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    intermittent fasting


    Want to hear from people who are actually doing it and how its working out for them. I know the science behind it from lean gains but want to know how good it is.

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    I don't use that approach now, but I was at my leanest ever when I did do it. My lifting sessions were in the evening, so I would work out fasted and eat a ton after my workout up to bedtime. The pro's were that it worked great for me and that I could basically eat whatever I wanted to during my window and it didn't seem to matter. I also don't have a big appetite normally, so going all day without food was no big deal. Green tea (warm, freshly steeped) helped a lot with this. Not sure if it was something in the tea or the fact that it was a warm drink, but that did and does pretty much kill my appetite.

    The biggest con was that eating became a job. From about 8PM until 11PM, 7 days a week, my job was to eat. I was very strict with it, so dinner out with the family was very weird, I'd just sit there while everyone else ate.

    The other downside was having all those calories jammed into my stomach at once. I think I know how an anaconda feels after swallowing a large animal whole.
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    IMO, it's extremely effective as long as you keep in mind what (and how much) you eat during your feeding window counts. I've never been super strict with it, if I'm out with my girlfriend and we have a late dinner that's cool or if I need to break the fast early for some reason that works as well. I don't think cutting it off at 15 hours 30 minutes instead of 16 matters a whole hill of beans.

    The "scariest" part is of course the hunger. Honestly it isn't that bad. You do have to get used to it the first week if you're used to eating upon rising. I've always went 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. as my window, and this has never been too bad for me. Lunch just becomes my first meal. I still have bacon and eggs for lunch just like I would often with breakfast. I don't feel the need to rush and stuff my face per meal. You've got 8 hours to eat and get your calories in. It seems like a little but it's not. I get around 700 calories per meal and then snack, have protein shakes, whatever.

    Obviously it on it's own doesn't do it. You can't fast for 16 hours and then eat crap for 8 and expect to have good results. But I do think something is a bit magical about the fasting part. I certainly think Leangains plus proper diet trumps proper diet no Leangains. Let me know if you have any more specific questions. It's certainly worth a shot, it isn't like you have to do it if you hate it. But most people that start Leangains stay on it and I think that's saying something. A lot of people on here are Leangains lifers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoforce
    IMO, it's extremely effective as long as you keep in mind what (and how much) you eat during your feeding window counts. I've never been super strict with it, if I'm out with my girlfriend and we have a late dinner that's cool or if I need to break the fast early for some reason that works as well. I don't think cutting it off at 15 hours 30 minutes instead of 16 matters a whole hill of beans.

    The "scariest" part is of course the hunger. Honestly it isn't that bad. You do have to get used to it the first week if you're used to eating upon rising. I've always went 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. as my window, and this has never been too bad for me. Lunch just becomes my first meal. I still have bacon and eggs for lunch just like I would often with breakfast. I don't feel the need to rush and stuff my face per meal. You've got 8 hours to eat and get your calories in. It seems like a little but it's not. I get around 700 calories per meal and then snack, have protein shakes, whatever.

    Obviously it on it's own doesn't do it. You can't fast for 16 hours and then eat crap for 8 and expect to have good results. But I do think something is a bit magical about the fasting part. I certainly think Leangains plus proper diet trumps proper diet no Leangains. Let me know if you have any more specific questions. It's certainly worth a shot, it isn't like you have to do it if you hate it. But most people that start Leangains stay on it and I think that's saying something. A lot of people on here are Leangains lifers.
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    I know your question wasn't directed at me, but when I did IF I dropped down to 7% bf - and yes it was a real 7%, not the normal internet message board 7%. I had veins everywhere, even in my abs.

    I actually jumped back onto IF yesterday (with some tweaks for my early AM lifting sessions) as I'm at 15% bf right now. In my opinion and based on personal experience, the diet is very flexible - you can cut fat, bulk or maintain...I think too often IF is associated with a cutting program or diet but it's really not.

    One of the best and most noticeable aspects of the diet is the energy you get during the fast. The energy, focus and mental clarity that I get during the fasting period is really fantastic and I've not been able to replicate it with anything else.

    I find that it's best to have a little planning when you break the fast. If I eat food that causes a big insulin spike (say a whey protein shake by itself), I feel tired and lethargic for the next hour or two. I try to break the fast with food that has protein/fat and some low GI carbs or veggies.

    When I jumped back on IF, I was a little hungry in the morning since I'm used to a meal at that time. I cup of green tea knocked back the hunger until it was time to eat lunch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by audix2359
    I know your question wasn't directed at me, but when I did IF I dropped down to 7% bf - and yes it was a real 7%, not the normal internet message board 7%. I had veins everywhere, even in my abs.

