The Ultimate Diet 2.0 Appendix
By: Lyle McDonald
This book is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. It is a review of scientific evidence presented for information purposes only. Use of the guidelines herein is at the sole choice and risk of the reader. Copyright: First Edition © 2014 by Lyle McDonald. All rights reserved. This book or any part thereof, may not be reproduced or recorded in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except for brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information contact: Lyle McDonald Publishing 1200 Hatteras Drive Austin, Tx 78753 Email: [email protected]
Introduction The Ultimate Diet 2.0 is one of my earlier books. Over the years I've gotten a lot of feedback and questions about the program and, in hindsight, there are three major issues that come up over and over again. Rather than attempt to re-write the entire text of the book, I've put them in this little booklet as an appendix/addendum. The first topic has to do with starting the diet. While many people do just fine jumping into the diet (usually out of a mass gaining phase), it became fairly obvious that the combination of a drastic reduction in carbohydrates coupled with the depletion workouts were just breaking people. To combat that, I've designed a 2 week break-in period. This is meant to be done after you finish your previous gaining phase and is conceptually similar to the hardening phases that bodybuilders used to use between their bulking phases and contest dieting. The idea was to harden up, get a bit of recomposition (more muscle and less fat) as they cleaned up their diet and adjusted their training to get ready for the grind of the upcoming contest diet. Now explicit goal of this phase isn't to lose fat (although that might happen) but rather to get yourself metabolically, physiologically and even psychologically prepared to handle the full Ultimate Diet 2.0 Cycle. It only needs to be followed for 2 weeks but will make your first cycle of UD2 a lot more survivable. The second topic deals with what to do between blocks of using the Ultimate Diet 2.0. In the book itself, I suggest using the diet for no more than 6-8 weeks without taking a "break". If you're lean enough to use the UD2 in the first place, that's really about the limit to how long you should diet without giving yourself a mental and physical rest. But over and over people were asking what they should do during that break in terms of their diet and training. In this booklet, I will answer that question in detail. Even if you only do one 6-8 week cycle of UD2 and then plan to go right back to gaining, I still recommend using this 2 week break period to stabilize your body fat levels and start re-adjusting your training before you go back into gaining mode. The third section is what to do after the diet is over. Clearly the goal of UD2 is to reach very low levels of leanness but, unless you're just getting ready for a contest, it's important to know what to do to come off the diet so you don't blow up. You'll notice that there is a bit of overlap between sections but they are distinctly different. Please read them all. The fourth section is an expanded section on UD2 variants for powerlifters and Olympic lifters. Many times these strength athletes find themselves in a situation where water manipulation alone isn't sufficient to get them into the weight class (or they only have a short period between weigh-in and competition and can't severely dehydrate) and they need to lose fat without losing too much performance. The fifth outlines a 14-day UD2 variant that many have heard about but that I've never really addressed in any sort of detail. Finally I finish up with some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the diet.
Section 1: The Break-In Program As I mentioned in the introduction, a lot of trainees find that jumping straight into the UD2 with it's high-repetition/short-rest interval depletion workouts and drastically lowered carbohydrate intake just breaks them off. This tends to be especially true if they were previously on moderate to high dietary carbohydrates and doing nothing but fairly low repetition training during a gaining phase. Their bodies, metabolic pathways, etc. just aren't prepared. If they haven't been doing any cardio, that's a triple whammy and if they've been on a typical split routine with a low bodypart training frequency they just get wrecked. So here I'm going to give you a 2-week break in period, again conceptually similar to the old hardening phases bodybuilders used to use which has the following goals: 1. Increase overall training frequency to get prepared for hitting every bodypart three times per week in the UD2. 2. Get used to higher repetition/short rest interval training in preparation for the depletion workouts 3. Bring in low intensity cardio. Start with a low volume and build up gradually over 2 weeks. 4. Lower carbohydrates to a moderate intake level. This will start the shift to using more fat for fuel and prepare you for the lowcarb days of the diet.
Increase Your Overall Bodypart Training Frequency People come to UD2 from a lot of different training approaches so this section will be the least well organized. I simply don't know what you were doing before. It might have been a typical bodypart/bro split where everything was hit once/week, it might have been something like Doggcrapp or one of my programs where things are hit about twice/week or maybe you were doing HST with everything being hit 3X/week. Regardless, I want you to move to hitting every muscle group twice/week. This splits the middle and will be appropriate regardless of what you were doing before in your training. I'd suggest one of two different splits. My go-to split is usually an Upper/Lower split routine. A lot of people don't like them (because arms are too tired to go crazy with at the end of upper) but I like it since it tends to minimize shoulder health. Also, overlap lets you get away with less volume. Another workable split would be Chest/Shoulders/Arms and Legs/Back/Abs (or something similar). The leg day tends to be a little bit heavier than the push day but both are workable solutions. In addition to adjusting your training frequency, you're also going to bring you training volume down a bit to compensate for the frequency (this is also important to leave room for the addition of some depletion work). Again, I don't know how much volume you've been doing but most are still probably doing too much. I'd suggest a maximum of 4 sets per large muscle group and maybe 2 for small muscle groups. If nothing else this will let you fully recover (and hopefully get some delayed growth) from the previous gaining program you were on so that you're fresh going into the UD2. I've shown sample workouts on the next page. You can make intelligent exercise substitutions as needed. I'm assuming that anyone advanced enough to use UD2 can do this. I hope I'm right.
