T Nation

Who's Actually IF

Just wanted to see if anyone was doing an IF “muscle gain” right now. I know there are probably plenty of people on these forums using IF for “fat loss”, but I’m running IF (somewhere between LeanGains and Warrior Diet) for “muscle gain” with 5/3/1 BBB.

For those that are, what workout program are you doing and how’s it going?

B

EDIT: Replaced “bulking” with “muscle gain” and “cut” with “fat loss”…

Who is getting fat or who is gaining muscle on IF?

I am gaining muscle.

The word “bulking” needs to go.

Not bulking, but I’ve gained weight eating similarly.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Who is getting fat or who is gaining muscle on IF?

I am gaining muscle.

The word “bulking” needs to go.[/quote]

That seemed unnecessary; semantics. Bulking doesn’t necessarily imply getting fat, especially getting fat without building muscle.

Regardless, how is your “gaining muscle” working with IF?

[quote]baugust wrote:

For those that are, what workout program are you doing and how’s it going?

B[/quote]

I don’t have a particular workout program. I just try to get stronger with certain benchmark lifts.

I have used pretty much every method from Mark Rippetoe to Louis Simmons.

Right now I am working on cleans and overhead pressing. My goal this year is a bodyweight clean and jerk and I think I will be able to hit it soon. For volume purposes I do lots of squatting variations and bodyweight movements.

It’s not about the method but rather consistency and effort.

I’m back on the IF bandwagon too just now. I’ve done it in the past and I liked it and had good results with it, so I’m hoping for a repeat.

It’s sort of a cross between IF and carb backloading, but not carbing up too much. So far it seems to be working ok, no loss of strength or anything despite reduced calories and a very significant reduction in carbs.

my program is just a typical bodypart split

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
It’s not about the method but rather consistency and effort.[/quote]

That’s it in a nutshell, mate.

I have been doing it for a while with a slight modification. I take MAG-10 (3) during the day time then break my fast at about 3pm with a Finibar. Then lift around 4pm with Anaconda and follow-up with another MAG-10 post. I have to say with all certainty that this approach for me is working so well it is truly amazing!

I used to have to a boat load of cardio to get lean. Last summer I was doing an hr of low intensity cardio 5 days a week then lifted 5 days, and did 20 mins HIT training 3 x’s a week. Yes, I got lean but that was totally crazy and no way I could keep that pace for any time period. Now- my cardio is almost none and I am leaner and bigger! Let me clarify- I do conditioning but it consists of Tabata workouts with kettlebells usually-3 xs a week. They are usually 4 sets of 4 mins.

I could tell you more but I am 100% sold on the concept. I eat a good ammount of carbs during the feed also. Probably cosume a solid 200-300 grams during this period all from clean sources. usually a bowl of gluten free oatmeal and PB, rice, chicken sweet pot. etc… I am also wheat free which helped me a great deal too. But, long answer- yes I have gained size on it! Everyone at my gym messes with me that I am juicing! I am not, but I welcome the fact that they can see a solid difference.

[quote]T-bone12 wrote:
I have been doing it for a while with a slight modification. I take MAG-10 (3) during the day time then break my fast at about 3pm with a Finibar. Then lift around 4pm with Anaconda and follow-up with another MAG-10 post. I have to say with all certainty that this approach for me is working so well it is truly amazing!

I used to have to a boat load of cardio to get lean. Last summer I was doing an hr of low intensity cardio 5 days a week then lifted 5 days, and did 20 mins HIT training 3 x’s a week. Yes, I got lean but that was totally crazy and no way I could keep that pace for any time period. Now- my cardio is almost none and I am leaner and bigger! Let me clarify- I do conditioning but it consists of Tabata workouts with kettlebells usually-3 xs a week. They are usually 4 sets of 4 mins.

I could tell you more but I am 100% sold on the concept. I eat a good ammount of carbs during the feed also. Probably cosume a solid 200-300 grams during this period all from clean sources. usually a bowl of gluten free oatmeal and PB, rice, chicken sweet pot. etc… I am also wheat free which helped me a great deal too. But, long answer- yes I have gained size on it! Everyone at my gym messes with me that I am juicing! I am not, but I welcome the fact that they can see a solid difference.[/quote]

So you’re basically doing protein pulsing during the day, but you still consider it fasting? I was debating doing whey/casein pulses every 3-5 hours upon waking during my fast… but so far I’ve stuck with zero calories (with the exception of BCAAs every 3-5 hours), fasted training, and then all my calories in 3-5 hours.

