The Anabolic Diet Blog

Building muscle and losing fat with the Anabolic Diet

Why I quit the Anabolic Diet

February 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

claybeforeafterdatesbigger

So the honest to god truth is… I haven’t followed the Anabolic Diet for almost two years now.

And it’s because I’ve found something that works better for me. Those pictures up above are the result of a sort of crazy experiment I performed last year with this new system, and represent where I’m still at today.

I’ve alluded to it in the past, but now I’m ready to tell you about what I’m up to now – and exactly how you can benefit from it.

If you’ve read back to the beginning of this blog about three years ago, there’s always been only one very specific goal I’ve been after: a fitness model type body. Specifically, what I’ve always wanted is the kind of body that Hollywood actors build super fast for movie roles.

Think Ryan Reynolds, Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman… you get the picture. I looked at those guys and thought, “That’s exactly what I want.”

I thought the Anabolic Diet would be the solution to get me there, but unfortunately it wasn’t. I have been eating similarly to it, but not quite for over two years now.

The Anabolic Diet was an improvement, but to be honest my results were still slow, I still didn’t have the body I wanted, and I hated the constant cycle of bulking up then cutting down.

Bottom line, I still worked my ass off and didn’t have the body I wanted. I stopped really updating this blog around then. Why write about the Anabolic Diet if you’re not following it anymore?

But here’s what I’ve been up to.

About two years ago I got a weird idea.

If those actors’ bodies are exactly what I want… why not model them, deconstruct them, and reverse engineer them?

I don’t know if it comes out in my voice on this blog, but I’m a total nerd, and if something makes no sense then I need to know how it works.

And at this point, Hollywood transformations made no sense to me. These guys typically pulled off their transformations in just a couple months… and I couldn’t do it after years of doing everything exactly right? Something was up, and I needed to know what it was.

It seemed like a kind of weird idea at the time, but that little side project soon blossomed into an OBSESSION… and I need to tell you about its results right now.

That system was originally just for me. I didn’t plan on sharing it… but with the results I was getting, it turned out that that wasn’t an option.

Long story short, you can see what ended up happening to me after I put a preliminary version of the system to the test in the picture at the top of this post. (The “before” shot was after a bulking cycle and some time off from lifting, and I actually posted a picture mid-way through this transformation to this blog on May 3, 2010 if you’d like to see another progress shot).

I’ll be honest…

I really didn’t expect results like that.

I mean, you can go back through this blog. Look at some of the progress photos I had before. I’ve always struggled to put on muscle very easily.

But I simultaneously built more muscle than I had in the past few years combined WHILE getting more shredded than I had ever been in my life… and was actually satisfied with the body staring me back in the mirror for the first time ever. I didn’t think these little diet and training tweaks and theories would really result in something like that. It was insane.

But like I said, this was all done as just a personal thing. I’m just a nerd who needed to know why he wasn’t getting the results he wanted, and vowed to find a better way. The Anabolic Diet was one step in that journey, and this was the next.

But with my body changing so rapidly, my friends started asking me what was up.

And I’ll be honest, I was curious if the system I had developed would work for them too, plus I wanted to plug in someone who had less of a “base” than I did, so I decided to get my buddy Derek in on it, who had only been working out seriously for about three years prior. Here’s what happened to him after 12 weeks:

derekbeforeafterdates

Same deal: over just 12 weeks, he simultaneously got more shredded than he had ever been in his life… while piling on more muscle than he had seen in years. And I’ll be honest, I was still kind of shocked that this was working as well as it did.

Fast forward to now and I’ve been refining, tweaking, and enhancing it even more… and as I’m writing this just about all my friends are using my “Hollywood” system and going nuts over it.

But here’s the thing: I’ve seen what this can do. This is big, and I don’t want to sit on it anymore. I want it to change other guys’ lives on a wider scale.

So as a test run, I’m looking to apply this system and work with a very small group of very serious guys (until I reach the capacity that I can personally support) – and this blog is the first place I’m announcing this, so you’ve got to act now if you know this is for you.

Here’s how it works:

The program is called the Hollywood Physique for Men. Quite simply, it has one and ONLY one purpose: to use every accelerated physique transformation method in the book to strategically force your body into the Hollywood Physique, pictured below, in as little as 13 weeks.

blueprint

And I mean literally that body. This isn’t a generic “build the Hollywood look” program, or just a plain “lose fat” or “gain muscle” system. What you see in the blueprint is exactly what you’re going to get, no matter where you’re starting from.

