Harmonize Fitness
Harmonize Fitness
Fitness goals

Carbohydrate cycling for muscle growth


Some of us have more ambitious goals related to fitness and wanting to take our physiques to a new level. For some that means gaining more muscle but if we want to maintain a great physique which means gaining muscle mass with the least amount of fat this can get complicated.

Carbohydrate cycling is a tool that can help us gain muscle without too much fat so that we can stay lean and maintain a great physique. Carbohydrate cycling helps us cycle calories, we need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle which means that we need to eat more but if we eat too much we will gain fat.

When we want to build muscle, working each muscle group 2 times per week is more effective so we may be doing resistance training 6 days a week and 1 day for cardio or rest day, for nutrition we will have moderate carbohydrate days and high carbohydrate days. We need to schedule our nutrition program according to our workout program, on the more intense workout days we have high carbohydrate days, on moderate training days we have moderate carbohydrate days and you can have one low carbohydrate day if you have a rest day.

For high carbohydrate days you can increase calories around 400 to 500 calories per day, on moderate days you can increase calories around 200 to 300 calories, on low carbohydrate days you can keep calories at maintenance. This numbers are just a guide so we need to measure our progress and results every week to make the adjustments needed. If you want to calculate your macronutrient ratios you can check this post.

What we do with this tool is to give nutrients and energy to our body according to its needs, the day we train harder we give it more nutrients and energy so that it has everything it needs to recover and build muscle, on moderate days we lower it a little just to make sure that it still has everything it needs without being too much and we can use lower carbohydrates day to stay at maintenance on our rest days to make sure that most of the weight we gain is muscle and fat just a minimum.

Building muscle takes time, nutrition is key but if we eat too much and we don´t exercise the right way we will gain too much fat. Muscle growth is the result of the right stimulus to the muscle and enough nutrients. This is a combination of progressive overload, the right volume and frequency plus the right macronutrient ratios that can supply our body with energy for the workouts, our daily activities, recovery and growth.

This strategy is effective because muscle growth takes time and if we stick with the same macronutrient ratios every day for a long period of time our body adapts and we need to keep changing things to keep challenging our body, that´s what makes it change. But, this tool takes more time, effort and time, you need to have a clear idea of how portions look like  to eye ball what you eat, it´s hard in the beginning but with time we get use to it.

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