The gold standard for body composition has been the hydrostatic method. I took the test at the end of the 10 Day Prep Phase(highly recommended for my situation according to the book) and as you can see below.
Pre-Carb Backloading: 11.4% body fat
Post-Carb Backloading: 14.4% body fat; 10.55 lbs of muscle
My goal was to put the pedal to the metal and push the muscle building efforts to the maximum. When you are in a daily surplus, short of taking drugs, you are going to gain fat. I wasn’t looking to do a body recomposition but get myself to a solid 200 pounds without getting too fat or putting on more fat than muscle.
Are you serious?
10.55 lbs of muscle in 4 months?
Those are drug like results for an individual who’s been working out for 20 years. Most people are very happy with 5 lbs of lean mass in a year.
I think I did that don’t you?
Is CBL (carb back loading) Healthy?
When I started to explain how this would work to friends and family, not a single person would seriously listen. They just couldn’t condone eating bacon for breakfast or sugar sweets after a workout. In effect, they had been brainwashed into thinking that health is black and white. If you are curious, check out the carb backloading meal plan post which gives insight as to what I ate during this experiment.
Carb Backloading is…
Shift calories to later in the day
Eating lighter in the morning and early afternoon, and
Feast at night
Awesome for skinny people who can’t gain weight
This may include skipping breakfast
Carb Backloading is not…
an excuse to eat junk food all day
Nobody I talked to had a baseline blood test in which to measure any concept of health.
Frankly, people don’t know what it is to be healthy and if I learned one thing during my carb backloading experience, it was that definition of health is not black and white nor is it so simple to define.
While I admit to having a lot of leeway on this program, you do not have to eat junk food. The program allows you to do so without much consequence but there’s no reason why you cannot eat very “healthy” foods that are high in carbohydrates (grapes, white potatos, jasmine rice) and steer clear of sugar items.
The carb backloading diet is all about timing. In this case it was everything. Waking up and having a sugary cereal for breakfast is an entirely different context than working out intensely in the late afternoon and having that same sugary cereal. Same foods, entirely different results.
I used my blood work from 2010 (following a very strict and healthy typical bodybuilding diet). I compared that to 2012 after I’d been doing carb backloading for 4 months.
Blood Work 2010
and my Blood Work 2012
Check out this before and after:
HDL (good cholesterol)
LDL (bad cholesterol)
Total cholesterol/HDL ratio
2.6 after (I’ve been told this ratio is the most important indicator of potential cardiovascular problems)
In my non-medical opinion, I’m doing better now than when I was into a strict, lower fat, high protein, moderate carbohydrate diet. In no way am I saying this method of eating is healthier than another when properly done.
If I had to adjust anything, it would be to add more healthier fats. That might lower my LDL and bump up my HDL I’d get more fats but increase the good sources.
I admit to not being strict about taking my Omega-3 Fish Oil on a daily basis. I do eat fish but 3-6g a day of Omega-3 would help. I’ve switched to walnuts and lowered the amount of almonds.
I picked this quote up from a blog I follow which defines health as more than being free from disease.
Health: “A life of ABUNDANT energy, vitality and strength.” ~Shawn Phillips, author of Strength for Life
At this time, I believe I meet that definition. 10.55 lbs of muscle in 4 months is incredible.
If you want to try a very controversial nutritional program, I would recommend taking a look at carb backloading.
Be Fit, Stay Strong!
Marc David – CPT
P.S. - If you have tried this program, tell me your carb backloading results!