It seems like we’ve done this before but I just wanted to cover some of the ins and outs of why I do my weight gain phases the way I do. Not only do I do a cyclic approach by time duration, meaning I bulk for 3-4 months before I do a mini cut and I also do a cyclic approach for my training and non training days. This is where I rotate bet high carb low fat days and higher fat low carb days. I’ll briefly explain he benefits of both and how to affectively pull it off so you don’t become sloppy in the off season or bulking season. Here is an article of bulking up
So what is cyclic bulking and why is it so effective? Cyclic bulking is great to utilize if you have an extended off season where you are trying to gain weight but still maintain a healthy level of body fat and to help regulate hormones and insulin levels. We’ve all tried to put on weight, to get huge and if you’ve done it long enough you know there gets to a point where you start to get fatter and fatter. Instead of adding good quality size you get fluffier and you start to lose the ability to get a good pump and your energy levels start to decrease even though calories are high. This is a clear sign that you have become somewhat insulin resistant and instead of your body utilizing all these nutrients it will start to just store them as fat. So before this occurs, everybody is different so it will take some trial and error, you do a mini diet for 3-4 weeks that will allow you to drop some unwanted weight but most importantly it will help with your insulin sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity the more receptive your body will be to absorb and utilize your nutrients to help build muscle. Here is an article I wrote about mini diets:
Another great way to prolong the muscle gains is to do cyclic dieting or carb cycling. Where you have high carb low fat meals on training days and higher fat low carbs on non training days. This does the same thing to help keep insulin sensitivity high but it is done on a day to day basis instead of months at a time. This will allow you to prolong your bulk without having to do mini cuts as often. The key here is we are still trying to gain weight, so both days need to be in a calorie surplus. Even on your non training days you need to be eating above maintenance levels in order to continue growing. What i like to do is keep my low carb days right at or slightly above maintenance levels and have a pretty significant surplus on training days. During your higher carb days a strategy that will help is to have the majority of your carbs 2 meals before and 2 meals after your workout and to have a good peri workout drink during training that has a mix or simple carbs and whey protein to ensure recovery and growth.
Check out TM Nutrition Client Milton Dames, what a bad bulking diet looks like and what we were able to do through cyclic bulking. Both pics same weight!!
I hope this post and the post linked up will help you with your offseason and as always if you have any questions feel free to comment below or email me.