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  1. #1
    Primalvore's Avatar
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    Critique my Leangains plan please? As a B-day present?

    Primal Fuel
    Hey everyone,

    I've been lurking around on Leangains for a while now, and I'm really interested in giving the principals a try. I'm already a super IF-er, so it really shouldn't be hard for me. The only problem is that no matter how much I read, I feel like the blog is kind of all over the place, so I still get confused about some of the guidelines.

    I'm planning on switching to some kind of a modified Leangains lifestyle. Here are the guidelines I'm setting for myself. If anyone, especially a Leangains veteran, can critique them I'd be really appreciative! I plan on journaling each day of my experience in detail, so if this works well for me others can benefit!

    To start, here are some stats:

    I'm a 23 (24 tomorrow!) year old woman, and I fluctuate between 117 and 123 lbs. I keep gaining and losing the same 5 lbs over and over again. I've been following a primal lifestyle since around November, and with each week it becomes easier.

    I am REALLY bad with measuring with calipers, but I can safely say that I am probably ~100 lbs lean muscle and ~ 20 lbs fat (boo).

    My primary goal is fat loss to lean out - I went from pudgey to skinny-fat with a little belly pooch, and I'd love to lose a couple inches around my stomach. Gaining muscle is of course a close second and will soon become the priority.

    So here are the principals I'm looking to follow -

    NUTRITION

    1) During the morning fast, nothing will be consumed except for water, herbal tea,
    and possibly a cup of coffee with half and half (1-2 TB). I usually drink my coffee around noon.

    2) Fast until noon. At noon, a cup of coffee with half and half will be probably be consumed (if not consumed earlier).

    3) The fast will be broken between 1:30 and 2:00 PM with lunch. Lunch is either a bigass salad with meat or a good piece of meat with green vegetables.

    4) Dinner is eaten between 6:00 and 6:30. 99% of the time Dinner is a good piece of meat with green vegetables.

    5) After Dinner, the remaining calories and protein needed for the day will be eaten as Martin's Protein Fluff or Greek Yogurt with a few berries.

    6) I will eat about 100 grams of protein every day - 1 gram per lb of lean bodyweight. I'm a little confused about other macronutrient ratios. And should I be eating more protein?

    FITNESS

    7) I will continue to do a combination of Power Yoga, Pilates (with a pilates machine), and bodyweight exercises (push ups, pull ups, squats) 3-4 times a week.

    8) Kettle bell swings as a form of sprinting once a week

    9) I will take BCAA before working out and 20 g additional BCAA after working out (as outlined in the Leangains Guide)

    10) Resume current schedule of moving slowly a lot all day

    **I don't want to do the typical "lift heavy things" right now for a few reasons. I enjoy the work outs I am doing now and have no desire to drive to the gym and lift. It's not because I'm afraid of lifting or bulking up - I've lifted before and am just tired of it. That's why I'm going to see if this modified workout schedule works in the term of leangains.**

    So that's it! If anyone thinks I'm completely off mark here please let me know! I guess my only last element of confusion is the macronutrient levels - I'm not sure whether to stagger my carb and fat ratios like Martin suggests or just eat primally - 55-70 % fat - all the time. Can any other Primal Leangainers help me out here?

    "The Way We Do Anything Is the Way We Do Everything"
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  2. #2
    Grumpycakes's Avatar
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    Happy birthday! Consuming calories (ie. the half-and-half in your coffee) breaks a fast.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    the guy who wrote "EatStopEat" a book all about IF, also wrote a book "how much protein" and CW tells us to eat 1 gram protein to 1 lbs lean mass but that is not true. Your small, you could easily make due with half that or be around 70 grams-ish. Eating more protein does not equal more muscle, the only thing that will really get you more muscle is weight training. Eat what feels right and don't stress that your not getting enough, some days you'll eat more than you need, other days you won't but it'll usually all work out.

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    So I just wanted to point out that in Martin's intro to Leangains, he says that coffee with 1/2-1 teaspoons of milk won't hurt. 1-2 tablespoons is 3-6x this amount. Still not a huge amount of calories, but it's worth noting.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that the Leangains approach presupposes resistance training (i.e., lifting heavy things), so I don't know how it would work if you're not doing that kind of exercise. I mean, the plan specifically differentiates between workout days (3x a week) and non-workout days (4x a week) and you alter your macronutrient ratio depending on which day it is.

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    mayness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
    Happy birthday! Consuming calories (ie. the half-and-half in your coffee) breaks a fast.
    Agreed... I could accept 1-2 tsp of heavy cream, but 1-2 tbsp of half-and-half is too much sugar to count as "fasting" in my mind. (I'm convinced that a little bit of fat doesn't really do all that much but carbs are different.)