    I actually jumped back onto IF yesterday (with some tweaks for my early AM lifting sessions) as I'm at 15% bf right now. In my opinion and based on personal experience, the diet is very flexible - you can cut fat, bulk or maintain...I think too often IF is associated with a cutting program or diet but it's really not.

    One of the best and most noticeable aspects of the diet is the energy you get during the fast. The energy, focus and mental clarity that I get during the fasting period is really fantastic and I've not been able to replicate it with anything else.

    I find that it's best to have a little planning when you break the fast. If I eat food that causes a big insulin spike (say a whey protein shake by itself), I feel tired and lethargic for the next hour or two. I try to break the fast with food that has protein/fat and some low GI carbs or veggies.

    When I jumped back on IF, I was a little hungry in the morning since I'm used to a meal at that time. I cup of green tea knocked back the hunger until it was time to eat lunch.
    Any pictures of you at 7%? You must of been pure solid muscle
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    How do you add cardio into it? Or is it not needed
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    I could dig around for pics, I think I have some at the beach with the kids but I've never really taken photos of myself to compare. I should, but I don't. And yes, I was very, very lean.

    Back then, I wasn't lifting that heavy or that often really - I did a lot of HIIT and steady state cardio and mixed in light weighlifting, so I was lean and pretty muscular but not real big. I'm still not huge, but I've gained a lot since then - I'm around 180 ATM. When I was on IF before, I was also a vegetarian. At some point, I decided to start lifting heavy and consistently and then decided to get into powerlifting. Once I started powerlifting, I stopped being a vegetarian - the two were not compatible for me.

    Now I lift 4x a week and do some steady state cardio for 20-30 minutes in the morning on non-lifting days - that's what I was doing before I re-started IF and I'll continue with that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by audix2359
    I could dig around for pics, I think I have some at the beach with the kids but I've never really taken photos of myself to compare. I should, but I don't. And yes, I was very, very lean.

    Back then, I wasn't lifting that heavy or that often really - I did a lot of HIIT and steady state cardio and mixed in light weighlifting, so I was lean and pretty muscular but not real big. I'm still not huge, but I've gained a lot since then - I'm around 180 ATM. When I was on IF before, I was also a vegetarian. At some point, I decided to start lifting heavy and consistently and then decided to get into powerlifting. Once I started powerlifting, I stopped being a vegetarian - the two were not compatible for me.

    Now I lift 4x a week and do some steady state cardio for 20-30 minutes in the morning on non-lifting days - that's what I was doing before I re-started IF and I'll continue with that.
    How lone did it take for u to start seeing results? Would u say its harder for women to lose fat this way due to hormones etc?

    I started IF about two weeks ago
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    Quote Originally Posted by a312 View Post
    How lone did it take for u to start seeing results? Would u say its harder for women to lose fat this way due to hormones etc?

    I started IF about two weeks ago
    I would think that within a month you should see some results if your calories are where they need to be. If you're looking to lose weight, you still must be in a caloric deficit - IF won't get you lean if you continue to eat over maintenance.

    I think in general it's probably more difficult for women to lose weight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by audix2359 View Post
    I think in general it's probably more difficult for women to lose weight.
    but its usually because they are afraid of eating fats, and think whole grains are better

    actually though, you can lean out some with calories over maintenance on IF. there is a narrow band of calories. the more interesting part that I still haven't quite figured out is how a number of the studies show that you can go significantly over maintenance on IF and not gain fat.
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    I guess i gta be patient lol not sure if im doing it right. I eat wholegrain rice, shouldnt i be?
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    Quote Originally Posted by a312 View Post
    I guess i gta be patient lol not sure if im doing it right. I eat wholegrain rice, shouldnt i be?
    there's very few absolutes, getting in close to 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight from real foods is important, getting in enough saturated fats for proper hormone amounts is important. A lot of what normal dieticians push however like the american heart association's heart friendly diet are disasters not backed at all by science. Some amount of carbohydrates is ok, it being your major source of calories isn't
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    i tried leangains and just couldnt curb the hunger even with coffee and aminos, now i do a variant of leangains where i have a post shake and continue to fast till my first meal....works like a champ and with NO cardio im leaning up nicely (and a few supps)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech
    i tried leangains and just couldnt curb the hunger even with coffee and aminos, now i do a variant of leangains where i have a post shake and continue to fast till my first meal....works like a champ and with NO cardio im leaning up nicely (and a few supps)
    How long do u fast for? What are ur other meals like?
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL

