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Thread: Carb Loading and Depleting- The key to looking good onstage!

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    Gumby51cm's Avatar
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    Carb Depletion and Loading - The key to looking good onstage!

    I first want to say that all credit goes to q80_muscleHed, he pieced together the article using threads and other articles. I am only posting it after I edited itÖ.enjoy!

    What is the goal of it?
    Carb depletion & loading is process that bodybuilders using it in the last week before the competition .The reason to deplete carbs is to lose water that is beneath the skin and losing every glycogen molecule in your muscles cells (because the glycogen process needs water to perform it) to make the muscles more definite and look hard but after you deplete your carbs your muscles will be look flat (depletion process) and then it comes time to load. This means you have to eat carbs to replenish your glycogen stores in your muscles and make them fuller and tighter with less water under the skin (loading process).

    Note: the goal of this process is to reduce body-fluids (water). Many Competitors practice the technique of water depletion. Water depletion consists of reducing one's liquid intake to practically nothing as they approach the contest. Not only is this practice very dangerous, it is also ineffective. Muscle tissue consists of 70% water. If one restricts water intake drastically, they will lose muscle fullness and appear flat onstage. In addition, reducing water will increase the likelihood of muscle cramps while onstage (this happens quite frequently and is very embarrassing). Some competitors believe water is what causes them to appear smooth. This is not the case. Water retention intracellularly (inside the cell) will cause one appear hard and full. Subcutaneous (under the skin) water retention however, causes one look smooth. When the body senses a drastic restriction in water intake it will release anti-diuretic hormones that cause subcutaneous water retention. This makes physiological sense: the body senses it is not getting enough water and releases hormones that cause water retention to prevent dehydration. So that is the most important phase when preparing for a contest

    How to start:
    Depletion phase:
    If your competition is on Saturday then I would do it like this:
    Sunday-start deplete
    Monday-keep depleting
    Tuesday-last day of depletion
    In this time. Sodium play comes to mind. Some people sodium load, which is when they raise there sodium up to about 4g 15 days before a show and then cut it out on Wednesday. Water is the trickiest thing. But at about 10 days out, add another gallon to whatever youíre drinking. This gives it a diuretic effect. You see, when you take in so much water, you have to put out so much water. But once you cut the water out, your body still puts out that much water. Hope that makes sense to you the way I explained it. So the way water goes is like this. Letís assume that youíre drinking a gallon a day just to keep it simple.

    10 days out-up water to 2 gallons.
    1st carb deplete day-keep it at 2 gallons.
    Tuesday-stay at two gallons
    Wednesday-do 1.5 gallons
    Thurs-1 gallon
    Friday-try for no water, but if you feel you need it, take some sips now and then.
    Saturday-show day, no water.

  2. #2
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    Loading process:
    Wednesday-start carb load, cut most sodium out of your diet
    Thursday-keep loading, keep the sodium out
    Friday-cut water out and keep eating low sodium carbs
    Saturday- wake up early, see if you need more carbs, if you do eat, if you donít, donít eat, you will just get bloated
    Note: in the competition day try to eat simple carbs which act faster than the complex carbs. Also, the night before the show, at about 10:00 PM, you might try to eat something like a cheeseburger or some pizza, the sodium at this time will fill out all of your muscles and also get rid of some water, but sometiems it can backfire, so do this at your own risk.

    Training in this process:
    Donít train anywhere near failure. You donít want to be sore. Once you begin your carb depletion start working out with program similar to this one.

    Back-3 sets x 15-20
    Chest-3 sets x 15-20
    Do chest and back like a super set.

    Then do
    Shoulers/arm/triceps-2 sets x15-20
    Do these in like a tri-set.

    Hams/calves-3 sets x 15-20
    Do these in like a super set.

    Q&A:

    when should I stop training? And shall I train whole body workouts?
    I would make Wednesday or Tuesday your last day of training. As we mentioned up you would have a full body workout. As far as being sore onstage, thatís a bad idea. If you have ever tried to practice posing then you know how hard it is, especially when the lights are so damn hot and your feet are burning. You donít want to be sore onstage.

    Could be possible to start the program before 2 weeks. Instead of 1 week?

    Start it one week out, once you start the carb deplete you know what hell is, I donít think there is any way I would ever want to do it for two weeks. As far at the being sore onstage, Iím not really sure how you would look, maybe someone else could help you out with that.

    Letís say I consumed 200 grams of carbs per day. That before starting depletion. In day one, how much should I deplete? 150 grams for example?

