T Nation

Intermittent Fasting Twice a Week


For those of you who have done IF before, if you could chime in with your thoughts here..

I'm going to be doing a 3mo volume cycle, so I'm looking to gain a few LBS but want to remain lean. I'm currently in the 9-12% area depending on the usual (day of week, stomach contents, holiday cookies lol)

I was considering doing the 16/8 protocol on my off days and eating normally on my training days. So it would look like this from a time perspective.

Monday (Training Day)
5am-8pm: Awake & Eating
*Fast 8pm-12 Noon Tuesday (16hrs)

Tuesday (Non-Training Day)
8am-12Noon Fast
12 Noon - 8pm Eating (8hrs)

I'd repeat that for the rest of the week. I lift M/W/F

I don't want to think too much about this just yet because I'd just be convincing myself that it "looks good" since I want to do this.

So what do you think? Would this work to keep my lifting gains moving while keeping the fat accumulation to a minimum?



Read the recent Berardi article for a start. I like his idea of eating above maintainence on training days, maintainence on off days and one 24 hour fast a week. He has a client that has had some pretty good results this way apparently.

Im currently using IF to lose a little chub but plan on trying something like this to put on some more muscle after. I train 4 days a week though so itll be 2 maintainence days, 1 24hr fast day with 4 above maintainence days most likely. In fact I might not even do the full fast day unless I see too much chub build up.


Yeah, that's a good article. I also skimmed his PDF while at work. It looks like something I'd like to try. It seems like something that I just might go for and see what happens.


I'm not sure how cycling IF will affect it's effectiveness. I follow IF 7 days a week, and i absolutely love it. The idea of "fasted training" and the hormones and nutrient uptake associated with the program is huge to why it works.. compromised both of these ideas by changing the plan may make the plan less effective.


That why we will have to experiment! Im going to try keeping to the 16/8 feeding schedule but just upping calories during and post workout when I try to gain. If this does not work I may increase the feeding window or place more calories on off days.


I follow the 16/8 training protocol daily and enjoy it. More often than not when I train in the morning, I don't break my fast for 4 to 5 hours. In cases like that it's crucial to have some BCAA's on hand to down.


Doing 16/8 myself for 3 weeks now. Down 5 lbs of fat, no strength loss whatsoever.

Good way to rid yourself of caffeine/sugar addictions (believe it or not I started having cravings!)

I started doing it because long workshifts kept me out of the house for 12 hours with no fridge and I got tired of shitty take-out, so I just eat when I'm at home. It's really cut down on the "bad" and "so-so" food.


I do not agree with Jace, 4-5 hour fasts after working out will be detrimental and counter productive to muscle gain. your largest meal should come post w/o, ideally within 30minutes.


My main reasoning for cycling the IF is b/c I have BJJ/MMA class late at night a few nights a week. These times fall within the fast and I feel I need some caloric intake surrounding this time.

Like Glitch said, it's all an experimental thing. From the time line I'm thinking, the worst case scenario would be that nothing happens.

I'll be going into my training fasted since I train at 6am and don't eat before anyways. Right now I only have some gatorade powder before/during but can easily cut that out.

I'm going to put an order in for some BCAA's & Greens to have either way. If things work out good (or really bad) I'll toss it up in here so people know whats up.


I do 1 or 2 24 hour fasts a week. Using 2 now due to the Christmas party/going out to dinner circuit this month. On other days during the week, I do the 16/8. Much rather work out on an empty stomach. The benefits are huge.


How long have you been dong the 24hr fasts?


My reasoning for doing so and the author appears to be far more knowledgeable than both you and I. It's worked for me, I've lost fat and my strength has not been affected negatively.

Also, if you're going to address me...spell my name right or don't at all.


the s is close to the c.
Still, biologically/physiologically, fasting after training doesnt make much sense if you are not consuming pre w/o beforehand, but if it works it works i suppose.

I fought Krav/MT as well, and i would definitely agree IF will be difficult on days you need to do that. However, i think if you kept it to BCAAs and some sort of pre/post carbs would suffice, and would not greatly affect the fast. something like "fluid"(the drink not the category), gatorade, or maybe Surge w/o fuel. when would your fasting times/training times be?


I generally wake up at 6 and the 10 gram BCAA shake is already made and waiting for me in the fridge. I down that as I'm getting dressed and such. By 6:15 I'm out there door and walking to the gym which is conveniently across the street from my place.

I was skeptical at first of the science behind it and I figured I'd be dying after an hour, but it's really not that bad. On training days the second 10 gram shake is taken about 30 minutes after I finish training, and then 2 hours later or so I have another with my first meal coming roughly 2 hours after that.

It certainly flies in the face of everything we've ever been told in regards to post workout nutrition, but I enjoy it. I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking to bulk up quickly though. Since I am simply maintaining my weight and ideally increasing my strength to weight ratio, the plan works for me.


As far as my night MMA classes & fasting goes I'd be fasting from 4pm till 7am the next day and my class falls from 6pm-9:30pm during that time.

I'm sure I could try the bcaa/SWF on either side of my training but I'd hate to fuck up any chance at recovery or worse, get weaker!

I'm going to start the "protocol" I put as my original post this sunday and see what happens. I'll give it a few weeks and see how I feel. I don't expect to have massive changes in appearance and/or strength levels, but I should have a good idea if it will effect me in my training by then.


I'll be honest OP - i stopped reading as soon as you said i'm thnking of doing the 16/8 fast on off days and eating normally on training days. That is not IF!

The whole point of it is that you train your body to be hungry as certain times of day and not at others, among other things. IE. when i started i was breaking my fast at 2pm. Now for the first week i would be absolutely starving at around 9am. Then as time moved on it became 10, then 11 and eventually after about a month i literally wouldnt get hungry until 2pm, when it was time to break the fast. Now my point is, if you do this one day on, one day off type routine. Your body will never accustom itself to IF, and effectivly you're going to be hungry all the time.

You can do what you're suggesting but it wont be IF. I found that if you're looking to get leaner whilst maintaining your current muscle mass, IF done the right way works very well. But for bulking, i didnt like it at all.


Isn't what I'm suggesting exactly intermittent fasting? lol. Sure, it's not one of the prescribed protocols from either Leangains or Berardis' most recent study, but people do 1-2 24hr fasts a week, I'd be doing 1-2 16hr fasts.

That's not consistent, it's intermittent.


True, my mind seemed to get side tracked as i used the leangains protocol when i did IF. Apologies. You're absolutely right. People do do 1-2 24 hours per week with great success. My experience was with a very rigid protocol of fasting from a specific time every day and breaking that fast at the same time so i dont have any experience fasting the way you're suggesting.

I cant really comment on how effective your suggested protocol would be as i have no real lfe experience.


You can do what you like. Personally, I dont know if you'll get much out of skipping breakfast twice a week.

Why not just use the 24hr once a week fast?


I just started CarbBackLoading by Keifer. Book not out yet but I have pieced together the foundation. IF followed by workout and carb load is the essentials.

I wake and drink my coffee with coconut oil or heavy cream and continue fast until roughly 12. A 15-16 hour fast. Then a meal of protein/fat. Another meal pre workout or 25 g protein shake with creatine and Leucine. Post workout another protein + carb shake and an hour later the fun begins. You are supposed to binge on carbs up until roughly 9 PM.

I am having a hard time getting enough protein in this time span without breakfast and eating enough carbs after trying not to eat carbs can be a challenge.

I don't mind the fast though. My body hasn't gotten used to it yet on workout days. But that has something to do with no getting proper preworkout meal.