LeanGains Calculations on your own
I realize I may be beating a dead horse here, given the number of topics concerning leangains "style" IF and so on, but I've been going back and forth trying to hack this on my own and I just can't seem to lock down the appropriate numbers for macros and number of calories.
Just tonight I found the IF Calculator online though and it's given me some more specific guidelines. Has anyone used this before or had any success with it? Here's the link if anyone's interested: IF Calculator
According to the calculator I'm at just under 12% body fat (11.3 I think is what it said... but that's based on a waist measurement that can vary a half inch depending on the time of day or which day of the week I measure it. Even in a fasted state it'll vary from one day to the next). My goal is to get to 8% if not 6%. I understand this is both ambitious and requires a level of calculation and determination that may or may not align with the intuitive approach many people follow with the primal blueprint. I understand not everyone on here is interested in this level of body recomposition and if this is boring or repetitive to you feel free to skip over my post.
I also know a lot of people seem to disregard the fact that you can't pick and choose what you want to use and get the same results as people who are receiving full consultations and strictly following a plan. For example, it's unrealistic to expect the results some of Martin's clients experience just by doing a 16/8 style IF and just eating whatever you want. It's starting to look, at least to me, more and more like this is primarily a means to restrict calories and maintain the right hormonal balance in your body. I don't think there's some magic weight loss benefit to IF just by virtue of skipping breakfast for an extra four hours. For me it's just a lot harder to overeat during an 8 hour eating window unless I really go overboard with my fat intake. Even then I still think I maintain close to a caloric deficit most days.
That being said, I do intend to follow a full LeanGains approach. Unfortunately, it seems Martin's gone kind of Hollywood (and I don't blame him one bit with the results he produces) and it's not likely he'll get to my consultation request or even accept within the next year. That said, I'm trying to piece together his approach for myself. I've gotten a kitchen scale and plan to incorporate sweet and regular potatoes on heavy carb days (I'm simplying going to weigh them out and try to make sure I get the right number of carbs on these days with a lower fat intake).
My question is this: for those who are familiar with leangains, can I expect amazing results consuming somewhere between 100-200 grams of carbs on strength training days? I plan on doing this three times a week, MWF cycling through deadlifts, bench press, squats, and maybe two other big lifts. I bought Starting Strength and I'll be designing an abbreviated, reverse pyramid style workout cycle over the weekend which I think aligns fairly well with the LeanGains approach. The IF Calculator, under the Weight Loss/Cutting settings, suggested 159 grams on rest days and 218 grams on training days. This still seems REALLY high to me and I just can't psychologically get over the idea of eating more than 100 grams of carbs in one day. I've seen amazing results with a primal/paleo approach to my eating and it's extremely counter-intuitive to scarf down plates and plates of mashed potatoes. I've lost 20 pounds and I'm down from 175+. I would hate to see my hard work over the last four months obliterated by the wrong calculations for macros. I realize I don't understand all the science behind some of this, but if someone does please explain to me how I can avoid putting back on 10 pounds of fat by literally eating 4 or 5 times as many carbs a week as I am right now. I just can't wrap my head around it.
Also, if anyone else has any advice on how to jerry rig your own LG approach please let me know. I'm willing to put in the work, I just want to do it right the first time. Hopefully there won't be too much trial and error. I'd be interested if someone saw some success getting to 8% bodyfat or lower eating even less than 100 grams of carbs on strength training days. Thanks for any help !!
I think you're on the right path. I eat 200g+ of carbs on training days and it helped me get leaner. You have to dial back fat intake on those days also of course. It took me a while to get over the carb phobia, so I understand your hesitancy. But really, the "carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis" (as it's been called: carbs->insulin->fat) is waaaay oversimplified, to the point that it's not really true. I'd say go with the carb numbers that calculator gives you and adjust from there. Good luck and train hard!
Thanks, yodiewan. That's what I figured. After reading some of the stuff on these forums as well as leangains and rippedbody I was starting to think I may have bought into an unfounded idea about how being in ketosis during the work week and allowing myself 50-150 grams of carbs on one day over the weekend would keep me moving towards my goals. Not only have I stopped dropping 2 pounds a week, I'm also noticing it wouldn't hurt for my chest and other major muscle groups to to do a little growth.
I'll start the LeanGains style carb cycle (I already do the 16/8 window) on Sunday and give it a solid two weeks before overreacting to anything on the scale. I'm sure some water weight will return with the increased carb consumption, but the mirror doesn't lie right? I'll let you know how it goes, I just hope I'm not putting too much faith in an online calculator. Ha.
Edit: Also, I know Martin recommends, for beginners, a 3 dray a week training cycle focused on major lifts reverse pyramid style. I've also seen some stuff where he recommends light to moderate cardio on rest days. I'm curious if anyone thinks there would be any benefit or detriment to the LeanGains approach by just doing a CrossFit workout MWF? I think that falls under the umbrella of compound movements and strength training, but it also has a pretty cardio benefit. I don't know if this would mess with the muscle gains though.. Kind of goes back to the idea of picking and choosing parts of a routine. Just curious though.
Last edited by Tom_S; 04-13-2012 at 06:35 PM.