The way it works is a little insane, and it took me over two years to develop… but you’ve seen the results above. This isn’t rehashed information put in a lame “Hollywood” light.

It is a comprehensive system that covers diet (somewhat similar to the Anabolic Diet), training (highly specialized to precise aspects of muscle), and more. There are no “fill in the blanks” and you’re told EXACTLY what to do.

But here’s the deal: I need REALLY serious guys to jump into it. I want feedback, pictures, case studies… I want proof on a wider scale that this system delivers nearly unreal results, and can change lives in a huge way.

If it’s not the Hollywood Physique you’re after, then I don’t expect you to apply. And if you enjoy messing around in the gym year after year and aren’t really focused on a specific look, then this isn’t for you. But if the results I’ve shown in this post are what you’re after and you’re ready for a big change, then you need to join me now.

Like I said, I’m only looking for a small group of VERY serious guys ready to apply the system and make a big change. I’m not a marketer and I never planned for this to go public, so I want to start very “low key” and make sure everyone who joins in gets results and SUCCEEDS, period.

Frankly, this opportunity is HUGE if this is the body you’re after.

As a warning: there is a fee involved in applying. Simply put, the amount of time I’ve put into this, as well as the amount of time I’m going to continue to put into it for those who are truly serious about applying it, is not something I can afford to give up for free. The fee also ensures that my time won’t be wasted with guys who aren’t going to stick with the system for 13 weeks, and that I only get to deal with those who are really driven to get what they want. (Those are the best kind.)

However, it is extremely reasonable and heavily discounted if you choose to join now, and it is FULLY refundable if for any reason the system is not a match or doesn’t work for you.

Basically I guarantee you’re going to get this body and experience the results I’m promising here or I don’t want to keep a dime of your money. Period.

I’m normally not comfortable trying to “sell” people on stuff, but this system is truly incredible… and it would be irresponsible of me NOT to get this opportunity into the hands of anyone who can truly benefit from it. I know there are lots of guys starting the Anabolic Diet for the same reason I did long ago, and I want to present to them a more customized solution to get directly what they’re after.

For more information about applying and getting started immediately, as well as more information on the system itself and how EXACTLY it works, click here right now.

To everyone else: I wish you the best, and I’ll gladly answer any questions or concerns in the comments here.

-Clay

→ No CommentsTags: Diet · Training

Quick update photo

May 3rd, 2010 · 11 Comments

Hey guys, checking with a quick photo I snapped of myself a couple days ago…

Clay 2010I took some time off from lifting to live my life to the fullest I could. (Riding a bicycle across continents, traveling the world, starting a business, and more.)

There’s no point to being healthy and looking good if you don’t take advantage of it.

I still ate well and lifted… but at times, I literally could not. (Hitting the gym is not a priority when you’re sitting on a bicycle for 8 hours a day for 4 weeks straight, and calorie sources are donuts and peanut butter sandwiches, not vegetables and clean meats.)

The photo above is how I look after a month or two getting back into lifting and really focusing on diet.

As anyone who has read through the most recent posts on here knows, I do not follow the Anabolic Diet anymore. I eat very similarly – low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate/high protein – but there are some very large fundamental key differences in my diet now.

Specifically, the two-day weekend carb binge is completely absent from my diet. That will likely serve to do nothing but make you fatter… and that was my experience when first starting the Anabolic Diet years ago. I do not limit myself to 30 grams of carbs per day. I get over 30 grams a day from vegetables alone, and eat other items that bring me up closer to anywhere between 50 and 100 grams of carbs a day. (Usually in the higher range.)

My diet is actually a bit different now from how I used to write. I have found a sweet groove where my body only gains muscle and loses fat at the same time. Again, it is not like what is written in the Anabolic Diet. I use coconut oil for cooking (a big no-no on Anabolic Diet), eat more than 30 grams of carbs a day in vegetables alone, and do not eat a number of the recommended food choices, like cheeses.

Anyone who would like to get a little more information can start in the archives of this blog, going back about two years. You will see a slow change from Anabolic Diet… to almost Anabolic Diet… to something entirely different… to, eventually, I will update with what I follow now.

→ 11 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Raw Eggs and Bioavailability of Raw Eggs Is Not An Issue

February 4th, 2010 · 6 Comments

A common statement I get goes something like this:

Why do you eat raw eggs?  You know that only 50% of the protein is bioavailable in the raw form, while all of it is available when cooked.  Eating cooked eggs is far more efficient.

