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Gain Muscle and Lose Fat – Super Method #2 (Anabolic Burst Cycling)

Posted by Joel Marion

On Thursday, I went over Super Method #1 – MEGA Carb Loading, and today I’d like to share a different, yet enormously effective method called Anabolic Burst Cycling through Diet and Exercise (ABCDE).

To be honest, the whole ABCDE approach is rather old news. I first read about it back in Muscle Media 2000 (man, I miss that magazine) some ten years ago when Bill Phillips interviewed some crazy under-the-radar dude named Torbjorn Akerfeldt.

Good ol’ Tori went on to unveil some interesting scientific theory over the course of a 4-part article series (and this was in a PRINT magazine, so it left you hanging for an entire MONTH before you got to see part 2, 3, 4, etc…and you thought waiting for my next blog post was bad!) along with the basic guidelines of his approach for cycling periods of overfeeding and underfeeding in short bursts (2 weeks at a time).

To give you a simple explanation of the ABCDE approach, you eat a bunch of calories along with intense, high volume muscle building workouts (minimal cardio) for 2 weeks, then transition into a rather strict, intensive diet with a ton of cardio.

The principles are based on research that Akerfeldt shared showing that when overfeeding, anabolic hormones reach their peak after two weeks, while continuing to “bulk” after that point leads to more fat gain and less muscle gain (diminishing returns).

The same thing was observed with regards to fat loss and fat burning enzymes – 2 weeks and then things tend to slow.

So why not take advantage of those “magic” 2 weeks and then when things tend to slow down, then switch gears and take advantage of another magic 2 but while concentrating on the opposite goal.

This is the theory anyway, and for the most part, it works quite well.

There are several problems with the original outlined plan of attack, however, mainly being that recent gains in lean mass are easily reversed when you jump right into a severe calorie restricted diet thereafter (especially with a ton of added cardio).

In reality, you’d need a little assistance (i.e. drugs – not recommended) to make this type of extremely cycling really work.

Fortunately, going with a more moderate approach solves this problem.

Here are the guidelines that I recommend when using the ABCDE approach:

1. Two weeks of higher calories along with serious muscle-building workouts (minimal cardio) followed by two weeks of lower calories and intense fat burning workouts (with much less cardio than originally recommended)

2. On higher calorie weeks, use a macro breakdown of 30/45/25 (Protein/Carbs/Fat) and a total calorie intake equal to 18 x Lean Body Mass (total weight – fat weight)

3. On lower calorie weeks, follow a strategic fat loss diet, such as my Cheat Your Way Thin Diet (core phase)

Essentially, it’s very easy. Simply alternate back and forth between mini muscle building and mini fat loss phases of 2-week duration.  The variety alone (both training and diet) is one of the major draws of doing something like this.

Over the course of 12-16 weeks, expect to be significantly leaner with more lean muscle – guaranteed.

Keep rockin!


P.S.  Want to know ANOTHER brand new technique for simultaneous fat loss and muscle gain right now

Check out the below video from my buddy Kyle explaining one of the NEWEST methods we’re using:


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