Adding Mayhem to the Method: A 1% Workout for Your Carb Back-loading Experiment

By John Romaniello

Sean Hyson's article on carb back-loading caused quite a stir at Schwarzenegger.com and why wouldn't it? A diet that allows you to eat at all your carbs right before you go to bed certainly flies in the face of conventional dietary wisdom...but when you add in the fact that you can eat any carbs you want from any food you want—whether it's pizza or sweet potatoes, ice cream or quinoa—it just sounds too good to be true, plain and simple. However, as Sean covered in his article, CBL creator and nutritional genius John Kiefer has the research (and results!) to back it up. 

Of course, after learning the science and seeing the results, tons of folks wrote it letting us know they'd be giving it a try, and ask for a workout to go with the diet—and that's what I've got for you today: a 15-minute workout that will maximize the results of your CBL experiment. 

Before we dive in, however, it's important to note that while this workout is short, it certainly won't be easy; in order to take maximum advantage of the benefits of Carb Back-loading, it’s important that you train. That much you know. Not only will this deplete glycogen stores and allow for maximum carbohydrate uptake, but more importantly, will also create a significant amount growth-inducing microtrauma.

In order for this to happen, however, the workout has to be pretty intense. This 15-minute workout will help you gain muscle and lose fat, but this might be the 1% of your day you enjoy the least—don’t worry, though: as soon as it’s over, you can fill up on whatever foods you want!

Workout Description: The CBL workout is based on increasing training density, where you do as much work as possible in the given time frame. The workout is split into two parts: A and B. 

During part A—which lasts 12 minutes—you will alternate between two exercises, making sure not to go to failure; instead, do a moderate amount of work each set, allowing for a higher total workout at the end.

During part B—which lasts 3 minutes—you will rotate between three exercises, going to failure on every set. The goal here is also to get as many reps as possible.

The CBL Workout

Part A – Alternate A1 and A2 for 12 minutes, performing 4-6 reps per exercise. The goal is to get as many reps as possible. Rest as needed between sets, keeping in mind that the more you rest, the less total reps you’re likely to do, so keep it minimal. After the 10-minute period has expired, move on to workout Part B.

A1) Romanian Deadlift

A2) Push Press

Weight selection: pick a weight you could lift between 10-12 times—however, limit yourself to 4-6 reps per set.

Part B – Rotate through B1, B2, and B3 for 3 minutes, aiming for as many sets as possible in that time period, while performing as many reps as possible during every set.

B1) Push-ups

B2) Reverse Lunges

B3) Biceps Curls 

Weight selection: pick a weight you could lift between 8-10 times

Closing Thoughts

While it's certainly not easy, the above workout is intended to pair with the hormonally based results of Carb Back-loading. Because of the way that CBL allows for optimization of insulin sensitivity and maximization of the environment that creates, a workout of this kind will allow you to reap all the hormonal benefits and get the traditional fitness benefits to go along with them. 

Give this a shot, and let us know how you do!

Join the discussion in the forum to share motivation and progress.


John Romaniello is an angel investor, the author of two upcoming books with HarperCollins, and the founder of Roman Fitness Systems, a training and online coaching company based in NYC. Romaniello regularly works with all types of clients, from youth athletes to social media moguls.

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