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This is one of the most common questions I get on a regular basis. Everyone knows that Intermittent Fasting is THE ultimate shredding system, it’s fantastic for health, and it’s great for your productivity and mental focus too.
But what about Intermittent Fasting and muscle gain? Won’t you lose muscle if you go without eating for too long?
If you can gain muscle while getting shredded with IF, then you’re achieving the ‘Holy Grail’ that natural bodybuilders have been chasing for decades. It’s simply a matter of time until you start looking like a fitness model.
Let’s get into it…
Firstly, we need to go back to the basics. Read this article on calories, and this article for an ‘Intermittent Fasting 101′. What causes muscle gain or muscle loss? I know there’s a segment of the population who hates to hear this, but the answer comes down to: calories. Yes, there’s more to it than calories alone, but if you’re eating only 1200 calories per day as a man, you ain’t ganin’ no muscle.
And if you go to the other extreme and shovel 3k+ calories down your mouth while you sit at your desk all day, you’re going to be gaining a lot of fat in addition to your muscle mass (which you definitely don’t want).
So how do you approach calories?
Make sure that either:
- The calorie deficit is small (5-15%)
- You’re roughly at maintenance calories
- You’re in a small surplus
The worst thing you could do is slash your calories, so make sure that you’re eating enough food in your two meals (if you’re doing 16:8 or something similar), or in your one meal (if you’re doing OMAD).
And by the way, this is exactly what has worked over the past four years of IF for me – I’ve managed to put on several pounds of muscle, and I’ve been lifting for almost 10 years! If you’ve been lifting less than three years, you have NO excuse.
Now you’ve got your calories sorted, you’ve given yourself a solid chance of gaining lean muscle with IF.
So What About Intermittent Fasting For Muscle Gain?
If you’re NOT gaining muscle with Intermittent Fasting, it’s because you aren’t getting enough:
- Good-quality carbs
- Sleep (take some time off drinking)
Protein is the king of anabolism, and if you’re not getting enough, you’re not even going to maintain your muscle, let alone build it.
So how much is enough?
0.8-1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight, depending on your calorie intake, how much body fat you currently have etc.
Focus on the BEST quality sources, including fish, red meat, eggs and whey.
Then when it comes to carbs, both quality and timing matter, A LOT, when you’re trying to achieve the ‘best of both worlds’. You can’t afford to be eating sugar or eating ‘questionable’ sources of carbs like bread.
In terms of timing, you ideally want these carbs to be coming in post-workout. In terms of quality, think: sweet potatoes, rice and/or fruit.
So if you’re SERIOUS about gaining a load of rock-solid muscle with Intermittent Fasting, then I strongly suggest you train in the evening (not the morning), you eat lots of protein, and you get fruit in post-workout, shortly followed by potatoes OR rice with some fish and veggies.
Do this consistently, making sure you’re getting enough protein AND carbs, and I can guarantee that you’ll be gaining muscle with Intermittent Fasting. And by the way, if you need help with the training side of things, everything is laid out for you in Bond, Warrior and Fighter programs.
If I can do it after 10 years of lifting, you can do it.
If you’re serious about IF and you want to take your fasting game to the next level, make sure you get into the Intermittent Fasting Fast-Track members group, where you can access over $725 of content. Make sure you get in before the last day of the month, so you can access the exclusive newsletter.