Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My IF plan part 1

So you'll hear in the podcast that I'm going to try the LeanGains IF (intermittent fasting) diet for a while (I don't know what a while is, either).


I haven't done it, and I like to be able to talk about something through first hand experience rather than regurgitating what other people have written or said. With the meet off the books, this gives me something to sink my teeth in to (pun intended) for a while.

My training will change a bit. I will scale training back to 3 times a week, still using the ideas behind the new big-15 template. However here is what I will be doing based on the diet and the fact that I still can't squat heavy, which is making me crazy.

1 heavy upper body session (push pull) a week -
1 press - bench, incline, standing PBN
1 pull - chins, rows
2nd press - standing press, seated db press, floor press (maybe)

My pec minor is barking at me a little bit so I will see how it responds to the floor press tonight. As you can see I am emphasizing more overhead work again.

1 heavy lower body session a week -
Deadlift cycle - This is a little cycle I have written up that I am going to run while my leg is "healing?".....
week 1 - rack pulls below the knee - to top single
week 2 - 4" block pulls - to top single
week 3 - high rep light squats (if possible, no deads) - something brutal like 225xmax or if 315 doesn't hurt, as many sets of 10-20 as possible
week 4 - deadlifts from floor for reps (if possible)
week 5 - high rep light squat (if possible, no deads)
repeat cycle

After the staple movement for the day......
Lunges and Glutes or Hamstrings

I will also keep in 2 of the small workout days, however I will only eat big on one of those days.

Small workouts - 1 heavy and 1 light
upright rows
rear delts/triceps

On the heavy small session I will eat afterwards but not on the light one.

I can't really do my lower body 50% work, and can't squat heavy so a lot of this is going to be trial and error. I'll make notations about it as I go along. Right now, tons of lunges seem to be ok and so does all the glute work I can handle. While I can't squat I will focus on lunges, glutes, and trying to pull big from the blocks and rack. If I can pull for reps from the floor I without too much pain I will rotate that in via the cycle. If not, I'll just stay in the rack and on the blocks for a while.

We'll see bro.....

If I get a few weeks into this and fucking hate it, I will drop it and write about why I hated it. But I like to try things and give them a fair chance so I'm going to try and run this at least a few months to see what kind of changes I notice and how it effects my body composition and training.

I've read (and am still reading) a ton on it, but continuing to learn how to implement it correctly. I think the macros and calories for me personally, according to the calculators, are off a bit. I tend to maintain my 245 pounds or so at around 3200 calories a day. So on training days I'm only going to bump that to around 3500. On non training days I will take that down to 2600-2800 a day. I know a lot of guys shake their head at that, but I really don't have to eat a lot to maintain my weight. My guess is just 20+ years of training and eating has cemented my current foundation of muscle mass and bodyweight.


I would like to drop 10 pounds of bodyfat if possible. I'm sitting somewhere between 10-12% right now give or take, and 10 pounds would drop me squarely into that 8% or so range at 234 pounds or so. I shouldn't see a huge drop off in strength with just a 10 pound loss, and many guys have reported after the initial 10-14 day break in period that strength rebounds very well. So I will at LEAST make it through the first two weeks. I do have my wife doing it with me, and she can REALLY complain about diet changes so please bear with me.


  1. Paul, one of the things I really enjoy about reading your blog is your willingness to try new things. In the past, I've been unwilling to change for fear of losing ground. Now, at 50, I really don't give a shit, I'll try something, and if after several months I don't feel it's working, I'll change. Thanks for the inspiration.

    BTW, last month, you had me change my deadlift grip and I'm still progressing. I just hit a 370x2 my last training session w/o straps.


    1. Awesome Brian. And how will we ever learn or know without trying new shit?

  2. It's pretty brutal as your body re-sets its ghrelin production + more, but once you get over that hump, it's pretty easy.

    1. Cool because I'm hungry as fuck as I write this and can finally eat.

  3. Paul, kudos on trying new things.
    I tried leangains style training and immediately found that lifting on my lunch break midday fasted with only the recommended BCAA (and coffee!) in me beforehand was great for focused 1hr sessions. If you have a chance to to that schedule, I recommend trying it.

    1. I am doing that for two sessions on the weekend. I did that Sunday and I agree, had a great session and felt very focused.

  4. Very interesting to see you trying this Paul, really hope it does good things for you. I've stumbled into doing something eerily similar to your plan above (also along with a Leangains style IF) myself after tinkering over the years.

    Mid-mornings are always the danger zone, I'd recommend developing a diet Pepsi addiction.

    Would be very interested in the transcription of a discussion between you and Martin B!

    1. Already have that addiction but it's diet coke.

      I'm going to try and give it a fair run. I have already enjoyed being able to "eat" again without having to worry about every little detail, although I am being good about my macros.

  5. there was a lengthy thread on IF- style dieting over at the ironaddicts board paul

  6. I've been doing Jamie's Predator layout diet for just over 2 months now(fat ass version). My strength is up, bodyfat down, weight down about 6 solid pounds.I'm gaining muscle/losing fat since strength up and weight down....which is the point of this entire diet. Eating more then 10 pounds of beef per week and loving it. I will say that I think this diet is hit or more....you're going to be a meat person and love the no carbs or be a absolute bitch without the carbs. This is 10 fold when it comes to women.....some women with no carbs are scary.....hope your wifey isn't one of them for your sake.

    1. This diet isn't low carb at all. In fact you stuff your face on workout days like no other.

      My wife actually loves lower carb eating.

    2. I found this a good summary


      and this a good calculator



    3. Found that calc yesterday, Mike. Thanks.

  7. hey paul im gonna try this too after a month ive been wanting to try it, i did carb cycling but lost mad muscle cause of the mma practices. this sounds better but im trying to see how can i go about if i train or practice twice a day sometimes or a practice and a conditioinng workout or a practice with a lifting session u know like am and pm stuff.

    by the way paul are you going to use the purple wrath bcaas/beta-alanine for the pre workout supplement that he uses on the site?


  8. 1-What do your meals after the fast look like?

    2-are you doing it from night-noon the next day?

    thank you, awesome taping with jamie, was cracking up through all of it

    1. 1. If it's a non training day usually just lean meat and veggies. If it's on a weekend I will chug the BCAA, train fasted, then have the PWO meal.

      2. 7 p.m. to 11 a.m. usually

    2. what bcaa do you take? I got BLOX the other day and its awesome, too many people over look bcaa's and I can tell a difference from when I'm using them and when I'm not especially with recovery

  9. Are you doing the standard 50/50 recomp or using one of the weight loss options? I want to give it a shot but im not sure in which direction to take it yet.

    1. Neither. People fret too much over shit like that. I looked at those things and there's such little difference why bother? A few hundred calories a day was the main difference. I'm just doing the fast, cutting carbs on down days, and eating like mad on training days. Keeping it simple.

  10. Hey Paul,

    Here are some articles about going 0 carb vs IF that are interesting to read,
    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    Of course he is trying to sell his book, but Kiefer also has some other good points. Just might be worth reading.