3

votes

Anyone have any experience with Leans Gains & Martin Berkhan?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 20, 2010 at 12:33 AM

Ive heard Robb Wolf mention him a few times on his podcast. Checking out his website he does have some Paleo ideas and seems to be big into Intermittent Fasting. However, he also seems to be okay with grains. Has anyone followed his routines? The success stories look amazing but you know the old adage "if its too good to be true it probably is."

Related but side note; he is big on fasting until the afternoon (daily). If I dont eat a BIG breakfast I'll get light headed, feel weak and maybe even a bit disoriented. Does this just take some getting used to? I have some cortisol issues that are largely genetic so perhaps that is why I struggle with missing meals? Ive been fairly strict Paleo for around 8 months.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on November 30, 2010
at 10:30 PM

Also had success loading up at fat around 5-6pm.. generally stop eating aorund 7pm

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 18, 2010
at 10:31 PM

Yes, I don't try to limit my carb intake in any way (aside from avoiding sugar/wheat).

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on August 18, 2010
at 08:57 PM

Do you follow his higher carb approach on workout days? If so, to what level?

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:51 PM

I feel great, but it's hard to say which of the effects are Addison's-specific vs the effects anyone would get from cleaning up their diet. My endocrinologist says my blood indicators are "impressive", for whatever that's worth.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:12 PM

How is your Addison's after being on paleo for a while?

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:12 PM

Robb Wolf's doesn't provide much evidence to support his ideas that IF is a stressor (not that it isn't a challenge when starting). I'm a fairly anxious person, and IF has helped me because I worry less about being starving and getting moody when hungry.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:08 PM

There is plenty of "paleo" in Martins approach. He isn't big on ranting about sugar/wheat/industrial oils, but if your review his posts on the meals he eats, they're almost all meat & veggies, and fairly low carb.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:07 PM

Changing when/how you eat always take a period of time to adjust to. If you gradually reduce the size of your morning meal, and increase the size of your evening meal, the transition will be smoother.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 20, 2010
at 11:47 AM

I think that varies person to person... I suffer no stress and feel lighter and relaxed when IF, I sometimes have to make myself eat

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on July 20, 2010
at 06:12 AM

Not really black out, more confusion. As Im not sure what I want to do next in my day and I kind of spin in circles and get nothing done. But also feel "buzzy" and want to lay down to sleep.

35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on July 20, 2010
at 05:46 AM

lightheadded-ness during fasting (esp partial blackout) can be due to low blood pressure. I think the Drs. Eades recommend potassium supplements to their low-carb patients for this reason.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on July 20, 2010
at 05:01 AM

Then I should probably stay away. I have generalized anxiety disorder so my anxiety is always high. Other people in my family also have anxiety disorders so that's why I said my cortisol level is in part genetic

36dd8a49324c45fb49a38765000eca1e

(377)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:49 AM

"His site only has "some paleo" because that's what he's managed to learn so far" Maybe you could clarify this statement a bit? I don't think the concept of paleo is terribly complicated, especially for a dude like Martin who has quite a few paleo clients himself. Maybe Martin doesn't advocate paleo himself because he finds that he simply peforms better without it. "Personally there is a ton more info out about IF, weight loss and Nutrition and it's all free" Please enlighten us on a better resource for IF than the leangains blog, and doesn't cost you a cent. I doubt you'll find one.

C59f6993505cade16ff87dadbc32a172

(10)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:21 AM

I was putting back around 3,500 to 4,000 calories using a digital scale and the Fitday program. I just found I run better with grains and carbs in terms of strength and energy. I gave Paleo a nice run for about 5-6 months but in the end it just wasnt for me but I still do try and stick to the basic guidelines as much as I can.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 20, 2010
at 02:36 AM

If you were losing weight and strength, you were probably undereating... It can be harder to get big calories while IF and while working out hard, I found I had better luck with lots if grassfed butter and coconut oil for calories and Large meat portions

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6 Answers

6
1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on July 20, 2010
at 05:14 AM

The short answer is that he isn't paleo. But he is very knowledgeable of and experienced with IF and the hormonal impact it has, and so has been a resource of mine for a long time. I don't believe you have to agree 100% with experts views, as long as you take away something from them of use. Two other points: He clearly walks the talk - he's in great shape, and as you mentioned, his client transformations are awesome (I have no reason to disbelieve that they're genuine). Secondly, he's a bit like Richard Nikoley in that he doesn't suffer fools gladly and stands up for his views passionately. I think he's definitely worthwhile having as a resource even if his diet stance is not paleo.

3
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:55 PM

Yeah I've been following Martin's IF routine for maybe 6 months now, my abs are insane.

IF is a big part of paleo, most HG cultures eat a single larger meal towards the end of the day.

It takes a while to get adjusted to IF, I had a lot of success with adding fats to my evening meal (sour cream, lots of butter, bacon, fage w/ berries etc)

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on August 18, 2010
at 08:57 PM

Do you follow his higher carb approach on workout days? If so, to what level?

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on August 18, 2010
at 10:31 PM

Yes, I don't try to limit my carb intake in any way (aside from avoiding sugar/wheat).

