1. Don’t eat a single carb after 4pm.
A 2016 study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine titled “Enhanced Endurance Performance by Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: “Sleep Low” Strategy.” Found that athletes actually increased their performance by stopping their carbohydrate consumption after 4pm and “sleeping low”.
They did this by splitting 20 athletes into two groups. Both groups ate the same amount of carbohydrates and trained the same way. The only difference is one group consumed their carbohydrates earlier in the day, while the other group consumed them evenly throughout the day. At the end of 3 weeks the group that consumed all their carbs before 4pm and “slept low” saw a significant increase in maximal and sub maximal performance, and a decrease in total fat mass, but not a decrease in lean muscle mass.
To me, this study says everything I need to know about carb cycling. By going carb free for 16 hours from 4pm to 8am, it allows the body to release GH and mobilized fat storage. Both of which are inhibited when blood-glucose levels are high. Even if no other dietary adjustment is made, simply ending carb consumption earlier in the day could have a significant impact on your health and appearance.
2. Eat Fewer Carbs On Non-Training Days
Body builders have know this trick for a while. To stay lean yet not lose any muscle, carb cycling is the optimal solution. Science is now backing it up saying not only is it an effective way to look great, but has quantifiable health and performance benefits as well. Carbs should be looked at as a tool to increase performance and recovery. Not the size of our mid section. Lets clarify what I mean by that and how you can effectively harness the power of carbohydrates without accumulating any unwanted body fat.
Think of the amount of energy stored in your muscles, know as glycogen, as a bucket of water. When we train hard and exert energy the levels in the bucket drop. When we rest and consume carbohydrates the levels fill up again. So the idea of cycling your carbohydrate intake really boils down to only consuming them during periods of high exertion.
For example, today is a training day for me, so I’ll eat an extra 40 grams of carbs a couple hours before my workout, and another 40 grams immediately after. This only refills my bucket so to speak without spilling over into fat storage. If on a non-training day I roughly consume around 100 grams of carbs, on training days I will consume 180 grams. 40 before the workout and 40 after.
3. High Intensity Interval Training Is Superior to Endurance.
– Intensity Over Duration.
In a 2008 training study by Burgomaster et al at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, subjects were divided into two groups of 5 men and 5 women per group. For 6 weeks one group performed 4-6 repeats of 30 second all out sprints on a stationary bike followed by 4.5 minutes of rest 3 times per week. The other group performed 40-60 minutes of cycling at 65% of their V02 Max 5 days per week.
At the end of the study both groups experienced similar metabolic adaptations responsible for effective breakdown of carbohydrates and fats along with an improved V02 Max, but the striking difference between these two groups is the amount of time actually spent training. The 40-60 minute endurance group spent approximately 4.5 hours per week cycling in order to see the same results the sprinting group achieved with only 1.5 hours per week of cycling.
Using the same model you could replace cycling with any movement and achieve greater metabolic adaptations than with endurance training alone. In addition to improved cardiovascular health, HIIT enables you build muscle and improve athleticism.
If you don’t see results please email me for a full refund 😉