Chest/Delts/Arms Legs/Back/Abs Option
Bench Press 3X6-8
Squat or Leg Press 3X6-8
Bench Press 3X6-8
Squat or Leg Press 3X6-8
Cable Row 3X6-8
RDL or Leg Curl 3X6-8
Incline Flye 1X12-15
RDL or Leg Curl 3X6-8
Incline Flye 1X12-15
Leg Extension 1X12-15
Shoulder Press 3X6-8
Leg Extension 1X12-15
Cable Pullover 1X12-15
Seated Leg Curl 1X12-15
Side Raise 1X12-15
Seated Leg Curl 1X12-15
Side Raise 3X6-8/1X12-15
Biceps Curl 2X6-8
Cable Row 3X6-8
Rear Raise 3X6-8/1X12-15
Back Extension: 3X6-8
Cable Pullover 1X12-15
Biceps Curl 2X6-8
Back Extension: 3X6-8
Or something roughly along those lines. You can train according to your schedule but Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday or Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday or something similar would be appropriate. Since volume is most likely reduced from what you were doing, I really want you to focus on intensity, in terms of weight on the bar during these workouts. This is basically a maintenance load, volume can be cut significantly (by up to 2/3rds) but you won't lose muscle or strength so long as you keep the weight on the bar the same as when you were in your gaining phase. The volume is also lowered because you're going to be following up each of the above workouts with a short high-repetition/short-rest type of training to start getting used to that style of training (for the depletion workouts).
Introduce a Small Volume of High Repetition/Short Rest Training Over the 2 weeks of the break-in phase, you will perform each of the above workouts 4 times total (twice each per week). During that time, I want you to do progressively more high-repetition work after each heavy workout. This will not only condition you for the brutal depletion workouts but also interact with a moderate carb reduction to enhance full body fat burning. After each workout, pick one exercise (machines tend to work better) per muscle group. and perform one light set of 15-20 repetitions. Starting weights vary hugely and may be anywhere from 50-60% of max. Some people have to go much lighter but the focus is on the reps. Don't worry about weight, just get 15-20 repetitions in a set lasting 45-60 seconds. So every rep is about 3-4 seconds long. Keep it slow or use a stopwatch, that's 1 up/3 down or 2 up/2down. It's slower than you think. If it's not burning by about rep 15, you're going too quickly. So on upper day you might pick Machine chest press, Machine row, Machine Lateral Raise, Biceps Curl, Triceps Pushdown. Perform 1 set of 15-20 with 30-45 seconds of rest between each. On lower day, I'd suggest leg press, leg curl, crunch, back extension. Squats tend to kill people; if you work out at home do split squats. When you move to more than one set of each exercise (see the progression on the next page), you have two options. You can either do the depletion circuit style, doing one set of each exercise before resting and moving to the next exercise and then going through the entire circuit again (so chest press, row, lateral raise, biceps curl, triceps. Pant pant. Chest press, row, lateral raise, biceps curl, triceps). Or you can do it set style performing all sets of one exercise before moving on. Pick based on your gym and preference.
The progression for the depletion work is as follows. Workout 1: 1 set of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets. Workout 2: 1 set of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets. Workout 3: 2 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets Workout 4: 2 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets Workout 5: 3 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets Workout 6: 3 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets Workout 7: 4 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets. Workout 8: 4 sets of 15-20 with 45-60 seconds between sets. By the time you get to workout 8, you'll be ready to handle the full depletion workouts in UD2.
Introduce Cardio Once again, I don't know with any degree of certainty whether or not you've been doing any sort of cardiovascular training in the off-season. Some trainees do, most do not. For that reason, their tolerance for cardio as well as the metabolic pathways involved in fat burning are often a little bit out of practice (no, that's not a technical delineation). This two week phase is a time to bring in cardio gradually so that the addition of it on the UD2 doesn't contribute to your getting wrecked. Of course, if you have been doing cardio already, this section isn't that relevant to you. If not, read on. Like with the depletion work, I suggest bringing in cardio fairly gradually. Two weeks isn't really enough to get a big aerobic adaptation but every little bit helps. I'd start with a minimum of 10-20 minutes of low intensity cardio (heart rate 120-130 and it may be higher due to the previous training) on your lifting days. That's a minimum of four cardio sessions per week. Alternately, you can do up to 30 minutes of low intensity cardio on the off days. Fasted if you desired but it won't really matter at this point. I'd add at most 10 minutes every two workouts duration wise to a maximum of 40-45 minutes if you cardio after weights. If you're doing cardio on the off days, you can be a touch more aggressive and build up to a full hour. But keep the intensity LOW. No intervals, no HIIT. Just good old brisk walking on the treadmill or outdoors. Old school cardio. It still works.
Reduce Carbohydrates to a Moderate Level Once again I don't know what diet you were on prior to coming to UD2 but I'm going to assume that it was carb based to one degree or another. If you were on low or even moderate carbs already, this section won't apply much to you. But again, the big drop to very low carbs in the first days of the UD2 tends to wreck people and spending two weeks moderating carb intake not only helps avoid big crashes but also, in conjunction with the high rep work and cardio gets those critical fat-burning pathways going again (this is all explained in detail in the UD2 E-book). I don't want you to cut calories here, at most you're bringing them to roughly maintenance levels. For most people this is usually about 14-16 cal/lb and I often use a "quick multiplier" of 15 cal/lb to cover the bases. If you know that you're on the high side, use 16 cal/lb, low side (women are often here), use 14 cal/lb. In the big scheme it won't make a huge difference over 2 weeks.
