Q: “I’ve tried insulin use on and off and though I think it helped my muscle gain in steroid cycles, it also got me fat. How might I use insulin when doing a cutting cycle, or even harder, a body-recomposition cycle?”
A: One of the most interesting and creative ergogenic ideas ever published, I think, was Oliver Starr’s insulin protocol aimed to address the fat-from-insulin situation. He published this on MESO-Rx back in 1999. In this protocol, carbs are kept to no more than 50-100 g/day, while protein intake is very high.
It worked very well for him, but at the end left him with some temporary insulin resistance. I also tried it and had good results, but also experienced the same problem. Not serious, as it certainly reversed, but not optimal.
The program never really became popular, perhaps for that reason, or perhaps from the difficulty of keeping up the required extreme protein consumption.
With the benefit of time, I now think that the problem is one of scaling. When it’s carbs being balanced against insulin, the proportion remains true for any reasonable amount of insulin. But with protein, there’s no proportion that holds true for all amounts of insulin through the same range. A small amount of insulin may be perfectly balanced with protein and essentially no carbs, but much larger amounts of insulin cannot be properly balanced, or at least not while retaining insulin sensitivity.
So as insulin dose is ramped up during the cycle, the body adapts by slowly becoming insulin resistant. This at least partially defeats the purpose.
It’s not necessary, not at all, to use insulin during a cutting cycle. Ordinarily, I’d say to leave it out. So this is not from the standpoint of telling you to use insulin to achieve your goals.
If a person wants to do as you are asking however, then this method can work. It’s still just as true today as it was then that consuming plenty of protein, holding carbs low, and using insulin in moderate amounts can work very well. Moderating the insulin dose will of course reduce insulin’s boost to gains, but in a good steroid cycle, results should be very good anyway.
It’s reasonable to start at twice per day injections of 4 IU, and if desired build to 6 IU if staying strictly ketogenic (no more than 30 g carbs per day), or to 8 IU if allowing a bit more carbs.
Protein use does not need to become extreme when the insulin use is kept this moderate. Typical bodybuilding amounts such as 240-300 g/day will suffice.
As always, errors in insulin use can be extremely dangerous, and it’s entirely personal responsibility to even remotely begin trying it.