Primer52 for Naturals?

First Post,

reading your Primer52 article, great article , think it could do good for me ( natural bloke, lifts for strength, always hungry ) but I’m worried about the 24hr fast days

Would a 24hr fast still be advisable for someone who’s natural? I mean 24hrs with no protein? would I not be catabolic and detrimental to my goals?

Is this plan intended at non-naturals or am I overthinking it?

It’s for both. I’ve used it with a lot of natural clients. Yeah the fasting days can be hard at first but you adapt. And you will not lose muscle with 24h of fasting, more than a few studies have shown that (look up the book Eat.Stop.Eat for review of the literature on that topic). And any potential cetabolism would be more than made up for in the next day which provides a huge anabolic rebound.


But this program would not be used if someone simply wants to gain maximum muscle and strength?

I’m guessing it’s probably not better than an all out bulk for strength and size gains , however if you have been bulking for a while (and maybe put on a little extra bf) it may help spark some new muscle growth by bringing you insulin sensitivity back and also help you loose abit of winter warmth in time for summer …

No it’s for gaining size and strength while getting lean

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What if someone is the high cortisol type. Would the day of fasting still be productive if you had small amounts of protein or some type of low calorie sustenance(for example bone broth) to take the edge off or fool you into thinking you had some food… Obviously I know it’s not considered fasting anymore at that point but was wondering if there are still benefits such as still increasing AMPK etc.

What would you suggest for water intake during the fasting day?

I know that a dry fast with no liquids amplifies the results of fasting. Is drinking water throughout the day okay to stay hydrated for the following day of working out

You do? How do you know that? And what results in particular are amplified over the course of a single day fast?

That will not lower cortisol at all. Bone broth I could see being beneficial for health purposes. But other foods wouldn’t be helpful.

I’m not a big fan of dry fasting, although my friend Joachim Bartoll uses them frequently and reports good results. For the purpose of this plan I see it as overkill and it might decrease the efficacy of the next day’s workout if you don’t have time to rehydrate.


This looks like something psychologically right up my alley. My questions are in regard to running this as an off/early season highland games program. I just finished a long powerlifting block, have now taken about 3 weeks of bodybuilding with low carbs to reset everything, and am just starting to throw again. For me, I lift through the week with 2 or 3 days of light throwing drills of 20-30 minutes and have a big throwing day on the weekend. That day is generally 2-3 hours with explosive throws (light weights) and long rest intervals. Questions:

  1. Is this just flat out the wrong program to run?
  2. Where should I put my technique work during the week/ is it okay on a fast day?
  3. Could the adaptive day work for my main throwing day/how would you do nutrition?

Thank you for all the great writing and I’m very grateful for any help.

Do you feel there is any muscle breakdown or lost muscle during a 24 to 36 hour fast?

No, the book Eat.Stop.Eat debunks that myth with supporting research. My friend Joachim Bartoll does a lot of 3-5 days fast and take DEXA body comp measurements everytime and the most he had was, I think a 0.2kg drop in muscle mass in a 5 days dry fast and a few days after the fast there was actually a rebound effect and he had a bit more lean mass than before. Even if there was a small (VERY small) loss in the 24h, it would be more than made up for in the subsequent day with the large anabolic rebound.


Great. Cant wait to try this

Do you think results would be similar for a lifter on a MWF schedule, fasting on Tuesdays & Thursdays?

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I remember an old article you wrote in 2016, Fasting Cardio Eats Muscle. On this program, low intensity cardio is ok on Fasting days. But you also had sprints and HIIT. So would airdyne sprints or KB swings for short time be ok? Thanks

Any thoughts on BCAA loading throughout the day (non fasting) to get more amino acids (help with muscle building) without ingesting any calories?

Christian this is incredibly insightful. You’ve cut through all the confusion and adapted and added the science and empirical evidence that makes one pause. I, for one, applaud you


  1. How long should we trial your system to see results? I’m at 12% body fat, 5’7”, 174 lbs., and 60- years.

pretty much a waste IMHO

Cheers for all the replies Thibs, appreciate your work.

What’s your thoughts on Creatine & ZMA supplementation during a 24hr fast day? would it interfere with the fast? Or would it be better to just double up on a workout day?

I’m guessing Fish Oil would definatly be a miss on fast day due to it being a ‘fat’ that your body can metabolise