With that calorie level, set, I'd suggest setting your macronutrient intake at roughly 1.5 g/lb of protein, 1 g/lb carbs and 0.5 g/lb fat. Use lean body mass for these calculations and don't get too hung up on exact numbers. So let's say you are 180 pounds at 10% body fat. Here are some sample calculations. Step 1: Determine pounds of fat and LBM by multiplying total weight by bodyfat % 180 pounds * 10% = 18 pounds of fat Step 2: Subtract total fat mass from total weight to get LBM 180 pounds - 18 pounds = 162 pounds of LBM Step 3: Multiply LBM by 14-16 cal/lb (I'll use 15 cal/lb) to get total calories 162 pounds * 15 cal/lb = 2430 calories. Now we determine the amounts of protein, carbs and fat to consume each day. Step 4: Determine Protein Intake 162 pounds * 1.5 g/lb protein = 243 grams protein * 4 cal/g = 972 calories 972 calories/2430 calories = 40% protein Step 5: Determine Carb Intake 162 pounds * 1 g/lb carbs =162 grams carbs * 4 cal/g = 648 calories 648 calories/2430 calories = 30% carbs Step 6: Determine Fat Intake 162 pounds * 0.5 g/lb fat = 81 grams of fat * 9 cal/g = 729 calories/ 729 calories/2430 calories = 30% fat Again, it doesn't have to be exact, the point is to raise protein a bit, moderate your carb intake and keep fat at low to moderate levels. You can divide that up into whatever meal pattern fits you best depending on size. Bigger folks tend to do better with more meals (or they are extremely big and difficult to eat) but smaller women and men often find that 3-4 bigger meals works best or the meals end up too small to be satisfying. If you do intermittent fasting, you can divide the food up over your eating period. If you don't know what that sentence means, don't worry about it. And that's that. For the two weeks between your previous gaining phase and starting the UD2, I want you to apply the above recommendations. Alter your lifting frequency to a twice/week per muscle group frequency while cutting volume slightly (but maintaining intensity), progressively bring in highrep/short-rest interval work to prepare for the depletion workouts, add some cardio slowly and alter your diet so that total carbohydrate intake is moderated.
Section 2: The 2-Week Diet Break In almost all of my books, I talk about something called a Two Week Diet Break. It's a period of nondieting with calories at maintenance between active dieting periods to give the body time to normalize some physiological pathways, hopefully up-regulate any metabolic drops that have occurred and to give the dieter a mental and physical break from dieting. The Ultimate Diet 2.0 is no different. In fact, since people on UD2 are starting at a lower body fat percentage, the need to take a break between blocks of active dieting is that much more important. I should make it very clear that I'm in no way the first to recommend this. In the UD2 I recommend not using the diet for more than 6-8 weeks straight without a break. But questions regarding what to do during the break kept coming up. That's what this section is about. The goals of this phase are similar, but slightly different to the previous described break-in period but you'll see similar concepts. The first goal is to bring calories back to maintenance or just a touch below (to take into account some metabolic slowdown that can occur). I would suggest 1 cal/lb lower than normal. So if you normally use 15 cal/lb for maintenance, use 14 cal/lb for this section. Keep protein the same at 1.5 g/lb during this phase. You want to make sure that carbs are at least 100 g/day as this is crucial to up-regulating levels of thyroid and other hormones.. If you set carbs at 1 g/lb this should be no problem whatsoever. Since total calories are lower (by a little bit), I'd suggest dropping fat intake very slightly to 0.4-0.45 g/lb). So far as training, I'd suggest moving back to the twice/week bodypart frequency I outlined in the above section with the same focus on training intensity and you can use the same splits. You may find that you get some strength gains during this period although it isn't the explicit goal. I'd strongly recommend keeping a bit of depletion work in your training as well, just so you don't lose the adaptation to that type of training. It doesn't have to be much, I'd suggest 2 sets of 15-20 rep with a 45-60 seconds rest after your heavy work. That's enough of a volume reduction to give you a big break from the grind of depletion but you won't get destroyed when you return to UD2 and the full depletion. Finally, keep some cardio in. You should be doing a max of about 5 hours on Ud2 (if you're doing cardio on Mon-Thu and again on Sunday) and I'd cut that down to 2.5-3 hours. Three sessions of 45-60 minutes is plenty. And that's the two week break. Raise carbs and calories to up regulate hormones, move back to more traditional split/heavy training, keep in a bit of depletion work and cut your cardio volume back. This is all to give you a physiological and psychological break from dieting and get everything humming metabolically (without losing all of the important fat burning adaptations) for your next block of UD 2 training. I'd also suggest using this as a transition from UD2 back into whatever you do next training or diet wise. That is, the diet "break" concept is used as much between blocks of specific dieting as it is to transition back to mass gaining. You want to let fatigue from the dieting cycle decrease (by adjusting training volume and intensity), bring calories back up to normalize hormones and metabolic rate so that you won't have an issue with big body fat rebounds jumping right back into mass gaining and higher calories.
Section 3: Ending the Diet So you've just finished your one or two cycles of Ultimate Diet 2.0 (if you needed more than that, you started too fat to have used it in the first place) and want to know what to do next. You may want to go back into a more specific mass gaining phase or maybe you just want to know how to maintain your new low bodyfat. At this point I need to subdivide folks into one of two groups: those who used UD2 to get into physique contest shape (bodybuilding, fitness, figure, etc) and those who just wanted to get really lean. Now, it's possibly that you used UD2 for physique contest prep in which case you hopefully reached the lower levels of human leanness on contest day. The first thing I can say is congratulations. The second is that there is no way you can expect to stay contest lean year-round. Yes, I know, there are people who do it (or, more accurately, claim to do it) but there is invariably something else going on (I hate to play the drug carb but let's be real). Most people can't and, more to the point, shouldn't stay contest lean year round. At that level of leanness, even with the best diet, hormones are going to be impaired and you're going to end up being utterly miserable to maintain a level of conditioning that isn't necessary and probably isn't healthy in the long run. You won't be able to train effectively, will be hungry all the time and it's just no fun. Bottom line, you need to regain some body fat (note that I am not saying that you need to get fat; jus fatter than contest lean). Of course, you don't want to follow the typical physique contestant approach and blow right back up. There is a happy medium to be had (with focus, men can probably hold 8-10% bodyfat year round and women 15-16%). Folks who stay leaner than that year round are either using drugs or were born to be that lean. Odds are you're neither.
