3

votes

Leangains folks: rest day, zero carb vs some carb

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 04, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I've been doing zero carb, fatty meat on rest days, very low fat, lean meat and carbs on training days.

Who is eating carb on rest days and how much? Ratios?

What are the advantages/disadvantages?

I started leangains coming off meat-fat only keto diet, so it felt good to do it no carb unless training.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 05, 2013
at 03:32 AM

Interesting. I've gotten to 6-8% on leangains last fall restricting like hell, when doing what you wrote did nothing for leaning me. I've found, to benefit from no carb rest days (no hard training), one must go VLC/ZC for at least 3 months to really get fat adapted. Afterwards, eating any carbs, especially not enough to really satisfy (like your 50g) makes things worse and very sluggish as you said; any carbs and that's what the body demands, yet 50 isn't enough. No carbs and the body burns fat. Carb ups directly after training have been great.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on March 04, 2013
at 03:39 PM

I don't know what he means, but I don't count carbs in veg. Fruit yes, veg no.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 16, 2012
at 12:13 AM

Now by "Carbs" do you mean solid carbs like sweet potato? Or even just carbs in veggies, etc? When I track my food, I realize I still get about 75g of carbs without having any serious carbs (1/2 cup of blueberries and veggies). Thanks!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 04, 2012
at 09:51 PM

Leangains says low carb rest days, not no-carb. Most of the guys I see in the net doing strict leangains have SOME carb on rest days. By being zero carb on rest days, I figured THAT was animaleatergains :)

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on September 04, 2012
at 05:13 PM

I went with +20% training and -20% rest. For carbs, this translates into 400 grams and 125 grams. Not saying you should not go zero carb on rest, just saying that if you do, you might not be doing leangains (would have to double check). Maybe animaleatergains?

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3 Answers

best answer

1
F1edc54a7fb4b84764aa7db05518c0ca

(285)

on September 04, 2012
at 03:55 PM

As with all things strength training/diet related its highly dependent on you as an individual, how you specifically respond to carbs and what kind of overall gains you are looking for. I would also think it's dependent upon how you are timing your training.

Personally I gave zero carb a try for 6-8 weeks and i'm completely non functional/exhausted on rest days.

Currently on training days I aim for a ~300-500 calorie surplus at a 50c/30p/20f ratio. This works pretty well for me, and I'm able to maintain (measured electrostatic - similar hydration level - 4 point measurement) 8-9% bodyfat while seeing fairly good strength and muscle gains.

Rest days i'm more at a 35c/35p/30f ratio at maintenance. I also however am fairly active and get in at least 60m of aerobic activity of some sort on rest days due to various activities (Boxing / Kayaking / rock climbing / surfing ) that I enjoy as hobbies/interests. If I was 100% into bodybuilding only, i'd probably limit this to about 30m max, but unfortunately I have varied interests. During my zero carb / sub 20% carb ratio trial, i simply wasn't getting the gains or seeing the performance #'s that I wanted, and I would be dead tired and lacking motivation in my other activities. This may just be my physiology.

I went through a lot of different trials before I found what seems to be optimal for me.

Scientifically speaking Rest days are still recovery days, and carbs are still important in a few of the muscle recovery and growth processes, so if you aren't seeing the gains you think you should be seeing, I would experiment with adding in carbs during your last meal prior to sleep and see if that helps a bit.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on November 16, 2012
at 12:13 AM

Now by "Carbs" do you mean solid carbs like sweet potato? Or even just carbs in veggies, etc? When I track my food, I realize I still get about 75g of carbs without having any serious carbs (1/2 cup of blueberries and veggies). Thanks!

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on March 04, 2013
at 03:39 PM

I don't know what he means, but I don't count carbs in veg. Fruit yes, veg no.

0
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on March 04, 2013
at 03:42 PM

I tried the low carb on rest days thing.. around 50 carbs, but it just didn't work for me. I was sluggish. So, I currently do about 100-150 carbs on rest days and aim for at least 300 on lift days. However, my rest is never just rest. I generally run or something on rest days.

I have found that the more I eat the leaner I get. Restricting didn't work for me, but eating lots of calories while still being below my TEE is working wonders.

My REE is 1600, but my TEE is over 3000. I can almost never consume more than 2500 calories in a day despite trying.. this is working better than when I did the same level of activity and restricted to 1700. Go figure!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on March 05, 2013
at 03:32 AM

Interesting. I've gotten to 6-8% on leangains last fall restricting like hell, when doing what you wrote did nothing for leaning me. I've found, to benefit from no carb rest days (no hard training), one must go VLC/ZC for at least 3 months to really get fat adapted. Afterwards, eating any carbs, especially not enough to really satisfy (like your 50g) makes things worse and very sluggish as you said; any carbs and that's what the body demands, yet 50 isn't enough. No carbs and the body burns fat. Carb ups directly after training have been great.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on September 04, 2012
at 11:03 PM

Carbs I just started doing lean gains again on the 1st of this month after not doing it for about 6 months. Personally, I feel really good when eat some fruit, and feel off when I don't eat it. It also helps me keep running smoothly digestively and I think that fructose may actually be health promoting up to a certain threshold... so it's my preference to always include some fruit in my diet. Hoenstly though, I rarely have a complete rest day where I am just totally inactive, so my fruit consumption doesn't vary much between 1 and 3 servings a day.

ratios As far as ratios go, I only really keep track when I'm leaning out. When that's the case, I like to keep my diet at approximately 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fats and low calories. This shreds me up fast, so I don't have to stay in such a deficit for long. And because it's such a shock, any remaining fat feels like it just drips off by the hour.

When I am maintaining or gaining, I don't really bother keeping track of my calories/ratios. I just make sure to get my protein in. My diet revolves around protein shakes, fruit, and meat/fish atop salads. When I'm maintaining I typically add more than diced tomatoes/bell peppers + a drizzle of olive oil to my salads, so I'll often add in combinations like goat cheese and fresh figs (my favorite). I also end up getting cocktails sporadically throughout the week, which adds to the carbs/calories, and when I go out for sushi (which is not infrequent) I get a couple of rolls instead of just sashimi.

One thing I have learned in recent months though is that whenever leaning out, I need to keep my protein very high 200+ grams of protein per day to diminish any noticeable muscle mass and strength/performance declines. Regardless though, with the ratios just mentioned, that's 800 calories of protein and leaves only 400 calories to divide between carbs and fats on a lower calorie day. So, getting to the leanness that I like only really takes a couple weeks of being strict. I feel it is also good to do this sporadically because it is essentially a protein sparing modified fast, which probably has health benefits in and of itself.

advantages/disadvantages The advantage of eating carbs (fruit) on "rest days" is that they taste good, keep me regular, provide valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and make me feel good. The disadvantages are none, as far as I see it. If i removed fruit from my diet I'd be getting fewer of the aforementioned valuable components to a healthy diet and would be constipated. This would likely result in poorer health for me and diminished body composition.

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