A handful of people have asked me for this, so here it goes…
I should probably start out by saying that I am an avid practitioner of LeanGains. A lot of people I have spoken with want to reap the rewards of Leangains without doing any of the fasting. To them I would say that it is actually a lot EASIER to accomplish by fasting. This is because when you don’t eat ANYTHING for a period of the day, you aren’t tempted to ‘cheat’. Also, when you only have 8 hours to eat a days worth of calories, you are full and satisfied. If you stretch those calories out to a 16 hour window of eating, it doesn’t seem to be quite as much food.
That being said, I wrote up a guideline those people can follow without fasting. Yes, it will require MUCH more willpower but it is still possible and effective.
I broke this into two parts. Nutrition and Exercise. Please don’t feel like I’m insulting your intelligence. I’m just trying to be thorough and understandable. Also keep in mind that the nutrition portion is much much MUCH more important than the exercise portion. MUCH. Also, I’m not claiming to be a nutritionist. This is simply the knowledge I have acquired over the years through trial and error and a few great websites. It has worked wonders for me and it will for you too. It is laid out for you with all the BS and myth removed for you to either accept, or discard. Remember, this is one method amongst many. You’ve tried Ketosis and you like it better? Great. I’m not debating the effectiveness of other methods. This is the one I use, and it is extremely effective. With or without the fasting aspect.
Part 1 – Nutrition
Calorie Counting – While calorie counting is important as a tool to gauge your intake, what those calories consist of is even more important. Finding the balance that your body can slam through is the main goal. Eat, Assess, Tweak, Repeat. This process doesn’t take nearly as long as you would think. It took me roughly 2 months to find that sweet spot.
In addition, daily calorie intake isn’t nearly as important as your weekly calorie intake. If you overeat on a rest day, you can always make up for that on your next rest day, for example. You will be losing bodyfat (I hate the term losing weight) on your rest days because you will be eating in deficit (less calories than you burn). The more rest days you have per week, the faster your bodyfat will go… However, I don’t recommend having more than 4 days rest per week. Your Training Days keep your metabolism revved and help you build lean mass.
Eat over your maintenance (TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure) in calories: On T-days (days you lift heavy), you need to take advantage of the post-workout window. This window is considered any time after your workout, and before you sleep. You must eat more calories than your body burns on your training days. This is so your body not only has enough proteins and carbohydrates to build lean muscle, but also so that it becomes more haphazard with extra calories. When calories are readily available, and you are consistently burning them your body becomes more efficient in burning them (increased metabolism). Even if you choose not to do the fasting aspect of LeanGains/Intermittent Fasting the other key points are extremely valid. Try to eat the majority of your daily intake of carbs during your post-workout window. Try to at least eat 60% of your carbs SOMETIME after you workout. Your body is begging for carbs and it will use them much more readily instead of storing them on your body.
Key Points to Remember:
- High Carb – On your training days, you must eat high carb meals. This is known as carb cycling, and it works!
- Standard Lean Protein – There is no “try” on this piece. You MUST eat your body-weight in grams worth of protein daily. This is both for Training and Rest days. That number should be easy enough to remember. So if you are 200lbs… you must eat 200g of Protein per day. The more muscle you put on, the faster your body will burn bodyfat. By lean protein, I mean no fatty meats. No Salmon, No 80/20 ground beef, no pork roast. Chicken is great, and so is tuna. Fat free milk is a GOD SEND for training days… it has carbs, it has protein, and it has no fat. If your digestive system can handle it, drink lots of it on T-Days.
- Low to No Fat <30g – On training days, you stay away from fat. This is because on T-Days, you eat MORE than you burn in calories. When you do this, your body stores the extra for future use. If you eat fat, the fat will get stored on your body. Save the fats for Rest days. Don’t forget, fats sneak in if you eat fatty meats.
Immediately after your workout, take in: 30g+ Protein, 30-40g Simple Carbs (this is equivalent to 4-6 oz of apple juice)… This will stop your body from catabolism. Catabolism is when your body breaks down your muscle for the proteins… You don’t want this to happen. Truthfully, this doesn’t happen right away. However, I have noticed a significant increase in lean mass when I practice this.
Eat under your maintenance (TDEE) in calories: Rest days are good and bad… On one hand you get to eat the more fatty types of proteins like bacon, pork, salmon, etc… however, you cannot eat more than your maintenance calories because you don’t want your body storing any of the fat that you are eating. So you must first make sure you are getting enough protein. That way you don’t go over your calories trying to fit in your daily protein. Protein always takes priority.
Key Points to Remember:
- High Fat – High fat is probably not the right phrase I should use… You don’t want to go overboard. Try to keep your fat intake between 0-80. If its low, even better. If its 70 or 80… no harm done. This is great because you won’t feel like you are dieting as much when you can eat fats. Just make sure whatever fatty food you are eating isn’t ALSO high in carbs. Carbs are bad on R-Days.
- Standard Lean or Fatty Protein – You must eat your body-weight in grams worth of protein daily. You can still eat chicken or tuna if you want, but you also have the option to eat ground beef, salmon, pork, etc if you want to. This will give you the satisfaction as well as the satiation (feeling of fullness) you sometimes don’t get when dieting.
- Low to No Carbs – Rest days should be low in carbs. Typically under 100g, but when I get a handle on it, I like to stay under 50g. The stricter you are, the faster the results will come. Since you ate a LOT of carbs on your T-day, your body will be revved up on R-Day and not have any carbs to burn… this will result in you shedding body fat at a more rapid rate. Remember, dairy has carbs… stay away from dairy on R-Day.
Tip for R-Day – Eggs… Lots of Eggs…and cheese.
Part 2 – Exercise
Exercise is similar to nutrition in that there are SO many ways to do it right. There are different programs for different goals. I will simply be highlighting the method I use because it has done wonders for my frame. It has helped in lowering bodyfat and adding lean mass in a relatively short amount of time.
- Always start your workout with a compound lift. Always. This will require the most energy of you and it needs to be performed when you have the most energy. Compound lifts should be performed for 6-8 reps (beginning lifter) or 4-6 (intermediate lifter). 6-8 reps will allow the beginner to focus on form, and learn the fluid motion. Regardless of experience, your rest in between sets should be longer than other lifts. Compound lifts should be completed with you as fresh as possible. Even if this means resting 5 minutes in between sets.
Beginner (3-4 sets of 6-8 reps)
Intermediate (5 sets of 4-6)
- Second, you should work on the larger muscle group of the day. For example, you should always work your back or quads before you work your calves or biceps. This is a great time to do your pull-ups or chin-ups. I recommend 6-8 reps for this group of exercises. Once you can hit 8 reps, you may want to add a little more weight.
3-4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Third, isolation movements. These are the vast amount of exercise that only work a single muscle group (i.e. bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, calf raises, etc). They require the least amount of energy and should be saved for when you are nearing the end of your workout.
- Lastly, Any additional work. This group includes additional ab/core work you feel the need to accomplish, as well as cardio. I always try to keep cardio to a minimum and save my energy for lifting. Warmup 10 minute cardio and post workout cardio are fine.
Drink lots of water. Throughout the day, and during your workout. Please!
If you want to read more in-depth science behind these ways, please go to
http://leangains.com Martin is the founder and is highly knowledgeable… and pretty funny too.
If you like things paraphrased but still enjoy learning the intricate parts, go to
http://rippedbody.jp Andy took Leangains and translated it for the layman. GREAT content!