A quick tangent I should make a quick comment about that before moving on: if this is your first time being contest lean, it will mess with your head going forwards. Once you've been 4-5% for a man or 11-12% for a woman, anything higher will make you feel fat as hell. Even at 9%, a man who has been contest lean feels like a blimp. Nevermind that he is leaner than most of humanity; in his mind he's fat. It's the same for women, a woman at 15-16% (lean but sustainable) feels HUGE after she's hit 11-12% on stage.. I can't give you much advice to deal with this beyond dealing with it. It's actually a good reason NOT to do a physique contest unless you want to do it a lot; it totally skews your idea of normal forever. It causes a lot of people to do some really silly stuff though, trying to maintain a level of body fat that just isn't healthy and sustainable in the long-term. You have to come to terms with this and it may not be easy. But that's an issue for you and your therapist to take up. Ok, back to the chapter. Now if you didn't get that lean, you probably ended up fairly close to the numbers I gave above: if you were a male using UD2, you should have gotten to 8-9% bodyfat, nice full 6-pack, leaner than most on the planet. A female should have ended up in the teens somewhere. Ripped upper body, legs leaned out.
Not contest lean but lean. So now what, what do you do next? If you weren't using UD2 for a contest and just used it to get lean, skip the next section and scroll down to the section on maintenance.
Post-Contest Competitors As I mentioned above, some of you used UD2 to get contest lean and, as much as you want to do, maintaining contest leanness is not realistic or even a good idea from a physiological or psychological point of view. Clearly the first thing is to gradually let your body fat percentage increase. There are horror stories of athletes gaining 20-40 pounds in a few days (most of this is water and glycogen) with post-contest binges but if you followed UD2, the incorporation of the carb-loading and allowed “forbidden” foods should help to prevent that. So let's focus on achieving a gradual increase in body fat percentage before joining the other group of UD2 users at maintenance. So first you're going to let your body fat gradually increase until you hit the ranges I mentioned above (9-10% for men, 15-16% for women). At that point, I'd highly suggest that you spend 2 weeks at stable (but low bodyfat percentage) before gaining. Just to let hormones, metabolism, etc. renormalize to as great a degree as possible. To do this of course you're going to increase your food, cut back your cardio and you can go ahead and change your weight training away from the UD2 cycle. You can simply use one of the above splits or whatever you want to do. At this point since you will be eating more, I'd suggest cutting back your training weights to give your joints and body a break. You can go to maybe 80% of your best performance (so if you were doing 100 lbs X 8 in an exercise, just do 80 lbs X 8). You won't lose strength or muscle at this point but it will let all of that accumulated fatigue from dieting dissipate. Cardio can be reduced or outright eliminated. 20-30 minute three times per week on non-weights days often helps people keep their food intake in check (it's VERY easy to lose control when the diet ends) but keep it low intensity and let your body recover. Or just eliminate it outright. You won't have a heart attack if you don't do aerobics for two weeks. So what about diet? First and foremost, you're clearly going to get off the cyclical UD2 approach. You probably adjusted the cycle to accommodate peak week to be full and dry for your show and the fact is that pretty much everyone is going to go nuts at the pancake house the night afterwards. I'd suggest doing a 1-2 days high-carb/low-fat refeed coming straight out of the show. Don't train, just eat. That will refill glycogen, bump leptin levels and just help with overall food issues coming out of the show. So that's Sunday and Monday. After that you will need to get things back under control a bit. Now the first thing you'll need to do is to determine how much fat you need to gain to get to the body fat percentages I listed above (8%-10 for men and 15% for women). To show you the math, I'm going to use a sample male dieter who came into contest shape at 175 and 5% body fat.
Step 1: Multiply your current weight by bodyfat percentage to determine fat mass 175 * 0.05 = 8.7 pounds of fat Step 2: Subtract pounds of fat from total weight to get lean body mass 175 pounds – 8.75 pounds of fat = 166 pounds lean body mass Step 3: Divide lean body mass by 1 minute goal bodyfat percentage as a decimal So if the goal body fat percentage 8% we subtract 0.08 from 1 to get 0.92 166 pounds / (1-0.08) = 166/0.92 = 180 pounds If the goal were 10%, you'd divide by 1-.10 and use 0.92. A woman aiming for 15% would use 1-0.15 = 0.85. Get it? So assuming no lean body mass gain, this athlete would have to gain 5 pounds of fat to get from 5% to 8%. You can do the calculations for your own numbers. For the average sized lifter this number shouldn't vary hugely, even a 200 pound athlete at 5% bodyfat only has to gain 6 pounds of fat to get to 8%. A small female who competed at 118/12% body fat has to gain that same 5 pounds of fat to get back to 15% body fat. I wouldn't suggest gaining that fat any faster than maybe one pound per week. So a post-contest athlete is looking at 5-6 weeks of deliberate fat gaining before they stabilize at their new higher body fat levels. And yes this is similar to the concepts of reverse dieting that has been becoming more popular although my goal is more gradually increasing body fat than anything that reverse dieting claims to do (but doesn't actually do).. I'd generally suggest keeping protein intake high and gradually increasing total carbs with a small increase in dietary fats (this increase should ideally come from monounsaturated fats like olive oil and polyunsaturates but don't go nuts with the latter). This can be accompanied by increasing training volumes (consider this a general preparation phase as you're still recover from the rigors of contest dieting) although don't go nuts trying to keep cardio in to stay lean. You need a break after a contest is over and this is the time to take it. Of course, if you lose control for a few weeks, it's very easy to put on that same 5 pounds of fat in a much shorter period of time. If that happens, so be it and then move to the next phase.
Maintenance Phase If you originally used UD2 to just get super lean but didn't get contest lean, this is where you start. This is also where the previous 5-6 weeks of post-contest deliberate fat gain should put you. The goal of this phase is to stabilize at your current body fat level, that same 8% or so for men and 15% for women. Physiologically, many of the metabolic effects that occur during dieting are reversed (or at least ameliorated) by bringing calories back to maintenance. I do generally recommend adjusting your estimated maintenance down slightly (by about 10% or 1 cal/lb) to take into account the metabolic slowdown that is simply unavoidable during dieting. So a reasonable caloric intake during this phase would be 14-15 cal/lb (the higher value will be more likely for men or those with very high activity levels). So multiply your current weight by that value to get calories. I want you to eat at least 150 g/day of carbohydrates or more or you can use a value of 1.5 g/lb. So a 120 pound female would be eating 180 grams of carbs, a 200 pound male would be eating 300 grams. It's still moderate but covers the minimum requirement easily.