Regardless, that’s awesome that your results are so positive! I’ve put on 3-4 pounds over the past two months, and my lifts have gone up a fair amount, at least in my opinion. Do you find any particular advantage to your current pre-workout nutrition compared to fasted training (if you’ve ever tried it)?

Well-technically I am not true fasting since I do have the 3 MAG-10 pulses during the day. I know the Leangains methodology states that you only ingest BCAA pre-workout and nothing else all day. I actually have not tried it in the true fashion; however, this method is working so well I am not sure I want to try it. I got the pulse feast method from reading here. I may give the true Leangains a shot for a few weeks just to compare the two and see which I feel/look better on.

[quote]T-bone12 wrote:
Well-technically I am not true fasting since I do have the 3 MAG-10 pulses during the day. I know the Leangains methodology states that you only ingest BCAA pre-workout and nothing else all day. I actually have not tried it in the true fashion; however, this method is working so well I am not sure I want to try it. I got the pulse feast method from reading here. I may give the true Leangains a shot for a few weeks just to compare the two and see which I feel/look better on. [/quote]

What do you mean by “working so well”? Strength/size gains with no fat, recomp, etc.?

yeh, I have gotten leaner a noticable amount and my size has increased as well. I have done any skin folds or bod pod etc… but I as well as all my workout buddies notice a large difference. I reduced my cardio and still got leaner. I was 205 before I started and now I am back up to 210 and leaner. So, it does work very well for me. My strength did come back up also. I am also doing a basterized version of CT’s layer system too, so the strength and size gains may be attributed to the training methods as well.

[quote]T-bone12 wrote:
yeh, I have gotten leaner a noticable amount and my size has increased as well. I have done any skin folds or bod pod etc… but I as well as all my workout buddies notice a large difference. I reduced my cardio and still got leaner. I was 205 before I started and now I am back up to 210 and leaner. So, it does work very well for me. My strength did come back up also. I am also doing a basterized version of CT’s layer system too, so the strength and size gains may be attributed to the training methods as well. [/quote]

Do you think you would be getting similar results replacing the MAG-10 pulses with casein/whey pulses throughout the day? College student style.

I would say, now simply based on my own experience-no. I actually did the velocity diet last year and felt crappy for some reason. Too much whey prot. gives me a bloated belly thing… it just does not sit well.

So, for some reason the MAG-10 is easier on me and seems to work far better with a good deal less grams of protein overall. I get the 3 during the day, one right after (80 grams total from MAG-10) plus usually 2 chicken breasts (roughly 60-80 grams), and 2 FINiBARs (30 total) then a large whey shake with peanit butter before bed (50 grams).

If you can handle whey well, I would give it a shot for 3 weeks. That should be long enough to tell how you feel and look. My personal ex. with the IF approach (pulse feast version) I noticed within a week. Sure, the initiall loss may have been water, food, etc… but I felt better in the gym also. The MAG-10 is truly amazing for me.

I never have endorsed a product before but I am sold on that coupled with Creatine. I start adding Anacondaa back in next week, I ran out and was replacing my peri workout drink with a cheap combo of creatine, one scoop of MAG-10 and some left over Surge workout fuel I had. You could also try (I am going to just to compare) trying BCAA during the day then break the fast with a during workout drink, then just follow up with whey immediately after, eat etc…

I need to order some BCAA before I start that though. I will give it a shot and post how I feel etc… Should be interesting to compare the two approaches. I need to get measurements pics, etc, to truely track if there is a difference between the two.

My next plan after that is to go on Indigo with the IF. I am really not so keen about the idea of going back to regular eating for 8 weeks though. Ideally I want to try Indigo, pulse feast and eat huge (clean) foods post workout and see what the results are. Sorry for the long response- I write a good deal for work etc… Hope that helps and let us know if you try it with regular whey protein as a pulse.

I’ve stayed about the same weight while definitely leaning out on IF. I’m hybridizing Leangains and Carb backloading on the eating side and my program I recently changed from a push/pull/legs 5x5 always ending a movement on my heaviest set to a 4-day split focusing on 20-rep movements, drop sets, rest-pauses, etc. Obviously the back squat, the pullover, and the 1h low row all at 20-reps. Then on shoulder days I’ve been trying to focus on stupid-high reps a-la John Meadows. I’m super trap-dominant so the normal 3 sets of 12 wasn’t doing it. But the 4 sets of 60 with about half the weight has really tanked up my delts.

