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Old 01-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
Greg Battaglia
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Default Anabolic Burst of Cycling Diet and Exercise

A buddy of mine sent me this article, as he's trying this method of building muscle without gaining body fat. http://www.musclemedia.com/training/abcde/v58_abc1.asp

It sort of suspiciously reminds me of Fred Hatfield's Zig Zag Diet and the intro has that bodybuilder hype BS going on, but once they get into the details it's quite interesting. Torbjorn even uses an evolutionary perspective in analyzing the studies used to support his method, and really does make perfect sense.

The article is a 4 part series, so for those of you who don't have time to read it all, I'll sum it up for you. Basically, this Swedish guy, Torbjorn, is suggesting that 14 days of hypercaloric intake followed by 14 days of hypocaloric intake works wonders for gaining lean mass without sacrificing body composition (in fact, he has found that it improves body composition). He gets into the physiology and other technical aspects of the method, and he backs his claims with studies. My buddy is experimenting with the protocol right now and following it to a T, WAMing everything, eating 100% Paleo, and doing PL workouts in the bulk phase, and met-cons during the cutting phase. I'm excited to see his results and plan to document them if he agrees to allow me to include photos and the specifics of what he did.

The method is somewhat similar to IF in that it cycles periods of caloric surplus with periods of caloric deficit, and is quite Paleo-oriented in my opinion. I'd be interested to see a study of this protocol measuring things like CRP, homocysteine, insulin, BG, and BDNF in both the builking and cutting phase. If his results are positive I may give it a run myself.

Thoughts, comments, concerns?
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
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It's muscle media......most all their stuff was pimped around their supplements. I think I tried that 7 years ago or whenever it came out....stored more fat than muscle. If you want to cycle, do your own versions of carb and protein cycles. It's a bodybuilding routine remember, so it is meant to supersaturate muscle glycogen and size with hypertophy training. Nothing new, but I never heard of that ABCDE working for anyone...in fact search T-nation and their T-Dawg diet (low carb all day and more carbs pwo....Hmmmmmmm where have I heard that before??) as they also say how useless the ABCDE diet was.

In short....do yourself a favor, delete that page from your bookmarks, and stop searching for something better...as everything comes full circle back to everything you already know from here.
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:00 PM   #3
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http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=460662
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:05 PM   #4
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I remember the ABCDE from when it was first published in MM. Must have been 10+ years ago. Aside from that article itself, I've never heard anything else about it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Mike,
I agree that most stuff will come back to here. However, I'm not searching for anything. I personally am not trying the method unless it turns out to be successful for my buddy. In theory, it seems plausible, but of course the results will reveal the truth. I like to try things first hand before writing it off as complete BS, unless that is already inherently obvious from the start. I trust your word and realize that you're an experienced and reliable source of good info. You say you tried this over 10 years ago. Did you even know about Paleo 10 years ago? Did you eat Paleo in the bulking phase and cutting phase? Did you use all compound exercises and high intensity met-cons during the cutting phase and full-body powerlifts and O-lifts in the bulking phase? These details could make a huge difference in whether someone gains fat, or gains muscle on such a routine. Torbjorn claims in the article that you can eat whatever you want during the bulk phase. Well, my buddy made some modifications and decided to do things the right way, and from what he has told me so far he's nothing short of thriving in the gym right now, both performance and body comp. wise. Additionally, I agree that we know MOST of what is to be known about exercise and diet. it's quite simple, and we all know that. However, sometimes new and effective information comes around that could be helpful for someone who is on a cutting phase, or a bulking phase, or whatever really. So why not keep an open mind and examine things critically? If we have the mindset of "I already know everything, no reason to even give this method a shot!" we might miss out on something good. I say stick to the basics, but allow room and open thought about interesting ideas, theories, or topics that may arise.

Not trying to start a pissing match here. I respect you and you've been incredibly helpful to me and others on this board. Disagreement is healthy from time to time. It keeps things interesting. Anyway, the only way we'll know is when I get the final results. I spoke to Bryan last night and he agreed to WAM everything, take photos, and log PR's. Maybe you'll be right, maybe not. Who knows, we'll find out.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:12 PM   #6
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No worries. I ate like crap 10 years ago with EAS Mass shakes...so yes results will vary. Give it a shot, but I still believe if anyone just lifts hard, eat paleo, pwo paleo carbs will always give you the results you want. Unless you are looking for a more bodybuilder loading type of deal...which is what the ABCDE diet was. Most of that weight comes right off once you go back to normal paleo eating. Cycling calories can work but not to the extreme they always claim it will. (and IF is a calorie cycling diet in itself anyways) Not a big fan of Muscle Media stuff as I followed them for years....and it was mostly BS to sell their supplements...although once in a while they had a decent article on sprinting or lifting...but not often.

In the end...if it works for you...it works. Try something new...see how your body reacts and you will learn more about yourself.
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Old 01-26-2008, 02:43 PM   #7
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I agree totally. Anytime I begin to get bogged down by the excessive info floating around in cyber space I always revert back to the "eat lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, a little fruit and no sugar." And "to gain mass eat more and lift weights, to lose weight eat less and up the met-cons." It never fails. And just to be fair, my buddy is more BB oriented. Don't get me wrong, he's all about eating Paleo and doing compound exercises, but we frequently end up arguing over aesthetics vs. performance/health aspect of this whole game. At the end of the day he cares more about looking good and I care more about performing and feeling good and living a long life. We plan on opening a gym in the next couple of years, so it may be beneficial to have both perspectives around to emphasize clients' specific goals while still adhering to the basic principles that are tried and true. Anyway, thanks for the alternate viewpoint. Always helps to gain perspective on topics like these.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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I know a BB....he's like 260lbs ripped all the time...mid 40s......has had hip replacement 5 years ago...and just had emergency gallbladder removal...almost died.

Another BB friend...got a real job...and couldn't eat 7 times a day. Now he lost 20 something lbs in a couple months and it depressed alot.

BB is fine for people who do it the right way. But long ago when I used to train for looks...it never made me happy. It was all an illusion of pretending I could look better....when in truth it's just not sustainable. Now 30lbs lighter and much happier in life as it was all in my mind.

Cycling parameters will always yeild some results, but massive claims of muscle is just not real or sustainable (unless you are having hormonal help). That and health is something alot of people wish they had back when they lose it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:58 PM   #9
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If you want an anabolic burst train yourself insanely hard for 2-3 weeks to the point of significant decreased performance and then take a week or so off. Huge amounts of testosterone and GH will be released.

P.S. Don't blame me for any injuries incurred.


I think the point that most people are trying to make is that if you're just consistent and disciplined with your workouts, diet and sleep you will get where you want to be. Maybe not as fast as you'd like, but you will get there.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:18 AM   #10
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That ABCDE thing was about 10-11 years ago. I was very new to training at that point, and I gave it a try. The first cycle went awesome, though I felt like death on both phases. Second two cycles just seesawed me back and forth in weight with no gains in the end.

Of course, I was eating total crap. TONS of food and indigestion on the overeating phases, very low fat/high carb on the diet phase - pure agony. As far as training - some compound exercises, but lots of BB crap, too.

I do think an intelligent mass gain cycle could be done this way, with better results than with a typical static hypercaloric approach. Quality food, coupled with an overreaching plan like Stephen suggested, perhaps.

I'm interested to hear how your friend does, Greg.
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