    I just cut them almost out. I donít like to work my way down in carbs, itís too much work. I just take them down to some green beans, one cup before I work out and one after I work out, then for the rest of the day I go on pure protein, mostly chicken.


    what are the best sources of carbs in loading phase?
    Sweet potatoes, rice cakes, oatmeal with bananaís (Gumbyís favorites ), raisins, craisins (dried cranberry's), brown or white rice, and white potatoes.

    Should I stop my cardio when I deplete my carbs intake? Also the same thing with carb up?
    Yes, if you could, donít do any cardio from about 10 days out. Not doing it will help your legs (and everything else) fill out some. If you still have more fat to lose then do cardio up to when you start your carb depletion. But DO NOT do cardio when you are carb depleting or loading. You will need every bit of energy.
    Last edited by Gumby51cm; 10-27-2005 at 11:40 PM.

  3. #3
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    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    And now let us see this process from Professional
    Nutritionist point view:

    heavy loading By Chris Aceto "an illustration to carbs deplete process"

    The process creates a temporary illusion. It's a "quick fix" that allows a bodybuilder to appear a lot harder by virtue of fuller-looking muscles combined with less water retention.

    Whether you're a bodybuilder who wants a quick fix to sharpen your physique for a contest or just for a trip to the beach, these are the steps to deplete and then supercharge your body with carb loading. You may be shocked by how much better and bigger you'll look in just one week.

    Step No.1
    Preprogram:
    Increase sodium intake

    - In the week prior to starting your carb-cutting program, boost your intake of sodium - plain table salt. The simplest way to do this is to sprinkle salt on all of your meals. Elevating sodium increases water retention in the body and decrease the water - retention hormone aldosterone. Remain with the higher than usual sodium intake until one day before carbing up during the program (In step 7). When you suddenly reduce your sodium intake at that time, and while aldosterone levels readjust, your body will excrete even more water - most of it directly from beneath the skin. This will lead to greater definition.

    Step No. 2
    Preprogram: Increase water intake:
    When you increase sodium. It's important to take in roughly 50% more water than usual. That is, every time you would normally have a cup of water, make it a cup and a half, so that by the end of the day, you've boosted your fluid intake by 50%. Greater water intake sets up the body for greater definition at the end of the process. Maintain this intake until you reach step 10.




    Step No. 3
    Day 1-2: drop carbs 50%
    Here's when the carb cutting program really begins. Drop your carb consumption by 50%. This first drop will help prevent the shock of taking your carb count too low too quickly. If you were previously eating approximately 1500 calories from carbs per day ( about normal for a 200 pounds bodybuilder who consumes 3000 calories a day for bodyweight maintenance), then cut your total carb intake to 200 grams per day, focusing mostly on complex carbs, early in the day. Still, for these two days, maintain your pre- and post-workout nutrition simple carbs at approximately 50 grams, divided between those two meals.

    Step No. 4
    Days 1-5; mildly increase protein

    Some people go wrong at this step. When carbs drop, you must increase protein consumption to prevent muscle breakdown. However, if you increase your protein intake too much, a lot of that extra protein is burned as fuel, sparing the body from emptying its glycogen stores. Therefore, to experience the muscle-saving effect of extra protein without inhibiting the depletion of glycogen stores, elevate your protein intake only by about 50 grams daily on each lower carb day. A 200 pound bodybuilder who normally eats a gram of protein per pounds of bodyweight should consume about 250 grams of protein during this phase.

    Step No. 5
    Days 1-5: train with high reps

    When depleting carbs for five days, you should train with higher reps 12 to 20 per set and performs 50% more steps than normal. For example, if you perform 10 sets for biceps go to 15 sets (50% more volume work) and aim for 12 - 20 reps per set. Of course you have to decrease the weight in order to hit that volume. However, the goal here is to lower carb reserves, and volume work is tremendously effective in doing so. It all goes back to super-compensation. The more carbs you can deplete, the greater amount you can store during the carb up process, leading to bigger and tighter- looking muscles.

    Step No. 6
    Days 3-5: further deplete carbs

    On these days, drop your carbohydrate intake to 100-150 per day, emphasizing complex carbs sources, such as yams, oatmeal and brown rice. Take three in early in the day and target about .7 g of carbs per pound of bodyweight (a 200 pound bodybuilder should take in about 140 grams of carbs daily). When carbs drop, reserves of glycogen begin to decline. As glycogen decreases, the body begins to pump up its production of glycogen storing enzymes. When you later pack in greater quantities of carbs, those carb storing enzymes will help pack away these additional carbs as new glycogen, yielding fuller looking muscles.

    Step No.7 Days 5-7: reduce Sodium
    The day before adding carbs back, drop the additional salt you've been putting on your food. When sodium levels decline, you'll experience changes in aldosterone that favor water excretion and a tighter look. You needn't zero out your sodium intake. Cutting all the extra sodium should be enough of drop.

