Haven’t had the success you thought using commercial diet/training methods?
Latest Update: 20th Jan 2013
.Do you look the same you did six months ago?
Perhaps you’ve just stumbled upon this without wasting your time on that stuff before. Either way, welcome.
I’ve tried to keep this guide simple and to the point, but with enough detail so that you can do it yourself.
If you follow the advice here, you’ll be able to look like an athlete, but without all the training that athletes have to endure. I’m not going to pretend that this is the answer, but I honestly believe it’s the simplest for 95% of people.
I’ve included a lot of useful links in here, to inspire you, so you can connect to a world of ordinary people that are using the system and having great success themselves, and to make you realise that you can do it too.
Are you going to keep ‘spinning your wheels’ or dare to try something new?
Are you thinking you can’t do this? Have a quick look at the results page. Don’t read it, just look through. For every one you see there are 100 times more scattered throughout the internet. These are regular people that decided they would do something, rather than complain about genetics or some other excuse. There are no more excuses, all the information is right here, right now. Stop reading right now and click. Self belief is important.
Body-recomposition is 70% diet, 30% training. Put your efforts in that ratio for results.
So your first thoughts are, “Shut up Andy, how do I get to the training section?” You have already lost. You can go ahead and click on the ‘Training’ tab underneath the banner and find it there. Bear in mind it is this exact thinking, the stress on training over diet, that has stopped you seeing the changes you have been working for these last 6 months.
Allow me to hammer this point home with an image. This man trains once every 3 days, for less than an hour, with no cardio. He is natural, doesn’t use fancy supplements, and used to be fat and flabby himself.
His name is Martin Berkhan and is the founder of the diet system I introduce in this guide.
Dieting generally isn’t very fun, but by reducing meal frequency it’s possible to still feel full and satisfied most of the time and yet lose weight. I have more clients complain about being too full than too hungry – a nice problem to have considering we’re supposed to be ‘dieting’. There’s comments all over the site confirming how little hunger is a problem using this method.
The ‘Leangains‘ method of Intermittent Fasting (I.F.) is a hassle-free way to get ripped quick and you can basically think of it as
- Purposefully skipping breakfast.
- Eating more food when your body needs it:
- More carbs for recovery on the days you weight train; less on those you rest.
- More calorie intake after you train than before on the days you do.
Keep the diet tight during your cut and then reap the rewards later.
Most people that use this system find it so flexible and gives such great results, that they continue to use it once they have achieved their fat-loss goals. The great thing is, due to hormonal reasons, (primarily improved insulin and leptin sensitivity) once you are lean, the diet can be a lot more relaxed and you will still be able to maintain your physique.
My advice is to keep the diet tight during your cut and then reap the rewards later. It’s not uncommon to be able to eat 2-3x the number of carbs after the diet and still maintain your abs. This is not magic, it’s science.
Key Leangains Diet Points & Basic Set-Up
- Choose an 8 hour ‘feeding window’. This means two times within which you will consume all your calories for the day.
- So as not to destroy your social life it’s better for most people to skip breakfast and have eat lunch and dinner. Something like 1-9pm. Think about when you usually eat with your family or friends when deciding.
- Don’t eat for the other 16 hours. (A splash of milk in the coffee/s is fine.)
- If you have irregular work hours/schedule see this guide.
- Getting it right 90% of the time is good enough. Somedays timing will be off. Don’t stress it. Yes, you can still drink on the weekend and not have to worry about your feeding window too much.
- Meal frequency doest matter, but simplicity is your friend. Two meals (at 1pm and 8:30pm for example) or three meals is fine if you prefer.
- Weight train 3 days a week. Rest 4 days a week.
- Training days: eat more carbs and less fat.
- Rest days: eat less carbs and more fat.
- Keep protein high on both days.
- Leaner cuts of meat/fish for training days.
- Fattier-cuts of meat/fish on a rest-days.
You have three options for your diet:
- The Basic Self-Set-Up (written above)
- The Detailed Self-Set-Up using my Leangains Macros Guide
- The Professionally-Planned Set-Up, Guidance, Coaching & Monitoring
Looking ‘Lean’ or ‘Ripped’ is a function of two things:
1. Low levels of body fat. 2. Developed Muscle Mass
You need both.
Strength training using barbells is the most effective for building strength and is what I strongly recommend. (For reasons see article “Why Barbells?“.
- Train for one hour, 3 days a week. Do big compound movements and forget about the rest for now. (Squat, Deadlift, Press, Chin-ups, Benchpress, Dips)
- Use correct form so that you build yourself in the fastest safest way.
- Read the book ‘Starting Strength‘.
- Watch Mark Rippetoe’s coaching videos if you are unsure of form. (If you’re going to spend 3 hours in the gym a week, it makes sense to spend an hour or two reading about what you should be doing in there. Very few people do this though.)
- Hire a good trainer. It can be tell the good trainers from the bad. Certificates don’t mean a damn. My guide on how to decide is here.
- Check out the Training Guide for details on how to get the maximum return on your gym time. Basically:
- New to barbells? Do the Squat/Deadlift/Benchpress every session for the first 2-3 months to maximize gains. You don’t need the recovery time that advanced trainees need because you haven’t learned to push yourself to the point of being sore for days after training yet. Don’t mess around with split routines.
- Barbell training experience? Consider some form of split routine.
- Details on how to choose what routine you should be using are in the guide.
- All training questions posted as comments will be answered there also.
- Can’t get to a gym? Use bodyweight exercises and workout at home, but bear in mind that you are likely to plateau at some point.
- Your training times can vary. It doesn’t always have to be at the same time but you’ll need to adjust your meals. For a details check out Martin’s ‘Leangains Guide‘.
I have clients so I know the mistakes that people often make.
It’s worth paying attention to the advice below.
Tips for Success
- Seeing is believing. There are stories scattered all over the internet.
- Use this site: Most of the articles are accessed under the banner tabs.
- Get support:
- Read the FAQ. A whole lotta love has gone into that baby.
- Can’t find an answer? Use the comments on the site. 7000 so far.
- Use the Facebook page. Join the community.
- Sign-up to fitocracy.com log your workouts, compare & get motivated by the awesome supportive community there.
- Reddit has a very active Leangains Page too. You are certainly not alone.
- Ladies, there are over 4000 of you on this Facebook Group.
- Cook your meals for the fastest gains. -Abs are made in the kitchen.
- Count macronutrients, not calories, and give yourself targets for training days and non-training days. This makes everything a lot easier and thus sustainable. Here you can find a post on the simplified macro counting rules I use for clients.
- Eat the same meals frequently and often for ease and success. – This way you only have to count the macros in each of your favorite meals once. Get inspiration for meals from here, here and here.
- Educate yourself. Many people will tell you that not eating breakfast is bad, or that if you don’t eat for 16 hours your muscles will fall off. Arm yourself with the facts. Great places to start are:
For more guidelines see this article by Martin called Sure-Fire Fat Loss.
Many people have created their own diet and training plan following the guidelines and had great success. However I appreciate those that there are those that may feel overwhelmed, or just want a diet plan made simple for them.
If you don’t want the guess work of optimal macronutrients/meal timing/training and want this area of your life taken care of, for good, I offer personal consultations. Everything is personalized and tailored to you. I don’t mess around. My clients get results.
(I am making constant improvements to this page. If there is anything you don’t understand, it means I have missed something in this guide. Kindly post a question in the comments.)