T Nation

Intermittent Fasting - Results?


#1

If you've tried intermittent fasting such as Leangains, (preferably as an eating lifestyle for making lean muscle gains as apposed to a short term cut), please can you share your results and experiences?

Cheers


#2

It'll be a while until my cut is finished and I start either recomping or gaining. I don't expect to gain at the rates I've tried to in the past (while staying "lean", that being the whole point), but 12 months from now I'll let you know... haha.


#3

Haha - I'll hold you to that. Will give you my result in 12 months time too!


#4

I'll set an alarm.

[Edit] Oh. And you should type in leangains and intermittent fasting, there are a few thread there where people have been recently discussing their results on this sort of plan. [/Edit]


#5

I did 16 weeks on Leangains. I paid for Martin's consultation and he wrote up a diet/exercise plan for me that helped me whittle down to a nearly shredded 160lbs (was at least a 25-30 lb reduction). I say "nearly shredded" because you have to realize that in order to shed that last bit of fat that desperately clings to your body, you must make slight tweaks/changes to your diet. Given that I only paid Martin for his consultation, I did not have him along the way to help with the necessary changes to get to sub 10% (I was probably around 10, maybe a little under).

Anyway, my experience was pretty good overall. I lost a lot of body fat, which was my goal. I also lost a lot of strength (mostly from bench and squat), which is quite normal when on ANY cutting diet, especially such an extreme one for such a long period of time. I started really feeling depleted by the 10 week mark which, again, is expected when on an extreme cut.

As for the meals, I can only describe them as epic. My dinners on workout days weight about 4.5 lbs. Sweating and choking down food was the norm. Martin had me lifting 3 days a week and doing steady state cardio on the other 4 days. I learned a lot, learned what I need to do in the future, and I learned how much determination is really truly needed to cut substantial body fat. My life revolved around it, unfortunately.

In summary, the program was pretty good, leangains is fairly easy, and the most important thing I learned was this: once you achieve a fairly cut level, make sure your subsequent bulk is ALSO clean or you will have squandered all of your efforts. I gained a lot of weight on a fairly dirty bulk after I finished this cut and I was stupid for doing that. One last thing: I don't particularly like Martin's approach to weight training on a cut. If I did it again, that's one thing I'd change, but that's a personal preference, I suppose.


#6

Great post- thanks for that!!

I will be doing more of a recomposition rather than a hard cut. So I am training weights 5 days a week (one body part per day) followed by a short stint of steady state cardio for 15-20 mins and one HIIT cardio session one the weekend. Also, I will be eating about 400 calories under maintenance (i'm 198 lbs @16.4% BF - so I will be scoffing down about 2600 calories of clean food)

What was your protein intake like? I'm adding in several whey shakes during the 8 hour eating window to reach around 270 grams protein.


#7

I've been doing my own version of the Warrior diet and I must say I am completely shocked. I was terrified to try it, I have been doing the 6-7 meals since I can remember but I always felt like it may not be the best or efficient way to diet. I'm not saying it's wrong or that it doesn't work but everybody is different and some people may respond better to more meals while others may do better with less. I've been doing it for about a month now, I've gained about 4 lbs and lost .5% bf...now you may say that isn't anything to write home about but let me tell you I have had pizza, dairy queen, mcdonalds, chicken wings, cookies...I was eating much more "clean" before and yet I am leaner and bigger now. For me it's WAY EASIER, worrying about eating all day no longer consumes my life. Last night after my lift I had protein, cereal, fruit, steak, cheddar pretzels, chicken, sushi, almonds, and cookies during my "eating window". I am almost exactly where I was after I dieted for 12 weeks with no cheat meals, measuring each piece of food and following a carb cycling approach outlined by a top bb coach and yet I have "unclean" food EVERY single night. I have had numerous people tell me that I look bigger and more full since I have started. No doubt it has improved body composition.


#8

That's awesome to hear!!! I hope it's the same for me - I've just started this approach. Previously I did the 7-8 meals a day for years, but it is tiresome and always left me hungry at night and craving bad food. About a year ago I did the anabolic diet for 5 months (following the book to the T), I had nice gains and got leaner, but it was a bit anti-social not being able to eat any carbs - also, my cholesterol shot up (which was the reason I stopped).

I guess the one thing about build a big lean body, is you have to always try new things, and one day you should stumble onto a method that is liveable and works. I'm hoping that this is the style for me - in terms of following the diet, it's piss easy and allows me to enjoy food and go to bed full. If the physical results follow, then I'm going to be damn happy! haha


#9

good results man - can i ask how many calories you were consuming to achieve that?

i presume somewhere just over maintenance? thanks


#10

I honestly haven't been counting calories at all...that's kind of the beauty of it for me. Granted, I'm not trying to necessarily cut down or bulk up because I'm around 8-9% bf so I just eat whatever amount I feel like that night. I let my body determine. If I'm extremely hungry I will just keep eating during my "overeating phase". If I had to guess I would say my protein consumption has definitely dropped but I still keep it around 200-250g when it used to be around 300-350g.


#11

How much did Martin charge?


#12

curious about more feedback.


#13

I started Leangains about 6 months ago after returning from a cruise with my GF. After seeing photos of me during the cruise, I realized that not only was I way flabbier than I'd like to be, but that my lifts were stalled, I was dealing with inflammation in both knees, and I was in serious need of change.

