ANABOLIC BURST DIETING EXPLAINED
How This Program Works
You will often here people say that "it doesn't matter what you eat, if
you don't train hard, you wont build muscle". Well, that's not completely
true, eating is a highly anabolic activity, it causes muscle growth even without
exercise. It does this because when you eat you elevate insulin, testosterone,
growth hormone and IGF-1, all powerful anabolic hormones created within your
body. Hormones are created whenever we train and whenever we eat. Hormones are
chemical messengers that instruct your body to do things. Anabolic hormones,
essentially, instruct your body to perform the anabolism of new muscle growth.
We know of the extremely powerful effects hormones have over our physiques.
One only has to look at an athlete who takes steroids to see what the sex hormone
testosterone does to the body - even if one was to not train even for one minute.
For example, the person injecting human testosterone, and consuming ample amounts
of protein is generally going to grow more muscle in, say, twelve weeks, than
even the most dedicated natural athlete, who trains and eats perfectly. That
is how powerful your anabolic hormones are.
It has been said that food is the most powerful drug at your disposal every
single day. Why is this? Well, food can be your access to key to releasing floods
of these prime anabolic hormones. They activate those little chemical messages.
The ABC program (Anabolic Burst Cycle of Diet and Exercise) was born out of
some research (by Swedish scientist Torbjorn Akerfeldt) that showed that by
eating ordinary foods in a certain way, healthy test subjects gained an average
of 4.4lb's of muscle and 2lb's of fat in only 21 days despite not training with
weights at all ! The participants of the study were drug free and generally
not of the weight training population. In other words, healthy normal subjects
were gaining huge amounts of muscle with no training stimulation whatsoever,
in a very short space of time.
It has been well recognised through the years that those people who start weight
training with a large frame and often large quantities of bodyfat, have actually
been building solid muscle foundation through the anabolic effects of their
diet. Some bodybuilders have gone so far to say, that the only way to build
a tremendous physique, is to either take steroids or simply be a fat blob for
a large amount of your training career. There is science to back up both theories.
However, using the ABCDE program, one can expect to see these types of results
without having to spend huge amounts of their life, over fat, nor having to
take any amount of potentially harmful chemical assistance.
How Does This Program Work?
The mechanism this program uses is called super-compensation, a process whereby
the body is 'primed' for an action by first doing the opposite action. In the
case of the ABC program, the main activity is to alternate excess calories with
insufficient calories in a two weekly cycle of each. There is a definate 'bulking'
calorie overload phase, followed by a near 'famine' rapid fat loss starvation
Studies have shown that when overeating by 1,500 calories a day, IGF-1 (insulin
like growth factor), testosterone and insulin levels all rose to about double
their base level in the first 14 days, at which point they peaked and started
to decline. During these two weeks twice as much muscle was gained as body fat.
This means that during the bulking phase you are expecting to gain a substantial
amount of body weight with the majority of that being from muscle tissue and
of course, inevitably, a little fat gain. This muscle will be built from your
stimulus from training and from the increased levels of anabolic hormones surging
through your system over the two weeks.
Similar studies have been performed on drastic underfeeding (around 1,000 calories
a day) which showed that at day 12 around twice as much fat was lost as muscle
tissue. This means that you will experience rapid weight loss with the majority
of that weight loss being from bodyfat, and a little muscle. Resulting overall
in a net gain in muscle tissue with bodyfat levels returning to normal.
By putting these two phases together, its possible to gain 2lb's-5lb's of muscle
whilst either gaining next to zero fat or even losing up to 2lb's of body fat
over the two fortnight cycles.
Real Life Example All Of The Time
There are of course real life examples of this phenomena happening all of the
time, especially those of you who stay in good shape year round, and suddenly
go on holiday to pig out. You generally come back fuller, bigger and more pumped
than when you left. Although, the poorer food choices, may have smoothed you
out with extra bodyfat gain. We also see this in the training world when an
athlete competes in a bodybuilding competition. You spend weeks and weeks dieting
down for competition, stripping away every last ounce of fat from your physique
and then your body becomes like a super sponge. As soon as you finish your competition,
it is recognised that most people have a break from dieting, often for a couple
of weeks, where they pig out and over feed. What happens? Well, your body expands
and soaks up every last nutrient. This is why some people say you can eat anything
you want after competition and it all turns to muscle. In many ways they are
right. If you have primed your body for this effect previously. This is so powerful,
to the point, that many athletes claim they look even better a week after their
competition, because they are bigger, more full, and full of energy.
Of course, this is an extreme diet. You can achieve exceptional results by following
this program, but it does come with a word of warning. When you are in an overfeeding
state, your body has many, many excess calories, that you of course want it
to build muscle with. If you feed your body junk food or poor nutrient choices,
it has no choice but to layer down extreme layers of bodyfat. So when you bulk
up you should be very wise with your food choices and eat very appropriate and
healthy foods. You particularly want to avoid eating excess carbohydrates and
high GI carbs alongside saturated fats, often found in cakes, sweets and pastries.
Likewise, when you are dieting down, and extremely lowering your food intake,
your body is striving to get as many nutrients as possible from a limited supply.
For this reason, again, you want to pick the very best, nutrient dense, satisfying
foods that is going to supply your body with an optimal amount of what it needs,
while minimising calorie intake.
What Can I Expect To See?
On this program you should gain a good 3 - 4lb per week on the over feeding
phase. It has been known that some larger and taller athlete's have even gained
around 14 lbs. When you come to under feeding your body you should lose around
2 - 4lbs per week. Any faster than this rate, you may notice too much muscle
loss, because your calorie levels will be too low. Remember dropping your calories
too low and your energy dips and you will not be able to train sufficiently