    there's very few absolutes, getting in close to 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight from real foods is important, getting in enough saturated fats for proper hormone amounts is important. A lot of what normal dieticians push however like the american heart association's heart friendly diet are disasters not backed at all by science. Some amount of carbohydrates is ok, it being your major source of calories isn't
    So during my feeding window i shud keep carbs minimal?
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    Quote Originally Posted by a312 View Post
    So during my feeding window i shud keep carbs minimal?
    no, but they shouldn't make up half your calories either. Different people all have different carbohydrate tolerances, so less than half the calories is about the only safe statement. minimal is good for some people, some people can take in 40% of calories that way without an issue
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    my fasts are 16-17 hours and I eat whatever I feel like during my eat time. just make sure I get at least 175g of solid food protein
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyEJL

    but its usually because they are afraid of eating fats, and think whole grains are better

    actually though, you can lean out some with calories over maintenance on IF. there is a narrow band of calories. the more interesting part that I still haven't quite figured out is how a number of the studies show that you can go significantly over maintenance on IF and not gain fat.
    Link to study?
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    I lost 26 pounds using leangains in about 10 weeks. Once you get past the first two weeks your body adjusts and you don't really get hunger pains. I wasn't really strict dieting either as I had a few life situations going on at the time but I was always about 500 cal deficit with F all carbs with a refeed once a week.
    I was doing the 16 hour fast with an 8 hour feeding window. Ill definitely use leangains for cutting in the future.
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    Would u count a low carb protein shake instead of bcaa as breaking ur fast? Or is it when u eat solid food?
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvactech View Post
    i tried leangains and just couldnt curb the hunger even with coffee and aminos, now i do a variant of leangains where i have a post shake and continue to fast till my first meal....works like a champ and with NO cardio im leaning up nicely (and a few supps)
    This is what I was thinking of doing...after listening to Carl LaNore's show superhuman radio episode #553
    they hypothesized that the longer you go without a carb-full postworkout meal the greater the insulin spike will be with your first real breakfast meal, also the longer you wait to have that full meal the longer the fat burning process will go.

    So maybe a post workout shake w/25g or less of whey then a couple hours later have your first carb-filled meal.
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    I've been doing it for a long time.

    Not following the exact Lean gains protocol, but I do fast for 16 hours every day.

    To tell you the truth, I can't say I have noticed a huge difference. For me it's just more convenience.
    But it does help with controlling hunger while I cut.
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    Guys there is an extensive thread in this section on Lean Gains and other IF strategies with thousands of posts of how people respond to it, tweak it and work with in it. However here are a couple pics of me that are 6 weeks apart using IF to drop fat and build muscle. Yes anabolics were involved to help add the muscle but it should give you an idea and I was not crazy strict and did not do much cardio at all.





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    i find im always hungry and hour or two after brekkie.. if i miss it until lunch i can do that no probs, so for me fasting was fairly easy. Remember you can do a daily 18 hour fast or a 24 hour fast 2-3 times a week. Just tell your body to "**** off" when its hungry, it soon goes away, bit like holding in a poo.
    Once you do it daily your body doesnt expect food until 1pm, its boredom i find that makes me eat if anything.
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    Lean Gains is pretty specific about the times you eat or at least the 16/8 ratio. However with this thread being about IF not just LG I will say that after a very long time of fasting you can easily change the time you break your fast with minimal hunger. Martin recommends starting your feeding window close to the same time to set the rhythms so you don't get too hungry before your time. However the longer you do this the easier and easier it is to fast longer without hunger ever becoming a major issue. Kind of like the guy above said it is a bit like holding in poo. After a little bit the urge goes away.

    I tend to keep things pretty consistent on Build Days. I have aminos pre and post training then once or twice more before breaking my fast around 1:00PM. I eat until between 8:00-9:00PM
    On burn days I break my fast mid to late afternoon, IE 3:30-4:30PM and eat until 8:00-9:00PM, if I haven't eaten by 4:30PM I will typically just wait to eat dinner with my family or just have a protein shake and then a large dinner. I prefer to shorten the window and have 1 or 2 larger meals on my burn days. I find it more satiating that way.
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    I am on a cutting phase right now under the guidance of a internet trainer who is doing my macros etc.

