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Thread: Need input from knowledgeable LeanGains athletes page

  1. #1
    Louisa655's Avatar
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    Need input from knowledgeable LeanGains athletes

    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Hi, everyone: I'd appreciate any feedback on my plan for using Martin's LeanGains Recomp plan.

    My stats are as follows:
    Female, 5'10", 49yrs, 155lbs and currently Crossfitting 3x per week.

    My goal: To add muscle to this athletic physique and simultaneously reduce fat with an outcome of a lean, strong physique.

    I've used Martin's information to calculate my numbers:
    Weight: 155lbs
    BMI: 22%
    Lean body Mass: 120lbs
    Active Day BMR: 1872
    Sedentary Day BMR: 1450

    So, when I do the calculations this is what my non active and active days look like: I am using 1.5grams protein per 1 pound of lean body mass. (too much?)

    Active Crossfit day: Total calories: 2246: 180g protein; 42g Fat; 286g carbs
    Sedentary day: Total calories: 1160: 180g protein; 36g Fat; 27g carbs

    Here are my questions:
    1. Is the 286g of carbs on the Crossfit Day Overkill? Seems like a lot of carbs, given I've been <50g daily;

    2. Does this seem like overkill on the protein? I generally eat around 50grams protein and it'll be challenging to eat that much protein.

    3. Martin's plan goes hand in hand with his 'lifting programme'. The fact that I'm not doing his lifting programme but rather, crossfitting. Crossfit is a class where we olympic lift, and do other types of high intensity exercise for 1 hour. Should I scale back on my calculations? Is the Crossfit programme close in intensity to Martin's programme?

    4. If my numbers are true and I should roll with this, what can I expect to happen to my body in the short run, as I begin ingesting all these calories? Will my stomach start to get large? Will I develop more fat? Is it a short term loss for a long term gain?

    I would appreciate input/comments from everyone.

    Thanks/Lu
    Last edited by Louisa655; 02-01-2013 at 02:31 PM. Reason: error in calculation. now corrected
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  2. #2
    Ripped's Avatar
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    Pardon if I'm out of place for saying this, but I have my doubts that there would be any necessity or benefit at all in having a dietary program that complicated.

    To begin with, Martin's weight sessions are typically heavy weight sessions such as 5 x 5, which tend to be brief but intense. I've tried crossfit workouts and I can honestly argue that a crossfit workout is WAY more intense than a typical weight workout. A typical weight workout sure is heavy, but nowhere near the intensity of a crossfit workout.

    Also notice how a typical crossfit workout requires endurance. But a typical weight workout doesn't. A lack of carbohydrates being consumed within a reasonable amount of time prior to the workout (this could be up to 24 hours possibly) will result in a loss of endurance. This won't affect a heavy weight training session as much. But it will affect a crossfit workout. You see, there is a reason why at crossfit they recommend the zone diet over very low carbs. Because they realize that carbohydrates are required for athletic performance for the sport. And this is also why it isn't ideal to consume very low carbs (such as what your described in your post) the day before a crossfit workout.

    The other question I have is concerning the idea of eating a lot of carbs post workout. The idea as applicable to building muscle is supposed to take advantage of the muscle building affects of insulin. In theory it looks cute. We know that pro bodybuilders inject insulin in order to get bigger than what steroids alone would give. We also know that the pancreas secretes insulin after ingesting carbohydrates. Actually, it also secretes insulin after eating protein as well. And to top things off, I've never seen a quantitative representation showing actually how much insulin is required to have a significant muscle building affect, and how that relates to how much insulin we can produce naturally vs (well, bodybuilders can inject as much as they want). In other words, I've never seen any actual proof that the carbs you'd ingest post workout with a plan such as leangains will stimulate the pancreas to secrete enough insulin to build muscle more than what would be built over time if you didn't do it. For all we know it might be insignificant. And if that is true, you'd be only making your diet more complicated for no reason at all.

    Considering both factors discussed, you'd realize that you'd probably be much better off going with the same amount of carbs (moderate) every day. You'd have more energy for your workouts for better performance. And you'd still have your carbs post workout, and if there was any benefit to that, you'd get it. Additionally, and I think this is the biggest benefit of all, you'd have a much simpler plan, and that'd be much better to manage.

    Here's the way I see it. Work as hard as you can in the gym and you'll build as much muscle as your body is capable of building naturally. If you want to drop some fat, cut calories for a while as necessary. If you aim to do it too fast, your performance in the gym might suffer temporarily, but you'll get it back once you go back to maintenance. Aside from that, it probably isn't going to matter how many meals you eat, what time you eat them, or if your macros are very specific or not.

