I notice that there's a group of folks on Paleohacks that's into Leangains so I thought I'd post a couple of questions to you before I decide to jump in and do my own experiment with it.
I found this summary of Leangains on the web which I found easier to grok than Berkhan's own material:
- Fast for 16 hours, eat for 8 (roughly. Fasting for 14 or 18 hours will not kill you)
- Lift heavy stuff using the Big 4 compound movements (deadlifts, squats, bench press, chinups)
- +20% maintenance calories on workout days, -20% maintenance on non-workout days. Varying your caloric amounts is important
- Martin prefers to lift 3x a week. He also likes Reverse Pyramid Training (aka RPT).
- For beginners Martin does recommend Starting Strength.
- High protein every day (say 3g per kg bodyweight). On workout days high carb low fat, on non-workout days low carbs moderate fat.
To those of you who are doing LeanGains, do you eat 3g of protein per kilo of bodyweight? At 72 kilos that would be 216 grams of protein. I'm not willing to eat that much protein in a day. Do any of you replace some of that protein with fat?
Also, I lift heavy weights on Tuesday and Thursday nights and also on Sunday afternoons. How does the feeding window fit in with those night weight lifting sessions?
Final question - Is the gist of Leangains to do intermittent fasting, lift heavy, and manage your calories and macronutrient ratios? How does playing with the macronutrient ratios affect your results?
asked bySol (5828)
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on May 29, 2012
at 11:53 PM
You seem to get it right.
Been on Leangains for 38 weeks, lost 14 kilos while gaining strength.
My feeding window is from 6pm to 2am, although it's often shorter than that. I'm on +20%/-20% recomp - I tried a +10/-35% cut, but I stopped it pretty pronto since it also cut into my strength.
Carb cycling is at the heart of the regimen. Keep fat low on training days, although I have no difference in fat loss rate from eating 20g to 70g of fats on training days. I eat 100-200g of protein per day, averaging 140g. I weigh 70kg, 12% bf. Protein recommendations are all over the place, so test what works for you.
I train fasted, three times a week. Fasted training is not necessary and jury is out on its efficacy, but it works perfectly with my schedule and I like it. So you can lift in the evenings and have a small meal before lifting, just leave enough time before going to the gym so you're not hurling. I used a very minimalistic version of Andy Morgan's Reverse Pyramid protocol (2 working sets, 2-3 compound movements, with free weights), recently I've been doing Starting Strength.
on May 30, 2012
at 12:18 AM
I think it's difficult to be exacting about the precise details of "what leangains is", because Martin is pretty vague about it, saving the military details for his private clients or his mythical book! But you seem to have got the basics.
Personally, I agree with you on the protein front - it just doesn't sit right with me to eat that much protein, and is actually a bit of a challenge without supplements.
I don't want my eating regime to take over my life either, so I use the very basic principles as I see them:
Lift very heavy, and do the same compound lifts whilst monitoring gains, rather than messing around with a different movement every week.
Do reverse pyramid training (but I recommend warming up)
Eat big after your workouts
Eat your carbs after your workouts
Fast for around 16 hours per day, which for me just means skipping breakfast and delaying lunch
On the non-workout days, I try to eat VLC, almost "Optimal Diet" (most calories from sat fat). This also allows me to really restrict calories on these days by effectively turning off hunger! But then my goals are more related to weight loss than muscle gain as I am already relatively strong, you may want something different.
on May 29, 2012
at 09:36 PM
Good question. +1. I too am thinking of trying Lean Gains and am interested what others have to say about it. Based on my reading of the website, I think your lifting scheduled could be:
- 12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Meal one. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.
- 4-5 PM: Pre-workout meal. Roughly equal to the first meal.
- 8-9 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).
- 12-1 PM or around lunch/noon: Pre-workout meal. Approximately 20-25% of daily total calorie intake.
- 3-4 PM: Training should happen a few hours after the pre-workout meal.
- 4-5 PM: Post-workout meal (largest meal).
- 8-9 PM: Last meal before the fast.
I'm not sure on the answer to your protein question, but why are you unwilling to eat the recommended amount?