    Step No.8
    Days 6-7: carb up

    Now the fun begins, after five days of depleting carbs, along with performing volume work, your muscle will be tremendously low in fuel, screaming to be replenished. When you switch to a high carb intake, much of what you consume will be directly stored in your muscles. I suggest eating 3 grams of carbs per pounds of bodyweight daily, minimum, and up to 5 grams per pounds for those with a faster metabolism or those who weigh more than 220 pounds. Avoid using fruits and sucrose (table sugar) or high fructose corn syrup. Starchy complex carb sources are ideal, and good choices include potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, pasta, white rice and brown rice.

    Step No. 9
    Days 6-7: Reduce protein consumption

    When you're carbing up, you can drop the added protein of step 4. This follows the simple edict that carbs and protein work like a sea-saw. When carbs drop, you have to eat more protein; when carbs dramatically increase, you don't need the added protein. Take in just a gram of protein per pounds of bodyweight on each of these days.

    Step No. 10
    Days: 6-7: Reduce water intake

    In step 2, you increased water intake. Now, reduce it to 50% what you would normally have on any given day prior to step 2. If, for example, you would usually drink a gallon of water, reduce that to half a gallon. Since carbohydrates require water to make new muscle glycogen, many people assume that they have to drink like a thirsty camel to make glycogen. Not so, because in the face of restricted water and increased carbs, muscles make up for the water shortfall by dragging some from under the skin into the muscles. The results is less subcutaneous water retention and harder looking physique.

    Step No. 11:
    Days 6-7: take it easy and don't train

    As a rule of thumb, when carbing up, it's best not to train, as that siphons off some of the incoming carbohydrates, preventing an optimal carb - up and fuller muscles. This might be why many bodybuilders appear fuller a few days after a competition. The days off allow for optimal compensation of carbohydrates. In fact, avoid energy expenditure as much as possible to allow your muscles to fill up.

    Step No. 12
    Day 7: pump up and take pictures

    Pump up your muscles a bit right before you step onstage, do a photo shoot or strip off your shirt to impress people. Use light weights (or isometric movements) and go through a full range of motion, feeling the stretch, contraction and pump. Keep reps low - you don't want to burn up carbs.
    On this day, you maybe in the best condition of your life. Have some one take pictures of you to capture the moment and to use as a record of comparison for the next time you carb deplete and carb load. Photographically documenting your condition and muscle mass is a great way to determine that you are continuing to progress as a bodybuilder.

    Thx guys :)

    References:
    Flex magazine (July 2004 issue) Chris Aceto ďheavy loading" article

    This article: (from bodybuilding.com)
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/layne33.htm

    And the moderator of pre-contest preparation, gumby51cm.

  4. #4
    eli80cal's Avatar
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    Thx q80_musclhead and gumby. nice work

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    WoW this is all good, thnx guys!

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    fahad is offline IFBB Superheavyweight
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    thx alot bud..

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    Thanks guys, I'm starting my carb depletion diet today. I'm cutting out 110 grams of carbs for three days, then adding them back for one day. I'm also taking some primobolan depot to prevent muscle loss, and I'm going to do this for four weeks.

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    ^^Not like anyone gives a **** N E WAYZ^^

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    BIGPHIL is offline NPC Lightweight
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    When im training during my carb depletion how should i go about post workout nutrition e.t.c how many carbs in my shake should i use dextrose e.t.c

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIGPHIL
    When im training during my carb depletion how should i go about post workout nutrition e.t.c how many carbs in my shake should i use dextrose e.t.c
    good question, it depends on where you like to have your carbs in the day and how many carbs your having durring depletion.

    like me, i like my carbs in the morning but train later in the day, so i pretty much didnt have anything but protein after my workout.

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    BIG PHIL,

    The reason for the carbs in the post workout shake is to assist in the transfer through into the muscles to assist recovery and gains. At this stage of your preparation I`m afraid you are not going to be gaining any muscle so don`t concern yourself too much about it.
    The last week is volume training to deplete the muscles etc as previously stated.
    I personally go down to about 50/ 70 grams of carbs in total at this depletion phase and it consists of about 30g for my oats in the morning, 20g post workout and a further 20g with one of my meals.

    Some individuals actually try to get down to consuming 0 carbs but I try to keep it to about 50g. Normally my post workout shake has 50g of carbs in it ?????????

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    PUMBA is offline Banned
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    Cool

    Great Post will be using this one later in "06" hopefully.

    Arnietwo with the post workout carbs is that also to replace Glycogen stores in the muscle???

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    deadman315x is offline NPC Super Heavyweight
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    newbs

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    Awesome man! This will help my workout buddy out alot as we get ready for his first contest in Springfield, MO!