    Honestly, its the easiest thing ever, even on a cut. Arms and legs are the same size, weight is down, lifts are up. I wish I had learned how to do this years ago and quit worrying about eating every 3 hrs etc etc. By far the best I have ever looked. I train in the AM, so the bulk of my fasted time is evening and asleep...program is just extremely easy for me to comply with because of my work schedule.
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    Does a protein shake break your fast? What if i can't eat all my post work out meal? Im really struggling to down it!
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    Would anyone say this is worth trying for the first time while on an AAS cycle? Or try it when all other things are normal, to get a better feel for how the body responds?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyMove View Post
    Would anyone say this is worth trying for the first time while on an AAS cycle? Or try it when all other things are normal, to get a better feel for how the body responds?
    Is it a bulking or cutting cycle? If bulking I'd say to wait.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inda11 View Post
    Does a protein shake break your fast? What if i can't eat all my post work out meal? Im really struggling to down it!
    If the protein shake is preworkout, its okay, but not ideal. BCAA poweder Pre-WO is what the protocol calls for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inda11 View Post
    What if i can't eat all my post work out meal? Im really struggling to down it!
    Sweating the small stuff here. Eat until you are satisfied. More importantly get all of your nutrition needed during your whole window of eating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inda11 View Post
    Does a protein shake break your fast? What if i can't eat all my post work out meal? Im really struggling to down it!
    Any food with any amount of calories breaks the fast. What you are worried about is insulin release and return to fasting state of blood sugar. Martin recommend no more than 50 cals preferably with as little carbs as possible. However 10g of whey or whey isolate is fine too. Isolate preferably during the fast. Unless your post workout meal is the last meal of the day you just need to get in 65% of your calories SOME TIME after your workout. A bulk of it in the first meal after but it does not really matter. Same if you train fasted and he says then 95% of your calories come Post workout of course that is the case since you don't break your fast until after you lift, then you have 8 hours to finish that 95% post workout, it is not 65% of your cals all in one meal that is not the requirement.

    Quote Originally Posted by MurphyMove View Post
    Would anyone say this is worth trying for the first time while on an AAS cycle? Or try it when all other things are normal, to get a better feel for how the body responds?
    ABSOLUTELY! It is worth trying at any point in the game. Regardless of what anyone says most of the time anyone on cycle changes their nutrition plan from the normal one they run when not on anabolics. Now if you are looking to compare this then if you haven't done a cycle with your normal nutrition you wont get a good comparison. However a good diet is a good diet whether on anabolics or not.

    This diet is really not any better or more effective than the 6 meal a day plan to be honest. I did both but this one is far more convenient, far easier to continue and maintain. Results wise they are about the same but the amount of effort to follow the diet is about half if even that which makes it far superior to me. If you have insulin sensitivity issues this diet will help correct them. It is also so much easier to follow, only having 2-3 meals in a day to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beta BBer View Post
    Is it a bulking or cutting cycle? If bulking I'd say to wait.
    I don't think it matters at all. I have been using IF for a while now and did more recomping. I don't think too many people do a "bulk" on IF anymore. I mean the bulk for LG is gaining like 3-4 lbs over 12 weeks, however it is all muscle. That is how Martin intends it to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beta BBer View Post
    If the protein shake is preworkout, its okay, but not ideal. BCAA poweder Pre-WO is what the protocol calls for.
    Aminos are only used before the workout if you are working out fasted. There is no reason to waste money on aminos if you are not training fasted. YOu should be getting in ample amounts of protein and should not be taking in aminos during your fast on cardio or rest days. Only during the fasted period post training if training fasted in the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thepaul7 View Post
    Sweating the small stuff here. Eat until you are satisfied. More importantly get all of your nutrition needed during your whole window of eating.
    Precisely, just like I stated above. I think most people see the 65% and think crap I have to eat all 1800 cals in 1 meal. Of course after a little bit on this that is not that hard to do.

    Also unless you are a "whole food purist" protein powder goes a long way toward keeping your macros in line and protein high.
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    So do pre workouts break ur fast too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by a312 View Post
    So do pre workouts break ur fast too?
    Don't over think it too much. I will say that some pre workouts will break the fast as some of them have things like waximaize, maltodextrine or dextrose to give energy or help promote the pump via carbs. Typically tho they don't have many calories in them at all and the Aminos that are in some of them are not a problem. Technically any consumption of calories is breaking the fast. Martin recommends not going over 50 calories during the fast and at that it is every couple hours someone on here mentioned having them every hour, but it was every other hour post fasted training.

