Almost every athlete, weekend warrior, or gym regular wants to build bigger muscles while losing body fat at the same time. This can be a challenging task because the “traditionalists” will tell you that one must sacrifice either definition or gains in muscle.
While it’s easier to focus on one or the other there are a few tricks you can use that will have you on the right track in no time.
First things first… The “Traditional Approach”
To gain muscle a person has to consume more food, protein, carbs, fats, nutrients, and vitamins than they need to get bigger and less overall calories if they wish to get leaner. This of course is the main reason bodybuilders tend to “Bulk Up” in the off-season.
This means the individual will eat loads of calories in the hopes of gaining more muscle mass. The extra muscle gain is achievable but the individual also will experience a significant gain of fat in the process, oftentimes more than the muscle gains.
After the “Bulking Up” period the individual will usually want to “rip up” for summer or for a contest. Then they usually have to subject themselves to a rigorous training and restrictive diet for 3-6 months to get they’re body fat levels where the muscles are clearly defined.
The continual up and down Yo-Yo in weight gain plays havoc with the physical body not too mention the psyche of the individual. This generally accepted practice in bodybuilding has also led to the widespread use of drugs used by many athletes to bulk up or to get ripped.
Bodybuilding Traditionalists “Dirty Secret”
The Truth of the matter is the editors and writers for the big magazines won’t tell you is the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by the top amateur and professional athletes who use an array of pharmaceuticals to build and maintain their muscles while dieting.
It’s Dirty Secrets like this that lead the unsuspecting population to question why their programs don’t work, or why they are not so “genetically gifted”. Traditional methods have created a tradition of drugs going all the way back into the 50’s. The problem has gotten worse not better.
Bottom line these drugs are dangerous have consequences, and can leave you and your body in a lot further away from your goals in the long run. Stay away from them!
Unfortunately, the pressure to be in shape and to become the next Ronnie Coleman has trickled down even to the “regular Joe” in the gym who wants to look good in a pair of Calvin Klein’s, and now you have guys and girls walking into gyms for the first time asking what the “should be on.”
This abuse of drugs has led to the overall dysfunction of the bodybuilding community on multiple levels mentally, physically and psychologically. What’s weird is the “Drug Program” today is so commonplace it has become “traditional thinking” as opposed to natural bodybuilding principles which are: good healthy food, rigorous training of the mind and body, and an overall expression of health and vitality.
It’s time for a new way because the old mentality of traditional bodybuilding is over.
Gimme A Break From Tradition Thinking!
Fortunately, there is a better way to gain muscle and to lose body fat at the same time. It’s called the “Cycle Diet” and it is fast becoming the most popular way to stay lean year round while continually gaining muscle. Let’s examine first how the cycle diet works and then how you can incorporate it into your training routine.
Every bodybuilder who maintains there body fat levels below 7 percent knows as soon as they start eating the first few days of high calories their body explodes with new growth before any body fat gains occur.
The reason for this is the body is in a super-compensation state and initially stores the extra calories as glycogen in organs such as the liver as well as intramuscularly. Fats are also stored intramuscularly as well as protein is utilized for the growth and repair of muscles.
This super-compensation state only lasts for maybe 24 hours before the body starts to shuttle the extra calories into fat cells. But before that occurs there is a window of explosive growth available waiting to be tapped into and here is how you can do it.
Bodybuilding Legend Scott Abel Cracks The Code
The entire process was initially developed and coined the Cycle Diet by legendary trainer Scott Abel. I believe that anyone interested in the deeper metabolic science behind the diet order one of Scott’s DVD’s as it’s well worth the money. Scott’s a brilliant innovator that has contributed more to the science of bodybuilding than any other person in the last 50 years and he has had a profound influence on my own training.
I have created a variation of Scott’s Cycle Diet geared specifically for natural trainees. While I feel Scott’s breakthrough and the science behind it is sheer brilliance his protocol does have some challenges for natural athletes as well as for individuals who may be enzyme deficient already.
The 2 Main Challenges Of The Traditional Cycle Diet
The first problem is Metabolic Damage from Enzyme deficiency. While the cycle diet works for months even years there is an “unseen cost”. Over the long haul the Enzymatic cost of eating so much enzyme deficient foods and the potential damage and loss of metabolic enzymes. This can lead to training lethargy, poor recovery, early aging, and injuries.
