rebuilds any muscle that might be lost during the week due to the
anabolic processes related to cell hydration
2. refills muscle glycogen stores for the first workouts of the next week
allowing you to train intensely enough to avoid muscle loss while on low
There are two approaches to the carb-up phase:
1. Subjective approach: with this approach, you simply carb to your hearts
content UNTIL you begin to feel yourself spilling water over to the skin
(i.e. you'll get bloated and smooth).
This indicates that muscle glycogen
stores are full and additional carbs will go to the fat cells. The types
of carbs you consume (simple sugars vs. complex carbs) will, to a great
degree, determine how quickly your muscle cells become full.
This approach also allows you to dial in your pre-contest carbing up to
see how your body will respond and what type of carb-up will make you look
the best. To enhance fat loss, it is recommended that you do not carb for
more than 24-36 total hours. This turns the diet into 6 days of low carb
and 1 day of carbing. And, again, more days in ketosis means more fat
For those who need to lose fat very quickly, carbing every other weekend
can have very positive results although it's not as much fun. In this
case, I'd suggest one concentrated carb meal one hour in length right after
Friday's workout and then go immediately back to low carbs. Unless you
really overdo it, you will probably spike yourself back into ketosis by
Saturday morning. The training structure for this approach might be:
Mon: chest and back
Tue: legs and abs
Thu: delts and arms
Fri, Sat, Sun: cardio (have your once concentrated carb meal on one of
Mon: legs, back and bis
Tue: chest, delts, tris, abs
Fri: high rep depletion workout, begin carbing
The benefits of such an approach are relatively greater fat loss since you
spend proportionally more time (10 days out of 14 vs. 8 days out of 14 if
you carb every weekend) in ketosis. The cons are that it's rather boring
and there may be a greater potential for muscle loss. Again,
experimentation (and frequent body composition measures are key).
2. Objective approach: this approach is much more specific. After glycogen
depletion, the muscles can handle 16 grams of carb/kg of lean body mass
during the first 24 hours and 9 grams of carbs/kg lean body mass during the
In terms of amounts and quality of carbs, you should emphasize
lots of high glycemic index carbs at the beginning of the carb load and
shift to lower amounts of lower glycemic index carbs towards the end. For
very specific recommendations as to quantity and quality of carbs during
the carb-up, check out Dan Duchaine's Bodyopus book.
During the carb-up phase, several other things are important:
1. Protein: you should consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight
(or per pound of lean body mass) divided evenly across each 24 hours.
2. Fat: you should consume approximately 15% of your total calories as
essential fatty acids (flax oil, olive oil and walnuts are good sources)
especially near the end of the carb up to slow digestion.
3. Water: for every gram of carbs you consume, you need to consume 3-4
grams of water for optimal refilling of the muscles. This works out to 10
cups of water for a carb intake of 600 grams per day. Unless you're doing
the final carb-up for your contest, I suggest drinking as much water as you
can put down.