    I'm sure you've read Martin's guide, but in case anyone here hasn't: http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html Based on that guide, I'd think carefully about how your workout will fit in with your meals and how big each meal will be... I'm sure you'll get results regardless, but he's had so many clients with crazy success stories that confirm that his specific plans work. =]

    Happy birthday!!
    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

    I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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    Patrick's Avatar
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    Martin has written that a cup of coffee with cream will not be considered to break a fast (in Leangain terms) even though it technically does, so she's fine there if she's looking for Leangains guidelines advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    No calories are to be ingested during the fasted phase, though coffee, calorie free sweeteners, diet soda and sugar free gum are ok (even though they might contain trace amount of calories). A tiny splash of milk in your coffee won’t affect anything either (-1 teaspoon of milk per cup at the most - use sparingly and sensibly if you drink a lot of coffee). Neither will sugar free gum in moderation (~20 g).
    (emphasis mine) Again, watch how much you're putting in. Limit your cream to 1/2 tsp, which ain't much, really. That said, you can do what you want, but if you're looking to specifically follow Martin's guidelines for Leangains. . . . well, yeah.
    August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

    I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Primalvore,

    Grumpy Caveman is half-right about half and half breaking the fast. Technically, it breaks it because you're consuming calories, however, it seems to just halt it, not flat out break it, the fast resumes once your body metabolizes the half and half, which wouldn't take too long. I wouldn't scrutinize it too much, but don't be too liberal with it either.

    I'm assuming, since you're going to be taking BCAA, that you're working out fasted in the mornings right? Good.

    Now, I do strongly believe that Leangains workout protocol emphasizes heavy lifting, because of the hormonal reaction the body has to it and because it's more calorically expensive than other methods of training (ok, not all other methods, but strength derived ones) I'm not dismissing yoga as a strength training routine, but if you're strong enough, add some weight to your bodyweight work. If you can do 10 consecutive push-ups, consider acquiring a weight vest or any other way to add resistance (elevate your feet, or something) so that your work is heavier than just your bodyweight. Same concept for pull-ups, if you can already do more than 10 reps, add weight to your pull ups, even if you can only muster 3 good reps.

    Martin likes to work in a reverse pyramid scheme, this is how that would look for pull ups:
    - warm up by doing rows or a few strictly bodyweight reps.
    - first work set: 3 reps with 20lb added weight (or whatever weight you desire) rest
    - second work set: 5-6 reps with 10lb added weight, rest
    - last work set: as many reps without failure as you can manage, no added weight.

    I've found that method to be very effective. I'm a Leangains style faster but I "sprinkle" other exercises to my training and don't train as consistently as Leangains would recommend, can't help it, working out is just too much fun.

    On nutrition, I don't currently carb cycle, but you would benefit from doing so. On heavy workout days, add some primal carbs to your meals and try to reduce the fat (so that you don't take in too many calories from fat, this is important) and on rest days keep the fat regular (as in, high) but keep the carbs lower, so stick to green veggies. In that fashion, you're eating around the same amount of calories everyday, only some days you get more carb calories and other days you get more fat calories. The easiest way I've found to do this is to avoid adding extra fat to meals on higher carb days, so those days I'll skip the butter, skip the heavy cream, and only cook with coconut oil or something. I may also not eat bacon on a workout day. On rest days I do the opposite, but I subtract the carbs so I stick to green veggies, meat, and fats from butter or coconut oil, avocado, etc.

    It's really not too hard to do that, but if you want to not do that part and eat normally you can try it and see what happens, if you remain the same, then consider the higher carb/lower carb days. I'll say this though: if you're not doing higher carb/lower carb then you're not fully doing the Leangains protocol, and can't therefore say with any certainty whether it's "working" for you or not, because you're not following the advice correctly.

    If you have any other questions, you can PM me.

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    iniQuity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayness View Post
    Agreed... I could accept 1-2 tsp of heavy cream, but 1-2 tbsp of half-and-half is too much sugar to count as "fasting" in my mind. (I'm convinced that a little bit of fat doesn't really do all that much but carbs are different.)

    I'm sure you've read Martin's guide, but in case anyone here hasn't: http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html Based on that guide, I'd think carefully about how your workout will fit in with your meals and how big each meal will be... I'm sure you'll get results regardless, but he's had so many clients with crazy success stories that confirm that his specific plans work. =]

    Happy birthday!!
    Yeah, his success stories are sick, so when I stopped to think why I wasn't getting the same results I came to the realization that I'm not really following the Leangains protocol so I should stfu and not complain. I'm going to more seriously implement the advice Martin gives on both workouts and eating style and see what's what.

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    PatrickF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primalvore View Post
    I am REALLY bad with measuring with calipers, but I can safely say that I am probably ~100 lbs lean muscle and ~ 20 lbs fat (boo). My primary goal is fat loss to lean out - I went from pudgey to skinny-fat with a little belly pooch, and I'd love to lose a couple inches around my stomach.
    That would be around 17% bodyfat. If you lost 4 lbs of fat you would be slightly below 14% which is around the lowest sustainable limit.

    I think either your measurements are off or your expectations are unrealistic.

  10. #10
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    EDIT: Ninja'd by PatrickF... -_-

    Sorry, I have to point out this tidbit:

    I am REALLY bad with measuring with calipers, but I can safely say that I am probably ~100 lbs lean muscle and ~ 20 lbs fat (boo).
    100 pounds lean muscle + 20 pounds fat = 120 total pounds.

    20 pounds / 120 pounds = 1/6 = 16.666% body fat

    For a girl, that is RIDICULOUSLY lean.
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