This level of carbohydrate intake is necessary to upregulate thyroid levels along with leptin and, flatly, eating more dietary fat will not accomplish this goal. You can eat more carbs if you know that you can handle them but you can't eat less. Protein can be dropped to 1 g/lb if you like but keeping it higher (1.5 g/lb) tends to help with hunger control. A lot of athletes are kind of burnt out on high-protein intakes after a diet and you can give yourself a mental break from it if you desire. But don't go any lower than 1 g/lb of lean body mass. Fats will make up the rest of your calories but where it ends up will depend on where you set the above values. Here is the math for someone eating 15 cal/lb, 1.5 g/lb protein and 1.5 g/lb carbs who weighs 160 lbs (for this calculation go ahead and use total weight). Step 1: Multiply LBM by 15 cal/lb to get total calories 160 pounds * 15 cal/lb = 2400 calories. Step 2: Determine Protein Intake 160 pounds * 1.5 g/lb protein = 240 grams protein * 4 cal/g = 960 calories Step 3: Determine Carb Intake 160 pounds * 1.6 g/lb carbs =240 grams carbs * 4 cal/g = 960 calories 648 calories/2430 calories = 30% carbs Step 4: Determine Fat Intake 2400 calories - 960 calories from protein - 960 calories from carbs = 480 calories from fat 480 calories / 9 cal/g = 53 grams of fat (0.33 g/lb of fat) That's a reasonable amount while being low enough to allow plenty of protein (for hunger control), carbs (for hormonal upregulation) while still allowing decent food variety. You may get a slightly different value if you plug in different numbers for protein. You'll maintain this intake for the 2 (or more) weeks of your maintenance phase. You may be wondering how long to stay at maintenance and there are tradeoffs to be had. Certainly you get more hormonal and metabolic recovery by staying longer at the same weight/caloric intake. However that has to be weighed against athlete's general desire to start gaining muscle and strength or eating a little bit more. I do recommend an absolute minimum of 2 weeks at this level before you even consider upping calories. If you want to stabilize for 4 full weeks, you'll probably be in a better place to start gaining but I understand if you get impatient.
Section 4: UD2 for Strength/Power Athletes Next I want to discuss is specific UD2 variants for performance strength/power athletes. I use the word performance due to the simple fact that, for pure physique athletes, their ultimate performance in the weight room is somewhat secondary to their competition. Physique contests aren't won based on squat or bench poundages is my point (performance in the gym is only relevant inasmuch as severe strength loss often indicates or causes muscle loss). But for performance athletes such as powerlifters, Olympic lifters things are different. Outside of the super heavy weight classes, these athletes have to make it into their weight class. And while many manipulate water to a major degree, there are often situations where severe dehydration either isn't sufficient (i.e. it won't drop enough weight) or can't be used. In the second case, often there is only 2 hours between weigh-in and competition; severe dehydration tanks performance unless you have a full 24 hours to rehydrate (and those athletes often use IV fluids and electrolytes to get things normalized). In that situation, in addition to any water manipulation, athletes have to actively lose fat. And when you're an already lean strength/power athlete to begin with, those same problems that plague physique competitors (discussed in the Ultimate Diet 2.0 book itself) are relevant. Finding a way to lose fat while at least maintaining (or even ideally increasing) strength is critical. And that's what the following cycles will achieve. Note that nothing about the diet aspect of the Ultimate Diet 2.0 changes for these athletes; mainly I'm going to focus on how to best integrate the necessary training to maintain or improve performance as you lean out and where that training goes during the week.
The Ultimate Diet 2.0 for Powerlifters First let's talk about powerlifters (Pls) since, statistically speaking, there are more of them (at least in the US) and they are more likely to have this book. Now there are a lot of different approaches to PL training and I can't try to cover all of them or address them. There are high variety systems, high specializations systems, and everything in-between. The cycles I'm going to describe sort of split the middle on these, my assumption is that, as a modern athlete you are probably using a system that include low repetitions (in the competition movements), some assistance exercises (to bring up weak points) and higher repetitions on other stuff. You might have maximum effort (ME) days, dynamic effort (DE) days and, to one degree or another, you are probably cycling your repetitions in the competition movements, probably downwards, as you get closer to competition.Here's how you might integrate all of that into the UD2 cycle. Monday/Tuesday: Depletion days The goal of these days is to primarily deplete muscle glycogen. You are coming off the carb-load so you should still feel strong but this is still the day to keep things light. If you do DE days, this is when I'd suggest you do them. For PL's I'd suggest a split where lower is high Monday and upper is Tuesday. If you include DE work in your training do DE squat/dl work on Monday followed by the standard high-rep/high-set/short-rest depletion (convince yourself it's work capacity training). If you want to do cardio or GPP afterwards, that's fine. But keep it lower body focused. Walking, sled dragging, this is for legs. On Tuesday do DE work for bench followed by upper body depletion work. GPP can include upper body work if desired (i.e. sled dragging with an upper body component) or just walking. If you don't do explicit DE/speed work, I'd still suggest lighter technical work in the competition movements to kick off the workout. 3 sets of 5 at 75% to get some practice on the competition movements would be appropriate. So on Monday do 3X5 or 3X3 at 75-80% in squats on Monday and, at most, one set of light deads. Followed by depletion and cardio. Do the same with Bench on Tuesday for bench, 3X5 at 75% or 3X3 at 80% followed by upper body depletion and GPP/cardio. Wednesday/Thursday AM: Cardio These days are unchanged. Low intensity cardio or GPP work, fasted ideally with or without yohimbine would be appropriate here to mobilize/burn stubborn body fat. Thursday PM: Tension Workout In the original UD2 this was the medium repetition tension workout and not much changes here. This would be a good day to do any specific assistance work to bring up weak points. Pick ONE exercise for squat or deadlift (you can alternate this week to week) and ONE exercise for bench press. If you're advanced enough to be using UD2, I'll leave it to you to pick your assistance movements yourself. Follow those two assistance exercises (worked for 2-3 heavyish sets of 5 at most) with more or less the standard tension workout in UD2. One exercise per muscle group, 2-3 sets of 6-8 and don't wreck yourself by going to failure. Keep a rep or two in the tank, don't grind and use this workout to set up your carb-load.