I disagree and my answer is simple, which I’ll get to in a moment.

I’ve heard for years about how cooking eggs increases biotin availability and also makes the protein itself more digestible and bioavailable.  Essentially, the argument is that the human body can only process 50% of the protein in the raw form of an egg, while it is completely available in the cooked form.

However, this is one of those situations where my results – and the results of countless others – simply don’t back up there being a significant difference.  It is, in my opinion, one of those subjects that skinny guys like to quote as scientific truth, while bigger guys silently disagree while eating their raw eggs.

I have had periods where every single egg I ate was cooked.  I have had periods where every single egg I ate was raw.  And I have had periods where some eggs were cooked, and some were raw.

And the truth is, my best results consistently come when I’m consuming most of my eggs raw.  I seem to have an easier time losing fat, and an easier time gaining muscle.  Simply put, I, for whatever reason, look better when I’m eating raw eggs.

(Not to mention food preparation time is cut down significantly when my eggs are just thrown in the blender with other foods.  I’d rather be eating bio-unavailable eggs than no eggs at all.  And, one more thing: my raw egg drinks are DELICIOUS.)

To all the guys out there looking to put on muscle: be your own scientific experiment!  Don’t just take all the studies floated around on the web as absolute final truth and dogma; that’s not the scientific spirit, anyway.

If you aren’t putting on muscle, you should be questioning why not.

Eggs may be more bioavailable in a cooked state, but my body responds better when I eat my eggs primarily raw.  I don’t know why, but I know that that’s just how it is.

Oh, I should probably cite my sources on this one.

Sources: my body and my experience from experimenting on myself.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Diet

A Great High Fat, High Protein, Low Carb Resource

July 13th, 2009 · 10 Comments

Some of you may notice that in the majority of my latest articles, I don’t refer to the way I eat as the “Anabolic Diet.”  Really the only references you’ll find to the “Anabolic Diet” in my latest articles is, well, in the title of this blog.

The Anabolic Diet got me started in the high fat, high protein, low carb lifestyle, but I feel it has some major flaws.  The biggest flaw: I’m not a big fan of re-feed days, let alone entire re-feed weekends.  The re-feed days help the Anabolic Diet sell (”you can eat WHATEVER you want!”) but, in practice, will just make most people fat.  There is also very little other than strict diet information — nothing on training guidelines, best practices for muscle gain or fat loss while eating this way, etc.  (Again, this is just based off of what the real Anabolic Diet is, based on the book by the same name.  Most of what I write about on this site is based on my own experiences, which is why some of my guidelines and recommendations go against what the actual Anabolic Diet recommends.)

It’s for these reasons that I want to pass on a web site — and an entire related community of sites above.  In other words, this site is a perfect companion site to what I write about here.

You can check it out here: Mark’s Daily Apple.

These guys have the high fat, high protein, low carb lifestyle down perfectly.  Their recipe archives are unbelievable, too.  Check it out.

→ 10 CommentsTags: Diet · Training

Post Workout Nutrition

June 30th, 2009 · 4 Comments

What you eat after your workout is, in my mind, the second most important meal of the day after breakfast.  However, this meal is far less complicated than breakfast is.

I’ve experimented with every post workout nutrition recommendation around.  My verdict?

Just something with protein after a workout is fine.  Carbs are absolutely unnecessary.

My absolute best results came when I drank two glasses of raw milk after my workouts.  (Like I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I only drink raw milk — if raw isn’t available, I leave the milk out of my diet.)  Although raw milk has carbs in it, it is almost all lactose which is digested by the bacteria and enzymes present in the raw state.

I don’t always have raw milk, though.  If I have BCAAs, I just take in about 15 or 20 grams of them post work out and then have a whole meal 40 minutes to an hour later.  If I don’t have BCAAs, I just eat three or four whole eggs (usually raw, in a shake with half a cup of water and a quarter or half scoop of protein powder for taste), still followed by a whole meal 40 minutes to an hour later.  The main idea is to get about 20 to 25 grams of protein immediately post-workout — this is all it takes to help your body optimally recover.  I feel best when my immediate post-workout nutrition is relatively light as well, but the meal 40 minutes to an hour later is huge.  I would rank the big meal after the post-workout meal as nearly almost as important.