  3. #3
    sjmc's Avatar
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    I don't have advice on whether or not you should do this, but I have a question about your calculations. So what you've got is +20% of active bmr on workout days and -20% of sedentary bmr on rest days. I thought the leangains macros and calories were usually just calculated with respect to one 'maintenance' number?

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    Louisa655's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ripped View Post
    Pardon if I'm out of place for saying this, but I have my doubts that there would be any necessity or benefit at all in having a dietary program that complicated.

    To begin with, Martin's weight sessions are typically heavy weight sessions such as 5 x 5, which tend to be brief but intense. I've tried crossfit workouts and I can honestly argue that a crossfit workout is WAY more intense than a typical weight workout. A typical weight workout sure is heavy, but nowhere near the intensity of a crossfit workout.

    Also notice how a typical crossfit workout requires endurance. But a typical weight workout doesn't. A lack of carbohydrates being consumed within a reasonable amount of time prior to the workout (this could be up to 24 hours possibly) will result in a loss of endurance. This won't affect a heavy weight training session as much. But it will affect a crossfit workout. You see, there is a reason why at crossfit they recommend the zone diet over very low carbs. Because they realize that carbohydrates are required for athletic performance for the sport. And this is also why it isn't ideal to consume very low carbs (such as what your described in your post) the day before a crossfit workout.

    The other question I have is concerning the idea of eating a lot of carbs post workout. The idea as applicable to building muscle is supposed to take advantage of the muscle building affects of insulin. In theory it looks cute. We know that pro bodybuilders inject insulin in order to get bigger than what steroids alone would give. We also know that the pancreas secretes insulin after ingesting carbohydrates. Actually, it also secretes insulin after eating protein as well. And to top things off, I've never seen a quantitative representation showing actually how much insulin is required to have a significant muscle building affect, and how that relates to how much insulin we can produce naturally vs (well, bodybuilders can inject as much as they want). In other words, I've never seen any actual proof that the carbs you'd ingest post workout with a plan such as leangains will stimulate the pancreas to secrete enough insulin to build muscle more than what would be built over time if you didn't do it. For all we know it might be insignificant. And if that is true, you'd be only making your diet more complicated for no reason at all.

    Considering both factors discussed, you'd realize that you'd probably be much better off going with the same amount of carbs (moderate) every day. You'd have more energy for your workouts for better performance. And you'd still have your carbs post workout, and if there was any benefit to that, you'd get it. Additionally, and I think this is the biggest benefit of all, you'd have a much simpler plan, and that'd be much better to manage.

    Here's the way I see it. Work as hard as you can in the gym and you'll build as much muscle as your body is capable of building naturally. If you want to drop some fat, cut calories for a while as necessary. If you aim to do it too fast, your performance in the gym might suffer temporarily, but you'll get it back once you go back to maintenance. Aside from that, it probably isn't going to matter how many meals you eat, what time you eat them, or if your macros are very specific or not.
    Dear Ripped: I appreciate your comments and input on this. I see what you are saying about the crossfit intensity needing more carbs. So far, I've been able to keep up and hold my own (with the younger athletes), despite the fact I've been <50 grams of carbs, so I thought I was doing okay. But your comments make sense to me. I'd like to increase the number of workouts I do per week, and it seems that my low carb has been my limiting factor. Since I'm getting nice and lean and building good muscle, I've been looking for ways to make that happen faster.

    What are your thoughts on the Martin's IF protocol which is 16/8 for women. Last meal at 9pm and nothing until 1pm. My workouts are 7:30pm with my last meal being 9pm. Do you see any benefit to the IF protocol for a crossfitter?

    On a side note, I do appreciate the time it took you to respond completely. I've done Ironman, 100 miler runs, and placed in world games in endurance swimming. I'm not new to athletics but every sport requires a slightly different plan and I'm trying to figure out my crossfitting plan. I like to hit a sport hard and I've got the discipline to handle a regimented eating/training programme --- I just need to know where to put my energies, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks, Ripped.
    /Lu
    Last edited by Louisa655; 02-02-2013 at 04:57 AM.
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

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    Louisa655's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    I don't have advice on whether or not you should do this, but I have a question about your calculations. So what you've got is +20% of active bmr on workout days and -20% of sedentary bmr on rest days. I thought the leangains macros and calories were usually just calculated with respect to one 'maintenance' number?
    Hi, SJMC: Martin's recompl plan is a +20/-20 on two numbers: The BMR on an active day and BMR on a non-active day. So, yes, you are bang on. /Lu
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  6. #6
    Nivanthe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louisa655 View Post
    What are your thoughts on the Martin's IF protocol which is 16/8 for women.
    I don't have much to add to the advice above, but Martin recommends 14/10 for women, as they seem to do better on that split for a few reasons. (Mood, hormones)
    Questions & Answers | Intermittent fasting diet for fat loss, muscle gain and health

    My N=1: I tried 16/8 for most of last year, while it was the most convenient for me in terms of lifestyle (and I really, REALLY wanted it to work), unfortunately I think it just isn't the key for me, and so last week I've gone back to having breakfast again.

