T Nation

Fasting to Gain Muscular Weight Works


#1

About 4 months ago I began to stop putting so much emphasis on eating all the time for the sake of eating just to maintain and gain muscular weight. I was about 185lbs. at 5' 7", probably 12-13% BF.

Health has become my number one priority now, I mean whats the point of having a big squat if you feel like shit all the time and have poor mobility. I also picked up Paul Bragg's book "The Miracle of Fasting", it is a pretty good book and has some interesting ideas, ideas that I have decided to implement into my own life.

One of those ideas was that fasting allows the body to stop using all of its energy towards digesting food and puts it towards catabolizing all of the tissues and cells that the body no longer needs. In short the body will detoxify itself. 0

Think about it, when you get sick, it is your body's natural inclination to not want to stuff your face with food. Animals do the same thing, they do not eat. The thing that you want to do is to rest, relax and guess what happens...the body heals itself naturally. Nature will take its course. Hippocrates said that the body heals itself, there is no pill or magic supplement that will cure it, only maybe to help the process along.

Anyway, what I have been doing once a week for 24-36 hours is water fasting. No food, only plenty of water and maybe some apple cider vinegar. Initially I started doing it just to see if I felt better, and I did almost immediately.

But something happened. I haven't lost any strength, in fact I have gained strength, I have veins popping out in places where I never had them, and I feel alot better. I have also always struggled with acne and oily skin, now my skin looks so much better, there is a healthy glow to it and my digestion has improved. I am now about 173lbs but I have definitely put on muscle. How do I know, well because I look bigger and I move more weight for more repetitions. I have changed really nothing else to my diet except added in the fasting once a week.

Then I started to think about it. Did mankind evolve to be eating every 4 hours? No, not really. We would probably be eating once, maybe twice a day if we were lucky. I think resting the digestive system allows the body to got more from the food that we do eat. Anyway that's my story.


#2

[quote]Charlemagne wrote:
About 4 months ago I began to stop putting so much emphasis on eating all the time for the sake of eating just to maintain and gain muscular weight. I was about 185lbs. at 5’ 7", probably 12-13% BF. Health has become my number one priority now, I mean whats the point of having a big squat if you feel like shit all the time and have poor mobility. I also picked up Paul Bragg’s book “The Miracle of Fasting”, it is a pretty good book and has some interesting ideas, ideas that I have decided to implement into my own life.

One of those ideas was that fasting allows the body to stop using all of its energy towards digesting food and puts it towards catabolizing all of the tissues and cells that the body no longer needs. In short the body will detoxify itself. Think about it, when you get sick, it is your body’s natural inclination to not want to stuff your face with food. Animals do the same thing, they do not eat. The thing that you want to do is to rest, relax and guess what happens…the body heals itself naturally. Nature will take its course. Hippocrates said that the body heals itself, there is no pill or magic supplement that will cure it, only maybe to help the process along.

Anyway, what I have been doing once a week for 24-36 hours is water fasting. No food, only plenty of water and maybe some apple cider vinegar. Initially I started doing it just to see if I felt better, and I did almost immediately.

But something happened. I haven’t lost any strength, in fact I have gained strength, I have veins popping out in places where I never had them, and I feel alot better. I have also always struggled with acne and oily skin, now my skin looks so much better, there is a healthy glow to it and my digestion has improved. I am now about 173lbs but I have definitely put on muscle. How do I know, well because I look bigger and I move more weight for more repetitions. I have changed really nothing else to my diet except added in the fasting once a week.

Then I started to think about it. Did mankind evolve to be eating every 4 hours? No, not really. We would probably be eating once, maybe twice a day if we were lucky. I think resting the digestive system allows the body to got more from the food that we do eat. Anyway that’s my story.[/quote]

i’m glad you’re feeling better! but that you had acne and oily skin that cleared up after fasting makes me think you are sensitive to something in your diet. i had rough body acne for a long time… turns out i was sensitive to gluten.

maybe try to cut out common allergens from your diet, and see what happens. wheat, eggs, milk, etc.


