First and foremost, nearly everything in this guide is due to the hard work and experiences of Martin Berkhan. Should you read this guide and choose to pursue a program similar to this, I highly recommend going to his page, www.leangains.com
. Here you'll find the research broken down better than I possibly could, and guides to all manner of issues to intermittent fasting (his alcohol consumption article should be read by every lifter on the internet). His comprehensive guide is here: http://www.leangains.com/2008/12/lea...roach-pdf.html
Should you have success on his program. I recommend a donation. At the least, it's a nice gesture.
Special thanks to Death_Taco for sharing his experiences. Acknowledgments also to Dante Trudel for his great program, Doggcrapp. Jamie Lewis of Chaos and Pain (www.chaosandpain.com
) provides some good insight into the benefits of cheat windows.
Without further ado, The Lurker Leangains Guide.
Cutting to insanely low bodyfat
levels, without requiring hours upon hours of cardio?
Interested in eating yourself full 3+ times a week on just about whatever food you want while losing fat? And being full EVERY DAY of your "diet"?
Trying to Live Longer
Want to gain time/productivity during the working day by avoiding food prep and eating times?
Want to have an enhanced tasting experience during your best meal, every day?
Then Leangains is for you. The rub? 16+ hours continuously each day, you cannot eat.
What is Leangains?
Leangains is an intermittent fasting protocol designed for body recomposition. Here are the basics, which will be true for every trainee.
1. Each day, you will have a 16 hour block of not eating. This can be placed anywhere, but the most common is to not eat for 1-2 hours before bed, sleep 8 hours, and then not eat for 6-7 hours, skipping breakfast and eating a very late lunch.
2. Intense resistance training is to be performed no less than 2 and no more than 4 times per week.
3. The vast majority of calories are to be consumed AFTER training, to take advantage of glut4 translocation and enhanced muscular insulin sensitivity. Caloric intake each day should ideally be tapered down (the first meal is the largest)
4. Carbohydrate consumption is encouraged on training days as part of the post workout feeding. Carbohydrate consumption is discouraged on off days, and should be kept to a minimum. Fat can be increased to meet caloric goals.
5. Train in as fasted a state as possible without sacrificing performance.
Breaking It Down: The Timing
The first step, if to figure out a plan that is going to work for you, so that you can stick to it. Fasting, for the first few days, is somewhat difficult, but your meal patterns will naturally entrain themselves to whatever schedule you choose. So find one that works. For me, I stay up until 2 am or so, and fast until I get home from work around 6. I then have a small meal of protein and carbs (often a glorified shake or sandwich). Schedules are an individual thing, but the basics are this:
1. You must be able to fit in at least 50% and ideally 75-100% of your caloric intake AFTER training on training days. I would think of this as your "Partition Coefficient"
2. Your time for training should ideally be near the end of your fast. In fact, the absolute perfect time is around hour 13-14. This allows you to not be quite so depleted from the fast, and allows greater fat oxidation from the training session immediately post workout. If you choose to put your training early in the fast, more on that later. The one place not to put training is late in the feast, since it will kill your partition coefficient. It's OK to fast longer than 16 hours if it makes sense for your schedule and you can consume the prescribed number of daily calories.
Breaking It Down: The Nutrition.
EDIT: Death Taco with the Mathematically breakdown! http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.p...7#post71108587
One of the great things about leangains is that after you train, you can eat just about anything you want, within a certain set of guidelines.
1. Protein is high on all days. At least 1g/lb bodyweight, no excuses. The easiest thing to do is to eat a very large portion of meat, and then have some shakes or Protein Fluff
later in the feast to taper down your calories.
2. Carb cycling. you may hate low carb diets. That's ok. Leangains isn't a low carb diet, but it does have low carb days. HOWEVER, what makes things more than tolerable is the fact that you still need to eat a very large or rich meal to hit your calorie goals. This means that things like sausage and peppers, bacon and eggs, lobster dipped in butter and big marbled steaks with vegetables are all on the menu.
On carb heavy days, I prefer to eat a few cups of rice, lentils, or quinoa with my largest post-training meal, but often I'll include breads, cookies or icecream, other dessert items. ONE WAY TO THINK OF LEANGAINS IS A LOW CARB DIET WITH 3-4 CHEAT WINDOWS PER WEEK!
As for the fast, I prefer water only. Instead of coffee, just use caffeine pills or ephedrine, as discussed in the supplements section.
Breaking It Down: The Training
While leangains can be used for cutting, bulking, or maintenance phases, the majority of you will use it for cutting. Training should be done 2-4 times per week, with 3 being the most common number settled on.
Before getting in to the resistance training component, a word on cardio. Cardio is primarily for your heart and aerobic health. Cardio is not necessary for a weight loss plan, but as it does burn calories it will help. I believe that cardio is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but that intense cardio (HIIT) is detrimental to recovery from weight training. As such, I recommend low or medium intensity cardio performed during the fast IF YOU CHOOSE TO PERFORM STRUCTURED CARDIO.
Now, on to the lifting.
The basis for this is the DC training guide
I have written. You won't make the same insane strength gains on Leangains, I don't think, but I believe that the principles are there to maintain or increase strength on a cut. Intensity is paramount - All of this training will be to failure.
1. If you are a beginning lifter, rejoice! You get the dead-simple version of training:
Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets after warm up, with the first being a heavy 4-5, and then dropping weight on subsequent sets to get sets to failure in the 6-10 range.
Shoulders: DC Style Rest Pause Set
Triceps: DC style Rest Pause Set
Squats: 4 sets after warm up, with the first being a heavy 4-5, and then dropping weight on subsequent sets to get sets to failure in the 6-10 range.
Calves: Lurker method as found in the DC Guide
Chin-Ups, weighted. 4 sets after warm up, with the first being a heavy 4-5, and then dropping weight on subsequent sets to get sets to failure in the 6-10 range. You can use assist or kipping for these last ones. Focus on moving the elbows down rather than getting the weight up to maximize back involvement and minimize bicep work.
Deadlifts. 5 Singles or doubles or triples. Alternately, 3 sets of 5, following the pattern you used for bench and squat of doing the heavy sets first with maximal effort. You may substitute Power Cleans or Hip Thrusts.
Shrugs. 4 sets to failure, loose form, >10 reps per set. Ridiculously heavy if possible. Explosive.
Bicep work: DC Style RP
Forearm/grip work: To taste
abdominal work: To taste
Stretching is recommended for each day, as well. Minor training sessions immediately before breaking the fast on off days (Pushups or bodyweight squats not to failure) are not a bad idea. The reason for prescribing the big lifts rather than putting them on a rotating schedule is to increase neural efficiency to try to take advantage of the naturally high frequency (1.5x/week) of DC and "grease the groove" in these lifts, as Pavel Tsatsouline would say. They also happen to be the heaviest movements for those body parts, and therefore should produce the largest systemic changes, which is important for fat loss.