    My morning thing is above what he recommends I do 2 scoops of Xtend pre workout. That is a total of 22 grams of aminos and glutamine, then I have 12g of HumaPro post workout. It works really well for me. I will normally get 1-2 more servings of aminos in before breaking my fast typically at 1:00. I am done training by 6:00AM so that is 6-7 hours later. He recommends trying to at least get it in around four hours after but no convenient for me. Protein synthesis doesn't really even start increasing until 4 hours after resistance exercise, and it reaches it's peak around 24 hours so there is not any risk of missing out on any protein synthesis. Don't sweat the minutia, the absolute best part of Intermittent Fasting is you can be extremely basic and it will work like a charm. You can also be worried about the minutia of it all, try to do everything with perfect timing yada yada yada and get pretty much the same results without the benefit of enjoying the pure simplicity of the way of eating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrKleen73

    Don't over think it too much. I will say that some pre workouts will break the fast as some of them have things like waximaize, maltodextrine or dextrose to give energy or help promote the pump via carbs. Typically tho they don't have many calories in them at all and the Aminos that are in some of them are not a problem. Technically any consumption of calories is breaking the fast. Martin recommends not going over 50 calories during the fast and at that it is every couple hours someone on here mentioned having them every hour, but it was every other hour post fasted training.

    My morning thing is above what he recommends I do 2 scoops of Xtend pre workout. That is a total of 22 grams of aminos and glutamine, then I have 12g of HumaPro post workout. It works really well for me. I will normally get 1-2 more servings of aminos in before breaking my fast typically at 1:00. I am done training by 6:00AM so that is 6-7 hours later. He recommends trying to at least get it in around four hours after but no convenient for me. Protein synthesis doesn't really even start increasing until 4 hours after resistance exercise, and it reaches it's peak around 24 hours so there is not any risk of missing out on any protein synthesis. Don't sweat the minutia, the absolute best part of Intermittent Fasting is you can be extremely basic and it will work like a charm. You can also be worried about the minutia of it all, try to do everything with perfect timing yada yada yada and get pretty much the same results without the benefit of enjoying the pure simplicity of the way of eating.
    Thanx alot
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    at the end of the day, if it goes in your mouth, and its not water, it breaks your fast!

    Remember, you're fasting.. if youre not fasting, youre eating.

    A very small, dash of milk in your coffee ive heard is not a deal breaker, but downing a protein shake or sugary post workout, sorry but you've stopped fasting.

    Think of it as draining your cars tank to find its MPG... if you add more fuel, its sscrewed the results.

    Simple - fast 24 hours (dinner to next dinner) two to three times a week, or fast by eating your meal early evening (6pm) and not eating again until lunch the next day, every day (16-18 hour windows of no food or calorie drinks). Its that simple

    No greay areas, no varients, its black and white, thats it.
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    To rid myself of the lbs I added during my last semester, I started doing a "compressed feeding window" sorta-Leangains style of IF. I eat two large high protein meals a day, one about an hour after waking, and another one between 6-8 hours later. May 27th I was 222, yesterday I was 198 lbs. Overall I think it's been working well for me. Being that I'm eating low-carb , hi-fat paleo, my workouts suffered a bit at first, but after a couple of days they came right back.

    Edit: I would mention that I don't do BCAAs while fasted. I'm somewhere between an Endo and Meso-morph and I haven't seen any loss of muscle from the fasting, which jives with what Rob Regish has seen as far as Endos and Mesos not needing the BCAAs as much as Ectos. Further, according to Brad Pilon and Robb Wolf, the BCAAs will indeed turn on MTOR, but will interfere with cellular autophagy. I might reevaluate my position if I were to embark on a mass gain, but until I'm at my target BF%, I'm only thinking of leaning out and general health.
    Last edited by sarguy; 06-24-2012 at 11:14 PM. Reason: more info
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    Quote Originally Posted by daAMx View Post
    You didn't read much before this...did you ?
    I'm not really sure what you are adding to the discussion or even asking, but my personal opinion is that a newb test cycle should be
    done with high cals to get the most out of it. If it was stanazol etc, then yeah, go for the cut or recomp-, if its test E for mass gains
    I say go for broke and eat up and take advantage of the anabolic environment. Its not practical to get heavy bulking calories in the window of IF.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beta BBer View Post
    I'm not really sure what you are adding to the discussion or even asking, but my personal opinion is that a newb test cycle should be
    done with high cals to get the most out of it. If it was stanazol etc, then yeah, go for the cut or recomp-, if its test E for mass gains
    I say go for broke and eat up and take advantage of the anabolic environment. Its not practical to get heavy bulking calories in the window of IF.
    +1. If the person had been doing IF/Leangains for a while and had successfully done a bulk using IF in the past, then it might be okay. However, starting a Test cycle wouldn't be the time to start experimenting with IF. Eventually, most people will adapt to eating large, 2,000 calorie plus meals but for some it might take a long time.
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