1/23/13 - Nutrition Experiment: Carb Backloading (1 of 3)

Boy, do I have some news for you all. I, Logan Gelbrich, Johnny #CleanAthlete have been doing some dietary experimentation. I’ll explain further, but I’ve been intentionally eating donuts, ice cream, and pizza to achieve increased performance… and for the betterment of you all, of course. Oh, the things I do for you guys…

The experiment, which I will describe to you over a three part series, is based around a nutritional strategy called Carb Backloading. In this first post, I’ll describe to you the basic mechanics of what I’ve done and my lead-in into the experiment.

The concept of Carb Backloading capitalizes on specific, concentrated carbohydrate feedings that spike insulin momentarily and replenish glycogen stores. What a typical week looks like on this strategy is largely living in a ketogenic state except during a few the aggressive “backloading” sessions of carbohydrates (depending on training volume).

FFOTB Endurance party!

FFOTB Endurance party!

Much of this carb-manipulation strategy utilizes the fact that we are essentially fasting and ketogenic (running on fat) when we wake up in the morning. Carbohydrate consumption during breakfast, for example, would pull one out of ketosis and into a sugar burning state. Rather than kill the fat burning party, CBL has folks fuel on mostly protein and fat. Ideally, this means consuming less that 30 grams of carbohydrates (or so) per day to ensure ketosis outside of the “backloading” window.

An important step in prepping for this strategy for me was ten full days of ketosis, which I thought was the hardest part. Less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day, which in broccoli is equivalent to about 6 cups, is pretty strict even for me as someone that includes ketogenic cycles in my life normally. These ten days were designed to regulate insulin in the body and achieve ketosis.

Considering the fact that fuel should vary according to training volume, metabolism, goals, etc I chose to backload on heavy training days, which included at least a strength session and a metabolic conditioning session. A backload, especially in the beginning was a much needed pit stop. I found the back load to be even laborious at times. The goal was 300-400 grams of carbohydrates in one sitting, which isn’t really possible with broccoli, for example. This feeding came at after training/ at night. This was a enough to spike insulin, restore glycogen, and maintain metabolism for high volume training and performance.

The next two sections of this blog series I will outline the details of two contrasting strategies that I tested. The first was “dirty” carb backloading (ice cream, cake, pizza, etc) and the second was “clean” carb backloading (yams, honey, etc). Until then, stay tuned.

Disclaimer: Before you try any of this stuff, be sure to read all three sections.


Logan Gelbrich


Wednesday’s Workout:

Seated KB Strict Press (44/26)
Windshield Wipers