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    Wesco is offline NPC Lightweight
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    I've always wondered how it was done. I was thinking of paying someone to do this for me but I think I'm gonna try this first and see how I do for my first show. Thanks guys.

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    awesome job Gumby51

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    True.. is offline NPC Lightweight
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnietwo
    BIG PHIL,

    The reason for the carbs in the post workout shake is to assist in the transfer through into the muscles to assist recovery and gains. At this stage of your preparation I`m afraid you are not going to be gaining any muscle so don`t concern yourself too much about it.
    The last week is volume training to deplete the muscles etc as previously stated.
    I personally go down to about 50/ 70 grams of carbs in total at this depletion phase and it consists of about 30g for my oats in the morning, 20g post workout and a further 20g with one of my meals.

    Some individuals actually try to get down to consuming 0 carbs but I try to keep it to about 50g. Normally my post workout shake has 50g of carbs in it ?????????
    Heh! I have like 5g of oatmeal for my breakfest, and Im not even on my last week yet. Actually I have about 2 months left. lol.

  18. #18
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    Hope you`re kidding when you say you`re on 5g of oatmeal.

    If you diet to strictly the body will start using your mauscle tissue for fuel and you will waste away to nothing.
    Burtning muscle is not something you want to do if you are a bodybuilder !!!!

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    True.. is offline NPC Lightweight
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    Naw Im good, I know my body well. When I started cutting I started with only 40g of oatmeal. Now Im down to 5-10g. If I do cardio before breakfeast - 10g. If not - 5g. I have either 10 eggwhites or 50g proteinpowder and 1 spoon of fish oil with that. :)

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    True.. is offline NPC Lightweight
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    Gumby, Im late for the first show. Do you still recommend carb load so early? I was thinking about starting the carb load the day before and the day Im taking pictures. Any tips?

    Also, when you apply pro tan, do you shower or do you cut it all out?

  21. #21
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    Don't shower with protan, it'll lighten you a lot. It's not that big a deal if you put it on thursday (assuming your contest is saturday) and then not shower until saturday night
    TEAM CUTLER 2006!

  22. #22
    True.. is offline NPC Lightweight
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    Ive decided actually to drop the "overwhelming" pro tan layers. I wont be looking that good anyways so I should rather save most of it for later when Im more cut. Im just taking a couple of layers the day Im taking pictures, or maybe the day before too. I dont know, it bugs me a little that I have to get a friend of mine to put it on. Thats gonna be a little weird, and I dont know how many times they`ll do that for me without getting tired. The deadline is this sunday by the way and thats when Im gonna take the pictures. :)

    This day I have no carbs in my diet exept a little oatmeal for breakfeast, which I had to have because of the cardio I did in the morning. Im wanna do some more cardio this day, but I dont know if its a good idea since it will involve me getting some carbs after Im done.

    Tommorow I`ll start carbing up. I was thinking about doing some cardio then too, first thing in the morning. Then come home, start the carbing rest of the day and tommorow. I dont think its gonna be big sucess, but I`ll just have to try. Im going to be carefull though with the carbs.

    Wish me luck guys! :)

  23. #23
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    the sticky on tanning should be un by tonight guys, i have it written, just need to proof read it/make rivisions. it should cover most everything. i have to go to work now but i'll have it up tonight.

  24. #24
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    great read thanks for all the time put into this.
    Owner@EliteIronbodybuilding.com Membership is opened, stop by and say hello !

  25. #25
    swollaznguy is offline NPC Lightweight
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    question

    hey can you eat gummy bears when you are carb loading or during competition day?

  26. #26
    musclebellyg123 is offline NPC Lightweight
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    would'nt mess with gummy bears but that's just me i would rather eat something like rice cakes it works a little better. you've worked too hard tostart taking any kind of risk before the show but, that's me.

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    musclebellyg123 is offline NPC Lightweight
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    Talking im i carb depleting too soon?

    my goal is to have shredded glutes by my next show which is in about 3 weeks i whey about 197lbs and about 5% body fat but i still dont have shredded glutes this is my diet about 1 fat intake a day 150grams carbs 300grams protein almost 0 fat i plan on doing this until about 10 days out then depending on how i look i dont mind dropping my carbs down to about 50 grams help me please i need some pointers

  28. #28
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    wow learned a lot. Now i see why my muscles go hard and soft at differnet times of the year.

  29. #29
    00bridges is offline NPC Lightweight
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    You can't put a price on that information right there. That is what alot of people pay alot of money for. Allthough it will take alot of business away from trainers it will help alot of amatures such as my self understand what the hell they did wrong. Thanks for the post.

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