Friday: No Training A little bit of GPP would be acceptable here but keep it low volume. Saturday: Power Workout Ok this is the big day for your training and you're essentially going to do what amounts to a mock meet training squat, bench, deadlift followed by some extra work for the rest of the body. Now, here there will probably be the most variation in training depending on what style of training you're used to. If you're doing Westside style training, this is an ME day. Lowish reps (3's and lower) for a few heavy sets and grind/go for PR's. Hit squat, bench, deadlift is probably best worked heavy every other week tops. Follow that with some extra tension work for the other muscle groups, just like in the original UD2. If you're on more of a traditional rep cycling routine, just plug in the heavy day on this day. Over 8 weeks you might do a cycle where you do 2 weeks of 8s, 2 weeks of 5, 2 weeks of 3, 2 weeks of doubles. Or whatever the system you're following is. I think you get the idea, on Saturday work the competition movements in a competition training style and then follow it with extra work for the other muscles. So delts, arms, core, prehab. No cardio today of course. Sunday: Day off As with the original UD2, you can take today off or do some light cardio/GPP in the evening to set up for the next cycle.
The Ultimate Diet 2.0 for Olympic Lifters While there haven't been many OL'ers who have approached me about how to utilize the UD2 there have been a few and I want to go ahead and talk about how to alter the cycle for them. As with powerlifting, there are a lot of different training approaches and I can only lay out some general principles for you; again if you're advanced enough to be using the UD2, you should have some idea how to alter your training. Now, one major difference with OL'ing vs. Pl'ing is that Ol'ers tend to work the competition movements a lot more frequently for both technical and physiological reasons. So whereas the powerlifting cycle was a little more varied in exercise choice, you'll see more of the competition movements (or their variants in this cycle). Monday/Tuesday: Depletion On this day, the Ol's themselves should be worked at a lighter intensity to fit the goals of the depletion workout. If you use a system based around nothing but the competition movements, that would mean a full snatch and full clean and jerk. If you're in a higher variety system, this would be a day to work partial movements. You could power snatch or power clean/power jerk or you could work from blocks or the hang. This tends to automatically lower the intensity and weight on the bar which fits well with the goal of this workout. Triples in snatch or snatch related movements and doubles in clean and jerk/related movements would make sense at maybe 75-80% of maximum. Keep it snappy and fast and hit whatever volume you think is appropriate. You might be looking at 5-6 sets of each tops. Depending on your preference, you can either make on day more snatch emphasis and the other day more clean and jerk emphasis (I'd suggest clean and jerk on Monday and snatch emphasis on Tuesday if you do this) or you can work both movements on both days for fewer sets (2-3 on each movement on both days). After the competition work, you want to make your best approximation of a depletion workout. Many Olers work out in gyms that have scant else but a bar, blocks and squat racks. Making my general advice to use machines for the depletion work inappropriate. Do your best, keep it light and get the reps. Back squat, RDL, press, rowing, you know what to do. I'd suggest splitting the work up and hitting full body on both days to keep the volume per movement a little more under control. Most Ol'ers don't do cardio but brisk walking won't cut into recovery and will burn some calories. Wednesday/Thursday AM: Cardio As I mentioned, most Ol'ers don't do much cardio but brisk walking in the morning will move some blood through the legs and burn some calories. So long as it was kept very light, barbell complexes could be fit in here but watch very carefully for signs of overtraining and drop them out if you feel like you're not handing the other training well. Thursday PM: Tension Workout Thursday will be a medium heavy day. Once again, if you're in a system based around mostly the competition movements, hit full snatch and full clean and jerk. If not, you could do a different assistance exercise than Monday or repeat it if you're trying to fix a weak point.
Or pick an assistance exercise that allows/requires more weight than the one you did on Monday (i.e. snatch from high hang on Monday, snatch from below the knee on Thursday). Snatch first and then clean and jerk. You want to work at around 80-85% intensity on this day and that would tend to mean a maximum of doubles in the snatch and singles (1+1) in the clean and jerk movements. Again do an appropriate volume for that loading. Again, with a lack of machines in most OL based gyms, you'll need to pick movements that are relevant for the rest of the tension training. It will probably be more squats, RDLs or GM's, presses, some arm and core work and do the same 2 sets of 6-8 keeping a couple of reps in the tank in those movements to set up the carb-load. Friday: Day Off I'd keep this day completely off or do a bit of walking or something if you want to stretch your legs. If you just must do something OL related, do some very light (70-75%) work to loosen up and keep your groove. If you don't come out of the workout feeling better than you went in, you did too much. Saturday: Power Workout Saturday is the big day of training. Olympic lifters have long made saturday a test or mock competition day and this is a good one to really go for it. I'd recommend the full competition movements here. So full snatch and full clean and jerk to keep that groove. If you training routine uses some type of cycling on the heavy days in terms of percentages, I'd slot that into the Saturday day. If not, just aim for 85-90% or higher . If you're in a Bulgarian style system, today is a day to go for a max/daily max. If you're not get you're 3-6 singles at 90% plus in the competition movements. You can go 6 singles in the snatch and probably 3 sets of 1+1 in the clean and jerk. You should know how best you train if you're advanced enough to use this diet so program a heavy day and go get it done. Of course snatch then clean and jerk. Then hit heavy power work in squat, RDL/GM, press, you know the drill. Go heavy as per the UD2 which means triples or 5's and go heavy. You should be carbed, feel strong and be able to go very heavy. You've got 48 hours to recover so hit it hard and then continue your carb-load. Sunday: Day Off This is a day off. Brisk walking in the evening if desired is fine but other than that, no activity today.
