To start, some of my opinions have changed. Mainly about workout pre/peri/post intake. I've really embraced a lot of what John Meadows has written about it, and the science and research he's put behind his words. I'm not much of a lab coat guy unless those lab coat theories have been put to the test. This is another reason why I hate the mental masturbation crew and people that say dumb shit like "Paul comes to all the right answers for all the wrong reasons." You mean that I don't come to a specific conclusion because of "lab geeks" and prefer real world anecdotal evidence? Yes I do. Because I rarely trusts those god damn "controlled environment tests". Kiefer, Poliquin, and many others have touched on the fact that many of these research projects are "fixed" or at the very best disingenuous.
That's neither here nor there at this point. My point is, I'm fine with research so long as it also has been used by athletes, bodybuilders, powerlifters, etc and been proven to work outside of a research project.
So back to workout nutrition.
Some of the things that Meadows wrote about were actually things I used to do via my own thinking.
For example, I used to do my oatmeal and shake an hour or so before lifting, and later it was cottage cheese and rye bread with jelly. I know that Kiefer says carbs beforehand are not really required, however Meadows wrote/said the same thing I did. It's hard to train on low/no carb when you really want to train balls out and hard. If you're doing some singles? Sure. That shit is easy. Not a lot of fuel required for that. However if you want to grow reps are required. Don't give a shit about the debating of that. Reps are required for growth, and so are carbs. As much as I like keto diets for fat loss, and agree you can still hit reps early on in them, eventually the bottom falls out with only one carb up per week. This is not an ideal environment for growth and strength in my opinion. It's also a time when both lab rats and meat heads agree for the most part. Keto diets are not growth producing environments. If your goal is strength and mass, it's not ideal.
Let me also add that in the past, I never noticed much of a difference with the workout nutrition, however now that I don't eat a lot of carbs I notice a HUGE difference. In recovery for sure. I am generally not as beat down and dead after a hard training session if I really go hard after the carbs post workout. Again, I use clean carbs now, just with a high GI.
So with all of that written, I will write about the options you can use with backloading and some of what I am doing now (which is still backloading to a degree).
I think one of the facets of backloading that is missed by most people is that you're not backloading to refuel glycogen stores from the workout that just happened, you're filling them for the next days session. This is something I ended up figuring out on my own, even though Kiefer does spell it out in the book. The problem is, most people think of backloading as something you do every night, which you can do, however I gained a ton of weight doing that because I can eat whole cakes then a gallon of ice cream. This eventually adds to to a lot of extra calories (obviously), and for someone like me, who gains weight pretty easily, it's not very ideal.
If you're a skinny guy, it's obviously very ideal, however the one thing I have changed my mind on is loading up with processed food. The whole point of doing so is for the insulin spike however from a "health" standpoint, I think that loading up on things like white potatoes and white rice are a much better option than loading up on M&M's. It gives me great pain to write that, however I will go more into that in a second.
So with all of that said, this is simply my opinion on how to use these methods in accordance to what you want to do, bodyfat/conditioning wise.
Fatass mode - keto/carbnite
This is pretty simple. You run a keto diet for 10 days, keeping carbs below 30 grams a day, then add in a carb up night once a week. I'm not sure if anyone can make it any simpler than that. Stay this route until you feel like you're lean enough.
Once you feel you are happy with where you are at bodyfat wise...
Maintenance/strength gaining mode -
Although I am not anywhere near shredded right now (mainly because I have spent too many weekends eating all I wanted because of time with loved ones who also like to eat!) I am pretty ok with where I am at bodyfat wise. Especially since meet prep starts next week. To give you an idea, I was 249 this morning after quite a bit of rice and chili last night (sodium). I am pretty bloated for me right now, as my weight has been around 243 in the morning, and more like 248-250 in the evenings. I feel fine right now at this particular level of bodyfat, and with the amount of carbs I'm eating I feel just about right.
So this is where I am at with eating and using carb backloading.
I basically eat carbs almost every night now. The amount of carbs, and the type of carb is what I have really paid more attention to.
The junk is now cut out, and my carbs generally consist of jasmine rice and white potatoes. Sometimes I do sweet potatoes, however I've noticed that sweet potatoes bloat me more than I'd like. So I avoid them most of the time now.
So I basically eat no carbs at all until pre-workout. Which generally consists of 30 grams of oats, some peanut butter, and 50 grams of whey.
During training, I use Vitargo s2. 1 scoop, which is 70 grams of carbs. I also mix in some casein hydro with it.
Post training, I eat 1 or 2 meals with carbs. This varies on how hungry I am, and my energy levels. So I might do a couple of pieces of Ezekiel bread with organic jelly and another 50 grams of whey, or I may just wait an hour and have 1-2 cups of jasmine rice with 8 ounces of grass fed beef or wild caught salmon.
Generally my whole day of eating looks like this -
Training day -
breakfast - 4 whole eggs with turkey and cheese
lunch - 8 ounces of chicken breast with a handful of almonds
afternoon - 50 grams of whey and natural peanut butter
pre-workout - 30 grams of oats with 1 tbs of peanut buter and 25 grams of whey
training - vitargo s2 with casein hydro
post-training - 1.5 cups of jasmine rice with 8 ounces of grass fed beef or wild caught salmon
optional - 2 cups of cottage cheese with 2 tbs peanut butter
Non training day -
All the same except no workout nutrition and only carbs at dinner. Usually more white rice or white potatoes in a small amount.
My advice to most guys, after you get to a phase where you are happy with where you are at bodyfat wise, is to add in carbs ONLY to your nightly meal the night BEFORE you train. I would start with 2 backloads a week, then increase after a few weeks so that you don't just blow the fuck up.
So basically low/no carb it all day then the night before you will have your biggest training sessions of the week, carb up all you want. Just keep it clean but with high glycemic carbs. This is not complicated. I know there will still be eleventy thousand questions about "I work a night shift and rob banks during the day....how should I..."
It's not difficult. No carbs all day. Carbs at night the night before your big sessions.
Once you get serious about moving your strength and mass back up, start adding in the carbs during the workout, and maybe 2 meals post workout.
So basically what the goal here is, to limit bodyfat while still being able to eat carbs to drive the hard training sessions, and enhance recovery.
Tailoring it to fit your needs -
I answer a lot of questions each week, and the most annoying ones I get are in terms of diet and "if I eat X amount what do you think...."
This is something YOU must play with, to figure out. It's not hard. Use the mirror, and the weight scale. Or really, just the mirror is fine. Get your bodyfat checked if you really want to get anal about it. I don't do that anymore as I feel like I can go by how my clothes fit, and what the scale reads in conjunction with that. If I'm 250 and my pants are somewhat loose in the waist, I'm doing things right. Simple monitoring methods work. Simple adjustments also work.
Too fat? keto until lean
Lean enough? add in backloads the night before your big sessions. Start at 2 a week. Add in another backload if you feel you need it.
Too skinny? Just eat a ton of clean foods. Throw in a protein shake after each meal with peanut butter.
This is not hard. Don't make it that way. You basically adjust your carbs up or down based on your bodyfat goals. If you need to shed fat, take em away. If you want to get stronger and gain mass, add them back in appropriately.