#3

I went on The Master Cleanse about five months ago. I only got through about five days (7-10 recommended) but I felt great during it. I lost no strength and found my body really responded well. Better skin, more energy and it’s a lot cheaper than eating five or six times a day, for sure.


#4

I’m a big fan of going against the grain, not just blindly buying into what the masses are selling. So in this case, I applaud you for thinking outside the box. Now having said that, you might want to think about removing the above post lest someone actually believe it.

What kinds of foods do you eat when you’re actually eating??? If your diet consists of mainly fast food, chips, soda and pizza, then yes, I’d say you will do better by fasting 3 days out of every 7


#5

Fasting for a day or two is fine, but anything over that and you’ll feel what it’s like to need fuel. Being fat adapted already helps, but you’ll still feel like you have the flu.


#6

[quote]VealChop wrote:
I’m a big fan of going against the grain, not just blindly buying into what the masses are selling. So in this case, I applaud you for thinking outside the box. Now having said that, you might want to think about removing the above post lest someone actually believe it.

What kinds of foods do you eat when you’re actually eating??? If your diet consists of mainly fast food, chips, soda and pizza, then yes, I’d say you will do better by fasting 3 days out of every 7[/quote]

Most people who fast do eat like shit and thus they want to sort of start over, or at the very least cleanse their system. Since I started eating clean and healthy I have felt no need to fast whatsoever. But, when I was eating like the average American the idea of fasting to detoxify the body really appealed to me. If you research the master cleanse you’ll see that its an all liquid diet that consists of lemon juice, grade B/C maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixed into water. So you are getting a certain number of calories a day depending on how much you drink. The goal is to shut down the digestive system so your body can go to work on all the shit in your system. The lemon drink merely assists this process. To this day I still add cayenne pepper to a lot of my food. It’s spicier than most hot sauces (especially if you cake it on) and it’s been shown to raise your metabolism, helps stabilize blood pressure and is great for your intestinal tract. Google it to see all its healing properties.

People who are against fasting have probably never tried it. It’s pretty hard to convince someone to stop eating for their health. If you eat well then you probably don’t need to fast for any reason. If you don’t then you could probably stand to take a few days off.


#7

[quote]ckallander wrote:
VealChop wrote:
I’m a big fan of going against the grain, not just blindly buying into what the masses are selling. So in this case, I applaud you for thinking outside the box. Now having said that, you might want to think about removing the above post lest someone actually believe it.

What kinds of foods do you eat when you’re actually eating??? If your diet consists of mainly fast food, chips, soda and pizza, then yes, I’d say you will do better by fasting 3 days out of every 7

Most people who fast do eat like shit and thus they want to sort of start over, or at the very least cleanse their system. Since I started eating clean and healthy I have felt no need to fast whatsoever. But, when I was eating like the average American the idea of fasting to detoxify the body really appealed to me. If you research the master cleanse you’ll see that its an all liquid diet that consists of lemon juice, grade B/C maple syrup and cayenne pepper mixed into water. So you are getting a certain number of calories a day depending on how much you drink. The goal is to shut down the digestive system so your body can go to work on all the shit in your system. The lemon drink merely assists this process. To this day I still add cayenne pepper to a lot of my food. It’s spicier than most hot sauces (especially if you cake it on) and it’s been shown to raise your metabolism, helps stabilize blood pressure and is great for your intestinal tract. Google it to see all its healing properties.

People who are against fasting have probably never tried it. It’s pretty hard to convince someone to stop eating for their health. If you eat well then you probably don’t need to fast for any reason. If you don’t then you could probably stand to take a few days off. [/quote]

That’s not fasting.

What you did is the equivalent of not eating and living off of Coca-Cola for a week.

This does not make you healthy.


#8

I’m not at all against fasting. I have done it in the past, my own system that worked for me, and I liked the feeling for those 3, 4, or 5 days. I did it a couple times a year at most. What I’m against is the idea that OP is proposing of a fast for 24-36 hours of EVERY WEEK, and eating less often on a daily basis. Of course if his goal is to look like The Machinist, then he’s probably on the right track. But he’s posting that on a site called TMuscle…does anybody else see a slight incongruity here?


#9

If you actually researched it instead of blindly saying that it is akin to drinking coke for a week you might learn something.