My results eating carbs post-workout vs. not eating carbs shows absolutely no difference.  This is also the experience of many other lifters I’ve met, talked to, or read online.  Try it out yourself — you’ll get the exact same results leaving carbs out of your post workout shake.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Diet

Sample Weight Loss, or “Cutting”, Diet

June 29th, 2009 · 20 Comments

(Before reading this, I highly recommend reading my article on bulking, cutting, and maintaining on a high fat, high protein diet first. It explains the reasoning behind a lot of what I write here.)

Losing weight with a high fat, high protein diet is relatively easy, but takes lots of determination and will power. If you really want to lose weight fast, you can’t giggle about “accidentally” pigging out on a box of Honey Nut Cheerios or a few donuts. If you show self restraint and follow a basic diet very, very low in carbs, you can shed the majority of your unwanted fat in about a month or less.

An Anabolic Diet-style diet, high in fat and protein but VERY low in carbs, is, in my opinion, the absolute best way to lose weight, and surprisingly this is also the opinion of much of the fitness industry.

Avoid any and all carbs you can and you will lose weight even faster. This means no fruit, no “low-carb” wraps (that secretly are full of carbs), no nothing like that. Just meats, veggies, and fats.

Some diets recommend “re-feed” days, where you eat junk in moderation. For your sanity, I think this is a good idea, but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary for your body to have an ENTIRE day dedicated to eating bad foods. I usually just have one day every week and a half or two weeks where I eat some fruits and maybe have one “cheat” meal, and that’s it. I’d rather get my weight loss over with ASAP than delay it with a big, gluttonous “cheat” day.

To calculate calories for a weight loss diet, I usually start by multiplying my body weight by 15 and slowly move my calories down from there if I’m not seeing results within the first week or two. I’ll go as low as my body weight multiplied by 12, but I like to start with a higher amount of calories first. This is because, if you choose your foods intelligently and do your regular workouts along with daily uphill walks for 20 to 30 minutes, then you’ll have no problem losing fat with a little extra food.

If you want the fat to almost melt off in front of you, combine this style of diet with heavy uphill walking every day. You can perform it any time — in the morning, after a workout, or on its own any time during the day. I personally prefer after workouts or sometime in the afternoon if I don’t have a workout that day.

Finally, the diet is usually more protein than fat — I aim for about 60% protein, 40% fat.

And On To The Sample Diet

Here’s a sample diet that I would follow if I wanted to lose some weight right now. Take note of the size of the breakfast — it’s almost the same size as my breakfast in weight gain and maintenance diets. Breakfast, to me, is absolutely the most important meal of the day, and my body can handle eating up to 33% of my daily calories during breakfast every day. Try it out — the energy and feeling I get from eating giant breakfasts is amazing.

Meal 1
Six eggs scrambled
Three tablespoons heavy raw cream
Chopped up veggies
Salt and pepper to taste

Meal 2
Giant salad — as many vegetables as I can handle eating at once, with spinach instead of lettuce
Two hard boiled eggs
Small amount bleu cheese dressing
Quarter pound chicken breast

Meal 3
Quarter pound Chicken breast
Hummus
Tomato sauce made from whole tomatoes
12g fish oil

Throughout workout, I drink BCAAs. If BCAAs are not available, I just drink water.

Post-workout
Two eggs, raw
Two tablespoons heavy cream
Half scoop protein powder to taste
Handful of spinach
Frozen broccoli
(All ground together in a shake)

Meal 4
Same as meal 2

Meal 5
Half cup full fat cottage cheese
One tablespoon peanut butter

→ 20 CommentsTags: Diet

Sample Diet For Maintaining Your Weight or Slowly Gaining Muscle

June 28th, 2009 · 2 Comments

(Before reading this, I highly recommend reading my article on bulking, cutting, and maintaining on a high fat, high protein diet first. It explains the reasoning behind a lot of what I write here.)

Most of the year I find myself on what I call a maintenance diet.  This means I eat enough food and maintain enough activity that I either stay the same body weight, or slowly put on muscle.

On a maintenance diet, I actually eat more carbs than usual, but almost all in the form of fruits — blueberries and navel oranges, mostly.  This is because, through trial and error, I’ve found that eating these foods at the right time actually gives my body more benefits than drawbacks.  (As per the original Anabolic Diet, I still don’t combine carb foods with fat foods — I try to eat an orange before a workout by itself, for example.)  My diet is still very low carb, though.  You need to experiment and see what you react to best.