Section 4: The UD2 14-Day Cycle Anyone who has read the UD2 probably realizes that it's an attempt to fit quite a bit of different things into a short time period. The original Ultimate Diet used a more forgiving 10-day cycle but the reality is that most of us run on a 7-day work week and a 10 day cycle doesn't fit anybody's life. Now, for one population of people, the 7-day UD2 cycle just doesn't seem to work well. I'm not sure why but they don't seem to get enough fat mobilization/loss during the dieting period to offset the carbload and they end up spinning their wheels. Alternately, some people just want more fat loss per cycle and don't want the weekly carb-load. Which brings us to the 14-day variant of the UD2. What it ends up looking like is a 14 day Category 1 Rapid Fat Loss diet cycle. You start with depletion to kick off the cycle and then do short full body tension workouts (with another possible short depletion workout mid-cycle) over 10 days of low-carbohydrate eating. This ends with the same tension/carbload into a power workout as per the original UD2. Then you repeat it. Since the cycle is longer I wouldn't recommend as large of a deficit on the lowcarb days. Maybe 2030% below maintenance (~10.5-12 cal/lb for most people) although if you think you can handle it, you can go for the full 50% deficit. Across 10 days of dieting, this should generate a massive fat loss. The full 14-day cycle would look like this. Day 1/2: Depletion workouts/low-carbohydrate diet. This is exactly as laid out in the UD2 in terms of volume and set up. As above, consider setting the deficit a little bit lower than the originally recommended 50%. Maybe 25-30% off of maintenance calorie (so maybe 10.5-11.5 cal/lb). If fat loss still isn't sufficient, cut this further. Cardio can be performed after depletion up to an hour total. Day 3/4: Low carbs/low calories. Low intensity cardio. Again, up to an hour total of low intensity cardio. Day 5: Low Volume Tension Workout with low-carbs/low-calories. This should be a very short full-body strength and muscle retention type workout as laid out in the main book under tension training. Pick one exercise per muscle group for warmups plus 1-2 sets of 6-8 heavy. Get in and then get out of the gym. Cardio can be done in the morning or after training. Day 6/7: Low carbs/low calories. Low intensity cardio. Again, up to an hour total of low intensity. Day 8: Tension/Depletion Workout I'm going to give two options here. Either repeat the Day 5 tension workout, full body, 1-2 sets of 6-8 or consider a SHORT depletion workout (there is an oddity by which the body can sometimes refill muscle glycogen even under low-carb/low-cal conditions). Do NOT do much. 3 sets of 15-20 with a 45 second rest and one exercise per muscle group is the maximum. Again, cardio is fine. Day 9-10: Low carbs/low calories. Low intensity cardio. Again, up to an hour total of low intensity.
Day 11: Tension Workout/Begin Carb-Load Now it's time to set up for the carb-load and anabolic rebound. This will be your final tension workout and the day is identical to what is normally day 4 in the main book. So do your cardio in the morning and eat low-carb/low-cal for most of the day. In the evening have a small carb based meal about an hour before training (like the main cycle, if you only train mornings, perform this workout in the morning of Day 12) and then do a final short-full body tension workout: 2 sets of 6-8, one exercise per muscle group. Immediately after, begin your carb-load. Day 12: Carb-load day. NO TRAINING. Eat according to the guidelines laid out in the book. 12-16 g/kg lean body mass of carbs from the previous evening through the end of today, about 2.2 g/kg protein and moderate fat (no more than 50 grams unless you're a BIG boy). Day 13: Power Workout This is just as laid out in the book. Get a meal or two into you and then get in the gym for a full-body lowish rep (multipl sets of 3's or 5's) workout. This is a long one but shoot for PR's if you can. Eat normally, at maintenance or slightly above (10-20% maximum over maintenance calories so 16-17 cal/lb) with high carbs, moderate protein and lowish fat. Day 14: Maintenance Eating Set up for the next cycle. Today you want to eat at maintenance or at most 10% below (14 cal/lb). You can start reducing carbohydrates towards the end of the day, shifting back towards vegetables. A short low intensity cardio session in the evening can help deplete liver glycogen to set up the next day. The 14 day cycle still fits into a typical work week and the longer period of low-calories/low-carbs will generate more fat loss than the 7-day cycle. It's not as much fun, of course. I wouldn't recommend more than 3-4 total cycles of this prior to taking a break as outlined earlier in this booklet. That's 6-8 weeks of total dieting and that's time for a diet break.