I had been doing mostly low-carb, high fat, high protein for a good couple of years before that, and I had little to show for my efforts. I also ate 6-7 times per day, starting at breakfast. The bottom line is that I was taking in too many calories and I didn't understand anything about nutrition.

When I had first learned of LG, I pretty much immediately wrote Martin off as some skinny wannabe pretty boy. Sure he was ripped, but I didn't want to get ripped if it meant being a weakling. However, after reading more into it and seeing the results of his and his clients, it became apparent that it was worth a serious look. I think I found LG at the right time for me. If my lifts hadn't been stalled, if I hadn't been chubby, and if I didn't generally feel lost/like shit, I probably would've never tried it. However, I figured I had nothing to lose and told myself I would stick to it for 3 weeks. I told myself that if my lifts went down or if I started looking skinny fat, I'd ditch it.

I was amazed at how quickly my body adjusted to daily fasting. I'd sleep in later, wake up, grab coffee and go to work. No mental foggy-ness, no physical fatigue. Within 2 weeks, the bilateral knee inflammation that I'd been trying to fight off for more than a year and a half had disappeared, and my lifting sessions were beginning to have that "pop" that I hadn't experienced in a long time. I ditched my food log and instead just focused on getting in enough protein and alternating carb heavy/fat heavy days (protein+carbs on training days, protein+fats on non-training days). The entire process was simplified and training started to be fun again.

Since then, I've lost a total of around 27 lbs of scale weight, and my my muscles are much more clearly defined. My arms look so much more vascular and I can actually see my top 4 abs. All of my lifts have increased.

I'd say without a doubt that starting LG has been the single biggest improvement to efforts since discovering 5-3-1 way back when. I feel that the traditional 6+ meals a day method is great for some (most of the serious people I know do this), but for me, LG saved the day. It put me back in the driver's seat, so to speak.


#14

As for the amount of protein I ate, it was something like 256 gm on training days and 300 on non-training days.

As for the cost, I'm not trying to be evasive, but I don't recall what Martin charged me. I remember thinking it seemed like a lot at the time, but then again, Marin sends you excel files that can outline principles you can use for a lifetime. In fact, if I had the money right now, I'd consider paying him to help me with recomp.

I'm thinking about using Michael Keck's Modified Warrior Diet.

@fd24 - I'd love to eat like you, man! I've always gotten really nervous about taking the macros and applying them to dense, dirty food (e.g. pizza or whatever). I know that it has worked for people, but I always get too paranoid and end up eating clean....oh, and i was eating pretty much the same two days' worth of menus over and over...made me want to kill myself. You have any suggestions? I'd like to hear more about your approach.


#15

I used Martin's leangains principles to help go from 20%~ to sub 10% in about 16 weeks time. Nothing fancy, most days was 2 meals pre workout which constituted about 40% of my calories, then I had approx. 60% of my calories PWO. I was not a stickler, and this varied sometimes. Cardio averaged out to be around 4x a week, starting at 25min after warmup, getting up to 40-45min. Some days if I missed my fasted cardio, I'd do 25-30min PWO.

Through the summer I have continued to apply IF principles to maintain a decent level of bodyfat (avatar is current).

Summary: from around 235, 20%ish bf ----> 200, 9%ish bf in approx. 16 weeks. I'm 6 feet tall. Calories started around 3000 or a little above, ended up around 22-2300 on lower days.

Given my schedule, it's more convenient to not worry about eating in the morning. If I'm really dying due to having an overly active morning, I might down some aminos or something.


#16

^Was wondering if you were going to chime in....


#17

nice. what did your meals look like, generally?


#18

I always begin the day with a 2-3 hour fast (If I really cheated bad the day before maybe I extend that fast a little longer with only bcaas at some point), where I literally have nothing. Then I will have fish oil, maybe some blueberries, 30g protein, 10g bcaa...I will do this 2-3 times during the day and then 10g of bcaas before my lift (5-6pm), 10g during, and after wards I have protein with any cereal I want, then I will for example have an entire rotisserie chicken, sushi, fruit, cookies, but I always start with a large protein source, then my carbs, then some "cheat" food if I want.

But last night after my lift I had steak, rice, then subway, and then 4 chocolate chip cookies and some ice cream. I'm not advocating the junk food but it depends on your goals, I was satisfied with maintaining but still have been able to get leaner while following this approach and I get to go to bed satisfied so it's working well for me. If MAG-10 wasn't so expensive I might have given it a shot for my drinks during the day but its too much and I would go through it real quick.


#19

I started a cut last week using the Lean Gains method. I haven't got all the kinks ironed out yet, but for the most part I'm following the guide Martin outlines on his website. It's only been 1.5 weeks so there isn't a whole lot of progress, but if you want to check out my training log I'm going to keep it updated with my progress.


#20

From memory, towards the end of the diet, was something like this:

Meal 1 (1PM): Usually 6-8oz chicken breast, broccoli and/or salad; sometimes this was beef (steak, occasionally ground), occasionally ground turkey. If pressed for time, 60g whey & other stuff.

Meal 2: (4PM): Pretty much same as meal one. Some days I'd do 1/2 - 1 cup of rice.

Pre workout: I think I was using 2 scoops Humapro and a poptart (2 on leg day).

Post workout: 30g whey.

Meal 3 (9PM): 12-14oz of chicken/beef/steak, 1-3cups rice

Something to that effect. Was prettyyyy basic.