Carb Cycling Made Easy- Part 2

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

Now that we know how many carbs you need to consume each day let’s get into the exact carb cycling breakdown. The only thing that won’t really change on any of the days is protein. Protein should remain constant at right around one gram per pound of bodyweight per day on average. There’s really no need for most people to go much higher than this unless your carbs are extremely low. Then you might go as high as 1.5 grams per pound. But to keep things simple we’ll leave it at a gram per pound for everyone on each of the three days.

High Carb Days

The high carb days should be training days. I personally recommend that you have the majority of your carbs around training instead of splitting them up into smaller portions all day. So let’s say you train at 5pm and you’re supposed to be having 300 grams of carbs that day.

I’d recommend having about 50-75 grams approximately 2-3 hours before training just so you’re well fueled and have some carbs in your system for your workout.

Immediately before hitting the gym you could mix up a shake consisting of another 50-75 grams of carbs that you could start sipping on 10-15 minutes before your workout. Continue to drink that throughout your workout and finish it within 20 minutes after your last set.

About 60-120 minutes later you would then have a meal containing another 75-100 grams of carbs. Two hours later you’d have one more meal to finish out your carbs for the day. That meal will be in the 50-75 gram range. If you’re eating again that night I’d just go back to protein and veggies.

The ideal carb sources to fuel and recover from workouts are primarily starches with moderate amounts of fruit. So a sample pre-workout meal might be two chicken breasts, some spinach, a sweet potato and an apple. Another option would be eggs and oatmeal with blueberries.

Your post workout meal could be very similar, although you would jack up the sweet potatoes. Another option for post workout would be some lean buffalo meat with red potatoes. The key is to keep the carbs high and the fat low during this time. That’s actually the theme on all high carb days- keep the fat intake low.

Low Carb Days

These should be off days or days that you do some lower intensity conditioning. On these days you should eliminate starchy carbs all together and just focus on protein and vegetables with moderate amounts of fruit. Fat intake can be higher on these days since carbs are low. The one thing you want to avoid is high carbs and high fat together. That’s usually a bad combination and leads to fat gain.

Medium Carb Days

These can be off days or training days. Determining where the medium carb days fall really depends on your bodyfat levels. Some of you with a bit higher bodyfat may only have one high day on your toughest workout of the week, two medium days and four low days. Others may only have high and low days. Some lucky bastards who tolerate carbs extremely well may get to have four high days, two medium days and just one low day.

Below are some quick guidelines that will help you determine what is right for you. These are just rough figures and won’t be exact for everyone, but they’ll get you on the right path…


carb cycling

13-15% Bodyfat
High Carb Days- 1
Medium Carb Days- 2
Low Carb Days- 4

10-12% Bodyfat
High Carb Days- 2
Medium Carb Days- 2-3
Low Carb Days- 2-3

8-10% Bodyfat
High Carb Days- 3
Medium Carb Days- 2-3
Low Carb Days- 1-2

6-8% Bodyfat
High Carb Days- 3-4
Medium Carb Days- 2-3
Low Carb Days- 1-2

Note- Those at 15-20% bodyfat get just one high carb day and six low carb days.  Those above 20% get 7 low carb days and one high carb meal.

Again, this is just a quick guideline and the actual number will be based on your goals at the time. If you are trying to gain size you will have more carb days then if you are trying to get ripped. By the same token if you are at 9% bodyfat and trying to gain size you will be able to tolerate more high carb days than someone at 9% bodyfat who is trying to get down to 5%.

Females would also do better with lower carbs and fewer high and medium days.

Hopefully the guidelines I’ve provided have give you a good place to start.

For all the dirty details and the nitty gritty specifics on everything I highly recommend you check out Shelby Starnes’s new guide, Carb Cycling For Fitness Professionals. If you’re in the industry and want to make a lot more money with your clients this is a must have resource. If you just want to get ripped and know all there is to know about carb cycling then Shelby’s the man who can show you the way. Either way I don’t think you can go wrong.

Click HERE to check it out now.