#10

[quote]VealChop wrote:
I’m not at all against fasting. I have done it in the past, my own system that worked for me, and I liked the feeling for those 3, 4, or 5 days. I did it a couple times a year at most. What I’m against is the idea that OP is proposing of a fast for 24-36 hours of EVERY WEEK, and eating less often on a daily basis. Of course if his going is to look like The Machinist, then he’s probably on the right track. But he’s posting that on a site called TMuscle…does anybody else see a slight incongruity here?[/quote]

Not eating for one day every week will not make you look like the Machinist. It’s one fucking day. Studies have shown muscle doesn’t start wasting until the third day with no food, and the rest of the week is ample time to eat a shit ton of calories. It doesn’t matter.


#11

[quote]ckallander wrote:
If you actually researched it instead of blindly saying that it is akin to drinking coke for a week you might learn something. [/quote]

You’re drinking maple syrup all week as your only food source and calling it a fast. This is bullshit. You’d be better off eating nothing.


#12

http://ezinearticles.com/?Maple-Syrup-Health-Benefits---Not-Short,-But-Very-Sweet&id=684198

Here, I made it easy for you.


#13

[quote]ckallander wrote:
You’re drinking maple syrup all week as your only food source and calling it a fast. This is bullshit. You’d be better off eating nothing.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Maple-Syrup-Health-Benefits---Not-Short,-But-Very-Sweet&id=684198

Here, I made it easy for you.[/quote]

It says maple syrup has some vitamins in it.

Like all food.

Eating nothing but simple carbs for a week is fucking stupid. It will not make you healthier. If you want to fast for fat loss, eating protein will suit you much better. This bullshit is fucking pointless.


#14

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
VealChop wrote:
I’m not at all against fasting. I have done it in the past, my own system that worked for me, and I liked the feeling for those 3, 4, or 5 days. I did it a couple times a year at most. What I’m against is the idea that OP is proposing of a fast for 24-36 hours of EVERY WEEK, and eating less often on a daily basis. Of course if his going is to look like The Machinist, then he’s probably on the right track. But he’s posting that on a site called TMuscle…does anybody else see a slight incongruity here?

Not eating for one day every week will not make you look like the Machinist. It’s one fucking day. Studies have shown muscle doesn’t start wasting until the third day with no food, and the rest of the week is ample time to eat a shit ton of calories. It doesn’t matter.[/quote]

You’re an angry guy, and you seem to have a pretty decent reading comprehension problem, or ADD, or both. Again, what the OP is proposing is a fast for 24-36 hours EVERY WEEK, week after week, WHILE EATING ONCE OR TWICE a day the rest of the time. If you don’t believe that is a recipe for emaciating yourself while on a amply demanding workout / exercise program, try it and let us know how it works out for you. By the way, when OP started this new “technique”, he weighed 185 lbs. He now weighs 173. Granted, he’s 5’7. So let me tell you what he’s really saying. He was a chub, and ate all sorts of crappy food all day, and as a consequence, felt and performed like crap. For the time being, his body is thanking him for not eating so much crap all the time, and he has lost some of his chub. If he stays on this current diet, he’ll be emaciated and feel even more like crap in another few months. If he had rather cut out all the crap, and started eating good clean food 4 times per day instead of this ridiculous fast, he’d probably feel like superman by now, and he’d have started a daily routine that is actually maintainable FOREVER. Now let’s see if you can get through this entire paragraph before responding.


#15

[quote]VealChop wrote:
Vicomte wrote:
VealChop wrote:
I’m not at all against fasting. I have done it in the past, my own system that worked for me, and I liked the feeling for those 3, 4, or 5 days. I did it a couple times a year at most. What I’m against is the idea that OP is proposing of a fast for 24-36 hours of EVERY WEEK, and eating less often on a daily basis. Of course if his going is to look like The Machinist, then he’s probably on the right track. But he’s posting that on a site called TMuscle…does anybody else see a slight incongruity here?

Not eating for one day every week will not make you look like the Machinist. It’s one fucking day. Studies have shown muscle doesn’t start wasting until the third day with no food, and the rest of the week is ample time to eat a shit ton of calories. It doesn’t matter.

