Welcome to your first recovery microcycle of Project Mass! Congratulations on pushing and pulling your way through the first three microcycles. If you're feeling sore and depleted, you're in for a treat, because Microcycle 4 is all about active recovery.
Over the last three microcycles, your workouts have gradually increased in difficulty and volume. Your body has been through a "strategic overreach," as discussed in the training overview. This microcycle is about recovering from that hard work to create a powerful rebound effect that will push you beyond your previous strength and size limits.
Although the workouts in this microcycle include less overall volume, you don't need to completely back off your efforts. Lift with focus and drive. The lower overall volume—which equates to less total work—will help you set the stage for future gains in size and strength.
Cycle 1, Microcycle 4 Nutrition
In this microcycle, you'll eat a little less than you have been over the past few weeks. Because you're not training as intensely, you won't need as much fuel. Of course, you shouldn't completely shun the eating habits you've been working hard to develop. Continue programming your metabolism with the right nutrients, and nutrient pairs, at the appropriate times. Consult the sample meal plan for even more detail on this.
You don't need to make massive adjustments to your calorie intake, either. I suggest dropping a small amount of carbs from your meal plan while keeping your protein and fat intake relatively steady. For example, a 180-pound guy should go for 2,700 overall calories, comprised of over 225 grams of protein, less than 300 grams of carbs, and roughly 70 grams of fat per day.