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Old 12-18-06, 11:02 PM
Carb Depletion and Loading...
Join Date: Jul 2005
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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).

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.

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.


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 it 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, 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 coffee-guy; 12-18-06 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 12-18-06, 11:05 PM
From a Professional Nutritionist's point view:
Join Date: Jul 2005
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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
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.

Flex magazine (July 2004 issue) Chris Aceto ďHeavy Loading" article

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