This week we interviewed John Kiefer from DangerouslyHardcore, who pioneered Carb Backloading.

This was easily the most informative interview we’ve done, (closely followed by Ming Chew, check it out).
Kiefer refers to Carb Backloading as “the evolution of intermittent fasting” – we’ve all been doing it for a few months now it’s been absolutely fantastic for gaining muscle while minimising fat gain or losing fat with muscle preservation. Strength has shot up for us and our clients, and the protocol is very easy to stick to.

Basically, it’s eating your carbs at night.  Here’s some more detail from Dan.

So without further ado, here’s the interview. Issues covered are:

– Basics of backloading
– How to adapt backloading to get very lean
– Hormone sensitive lipase
– Backloading vs Fasting
– Why you should eat packs of cherry turnovers
– Gluten and its effects on your aesthetics
– How to auto-regulate your diet
and more

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLitmnzsDgs

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15 responses to “Audio Interview with John Kiefer: Creator of Carb Backloading

  1. Cool interview

    for the next one you do, try and give the impression of leading into the next question from the last, even if its not related, there was quite a lot of sort of ok… or that is correct… followed by silences which disrupted the flow quite a bit (although I’m guessing it was a three way conference call which must have made it quite difficult!)

    theres an Irish guy on youtube who interviews lots of american lifters and coaches and if you watch his early videos he’s a very poor interviewer, but as you see more you see how he works on getting the right questions in, allowing the person to answer, and then merging the next question into the last answer so it becomes a dialogue rather than a broken series of questions – a lot of the time there is no relation he just weaves it together by talking and saying things like “and of course…” “that brings me to my next point..” etc when they don’t actually connect but when you’re listening to it it makes it flow.

    really good and informative with lots of good questions, maybe have some a Q&A submission before you conduct the interview and pick out the best ones to ask the interviewee – i.e. id have really like to ask kiefer about CBL with respect to oly lifts – i.e. if you do a session of eccentric less movements does CBL still work? I read something on his website which suggested it only worked with heavy concentric and eccentric portions

    Great work guys

  2. Yeah in retrospect the way we planned it was a bad idea – preplanned the questions and decided to ask one each, ended up sounding quite bitty.
    I’m not sure regarding olympic lifts. He wrote something recently about people doing heavy eccentric training vs backloading:
    From his website

    I underestimated the zeal of CBL adherents and not only did several people read the restrictions on training, they read-into the restrictions on training, specifically: if purely eccentric training, à la Mike Mentzer’s Heavy Duty or Dorian Yates’ Blood And Guts is unacceptable, then maybe concentric-only loading turbocharges CBL results. It’s a fair hypothesis, but a short-sighted one.
    Mike Menzer, champion of Heavy Duty training, also the only person to score perfect at the Mr. Universe.
    Eccentric-only loading fails to stimulate glucose transporter translocation[1-7]. In layman’s terms, Heavy Duty won’t create the cellular magic necessary to make CBL work. That’s why it’s unacceptable. There’s no reason to assume the contrapositive, however, that concentric-only training performs better than standard rep performance.
    There’s one problem here: eccentric loading causes muscle growth, not the contractive portion of the movement[8-26].
    You may think I’m splitting hairs here because concentric training takes effort to set up in a standard gym. But this is DangerouslyHardcore.com and lots of readers don’t train in a standard gym and have access to things like a sled. In that case, it’s pretty easy to come up with an upper-body, concentric-only training routine, as in pulling the sled toward you with a rope.
    If you’re using CBL, whether for Strength Accumulation or Density Bulking, the primary goal is to trigger hypertrophy. This is why Modulated Tissue Response (MTR) packs the power that it does and is what CBL leverages. Send the maximum growth signal to one tissue and the maximum shrinkage signal to the other. Build the muscle, burn the fat.
    Even when leaning out, if you give muscles every possible signal to grow, the body will not cannibalize them for energy, it’ll go to the next best source, fat. With CBL, to achieve maximum hypertrophy in skeletal muscle takes both the concentric movement to translocate GLUT, and the eccentric portion to trigger the genetic factors that spark growth.
    The moral of the story: the repetition is like everything else in the world. For every yin, a yang exists; for every electron, a positron; and for every Twinkie, there’s a piece of tofu. The key: the world works best when in balance (okay, maybe we’d be better off without tofu).

    “Yusef LOVES maltodextrin. I’ve seem him bath in it, brush his teeth with it, even bake with it and sculpt into ornamental pieces.” – Jonny

  3. Listened in entirety and agree with Harrison’s points, but very informative and good work on getting him to give an interview!

  4. yeah yusef, thats the article I read, leaves it a bit open ended other than both is better.

    I sort of account for it by not going mad with carbs after sessions with only oly lifts

  5. So basically according to Kiefer, ADF is actually potentially catabolic unless supplemented with some form of calories (which in essence would break the fast anyway) such as bcaa’s?

    I’m really looking forward to buying his book!

  6. We actually recommend some calories during the fast and during the interview Kiefer suggests that whey isolate would be a suitable addition to the fast to negate mTOR decline if its a concern for you. This said, we have an article coming up about why you might not need to worry about mTOR as much as you think.

    Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world.

  7. zewski said:
    So basically according to Kiefer, ADF is actually potentially catabolic unless supplemented with some form of calories (which in essence would break the fast anyway) such as bcaa’s?

    I’m really looking forward to buying his book!

    Catabolic doesn’t mean bad. AMPK initiates a bunch of catabolic processes during fasting, including: inducing cancer cell apoptosis, DNA repair, increased muscular GLUT4 activity.

    Note that, even in a state where carbs and protein are plentiful, mTOR activity decreases after 2 hours. Even in a fed state you would have to pulse BCAAs inbetween meals to keep mTOR active.

    Kiefer is correct, but what he said is incomplete. And I would argue that, given my results, and given the results of people doing Leangains (and indeed, bearing in mind the research on ADF), that it would be foolish to panic about this.

    The correct approach is simply, like Jonny said, to break the fast at with a small meal. Now, this might be in the evening of the fast day if you’re doing Eat, Stop, Eat style fasting. Or it may be on the morning of a feed day. A whey isolate shake is hardly going to put a stop to your rampant hunger though.

    Finally, the neuroprotective and longevity benefits of ADF only come by not taking in calories at all. If you pulse BCAAs because you’re afraid of catabolism, then you negate them entirely. So decide what your goals are and eat accordingly.

  8. Fantastic interview. I’ve bought the book, and I’m trying to implement it to a “T,” but it seems like there’s always more to be explained. It was especially to hear Kiefer’s comments on not eating like a fat kid every night, and how you should actually be trying to get down quality carbs – not just mass quantities of crap. The people who have had poor results because of eating junk as their “functional” foods have nobody to blame but themselves.

    1. Agreed – often this is because the poor quality carbs are high in fructose which has limited ability to be stored as muscle glycogen as well as higher fat, which can acutely be stored during high insulin release

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