What Is Carb Cycling

What Is Carb Cycling

What Is Carb Cycling?

I sent out an email yesterday about Shelby Starnes Carb Cycling Program and I had a ton of people e-mailing me wondering what the program was about, but even more so wondering what exactly is "Carb Cycling?".

It's my fault for not going into more detail in my e-mail as I assumed most people had an idea of just crazy beneficial carb cycling is for Fat Loss & Building Muscle at the same time, however, I got a lot of e-mail questions wondering what Carb Cycling is!  So here is some information on Carb Cycling.

First off let me say something I can't say enough – Nutrition Is The BIGGEST FACTOR in you Building Muscle & Losing Fat.  Be sure to read that again, and again.  If your nutrition is NOT dialed in I don't care how many supplements you take or how much weight you lift, or how long you run on the damn stupid treadmill.


One thing to know in advance almost ALL BodyBuilders and Athletes who compete at weight class sports use Carb Cycling.

It allows them to get Muscular AND Leaner at the same time.  I have been doing this for years with great success.

Carb cycling is not some complicated crazy program, it's actually very very simple once you get the understanding of the basics down, then you can really dial it in.

Here is the ciff's notes version of Carb Cycling.  On weight training days you have MORE Carbohydrates, on non weight training days you have LESS Carbohydrates.   There you have it, Rocket Science!  That is the premise of carb cycling but once you start looking at details and tweaking, that's when the real magic happens.

First off you have to know where you stand body fat wise.  This is KEY!  If you are above 20% bodyfat then your carbs are going to be cut drastically.   You will go on a very modified low carb diet (for a period of time..not forever).  Then as bodyfat levels come down you add in more carbs.  Pretty cool hey.  Once you get lean like GSP then it's all about carb TIMING & Ratios.

Unlike most "Diets" (diets don't work), Carb Cycling lets you EAT like crazy, just that it's specific foods at SPECIFIC times based on your workout program!  This is literally a blueprint for fat loss and gaining muscle at the same time.  I don't know many nutritional programs that can do that!

The main player in making this nutrition plan SO effective is the management of the MOST Anabolic hormone present in your body, good ol INSULIN.  If you aren't too familiar with Insulin lets just say it's like the crazy ex girlfriend we have all had.  You know, the one that is 50% of the time AMAZING and the other 50% driving you crazy!  Well that's insulin!

Insulin can be the trigger to make you build crazy amounts of muscle, BUT it can also cause you to put on a TON of fat if you don't know what you are doing with it.  That's why it's SO important to TIME YOUR CARBOHYDRATES!

Bodybuilders have known for years just how crucial carb cycling is for building muscle and losing fat, and now Carb Cycling and Insulin are entering numerous sports, a big one being MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

My friend Chris McCoombs lost over 75lbs and GAINED MUSCLE with Carb Cycling


What are the benefits of Carb Cycling?

* There's no suffering
* There's no feelings of being carb depleted
* There's no huge caloric deficit you need your clients to be in all the time ( one that they won't be able to stick with anyway )
* People don't feel they're missing out on anything
* It's the easiest diet to stick with I've ever seen
* It's flexible
* It's easy to prepare
* It can be done on a low budget
* It helps you maintain muscle mass
* It helps you maintain strength
* It helps to dramatically accelerate fat loss like no other nutrition plan I've ever seen… PERIOD.

Carb Cycling is SO IMPORTANT I actually have a book coming out in a few months called "The Truth About Carbohydrates" more on this at a later time.

Carb cycling is not a new breakthrough, it has been around for a while now, but it's kinda like every guru's secret trick they use to get people in shape, it's what I use with my clients when coaching them and writing their programs.

I hope this helped you learn about Carb Cycling, Leave any questions or comments below.

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  • I have to say this works if done right, I still recomend sticking to natural carbs such as potatos, rice, fruit, etc rather then refined carbs like bread and pasta.

  • Gill

    Love this book by Shelby Starnes. I’ve read it front to back a couple of times now, and when you really understand the concept, it makes so much logical sense. Personally, my mind-set suffers too much when I do low carb for an extended period of time. I believe that timing the carbs around your training is the most effective way of maintaining and/or building muscle, all while losing fat. Genius concept, and not at all a difficult regime to follow. Thanks for sharing, Rob!