Carb Back Loading (or CBL) is the brainchild of John Kiefer. He is a writer for Flex Magazine and has been working on this approach for the past 20 years. My diet approach example in 9 Steps to Building a Better Body is based on a combination of the Alkaline diet, Paleo diet and CBL diet with a Zone diet approach to Macros.
The basic concept is to consume all your carbohydrates for the day after you lift. George Farah has all his athletes wait for 30 minutes post exercise before they consume carbohydrates. He claims that this allows for the maximum amount of GH to be released. GH release is inhibited in the presence of carbohydrates. Other studies have shown that testosterone is inhibited in a high carb state. Thus, by lifting in a completely carb free state you have no insulin present. The maximum testosterone and GH are released and you then consume the carbs post-training. This results in a dramatic increase in insulin, which is mopped up by the starving muscle cells. This is the only time of day when the muscles will absorb almost all the insulin and subsequently all the carbohydrates.
Obviously you don't want to have any fat at this point, as the stomach won't empty in the presence of fat as quickly. Sometimes fat can sequester nutrients in the stomach for as long as 6 hours.
With the presence of testosterone and GH, the addition of the insulin and the flood of amino acids and carbohydrates, the muscle will then be driven in the direction of growth. Insulin, with GH present, will result in more IGF-1 release. IGF-1 will preferentially bind to the muscle cells that were recently worked, just like insulin would.
Subsequent meals may have carbohydrates but ideally the workout is in the evening when someone is at their strongest and most carb sensitive. The anabolic window in which the muscles are receptive to nutrients for growth is believed to be between 1-3 hours but it varies from one person to the next. Thus, if you were to workout early in the day, you would then have an insulin crash after a few hours and end up craving high carb foods. This is why it is best to time your crash to happen right after you would normally be asleep.
We have established what happens post-workout and the ideal meals as you approach sleep. Insulin levels drop as you sleep, which releases cortisol, glucagon and GH which subsequently burns fat. When you rise in the morning these hormones are high. With traditional diet methodology people have a high-carb breakfast to give them energy throughout the day. The reality is that people get a sugar high then crash as their blood is cleared of the carbohydrates from the huge insulin spike. What's worse, since this is not post exercise and cortisol is present, a very large amount of these carbohydrates and fat are immediately stored as body fat.
The CBL approach to solving this problem is to have NO carbs at breakfast. Instead, have a paleo style breakfast with high cholesterol foods (eggs, bacon, etc) cooked in coconut oil. The rationale is complex. The cholesterol provides the building blocks the body needs to make sex hormones. Testosterone is produced typically between 7-9 am and made from cholesterol. Providing this cholesterol allows the body to make the testosterone it needs for muscle growth later when the carbs are consumed post workout. The coconut oil provides energy in the form of MCTs. MCTs are Medium Chain Triglycerides which are absorbed instantly and made into ketone bodies in the liver. These ketone bodies fuel the brain so you can think and function until you get the carbohydrates post workout.
Because there is no insulin spike at breakfast, there is no fat storage so all the fat you have at breakfast is used for fuel. Additionally, since your cortisol and GH are high and are not suppressed from eating carbs (since you're not eating them), the cortisol and GH combination continues to burn fat for you for many hours upon rising.
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From here, one just eats fat and protein until right before they lift. Foods from the Alkaline article or the 9 Steps to Building a Better Body are ideal. I designed a pre-workout to perfectly facilitate carb back-loading: Fenris' Fury! It Includes Kuzu and Mulberry extract to amplify the GH release. Caffeine was used to provide energy during this low carb state as well as facilitate the fat being used as the fuel source while training carb free. Yohimbine is included to target the hard-to-reach fat stores for the prefered fuel source and L-Carnitine to transport the fat to the mitochondria for fat oxidation. Then I included arginine, agmatine, and citrulline to facilitate blood flow so there is oxygen and fat delivery for burning to occur. This increased blood flow lasts for hours after you lift to facilitate the carbs, amino acids and the resultant insulin reaching the muscle tissue for growth.
Remember how I mentioned GH plus insulin = IGF-1? Well, Fenris Fury has betaine in it which has been clinically proven to burn fat and build muscle by upregulation of IGF-1 receptor expression. All the ingredients are in the clinically tested amounts and listed on the container so you know what you're getting. No “proprietary blend”.
At this point you lift as fierce as you possibly can and 30 minutes after your lift you eat your carbs as I stated at the beginning of the article. Check out Anabolic Window and Insulin Sensitivity articles to learn more! Every single day is the same and on days you don't lift, have a small amount of carbohydrates in your second to last meal.
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Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.