What Is Anabolic Burst Cycling
Of Diet And Exercise?
The concept of anabolic burst
cycling of diet and exercise has been developed by a Swedish bodybuilder and scientist
named Torbjorn Akerfeldt. It involves two weeks of eating a high calorie diet
coupled with intense muscle building workouts followed by two weeks of cutting
and lots of cardio. Clinical studies have revealed that when an individual
begins eating large quantities of food, the body releases copious amounts of
catabolic hormones. As you may already know, catabolic hormones such as
insulin, testosterone, growth hormone etc. are indispensable for muscle gain.
Thus, high secretion of these hormones aids in putting on muscle mass but it
also promotes fat gain. Hence, the high calorie phase is followed by a low
calorie maintenance phase. This enables the person to lose fat and look ripped.
After conducting extensive
research, Akerfeldt concluded that when overfeeding, the production of anabolic
hormones peaks at the end of two weeks. After that, the release of these
hormones begins to taper off. Hence, continuing the bulk phase after fourteen
days leads to less muscle gain and more fat gain. The same pattern was observed
in relation to fat burning enzymes. Their production too, peaked on the
fourteenth day. If the person continued to cut beyond this period, there was a
chance of losing not just fat, but hard earned muscle too. The ABCDE technique
was first published in 2000 in Muscle Media Magazine. It was a four part series
wherein Bill Philips interviewed Torbjorn Akerfeldt who was then a low profile
figure in the world of muscle building and nutrition. The technique created
waves in the fitness industry and became quite popular among bodybuilding
enthusiasts since it produced fantastic results.
Many people have criticized the
ABCDE technique for being unnatural. However, Torbjorn explains that ABCDE
actually it simulates the dietary patterns that humans have followed for
thousands of years. He points out that human genes have not changed
significantly in the last 100,000 years. Even today, humans are genetically
identical to the hunter-gatherers (and primitive farmers) that inhabited the
planet several thousand years ago. These humans enjoyed caloric surplus for
several days when they managed to kill a large animal or had a good crop.
However, often their hunting-gathering was unsuccessful and they have to live on
very few calories. Hence, the metabolism of humans has evolved to deal with
phases of different diets. This is one of the reasons why human beings have
developed adipose tissue with almost unlimited fat storing capacity. In short,
there is absolutely nothing unnatural about the ABCDE technique.
Not only is anabolic burst cycling
of diet and exercise effective, it is very easy to execute as well. Many people
fail to achieve their fitness goals because conventional dieting involves food
deprivation and is highly stressful. ABCDE enables people to occasionally
indulge in their favourite foods even if they are not exactly healthy. Still it
is recommended that you follow a macronutrient ratio of 30% protein, 45% carbs
and 25% fat during the bulking phase. During the low calorie phase, reduce
carbohydrate consumption by 10% and cut overall calories by approximately 20 to
30%. As mentioned earlier, focus on muscle building exercises during the
bulking phase it is okay if you perform very little of no cardio during this
period. However, it is imperative that you concentrate on cardio during the low
calorie stage. Do not completely ignore resistance training though work out
enough to maintain your muscles.
ABCDE = Get Ready To
ABCDE is much, much better than a
traditional bulk and cut approach which involves eating like a madman for an
entire season followed by 3 months of severe cutting. Most importantly, ABCDE
produces fast results. If you adopt this method, you will look super-lean and
ripped within just 12 to 16 weeks.
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