I also don’t overload on protein on this diet.  While trying to quickly gain muscle, I eat lots and LOTS of protein because my body can take advantage of it.  However, your body does adjust to the amount of protein you feed it after a period of time, meaning that the only way to take advantage of the protein and build more muscle is to eat more of it.  People who eat extremely high-protein diets (2x body weight in grams or more) year-round are only hurting their progress.  I eat roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight while on a maintenance diet, give or take 20 grams.  Yes, I have built muscle with this much protein, but it is a much slower process.  In the long run, though, my results are better because of this.

Finding your maintenance level of calories might actually take a bit of work and trial and error.  My body is happy with around 3.000 calories every day, but it took me a couple weeks to discover that.  A rough way to find your maintenance level is to multiply your body weight by 18 and aim for that many calories or slightly lower.  This should be done only if you already have a relatively low bodyfat level — eating this way while your bodyfat is too high will likely only result in fat gain, and you should follow a weight loss diet first. My rule of thumb is that if my stomach is not flat with relatively defined abs, then I have too much bodyfat.

The breakdown of this diet is again roughly 50% fat and 50% protein, with a little bit of fruit thrown in on the side.

The Sample Maintenance Diet

Meal 1

6 omega 3 eggs, scrambled

Half a banana

Half cup blueberries

3 tablespoons heavy raw cream

One tablespoon ground flax seeds

One tablespoon psyllium husks

(All mixed together.  So delicious.)

One cup raw milk

Pre-workout

One navel orange

Post-workout

One or two cups raw milk (I only drink raw milk — if I can’t have raw, I’ll have something else in its place, like a few eggs)

Meal 2

(All mixed together in a blender for shake.  Blend until creamy and smooth.)

4 omega 3 eggs (raw)

2 tablespoons heavy raw cream

Half cup water

Handful of spinach

1 cup frozen broccoli

Half scoop vanilla protein powder (just for taste)

12g fish oil

Meal 3

Half pound lean ground grass fed beef mixed with broccoli, hummus, flax seeds, psyllium husk, and tomato sauce made from whole tomatoes

12g fish oil

Meal 4

Same as meal 3

I try not to eat anything directly before bed — meal 4 usually is eaten about two hours before sleep, which I prefer to do on the maintenance diet.  I don’t lose any muscle in my sleep because of this.  If I stay up too late, though, I’ll try to have something small before bed, like full-fat cottage cheese.

I also mix up the foods.  Some days I’ll make chicken dishes instead of grass fed beef dishes.  Some days I’ll avoid the heavy meats altogether and just eat dairy-based proteins, like cottage cheese.  Some days I even go extremely light on protein, giving my body a bit of a rest.

Final Words on Maintenance

I’ll be absolutely honest — I really “wing it” on this diet.  I establish the baseline amount of food that my body can use to maintain bodyfat and/or build muscle slowly, and then just eat based around those staple foods.  Some days I’ll eat more, some days I’ll eat less.  The idea is that, by the end of the week, I’ve eaten (on average) my maintenance foods and calorie levels.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Diet

Sample Diet For Gaining Muscle, or “Bulking”

June 27th, 2009 · 3 Comments

(Before reading this, I highly recommend reading my article on bulking, cutting, and maintaining on a high fat, high protein diet first.  It explains how to get the biggest benefits out of a muscle gaining cycle.)

I advocate spending only a maximum of 8 weeks at a time in a heavy muscle building phase.  The reason for this is that your body becomes accustomed to the amount and type of food you put in it and eventually your gains will taper off, and worse yet, will become fat gain.  Just ask anyone who has gone on an indefinite “bulking” phase — the first few weeks bring amazing results while the rest of the time is a wasted effort resulting in only extra bodyfat.  Also, if you really work out hard as hell during this phase, you won’t be able to do much more than 8 weeks.

For these reasons, it’s best to do no more than 8 weeks at a time in a heavy mass building phase.  You’ll avoid unnecessary fat gain and still get the biggest muscle-building results.  Think of it as the Pareto, or 80/20. Principle in action — you’re spending 20% of the time to get 80% of the results.

Of course, while eating like this, you’d better be working yourself to the bone in the gym.  You should struggle to move properly after your workouts, and make sure to get some cardio in.  I’m a big fan of uphill walks, either outside or on a treadmill, after weight training sessions and in free time if possible.  If your body has a propensity to putting on bodyfat, cardio is a necessity all year round, even if it is just 15 minutes a day maximum on an uphill walk.