You’re an angry guy, and you seem to have a pretty decent reading comprehension problem, or ADD, or both. Again, what the OP is proposing is a fast for 24-36 hours EVERY WEEK, week after week, WHILE EATING ONCE OR TWICE a day the rest of the time. If you don’t believe that is a recipe for emaciating yourself while on a amply demanding workout / exercise program, try it and let us know how it works out for you. By the way, when OP started this new “technique”, he weighed 185 lbs. He now weighs 173. Granted, he’s 5’7. So let me tell you what he’s really saying. He was a chub, and ate all sorts of crappy food all day, and as a consequence, felt and performed like crap. For the time being, his body is thanking him for not eating so much crap all the time, and he has lost some of his chub. If he stays on this current diet, he’ll be emaciated and feel even more like crap in another few months. If he had rather cut out all the crap, and started eating good clean food 4 times per day instead of this ridiculous fast, he’d probably feel like superman by now, and he’d have started a daily routine that is actually maintainable FOREVER. Now let’s see if you can get through this entire paragraph before responding. [/quote]

I’m not angry, nor do I have a reading comprehension problem. What I’m saying is that fasting one day out of the week, and eating once or twice a day for the rest of the week, will not be detrimental to gains as long as the calories are there. I don’t care how long you do it for. It may not be the easiest strategy (or the most intelligent), but it’s not going to magically make him tiny.

Basically, I’m disagreeing with the idea that one has to eat every two hours that everyone seems to believe. Why not eat once or twice a day? Who cares if you fast one day a week?


#16

Don’t be so quick to deny you have a reading comprehension problem. I’ll bet any reading you’ve done, that is, assuming you’ve done ANY on the subject of weight lifting, muscle gaining, strength increasing, sports training has recommended that trainees work hard in the gym, and then eat good clean food AT LEAST a few times a day, not every two hours, more like every 5-7 hours, more if possible, and get plenty of sleep if you want to make good healthy gains in strength, muscle, and of course, general health and wellbeing.

Now I’m going to go out on a limb here. But besides writing posts online about stuff you obviously know little about, have you tried it both ways? Have you ever eaten the way EVERY TRAINER IN THE WORLD, whether they know very little or are experts in the field say to eat? And have you ever done just about the complete opposite? And have you ever noticed which one worked better for you? I’m going to guess no on that one.

Yes, if given the choice between eating Doritos and Pepsi and half a Dominos pizza 4 times per day vs. eating a steak, some broccoli, and a sweet potato once per day, i’ll take the steak. But are you really trying to make the argument that eating once per day and fasting 24-36 hours out of 7 is something to shoot for?


#17

[quote]VealChop wrote:
Yes, if given the choice between eating Doritos and Pepsi and half a Dominos pizza 4 times per day vs. eating a steak, some broccoli, and a sweet potato once per day, i’ll take the steak. But are you really trying to make the argument that eating once per day and fasting 24-36 hours out of 7 is something to shoot for?[/quote]

No, I’m saying the frequency and division of nutrients isn’t important, provided they are equal. Eating the steak in one meal or four won’t mean shit at the end of the week. I’ve never tried each approach and quantified the results, but neither have you.

The occasional fast won’t break your diet, I’m not sure why this is so hard to believe. One doesn’t need to eat constantly to be healthy.


#18

[quote]Charlemagne wrote:
About 4 months ago I began to stop putting so much emphasis on eating all the time for the sake of eating just to maintain and gain muscular weight. I was about 185lbs. at 5’ 7", probably 12-13% BF.

Health has become my number one priority now, I mean whats the point of having a big squat if you feel like shit all the time and have poor mobility. I also picked up Paul Bragg’s book “The Miracle of Fasting”, it is a pretty good book and has some interesting ideas, ideas that I have decided to implement into my own life.

One of those ideas was that fasting allows the body to stop using all of its energy towards digesting food and puts it towards catabolizing all of the tissues and cells that the body no longer needs. In short the body will detoxify itself. 0

Think about it, when you get sick, it is your body’s natural inclination to not want to stuff your face with food. Animals do the same thing, they do not eat. The thing that you want to do is to rest, relax and guess what happens…the body heals itself naturally. Nature will take its course. Hippocrates said that the body heals itself, there is no pill or magic supplement that will cure it, only maybe to help the process along.

