Leangains is the most popular method of intermittent fasting bodybuilding. Here is a brief overview of what it is:
- 16 hours fasts followed by 8 hours of on and off eating.
- Calorie and macro cycling; high carb, low fat on workout days, and high fat medium card on rest days.
- Always high protein.
- Encourages fasted training. Many followers consume BCCA (branched-chain amino acids) powder before fasted training to improve protein synthesis and to avoid breaking down muscle.
- Most commonly used to retain or gain muscle while cutting.
- Great for bulking while adding very little fat.
- Most followers use IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros – basically means you can eat whatever you want, as long as you hit your macronutrient goals). However, it’s very popular in the paleo/primal community.
- Encourages full-body barbell movements and 3x/week workouts.
A normal Leangains recomposition setup might look something like the following one. This is for our “test subject” Pete. He is 25 years old, is 5′ 10″, weighs 150 lbs., and has a moderate activity level. He is already very lean, but is looking to gain a little muscle while subsequently losing a that last bit of fat, so he is doing a “recomp.” He will be eating +20 of his TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) on workout days and -20 on rest days.
12 PM: Lunch.
7 PM: Dinner.
Macros: 150 grams protein, 92 grams carbs, 123 grams fat.
11 AM: 10 grams BCAA
11 AM – 12 PM: Workout
12 PM: Post-workout meal. Pile on the starchy carbs.
7 PM: Last meal. Keep it high protein, low fat, with a moderate amount of carbs.
Macros: 150 grams protein, 471 grams of carbs (yeah, that’s a ton), and 69 grams of fat. For most people, the fat and carbs would be lower, but Pete has higher caloric requirements than most.
That’s just an example setup. To calculate your macros, check out the awesome intermittent fasting macro calculator here.
For Leangains training, you should check out Starting Strength, available on Amazon. If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter, check out any of the many barbell strength training programs available to intermediate and advanced weightlifters.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment box below.