How I Calculate How Much Food To Eat

I’ll be honest, I don’t really count calories anymore.  I go for a baseline amount of protein and fat (in grams) and add more items of food weekly from there.

Of course, I have a rough idea of how many calories I want to eat at first.  I find this amount by multiplying my body weight by 20.  I aim for roughly this many calories at first, maybe a tiny bit less in the first week.  I try to split it between 50% protein and 50% fat, although the percentages get skewed (higher percentage protein, lesser percentage fat) as I add more calories simply because I feel like my body reacts poorly with more than 215 grams of fat in a day.  Always listen to your body — if you feel lethargic, bloated, and just generally gross after eating a particular food or amount of food, then that’s your body’s way of telling you it’s not completely happy.

I calculate an initial amount of food based on the calorie equation and splitting it between proteins and fats.  When gaining muscle, my diet is really revolved around nothing but eggs, red meat (grass fed if possible), cream (raw, unpasteurized cream if possible), and as many green vegetables as I can eat.  As the weeks progress, I just add a couple more eggs or a little more meat into my daily diet.  I don’t calculate precise numbers at all — I just aim to up the calories by anywhere from 250 to 500 calories a day, and I do it by adding three more eggs daily, or another quarter or half pound of meat.  This continues until the end of the muscle gaining phase.

On To The Sample Diet

Here’s an example of how I ate on my last muscle gain phase.

Meal 1

6 eggs

3 tbsp heavy raw cream

Half a banana (not enough carbs to cause any trouble)

Two slices bacon

1 cup raw milk (I don’t drink milk unless it’s raw)

Meal 2

Half pound grass-fed beef

Vegetables

Meal 3

4 eggs

2 tbsp heavy raw cream

5 grams fish oil

Meal 4

Half pound grass-fed beef

Vegetables

5 grams fish oil

Meal 5

Half pound grass-fed beef

Vegetables

5 grams fish oil

Meal 6

2 eggs

1 tbsp heavy raw cream

5 grams fish oil

As the weeks went on, I simply added 250 to 500 calories more of meat or eggs daily so that, by week 8, I was eating almost 5000 calories a day, with more than 3 pounds of meat and two dozen eggs.  (For example: week 1 I was eating the above diet, then weeks 2 and 3 I was eating 3 more eggs a day, weeks 4 and 5 I was eating three more eggs and another half pound of meat, weeks 6 and 7 I was eating another half pound of meat a day, and week 8 I was eating another 6 eggs every day.  I slowly worked up to these amounts, so it wasn’t like a calendar date hit and I was suddenly eating an extra 500 calories.)

Yes, it seems extreme, and most people would scream bloody murder about how they couldn’t handle that.  Whatever — it’s only a couple weeks, and you’ll get ridiculous results from it.  I’m completely healthy with incredibly healthy cholesterol levels and didn’t die from eating this way.  If you don’t want to pile on a lot of muscle really quickly, then don’t do this.  And regardless, as long as you are absolutely working out like a fiend, then your body will put all this food to work.

(WIth that said: I’m not a doctor.  If there are any possibly complications with you eating this way, consult a doctor first.)

That’s The Muscle Gain Diet

Note that I don’t ever call this a “bulking” diet (except for the title of this post).  Again, you wouldn’t be doing it for any more than 8 weeks because, after that long, your body will adjust to it, will stop allocating the food to building muscle, and instead you’ll just get nice and fat.  This is a muscle gain diet, where the goal is only to build muscle — not to “bulk up”, which is really just bodybuilder code for “eat like a pig and get way too fat.”

→ 3 CommentsTags: Diet

“Bulking,” “Cutting,” And “Maintaining” on High Fat, Low Carb Diets

June 25th, 2009 · 7 Comments

In the world of muscle building, dieting is split up into “bulking” and “cutting” phases.  In the bulking phase, you pile on as much weight as you can, usually disregarding any fat gain, and then the cutting phase is for losing that weight.

I think that’s a pile of crap.  In fact, my own personal experiences have led me to know that’s a big pile of crap.

Here are what I find to be the most effective techniques for changing your body composition.

1. Bring your bodyfat down before anything else!

Before anything else, if you’ve got some fat on you, lose it.  Get as low as you can in bodyfat with effective cardio (uphill walks are unbelievably effective on a low-carb diet) and a good weight loss diet.