Loving every second of it. Seeing progress in size and also in endurance. Felt like 5x5 was kind of making me soft when it came to intensity.

12pm 8oz Animal Protein, Veg
4pm MCT’s
5:30pm Gym
6:45pm Start feasting until 8pm (usually 20oz 2% milk kefir, 8oz animal protein, 6 whole eggs, 100-ish grams of carbs)

Fast again.

I’ve calculated it out to anywhere from 2100-3100 calories per day depending on a lot of food choices.

IF becomes a bit of a habit once you get into it. I’ve been following versions of it for 18 months and I find it difficult now to think of going back to 3-6 meals a day.

In terms of ‘fasting’ this is a bit misleading because many systems are actually a process of under-eating and over-eating. Therefore, pulsing with whey is perfectly acceptable during the ‘fast’ stage. I personally find that doing so may also aid with stress and associated cortisol production during the fasting stage. Training fasted is also a unique experience and I have read a bit recently from a well-known rugby coach that training muscles in a glycogen depleted state may lead to overall greater gains.

My final observation is one regarding energy input/output. If you are lulled into thinking it’s fine to eat double maintenance in a 4-hour window following a 20-hour fast and not get fat then you’re dreaming. It still requires thought, planning and dedication.

[quote]JamesBrawn007 wrote:
IF becomes a bit of a habit once you get into it. I’ve been following versions of it for 18 months and I find it difficult now to think of going back to 3-6 meals a day.

In terms of ‘fasting’ this is a bit misleading because many systems are actually a process of under-eating and over-eating. Therefore, pulsing with whey is perfectly acceptable during the ‘fast’ stage. I personally find that doing so may also aid with stress and associated cortisol production during the fasting stage. Training fasted is also a unique experience and I have read a bit recently from a well-known rugby coach that training muscles in a glycogen depleted state may lead to overall greater gains.

My final observation is one regarding energy input/output. If you are lulled into thinking it’s fine to eat double maintenance in a 4-hour window following a 20-hour fast and not get fat then you’re dreaming. It still requires thought, planning and dedication. [/quote]

I’m going on 4 months and I feel the same way, can’t imagine going back.

Do you think the biological effects - “advantages” - of under-eating are the same as true fasting? I’ve trained fasted through the last three months of 5/3/1 and I’ve never had better progress. In fact, I broke my fast prior to working out for the first time last week and it was the worst workout I’d had in a long time.

Agreed about the energy input/output. If I recall correctly, there were some studies that showed people eating above maintenance while practicing IF achieved better body composition changes than those practicing regular diets, even though the IF group ate significantly more than the normal diet group. Maybe IF does allow for an increase in energy input with greater results due to the partitioning effects and the “burning fat” during the day.

Like the OP I do IF and 5 3 1 and my strength gains are coming along nicely. Like others say it becomes a habit to do the fasting as it isn’t a diet, just a way to time your meals. Once you get used to it, it becomes as natural as eating three evenly spaced out square meals per day. I really don’t even think about it now, it’s just the way I eat. I keep a blog where I’ve written down some of my thoughts on the subject. It’s really more for my own benefit, kind of a diary, but have a look if you’re interested.

[quote]Jasonthorpe wrote:
Like the OP I do IF and 5 3 1 and my strength gains are coming along nicely. Like others say it becomes a habit to do the fasting as it isn’t a diet, just a way to time your meals. Once you get used to it, it becomes as natural as eating three evenly spaced out square meals per day. I really don’t even think about it now, it’s just the way I eat. I keep a blog where I’ve written down some of my thoughts on the subject. It’s really more for my own benefit, kind of a diary, but have a look if you’re interested. [/quote]

I’d love to take a look. I actually keep a journal as well. I’ve been doing so since the year started, sort of as a New Year’s resolution. I track calories, macros, what I’m literally eating, workouts, weight, measurements, and thoughts. It’s extremely helpful for noticing trends and identifying what works and what doesn’t. For instance, I quickly realized that I was feeling bloated and heavy in the morning (as well as night sweats) when I stopped eating just prior to bed.

Now I end my fast about 1-1.5 hours before bed and I feel great every morning and no night sweats. Specifically it seems that carbs are what I have to avoid just before bed; on training days I take casein and I try to get that in about 45 minutes before bed.

[quote]baugust wrote:

I’d love to take a look. [/quote]

Projectlifegains

You’ll have to wade through my other ramblings as well, I’m afraid, but it’s all gym-related.