Rich Gaspari believes carbohydrate regulation is the best and most effective weapon for burning fat. In a recent Instagram reel published on September 18, 2023, Gaspari discussed a dieting strategy called “carb cycling,” where the user alternates their carb intake on a daily basis.
As a former Men’s Open star in the IFBB Pro League, Rich Gaspari has seen it all on stage. He’s taken part in battles with heavy hitters of the sport such as Dorian Yates, Lee Haney, and Shawn Ray. In addition to gracing the Mr. Olympia stage seven times, Gaspari was a trailblazer among his contemporaries who won the very first Arnold Classic contest in 1989.
His legacy was built on more than just lifting heavy weights, Gaspari understood and studied all facets of the sport, from achieving dry conditioning to posing with conviction, he left no stone unturned in his quest to become the best in the world. That included nutrition, and Gaspari continues to stress today that success in bodybuilding is largely determined by diet.
Carb cycling has become a popular dieting option for bodybuilders. Users of this strategy match their carb intake to their respective activity levels. This way, practitioners can stay fueled for workouts but avoid storing unnecessary fat on rest days.
Rich Gaspari Says Carb Cycling Is ‘The Best Way to Get Rid of Fat’
Gaspari laid out what comprises a carb-cycling diet and discussed what the program typically looks like for an individual:
“People have always asked me, what is the best way to get rid of fat or burn off fat. For me, carb cycling works great. I got a lot of clients on carb cycling. The diet works amazing. What is carb cycling? Well, carb cycling is doing three days of low-carbohydrate — it could be anywhere, one, two, three days, four days of low-carbohydrate and then going into a higher carbohydrate meal that fourth day or the third day, whatever you’re doing with your weight.
Now for a male, they should do anywhere between 75-100 grams of carbs on a low-carb day, which is very low. The protein intake – if a guy weighs – I’m just going to give a body weight of 150 pounds. Their protein intake would be one and a half times, so it would be 225 grams of protein but then their fats would actually increase to around 100 grams.”
Elaborating on the balance between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, Gaspari went over why the diet is so effective:
“Carb cycling is most effective in burning fat . In the low carb phase of the diet you will be depleting glycogen in the muscle so that when you exercise you go into fat burning. The low carb phase is 2-4 days. You take in One Day of carbs to prevent your body from adapting to the low carb diet and replenish glycogen and even speeding up your metabolism and preventing the metabolism from slowing down. In the low carb phase a man will take in 75-100g of carbs for the low carbs and protein will be 1 1/2 times lean body weight.
So a person who is 200lbs but has a lean body mass of 160lbs will take in 240 lbs of protein And fat at 75g-90g On the high carb day the same person will take in protein at lean body mass of 160g and carbs will be 240g and fat at 20g. For women low carbs will be at 50g for a woman at say 160lbs but a lean body Mass of 110 will take in 165g protein and 50-75g of fat. The high carb day will be 110g protein. 165-170g of carbs and 25g of fat. Now these amounts can be 10g higher with carbs, Protein. What is important is to cycle the carbs 2-4 days low and then increasing the carbs on high carb day.” – Gaspari shared.
RELATED: Try Our Carb Cycling Calculator
Gaspari hadn’t been the only prolific Men’s Open Pro to speak on carbohydrate intake. Frank Zane, a former Mr. Olympia who won the title three times, has disclosed details about his strict year-round low-carb eating plan. According to ‘The Godfather of Aesthetics,’ despite the rigidness of his nutrition, he never looked at it as an actual diet.
“The Dragon Slayer” remains in love with the fundamentals of fitness, whether it be exercise selection, training, diet, or rest and recovery practices. Gaspari’s years of experience implementing carb cycling gives extra weight to his dietary advice in an industry plagued by fads.