Frequently Asked Questions Q: Can I just do The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook diet on the lowcarb days of UD2 to get faster fat loss? A: Yes. In the original UD2, I set a marginally arbitrary caloric intake guideline of 1200 cal/day but I clearly removed this requirement in the Rapid Fat Loss Handbook. If you want to drop out the trace carbs (50 g/day) and fats on the lowcarb days and just eat 1.5 g/lb LBM protein (with your fish oils) and some veggies to keep you regular, that's fine. It won't really cut calories that much from where they are but the difference should net a slightly faster rate of fat loss over the 4 diet days. Q: I've heard of people using the higher intensity stubborn fat protocols on UD2 (i.e. on Wednesday) and getting away with it. Can I do that? A: I tend to err on the side of conservatism when it comes to training while dieting into the single digits; it's just altogether too easy for people to burn out and destroy themselves (part of why I have a problem with this over-emphasis on interval training for fat loss while dieting). Even if they get into shape, they end up so overtrained and exhausted by the end of it that they often stop training for weeks afterwards and simply rebound. When training levels are already high (and UD2 already has you hitting legs hard three times per week), it's nearly impossible to add on more high-intensity work without breaking most people. And for every person who gets away with something like this there are usually 10 that don't. Dieters tend to go a little bit nutso in the first place: when you give them too much flexibility they often end up being their own worst enemies which is part of why I tend to not give the option. If I say that some folks may get away with it, invariably everyone will hear that they SHOULD do it. And then they blow up and blame me. With that said, I'd say that IF you want to use one of the higher intensity protocols in Stubborn Fat Solution do it ONLY on Wednesday in the morning and pay extra attention to signs of fatigue and overtraining. If you find your tension or power workout poundages dropping at all, you MUST drop out the extra interval work and stick with low intensity cardio only on Wednesday. The ONLY day to even consider one of the interval based Stubborn Fat Protocols is on Wednesday. Thursday AM should only be low intensity cardio no matter what. Q: I'm using yohimbine before Wednesday/Thursday cardio and you've said that it only works if it's fasted. Can I add (take your pick): MCT oil, some type of fat, a little bit of cream, to my coffee in the morning. A: Fasted means fasted. No calories. No fat. No bulletproof anything, no MCT oil, not even a touch of cream in your coffer or whatever. You'll live without cream in your coffee and if you can't, then use caffeine pills and toughen up. BCAA raise insulin, fats affects fat cell metabolism via acylation stimulating protein. Have black coffee, water or some type of non-caloric drink/stimulant and NOTHING else if you want to get the benefits of the low-carb, alpha-2 receptor inhibition or yohimbe driven stubborn fat mobilization effects. Seriously, people.
Q: I've been doing the UD2, got my 2 initial cycles in to really dial things in but I don't seem to be losing fat. What should I consider changing in this situation? A: This is a bit of a tough question to answer since there are potentially multiple things that could be going wrong. The first thing I'd suggest is that you make sure to only compare like days of the week to like days of the week. Comparing a Monday (when you are full and carb-loaded) to Thursday (maximal depletion) won't give you good comparative values. Either compare Monday to Monday or Thursday to Thursday or whichever day you think gives you the best indicator of real change. The second suggestion I'd make is to be aware that self-measurement of body composition is fraught with peril. Calipers take practice to use well, Bioelectric Impedance scales are fairly crap and most methods have an error bar in the estimation that makes small changes in body fat difficult to measure. Take a variety of measurements, weight, a few caliper measurements, tape measurement is probably the ideal situation so that you can see if nothing is changing, or it's just one measurement that is off. So let's say that a caliper pinch tells you that your abdominals (or thigh) aren't leaning out but a tape measure thrown around your waist or thighs indicates a half-inch drop. Clearly you're leaning out, just in a place where the calipers aren't picking it up (in this case the obliques and low back or hamstring respectively). But let's assume you've done all that and still nothing is happening. There are a number of potential places to look for problems. One error that many seem to make is rushing the depletion workouts and not making the sets long enough. This doesn't yield the optimal glycogen depletion and the entire cycle is sort of dependent on that. Use a stopwatch during your sets (remember 45-60 seconds in length) to ensure that they are long enough to really deplete glycogen. If it's not burning about 3/4 of the way through the set, you're doing it wrong. Although I doubt it's a problem for many, I'd at least check that the low-carb days are right in terms of portions and amounts. It's pretty hard to screw this up, with a 50% deficit from maintenance, even if you're mis-measuring by a little bit you should still be in a big deficit. But it is worth checking. Probably the primary place, assuming your workouts and lowcarb days are correct is the carb-load. In the book I mentioned that 12-16 g/kg is the optimal value but there is some variability. Women moreso than men seem to do better with the lower values for some reason and even lighter men may find that 16 g/kg offsets the deficit created during the week. So that would be my first suggested change, reduce the total carb-load amount to 12 g/kg lean body mass from after the Thursday tension workout until Friday night. Along with that, make sure that your caloric intake isn't too high on Saturday around the power workout. Certainly you get better recovery and growth with a slight deficit but the key here is slight. 10% over maintenance shouldn't be more than a few hundred calories unless you are a BIG boy. Don't double or triple that and then wonder why the fat loss isn't occurring. The same comment goes for Sunday, it can be maintenance or slightly above but slightly is the key word. Consider dropping this to slightly below maintenance (14 cal/lb or so) so give a slightly greater deficit across the week. And finally if none of that works, consider that the 7-day cycle isn't optimal for you. I have no idea why but some people just spin their wheels on it. Either try the 14-day cycle or do a different diet.
Q: Have you updated any of the supplement recommendations from the original book? I've heard of new yohimbe forms that are supposed to be better, or new stimulants? A: Honestly, no. The supplement industry constantly tries to reinvent the wheel since there doesn't seem to be a lot of new products to be had right now. So they come up with new forms of the old stuff, pull some irrelevant science and sell it. Creatine is a good example where basically no variant on creatine was ever better than the original monohydrate; the only exception were the micronized forms which were easier on the stomach for most people. But creatine ethyl-ester, creatine gums, chews, etc. were just more expensive and usually less effective than the cheaper bulk basic form. The same goes here so far as I'm concerned and I will always stand by the products that have years of research and real-world results over new stuff. New isn't always better and is often worse. I don't think BCAA have any benefit if protein intake is sufficient in the first place, the EC stack has always worked and most of the new thermogenics and supposed fat burners only work in mice. The claim about alpha-yohimbine are nonsensical and the only interesting thing of note these days is the new HBM-Fatty Acid but until I see that study replicated, I'm not recommending it. So just stick with what the book recommends.
End And that's that: the UD2 Addendum. At this point, I hope that there are no remaining questions about the Ultimate Diet 2.0, how to get ready for it, take a break, end it or apply it to other strength sports. No, I didn't do an updated endurance version but that was pretty well laid out in the original book and I didn't see the point.