    I guess I'm one of the ones that has the 'adverse reactions' to long fasting. So my long-winded point is, maybe try a larger window until you know your body will react well to the shorter one.

  7. #7
    Ripped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louisa655 View Post
    Dear Ripped: I appreciate your comments and input on this. I see what you are saying about the crossfit intensity needing more carbs. So far, I've been able to keep up and hold my own (with the younger athletes), despite the fact I've been <50 grams of carbs, so I thought I was doing okay. But your comments make sense to me. I'd like to increase the number of workouts I do per week, and it seems that my low carb has been my limiting factor. Since I'm getting nice and lean and building good muscle, I've been looking for ways to make that happen faster.

    What are your thoughts on the Martin's IF protocol which is 16/8 for women. Last meal at 9pm and nothing until 1pm. My workouts are 7:30pm with my last meal being 9pm. Do you see any benefit to the IF protocol for a crossfitter?

    On a side note, I do appreciate the time it took you to respond completely. I've done Ironman, 100 miler runs, and placed in world games in endurance swimming. I'm not new to athletics but every sport requires a slightly different plan and I'm trying to figure out my crossfitting plan. I like to hit a sport hard and I've got the discipline to handle a regimented eating/training programme --- I just need to know where to put my energies, if you know what I mean.

    Thanks, Ripped.
    /Lu
    I think the 8 hour window is the best place to start with IF. It's very comfortable. And I like 2 meals per day. My bet is that it isn't going to hurt crossfit, because crossfit isn't exactly as taxing energy wise as an extreme endurance sport.

    My comments are the same about carbs. You can cut carbs (along with calories) temporarily if fat loss is your immediate goal, and let performance suffer temporarily, until you'r done cutting. I only say that because while it may not be the best approach, it is simple and takes out all the guess work, and that's why I like it the best for cutting. That's probably the only time I might bother to count calories anyways.

    But aside from that, I'd keep the carbs in. There's no need not to.

    I just say, I don't see any need to calculate everything to be exact. I would never want to be excessive compulsive like a bodybuilder. That's ridiculous and no way to live a good life. I'd cut calories while cutting, if it made it easier to make sure I get to where I want, but that's about it.

    The thing that initially attracted me to IF was that I didn't want to be a prisoner of my own diet. I wanted to be free. And counting calories and macros all the time isn't a way to accomplish this. It isn't necessary either. Grok didn't count calories or macros and didn't even know what it was, yet I am sure he was leaner than 90% of people in industrialized societies today. That's where I want to be. I want to be free like Grok.

  8. #8
    weisitke's Avatar
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    i agree it, think it just isn't the key for me, and so last week I've gone back to having breakfast again.thank you

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    Lu,
    The difference in our workouts, is that mine (my 3 day split RPT routine) calls upon nearly a 100% carb 0% fat burn to fuel my lifts for a short period of time, maybe 10 minutes total (30 minute total workout). My workout does not burn too many calories, but the after-effects are wonderful. I also walk to burn some extra fat (and because I enjoy it and it offers a myriad of other health benefits).

    An hour of CrossFit would perhaps average out to about a 70%carb, 30% fat burn of 600 calories (rough estimates). That would work out to be 420 calories of carbs, which could be fueled by about 100 grams of carbs (100gcarb * 4cal/1gcarb=400cal) plus a little protein that may go towards your workout. I’m no nutritional expert, but the way I understand it, your body can only store and use so many carbs at a time anyways. 283 grams seems excessive, if fat loss is your objective. It sounds more like a carb refeed, which supposedly can be effective at pushing through plateaus. I’d say I average 60 grams of carbs on rest days, and 120 on workout days. I won’t go over 150 carbs even on a workout day. Of course, I require less than you…
    As for protein- that seems a little high too! (but not that high). But I won’t tell you what to eat. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting plenty of protein from good quality foods. You’ll just need to eat less fat to keep total calories in check. And of course you know how your body responds better than I do, so whatever works best for you and feels right you should do.


    I generally try not to worry about calculating and counting and recording all of my macros and just eat only primal friendly carbs (mostly veggies, berries), along with plenty of high quality protein and plenty of healthy fat. Workout days, I up the primal friendly carbs and total calories and possibly include things like potatoes and sweet potatoes (and chocolate)...

    Maybe some pre-workout lean protein and carby fruits and veggies would help you push through your workout, so that you need minimal carbs at other times.

    Carbs drive insulin drives fat!
    Last edited by mrhtower; 02-04-2013 at 08:54 PM. Reason: typo

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