Anyway, what I have been doing once a week for 24-36 hours is water fasting. No food, only plenty of water and maybe some apple cider vinegar. Initially I started doing it just to see if I felt better, and I did almost immediately.

But something happened. I haven’t lost any strength, in fact I have gained strength, I have veins popping out in places where I never had them, and I feel alot better. I have also always struggled with acne and oily skin, now my skin looks so much better, there is a healthy glow to it and my digestion has improved. I am now about 173lbs but I have definitely put on muscle. How do I know, well because I look bigger and I move more weight for more repetitions. I have changed really nothing else to my diet except added in the fasting once a week.

Then I started to think about it. Did mankind evolve to be eating every 4 hours? No, not really. We would probably be eating once, maybe twice a day if we were lucky. I think resting the digestive system allows the body to got more from the food that we do eat. Anyway that’s my story.[/quote]

Let’s see some pics of these veins and bulging muscles.


#19

The frequency and division of nutrients is not only important, its the entire point. Try going into the desert and drinking your entire canteen of water all at once at about mid day instead of spacing it out over 24-48 hours and see how that works.

If you eat the same exact quantity of food, but in one instance you do it all at once, right before bed, and in the other, you cut it into four balanced parts, and eat throughout the day, you think this is exactly the same thing???

Heck, why even bother splitting up the body into parts, just blast it one time per week in the gym, that will all average out too.

I’m not saying you’ll die if you fast and eat once a day, Ghandi proved that. I’m saying it’s a gimme that it’s not nearly optimal. In fact, I would bet most of America follows that “diet”. Have you seen most of America? Dude, it’s a stupid argument. One is simply not as good as the other, and the entire strength training community agrees on this one. I mean as much as they DON’T agree on, this one is universal!


#20

[quote]younggully wrote:
Charlemagne wrote:
About 4 months ago I began to stop putting so much emphasis on eating all the time for the sake of eating just to maintain and gain muscular weight. I was about 185lbs. at 5’ 7", probably 12-13% BF.

Health has become my number one priority now, I mean whats the point of having a big squat if you feel like shit all the time and have poor mobility. I also picked up Paul Bragg’s book “The Miracle of Fasting”, it is a pretty good book and has some interesting ideas, ideas that I have decided to implement into my own life.

One of those ideas was that fasting allows the body to stop using all of its energy towards digesting food and puts it towards catabolizing all of the tissues and cells that the body no longer needs. In short the body will detoxify itself. 0

Think about it, when you get sick, it is your body’s natural inclination to not want to stuff your face with food. Animals do the same thing, they do not eat. The thing that you want to do is to rest, relax and guess what happens…the body heals itself naturally. Nature will take its course. Hippocrates said that the body heals itself, there is no pill or magic supplement that will cure it, only maybe to help the process along.

Anyway, what I have been doing once a week for 24-36 hours is water fasting. No food, only plenty of water and maybe some apple cider vinegar. Initially I started doing it just to see if I felt better, and I did almost immediately.

But something happened. I haven’t lost any strength, in fact I have gained strength, I have veins popping out in places where I never had them, and I feel alot better. I have also always struggled with acne and oily skin, now my skin looks so much better, there is a healthy glow to it and my digestion has improved. I am now about 173lbs but I have definitely put on muscle. How do I know, well because I look bigger and I move more weight for more repetitions. I have changed really nothing else to my diet except added in the fasting once a week.

Then I started to think about it. Did mankind evolve to be eating every 4 hours? No, not really. We would probably be eating once, maybe twice a day if we were lucky. I think resting the digestive system allows the body to got more from the food that we do eat. Anyway that’s my story.

Let’s see some pics of these veins and bulging muscles.[/quote]

x2

Fasting in and of itself is not bad, but has to be done for the right reasons. Fasting is to take your mind off of something, food, and redirect it toward something else, in my case God. You all might find this gay, but try it some time.