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on November 30, 2010
at 10:30 PM

Also had success loading up at fat around 5-6pm.. generally stop eating aorund 7pm

2
95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on July 20, 2010
at 11:35 AM

I have Addison's Disease, aka "cortisol issues" taken to an extreme. People with Addison's often have trouble with hypoglycemia -- I don't remember the details of the mechanism involved, but we're slow to dig in to reserves when blood sugar drops. I had a lot of trouble IFing when I first started. The happy news is that once I was ketoadapted, this problem totally went away.

Long story short, and without knowing what your cortisol issues are, if your carbs haven't been particularly low I'd suggest trying again after a few weeks of low-carb (<50g/day) eating. You might be pleasantly surprised.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:12 PM

How is your Addison's after being on paleo for a while?

95ab15c8ef50ff0daf87ccbdd52cd3b8

(2384)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:51 PM

I feel great, but it's hard to say which of the effects are Addison's-specific vs the effects anyone would get from cleaning up their diet. My endocrinologist says my blood indicators are "impressive", for whatever that's worth.

1
36dd8a49324c45fb49a38765000eca1e

(377)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:21 AM

Robb has mention on numerous occasions that IF is indeed a stressor, so first and foremost, it might be in your best interest to get your cortisol issues in check before experimenting with IF.

If you do a bit more reading on Martin's site you'll notice that the only reason he fasts into the late afternoon is because he tends to eat his last meal much later in the evening, thus breaking his fast later the next day. There is no metabolic advantage in having an earlier or later feeding window (I asked Martin the same question a few weeks ago, and he confirmed that it's all personal preference). So if you prefer eating a big breakfast, then adjust your feeding window to 8-4, 9-5, etc.

I have personally tried Martin's IF protocol on a few occasions, but I couldn't stay sated through the fast unless I stuffed the crap out of myself, which is a feeling that I'm not too fond of. I find that three meals a day eaten over a period of about 10 hours suits me perfectly.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 20, 2010
at 11:47 AM

I think that varies person to person... I suffer no stress and feel lighter and relaxed when IF, I sometimes have to make myself eat

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on July 20, 2010
at 05:01 AM

Then I should probably stay away. I have generalized anxiety disorder so my anxiety is always high. Other people in my family also have anxiety disorders so that's why I said my cortisol level is in part genetic

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:12 PM

Robb Wolf's doesn't provide much evidence to support his ideas that IF is a stressor (not that it isn't a challenge when starting). I'm a fairly anxious person, and IF has helped me because I worry less about being starving and getting moody when hungry.

1
C59f6993505cade16ff87dadbc32a172

on July 20, 2010
at 02:22 AM

I have been following Martin and his LeanGains routine (IFing mainly) and am not sure how much Martin follows the Paleo guidelines but he does have a link to paleo cookbook things on his blog.

IFing takes some time to get used to, however, it has taken my life and health to a whole new level. I have followed Martin's LeanGains guide and just recently did a post on my progress with it at http://lifedestiny.net/how-to-gain-20lbs-of-muscle-in-60-days and will also have my progress posted on his blog whenever he does a transformation post update soon.

Not sure how backed up Martin is with clients but if you are serious about IFing I would suggest getting into contact with Martin for an initial consultation as I have ran into quite a few people who have and all vouch for him.

I had to drop out of following Paleo from my recent experiment due to losing way to much weight and strength, lowest at around 130lbs. Their are tons of benefits in Paleo but like with everything, it varies from person to person.

C59f6993505cade16ff87dadbc32a172

(10)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:21 AM

I was putting back around 3,500 to 4,000 calories using a digital scale and the Fitday program. I just found I run better with grains and carbs in terms of strength and energy. I gave Paleo a nice run for about 5-6 months but in the end it just wasnt for me but I still do try and stick to the basic guidelines as much as I can.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on July 20, 2010
at 02:36 AM

If you were losing weight and strength, you were probably undereating... It can be harder to get big calories while IF and while working out hard, I found I had better luck with lots if grassfed butter and coconut oil for calories and Large meat portions

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on July 20, 2010
at 02:17 AM

I've found IF works best when you're low carb fat adapted paleo. Yes, you have to get used to it. IF is great for weightloss as well.

Leangains promotes IF. He is not paleo at all. His site only has "some paleo" because that's what he's managed to learn so far. Similar to how Atkins has some paleo. It's close, but you still need to know what to read and what to avoid.

Personally there is a ton more info out about IF, weight loss and Nutrition and it's all free

Cause it's hard to put a price tag on " Eat Real Food"

36dd8a49324c45fb49a38765000eca1e

(377)

on July 20, 2010
at 03:49 AM

"His site only has "some paleo" because that's what he's managed to learn so far" Maybe you could clarify this statement a bit? I don't think the concept of paleo is terribly complicated, especially for a dude like Martin who has quite a few paleo clients himself. Maybe Martin doesn't advocate paleo himself because he finds that he simply peforms better without it. "Personally there is a ton more info out about IF, weight loss and Nutrition and it's all free" Please enlighten us on a better resource for IF than the leangains blog, and doesn't cost you a cent. I doubt you'll find one.

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 20, 2010
at 08:08 PM

There is plenty of "paleo" in Martins approach. He isn't big on ranting about sugar/wheat/industrial oils, but if your review his posts on the meals he eats, they're almost all meat & veggies, and fairly low carb.

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