If your only goal is fat loss, then you’re set when this is done.  If your goal is muscle gain, this is, in my mind, probably the most important step to take since the body will be more likely to convert excess energy (meaning, lots of food) to fat when bodyfat is higher.  Conversely, when bodyfat is low, excess energy is more likely to be put to use by your muscles.

Really, your results will be screwed over big-time if you don’t drop as much bodyfat as you can first.  My general rule of thumb is that if I can’t see my abs clearly, I’m not ready to put on any weight.

2. Find your maintenance level of calories and stay at the same weight or gain muscle slowly

Spend a couple weeks finding a “maintenance” calorie level.  This is the amount of food you can eat daily and stay the same weight and bodyfat indefinitely (combined with your normal exercise).  If you work out like an absolute fiend, this is a level where you can easily build muscle as well.

3. Put on muscle very quickly

This one is for if you’re interested in putting on as much muscle as possible.  Once you know your maintenance caloric intake, jack it up bit by bit over the course of 8 weeks while absolutely working yourself to the bone in the gym.  I’m talking making it hard to walk after your workouts every single day.  When I say “jack it up bit by bit” I mean add an extra 300 to 500 calories to your daily diet every week or two, however comfortable you feel doing it.  By the end of the 8 weeks, you’ll be eating a TON of food, and it’ll even be hard to get it all down, but just remember that you’ll be slowly tapering back off to “maintenance” level as soon as it’s all over.

I don’t recommend any more than 8 weeks of adding muscle at a time (spaced out with a few months of maintenance).  This is simply because your body adjusts to whatever caloric intake you give it, so if you eat piles and piles of food over a period longer than 8 weeks, your body will start to just turn it all into bodyfat.  The more bodyfat you have, the more you put on, as mentioned above.  Anyone who has done a “bulking” diet probably already knows this — the first few weeks you have PHENOMENAL results, and then as time goes on, the results sort of just go away as you put on more and more fat.

Also, if you really eat like a king and work yourself to the bone in the gym, then only 8 weeks will bring you absolutely amazing results.  Trust me.

The main idea, though, is that as long as you vary the amount of food you’re eating, then your body will be kept guessing and won’t reach a plateau.

4. Go back to maintenance calories

After the heavy muscle building phase, you’ve probably seen a small rise in bodyfat.  (If you ever see yourself gaining lots of bodyfat, immediately pull back on your food intake.  This is your body’s way of saying that you are eating too much, and your muscles aren’t getting any kind of special benefit from it.)  Losing that fat and getting absolutely ripped again shouldn’t take any more than a month.  In fact, at this point, going back to your maintenance diet will likely get you shredded pretty fast.  This is because your body had to increase its metabolism in order to match the amount of food you were eating previously, so jumping down over 1,000 calories daily will give you big fat-burning benefits.

How does the yearly cycle work?

I have reached a point where I’m gaining a little bit of muscle on my “maintenance” level of calories and staying at the same low bodyfat.  For most of the year, I’m eating this amount of food, with little variations here and there.  One or two times a year, I’m trying to hit the hard core, 8 week muscle building phase.  I won’t be doing this much into the future since, eventually, I’ll hit the size I want.  The last time I did the 8 week phase, I put on about 10 pounds of muscle, but also wanted to kill myself when it was all over based on how tired my muscles and mind were from the work-outs and excessive food.

Oh, and a quick note: I never judge my accomplishments by my weight.  I almost never weigh myself.  I go by the mirror, weekly progress pictures, and measurements.  Weight is a horrible way to measure your progress since it can vary day-by-day, depending on water intake, carb intake, and so on.

Coming soon: sample weight loss, maintenance, and quick-muscle-building diets.

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Let me know what you want to read!

May 1st, 2009 · 11 Comments

Hey everyone — I haven’t been updating this site too much lately because, simply put, I’ve already put up a lot of the information I think I’d need if I were on the Anabolic Diet.  I recently put up a recent photo of me, which reflects my current progress while eating this style of diet, so I’m definitely still in the lifestyle.

With that said, though, I know that there’s a lot more I could be writing about — and I want to write it.

What are your questions, thoughts, concerns?  Leave them for me in the comments here, and I’ll get to writing some updates here.  I want to make sure it reflects what all of you want to know.

EDIT: I’ll start writing new articles in a little less than a week.  I want to leave this post up so I get as many comments and suggestions as possible.  Any requests for information at all, just leave them in the comments.  Thanks again!

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