Carb BackLoading (The Proof is in the Pudding?) – Part II
It’s the second update in my Carb BackLoading experiment extravanganza! Watch in awe as I attempt to circumvent the first law of thermodynamics with never before seen quantities of baked goods! It’s all good stuff, this.
The last week has already taught me quite a lot about how to go about this sort of diet, and technically it was still only the first seven days of what will likely be at least a three-month foray into the mind of John Kiefer. Since I’ve already gone into the whys and wherefores of CBL in the previous post I’ll skip straight ahead into the nitty gritty!
Weight –Today I weighed 86.5kg which is a 1.5kg increase since last monday! There’s usually about half a kilo of variance with me from day to day so to play it safe I’ll call it an even kilogram. That’s not too bad considering the adjustments I made mid-week, and is in line with most bulking recommendations.
So no massive changes based on the photos but the main point is that I’ve put on about a kilo with no appreciable gain of fat, and I certainly don’t look like I’ve lost muscle despite the fact for most of the day I’m barely eating. Even when I add in the backload I’m eating fewer calories than I was before.
Feeling – I’m starting to get over the not eating in the morning/not eating carbs thing, but it got worse before it got better. After my last update on Monday I was feeling okay, but on Wednesday I felt wretched and exhausted all day until the carb up. This brings me to my first adjustment – eating more!
I simply wasn’t eating enough in the evenings to keep my overall calorie intake high enough. Instead of just the one carb meal, and maybe a high carb snack, on Wednesday and Thursday I ate 3 big sandwiches with white bread, a tub of pasta, a litre of chocolate milk, some cookies, and egg on toast. Felt great the next day all day, physically felt fuller and bigger, and didn’t flag in the afternoon.
I also found that the timing of my four hour carb window makes a hell of a lot of difference to how much I can eat and how tired I feel. It seems that even starting the window an hour earlier (say at five instead of six) has a huge impact on appetite and how knackered I get in that intervening hour. I guess this will vary on what time I workout, too. Two hours from post workout meal seems about right.
Training – My second adjustment came in the form of lowering my reps on my upper body work. Mainly on upper body pressing (overhead, benching) I was fine and strong up to about 10-12 reps then rep 13 would smash into a wall and stop. This is more than likely an energy issue – once the fuel is gone it’s gone. A minute or two rest and I was fine for another set, but again I would tank out at 10-12 reps. The effect wasn’t as bad on leg work (leg press, romanians) or back work (DB rows, prone BB rows) but the latter still suffered slightly.
To fix this I’ve taken my reps on pressing accessory down from 5×20 to 5×12, back work accessory down from 6×15 to 6×10, and kept the legs the same on 4×25. Oddly the bigger exercises like Bench, Squats, Deads etc barely suffered at all. I’m chalking this up to adrenaline, and the fact that more muscles are involved so if one muscle tanks out there’s more to pick up the slack. Alternatively I could just be talking out of my arse.
Summary – Week 1
- I gained over a kilo of weight without a visible increase in bodyfat. I achieved this eating fewer calories per day than on my previous diet.
- The timing of the carb window in relation to your workout and the time of day is important.
- Don’t underestimate the amount of carbs and calories you need to cram into that four hour window. One carb meal doesn’t seem to be enough.
- Higher rep training is probably a bad idea, maybe due to lower overall fuel stores in the muscles.
In conclusion after week one I’m feeling good about the diet. There’s a few niggles I need to work out like carb amounts in the evening, and making sure my carb-window is timed properly, but overall it seems to me like CBL is a far more efficient way of using calories compared to simply eating a lot of food all day.
See you next week!
(To find out more about carb backloading go here: www.carbbackloading.com)