Thursday, September 22, 2011

Adelfo Cerame - Pre-Contest-Prep Experimentation Time: Re-Feeds, Bro-Science and Raw Pre-Workout Piña Coladas

Image 1: Caramel blueberry pancake?
Exactly! Food for SkipLoading.
Thursday, another week literally flew by and the last of Adelfo Cerame's pre-contest-prep experimentation weeks has begun. About time for an high-carb re-feed, don't you think so? "Re-feed? High in carbs? Isn't that this bullshit that leaves you bloated, fat and ugly?" In case this was what you just thought, when you heard the word "high-carb re-feed", it's about time you let Adelfo explain to you, why he thinks (and knows from experience) that an occasional carb-binge will do way more good, than harm.

Re-feeds keep things going, physiologically, as well as psychologically

Every Sunday I do a re-feed or carb load.... From what I have heard and learned from my own past experience a re-feed or carb load (even, or rather especially on a low carb contest prep diet) can be very beneficial. As someone once mentioned (I can't remember whom or where i had heard it from), our body is "smarter we are" and when it comes to dieting, it will, in the long run, always take measures that go against our efforts to get rid off those enervating, yet from an evolutionary perspective life-saving last fat-reserves. This is important to understand, as it is the fundamental reason why, no matter how clever we think we are, we will always have to work hand in hand with, not against our bodies.

Manipulation is the name of the game

Whatever we do will eventually trigger an adaptive response from our bodies and it goes without saying that the latter (mostly) goes right against our initial intentions.

Image 2: What contains 1C. of raw qephor, 1C of fresh pineapples, 2 organic eggs, a splash of coconut water, 1 tbsp. of agave and 1tbsp. of coconut oil? The healthiest pre-workout pinacolada you could think of! Sounds better than NO-Xplode 2.0, doesn't it ;-)
Let me give you an example: On a diet, your obviously goal is to increase energy expenditure, or even better, to increase fatty acid oxidation while maintaining your dietary intake at a level that will force your body to "feed" off its fat reserves. Now, theoretically, a proper way to do just that (increase fatty acid oxidation) would be to engage in steady state aerobic activity, which - as you have learned in Dr. Andro's latest blogpost on fiber types - via its activation of predominantly slow twitch oxidative muscle fibers should preferentially burn fat... now, if you are one of the meticulous student's of the SuppVersity, you will already be shaking you head, as you will be familiar with the unwanted endocrine and metabolic long-term consequences of endless arduous cardio-sessions, which - and here we have come full circle - are nothing but adjustments your body makes to "optimally" adapt to a training routine that requires the body of a marathon runner, and not the muscular and ripped physique of a future Mr. Olympia.

Similar adaptations occur when you cut calories, after a few days your body will realize that he is going to run "out of fuel" within no time, if he does not cut back energy expenditure. It is at these critical time-points, when your body is about to shift metabolic gears, when re-feeds and carb loads are indicated... and don't be afraid - the one day of (perceived) overfeeding is not going to make you fat (it may make you retain some water, yes, but that's about it)! Think of it as of hitting an afterburner for just as long as takes to kick start your metabolism into full gear again.

Carb-loading = selectively refueling

Figure 1: Adelfo's current macronutrient breakdown in kcal. As mentioned in the last installment he starts out high on carbs to be able to cut back on those during the prep, whenever he feels it's necessary.
Avoiding metabolic shut-down is yet only one aspect. Another one I (and I assume other low-carb dieters will share this experience) have come to appreciate is that a carb-load will refill my glycogen stores - I've found this to be particularly important, when I start to drop my carbohydrate intake over the course of my contest preparation... and those of you who are familiar with Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale's anabolic diet, will also be aware of the fact that occasional high-carb re-feeds will allow you to take advantage of insulin's anabolic effects on muscle tissue without having to suffer from its fat-storing effect on adipose tissue.

During my re-feeds, I usually follow Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale's protocol, ramp up my carbohydrate intake, go low on fat and moderate on protein. In the past I used to carb-load with complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice and yams, but as of recent I have been experimenting with high GI, processed carbohydrates such as pancakes, pastas, white rice, and kids cereal (basically low fat junk food). I came across this type of re-feeding, when I read about a method called "Skiploading", which was created by a guy named Ken "Skip" Hill. He will be actually helping me for the last week of my contest prep which is considered peak week, with this method of carb loading to help fill me out and come in as dry as possible the day off show. I can't really go into detail, but if you google "Skiploading" you should get an idea of how I do my re-feeds.

Re-feeds, carbloading and intermittent fasting!? Does that all go together?

You think you could use some advice on your own training, diet and supplementation regimen and want it from someone who obviously knows what it takes to build muscle and lose fat? You can reach out to Adelfo via Facebook.
The way I implement these re-feeds into my intermittent fasting regime is as follows:  I still do fast for 16 hours and feed for 8 during my re-feeds on Sundays. This allows me to have three re-feed meals on Sunday, while I will stick to my usual routine for the rest of the week. Last Tuesday for example, the latter looked  like that:
  • pre-workout:
    raw pina colada shake (cf. image 2)
  • post-workout:
    8 oz raw wild caught soho salmon, 1 large sweet potatoe, 5 slices of mango and a handful of carrots w/ coconut water
  • last meal:
    1 c raw milk, 2 oz raw cheddar cheese
As you may have noticed, raw carrots have become one of my favorites, lately. I switched over to carrots from eating tons and tons of broccoli and cabbage - not a bad choice, either, but carrots are easier to prepare, taste way better and are easier digested raw than either broccoli or cabbage.

Contest-prep pre-planning: Of Huge yams, "smooth" dairy and fruit-binges

When I start my prep, in about a week, I will probably have to start cutting back on my sweet potato/yam intake... I just realized how many ounces 1 large yam is when I weighed it.... it's like 16-18 oz, so thats almost like 80g of carbs that I'm taking in, and honestly way more than I'd thought. My current plan is to cut down to 2 medium sweet potatoes and aim for about 40g of starchy carbs.

Image 3: Contrary to what bro-science would tell you, Adelfo still did not "smooth out", despite gallons of raw milk and loafs of raw cheese. Either the bros were wrong (again) or the magic is in the bad buggers (bacteria) the FDA claims they want to protect US citizens from, whenever they raid an innocent farmer.
I've been reconsidering my dairy intake, or, I should say, my previous dairy abstinence, as well. In the past I used to cut dairy out completely, because bro-science tells you: "Dairy smoothes you out, bro! Stay away if you want to stay in shape!" ... well, now that I have been drinking tons of  raw milk for weeks and eating truckloads of raw cheese, I still don't feel that I have smoothed out. This does not go to say that at some point during the prep, I will have to get rid of them, but I got the strange feeling that raw milk and raw cheese will stay a staple of mine in the weeks and months to come, in the course of which I am also going to experimenting with sugary fruits instead of starchy carbs or low fat junk foods during my re-feeds. The rational behind this, is that - just as with the dairy - without trying, I will never be able to tell which type of re-feeding foods work best for me.

Luckily, I still have more than enough time to experiment with different types of carbohydrates to see which suit me best. A pros pos time, for me it's now time to hit the gym, where we are going to film a few more training videos for you - so don't forget to get back next Thursday, to watch me train, and read whether (and if how) I survived the fructose load from Sunday's re-feed ;-)