The second cost is the long-term effects of this type of eating stress on the digestive tract, which can lead to thick deposits of mucoid plaque. This plaque is a breading ground for unhealthy bacteria to proliferate, which generate toxins that can lead to major health complications down the road.
This protocol allows you to build muscle while losing body fat as well as keeping your body free of toxic buildup.
Here is how it works.
First, you need to get your body fat levels below 7 percent for the maximum benefit of the protocol. The cool thing is once you get down to this level you can maintain this body fat level year round. If you are unsure how to get ripped you will want to follow one of my cutting up training and dietary protocols. It usually takes between 12-20 weeks to hit single digits for anyone under 30 percent body fat. I use the percentage a week method to determine how long it will take you to get in the single digit zone.
Second you need to be training a minimum of 5 days per week. In other words you need to be an intermediate or advanced trainee capable of handling significant volume and intensity in your training.
Third you need to keep your calorie intake about 500-1000 calories below expenditure daily. If you are following one of my five-day training programs simply multiply your Lean Body Mass (LBM) by 12. Whatever the total is, use that number as you’re starting caloric intake.
Of course this should be divided up into 5 meals of the right combinations of protein, carbs, fats and nutrients. Once you have your workout program and your dietary intake down you are ready to go for the Ultimate Natural Training Cycle. Virtually anyone who follows the system will be as ripped as they want to be in less than 6 months but before we get ahead of ourselves we must first begin by…
“Priming The Pump”
Now for the first 3 days of your training you will keep your caloric intake in the calculated range all on training days. On your first rest day, which usually will occur on the 4th day you will perform one of the juice fasts I recommend for the whole day.
Consume as much juice as you like on the fast day and be sure to take some fiber to help remove accumulated mucoid plaque in the digestive tract. There are many herbs that can aid in the process as well which we outline at the freaky insider forums. I call this cleaning out the intestinal tract “Priming the Pump”.
Keep in mind that only natural juices, preferably organic are used on the juice fast day free of sugars, additives, preservatives, sweeteners or anything else. Intermediate and advanced athletes may wish to use one of my more aggressive cleansing fasts for even better results.
On the 5th and 6th days of the week you will resume your training and diet schedule, with the concurrent calorie deficit. This is really important as maintaining a strict control over calorie totals on the training days is essential to make the program work. That means no cheats, treats, or deviations from your diet.
On the 7th day, which should be an off day from training as well, “EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT”.
Is This 7th Heaven?
That’s right all the things that you would like load up on them. It’s a good idea to schedule social occasions or interactions on that day, so you can eat Grandma’s apple pie, or have some pizza and ice cream with the guys during the big game. It’s best to schedule the High Calorie day on a rest day and be sure to consume as many calories as you can.
Keep in mind that you start in the morning of your rest day and you stop in the evening. So you keep the time frame down to about 18 hours, as this will ensure no fat will be gained.
It is a good idea to start with fats in the morning first so that you don’t experience too much digestive discomfort. It’s also a good idea to double or triple your enzyme intake for the high calorie day as well as on the juice fast day for maximum absorption of nutrients.
Why The Cycle Diet Works
The Cycle diet works because of the 3 basic reasons:
1)Short time frame of high calorie consumption
2)The initial caloric deficient state sets up a super compensation state
3)A rigorous training schedule which creates stimulus for fat loss and muscle gain
The bottom line is once you get the protocol down to suit your own metabolism it’s pretty much impossible for your body to add body fat.
The cascade of anabolic hormones during the brief high calorie intake will be used to fill up energy stores and build more muscle. This is the ideal condition for growth of muscle tissues to occur. Many athletes are shocked by the giant leaps in muscle size, leanness, and muscularity that occur while on the cycle diet for a few months.
Fine Tuning The Process
You will need to fine-tune the process over time but it’s pretty simple once you get the routine down. Best of all you don’t have to restrict calories for long periods of time. Once every week you get a break and the juice fast day helps clear out any plaque built up form the high calorie day.
Most athletes find the cycle diet much easier and more a more fun way to stay in shape all year. What’s even better that Natural Athletes everywhere can build can build mass while staying lean year round and stay healthy. No harmful chemicals or drugs needed.
Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too!