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Carbless Post Workout (CPWO)



Sep 24, 2010
The first concept is my favorite eating style, the ?Carbless Post-workout? protocol, for which I give credit to my friend DatbTrue[2]. There are some rational and scientifically-based reasons for not consuming tons of carbs post-workout.

One is that training heightens insulin sensitivity and consumption of carbs lowers insulin sensitivity.[3] By training and eating carbs, you are undoing some of the benefits you would have reaped. Insulin sensitivity, as stated by Larry, may not be a ?big rock,? but it should be a lifelong priority ? that is, if you find prevention of diabetes, possible prevention of Alzheimer?s disease, prevention of metabolic syndrome, ability to gain muscle rather than fat, and longevity important![4,5] And even cooler, if you?re a meathead, is that you increase muscle protein synthesis post-workout by avoiding carbs.[6] If you already fast, fasting the day after you train and use CPWO will increase lipolysis and fat oxidation ? in other words, you will be able to use your adipose tissue (fat) more efficiently as fuel.[7]

CPWO is pretty simple; you don?t eat carbs post-workout, of course. Instead, you consume large amounts of protein and (depending on goals) moderate amounts of fat. The carbless period lasts from 5 to 48 hours (again: depending on goals) and I typically advise eating ?to appetite? ? in other words, you eat until full but not stuffed. This serves two purposes. One, satiety is a ?good thing? for wellbeing and fat loss, because if you are full there is less chance of noncompliance with your eating plan; and two, because your food selection is limited to the more-filling, less-insulinogenic protein/fat macronutrients, you can stick closer to maintenance or even a deficit (and, for that matter, your body can still begin the recovery process in a slight deficit).

There are some major differences between CPWO and a ?keto? (ketogenic) eating plan. First of all, CPWO does not attempt to use ketosis as a primary fat loss modality. Ketosis is great if it occurs, but it does not need to ? you can still lose fat and do great if it does not. Second, instead of randomly-planned ?refeed? days, CPWO utilizes planned and targeted ?carb-ups,? always before some sort of physical activity. If you are training with weights, you always carb up. The day of weight training, eat 1 to 4 meals containing carbs and protein (limited, incidental amounts of fat are OK too) prior to training. As a guideline, you should get in 75-400g carbs total depending on your size, goals, and experience ? play around and see how little you can get away with and still have a good workout, or how much you can eat and not put on fat, etc.

First, a few words about glycogen and carb consumption. For years, and to this day, supplement and ?recovery drink? companies push sugary post-workout drinks on people who lift weights and do sports, to ?replenish glycogen.? In fact, people argue about the ?speed? of various carb sources to replenish glygocen as if speed were of the essence. But replenishing muscle and liver glycogen is not necessary to induce protein synthesis or recovery; in fact, there is no need to replenish glycogen until the next physical activity session, if then.Here are some guidelines to determine if you need carbs pre-activity. And remember, you never ?need? carbs post-activity, unless you have another session a few hours away (e.g. during a day of competition).

You need carbs priorto exercise if:

-The majority of the upcoming session is resistance training
-Performance is a top priority, such as during a competition
-Your body is very inefficient at using fat for fuel and you ?crash? easily (NB: if this is you, try to taper off the amount of carbs you consume gradually, over weeks or months)

You do not need carbs if:
-Fat burning is your primary goal
-You are training, but not competing during this particular session (BJJ, cardio, etc)

If you perform the majority of your non-weight-training activity in a fasted state, you will improve your insulin sensitivity and ability to use fat for energy, and - if the big rocks are in place ? will be healthier and leaner.Here is a quick and dirty template with a few additional points:

-Pre-lifting, consume 75-400g carbs divided between 1-4 meals with 20-50g protein at each meal (more meals is better, but some people are forced to lift early, or don?t have time to eat more meals, etc). You should eat the last meal preferably no sooner than 1 hour before the workout.

-I advise consuming L-leucine during the workout due to the vast array of benefits on body composition, etc. [8] Consume 5g during the workout and nothing else. (NB: dat would suggest glutamine and perhaps some glycine here for max benefit)

-Immediately post-workout, consume 40-100g of protein only (depending on body size and goals) from whole foods or shake (this is the one time I typically ever have a protein shake).

-Whenever you are hungry past that point, for the following 5 to 48 hours, consume protein from whole foods, and zero carbs except from raw veggies. It is advisable to eat healthy fats (coconut oil, EVOO, avocado oil, fish oil, a few almonds, almond butter, eggs, butter, etc) at every other meal (amounts will vary depending on whether goal is mass gain, or fat loss).

-Before your next serious, performance-oriented activity session, or your next weight-training session, preferably the ?day of,? repeat the ?carbing up? process.

-You will probably have better results from fasting if you also use CPWO, and if you position the fasts to be on the day following weight training. Over time it will get easier to fast, too.


Crusty Poo Butt
Sep 21, 2010
A mixing bowl filled with a whole small box of wheaties and 2 bananas plus a half gallon of milk = breakfast of champions :)