Posts Tagged ‘intermittent fasting’

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It’s been a while since my last update. I have been on the 5/3/1 boring but big template for about 3 months now. And the good thing is that I am really getting big while getting stronger and leaner at the same time.

To put things in perspective, I have gained about 7-8 lbs in the last 2-3 months. So I am definitely getting bigger. As far as strength goes, I recently squatted 215 lbs for 4 reps which is a PR for both weight and reps. I also shoulder pressed 115 lbs for a single which is a PR again. In a couple weeks I plan to test my max on the deadlift and I hope it exceeds or at least equals my last PR. So I am definitely getting stronger. How do I say I am getting leaner at the same time? I look in the mirror everyday and the mirror doesn’t lie. Also none of my pants have gotten tighter even the slightest bit while I gained those 7-8 lbs so I can safely assume that I am maintaining my body fat percent if not getting leaner.

In the recent past, I wrote a post about fasting and how it helped me get leaner faster. And I am doing nothing different to be honest. My training routine (5/3/1 Boring but Big) has helped me gain size while getting stronger. At the same time Intermittent Fasting has enabled me to keep the fat away while gaining muscle. If there was truly a holy grail for being lean all year round and gain lean muscle and get stronger, you shouldn’t look any further than intermittent fasting.

If you don’t suffer from a sugar disease (diabetes) or a heart condition, and you’re not pregnant or nursing, you can safely follow intermittent fasting. I would recommend you read all the resources I mention at the bottom of this post before you start out. And always remember, there are really no shortcuts to anything. So if you are set out to achieve a certain physique, you will have to toil through a lot and face a lot of highs and lows.

I started training in September 2012. That was around the same time I started intermittent fasting. There have been really awesome days in the gym when I obliterated all previous personal records. And then there have been days where I questioned what I was doing and thought of giving up. But the key is to keep yourself motivated constantly and not look back. When you’re under the iron in the power cage, you get to know yourself better and it instills a new confidence. You develop new strengths and strengthen your character.

Even though intermittent fasting has worked for me, it might not work for you. Everyone is different and nothing comes in one size fits all. But if you think it might work for you, give it a shot and see how you feel. After 17 months of doing intermittent fasting, I feel great today. And when I look in the mirror, a sense of accomplishment hits me.

So yes, you can grow stronger, bigger and leaner at the same time. It just takes brutal determination, unbeatable consistency and a strong solid will.

Resources –

http://www.leangains.com/

http://www.eatstopeat.com/

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By now you have made sure you know what you’re doing in the gym. You’ve figured out your goals, challenged the PT’s routine and are doing what it takes to build muscle and burn fat. But the question is, what are you eating and when are you eating it? After I started this blog, a few people asked me for fat loss tips. It turns out, you can get stronger that’s not the hard part. The hard part is to lose the family pack that you’ve developed over the years sitting on your backside without even starting a family yet. This post is going to help anyone lose fat fast.

A lot of people crib about how difficult it is to have the coveted beach body look with the six pack abs flashing. The first thing to keep in mind is that everyone is not a bodybuilder. Bodybuilding is a sport and a tough one. In order to get ripped and shredded and look fabulous on stage with no fat on their bodies at all bodybuilders have to go through a tough time and it certainly isn’t easy, so quit cribbing. Another fact about 6 pack abs is that not everyone has the required genes to sport a 6 pack. One can be as lean as 10% body fat and still not have a 6 pack. I know it sounds demotivating but let me tell you about myself. I used to have one goal – 6 pack abs. And it never happened. I have long stopped thinking about it or even working towards it. My goal is to be fit and strong. As I have pointed out in the previous blog post celebrities are able to flaunt their beach bodies with certain photographic aids. Hence it is pointless to try to emulate them.

Coming to point now, this post is about fasting. Don’t close the window just yet, I am not talking religion here although someone must have unknowingly included the fasting ritual in religion for health benefits.

I have been doing intermittent fasting for about close to a year now. I eat the first meal of the day after 12 PM, sometimes as late as 3 PM. And I eat the last meal of the day before 9 or 10 PM. This enables me to eat in a window of about 8-9 hours. Now I can imagine a lot of you would be thinking that it is unhealthy to starve for such a long period of time; in my case 14-16 hours a day. After all, the fitness and nutrition experts of the world want you to eat 6 or even 8 meals a day! And they are dead wrong. And why would one miss the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Please see below my progress photos just 3 weeks apart. The one on the left is right before I started fasting and the one on the right is 3 weeks after.

leangains

The difference in fat from before to after is very clear. Now I have been doing this for a year, so my strength would have gone down right? Because I am skipping the legendary breakfast. To give you some perspective, I started out on Stronglifts 5X5 with an empty bar on most lifts in September 2012. My current personal bests are as follows –

Squat – 210lbs (5 sets of 5 reps)

Bench – 155lbs (5 sets of 5 reps)

Deadlift – 315lbs 1 rep max

Overhead Shoulder Press – 105 lbs 2 sets of 5 reps

Pendlay Row – 155lbs 5 sets of 5 reps

When I first started fasting and told my friends I was doing it, some of them laughed; some said I was crazy and I was going to get an ulcer. Let’s go back into the past. When humans were still uncivilized and did not have enough resources to feed themselves 6 times a day, we were still living. Turns out the human body is designed to fast. Quoting from Eat Stop Eat “A lion only hunts when he’s hungry”.

Today the amount of food which surrounds us is tremendous. We eat a meal and 2 hours later we are hungry again and we go snack hunting then. We never actually experience true hunger. True hunger is the feeling when you haven’t eaten anything for days. That is true hunger. However, not eating for a few hours or a day in a week is not hunger and would not lead to starvation. I am living proof of that. To add to that, I am more alert and get more work done in the morning when others are busy satisfying their snack cravings.

If you really want to lose that stubborn belly fat, fasting is the way to go. See this  for more scientific details on fasting. And read the book Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon. Shoot me questions if you have any, I’d be more than happy to help. As I said, stop cribbing and get to work.