Hi Guys. Since Jason from PaleoPot is keeping me busy by requesting I give a “Leangains cheat sheet”… here I am, delivering.
Little does Mr. PaleoPot know- Leangains is so much more complicated then to really create a cheat sheet. However- everyone and anyone interested can read what I do & the general ideas I’ll provide but should go to Leangains.com and do your reading. If you’re serious about this, you have to do the work. Read up. Understand the why’s and how’s of Leangains…
Here is my best “cheat sheet” version of Leangains.
There are (3) potential goals: cut, maintain (body comp), slow bulk. Cut=lose weight. Maintain (maintain the weight you’ve lost and/or lean muscle you’ve gained), slow bulk=once weight is loss, gain muscle (which involves gaining weight). I am cutting so I can only speak to that.
The basics: Intermittent fasting. Leangains suggests you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window. We all have different schedules, however, if you can workout fasted, this is ideal. The only thing to be consumed pre-workout is 10g BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids, I like Amino X brand, or Xtend). My fast is from 9pm-1pm (the following day). It is smart to use your sleeping times as “fasting”. If you can sleep 8 hours, thats 1/2 your fast that you slept through. Regardless if you workout fasted or not, your biggest meal is post workout. On a rest day, your biggest meal is your first meal (ideally, but you don’t HAVE to).
Workout Day: High carb, high protein. Low fat (lean meats)
Rest Day: High fat, very low carb, high protein.
How much protein? AT LEAST consume bodyweight in grams. I personally believe in shooting for more. However, if you weigh 130lbs. You want to at least consume 130g of protein daily on a rest and a workout day.
How much fat? carbs? I try to get as close to this as possible:
Workout day: Protein: 40% of calories, Fat 15%, Carbs 45%
Rest day: Protein: 55%, Fat 30%, Carbs 15%
Now, let’s talk calories. When cutting you need to be on a caloric deficit both rest and workout days. A good rule of thumb is -30% calories on rest days, -10% workout days. How do you know how your BMR (amount of calories needed to maintain your current weight). Here’s a more complex, ideal formula:
Women: BMR = 655+ ( 9.6 x weight in kilos )+( 1.8 x height in cm ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66+ ( 13.7 x weight in kilos ) + ( 5 x height in cm ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )
Want a simpler approach? Bodyweight x 13.
So rest day, take away 30%. Workout day, take away 10%.
Guidelines Rest Day:
*First meal is biggest. Consume 60-80% of your protein intake with this first meal.
*High fat meats and fish (steak, fatty fish like salmon, chicken wings, etc)
Guidelines Workout Day:
*Biggest Meal is post workout. Consume 60-80% of calories.
*Meats consumed should be lean, low fat. Keep fat low on workout days.
*Consume 10g BCAAs if working out fasted.
Note: The heavier you are, the harder this may be. Why? 1. That means you need A LOT of protein, which means you need to be eating a large portion of protein filled foods. As much as stuffing your face seems like an awesome idea, it’s quite painful and seems rather gluttonous. It also means your BMR is higher, which again means you’re going to eat a whole lot of food in that 8 hour window and it could get very uncomfortable. I weigh125 lbs and I find it hard to eat as much as I need to. You’ve been warned.
Let’s talk training.
RPT- Reverse pyramid training. A simple, high level way of describing RPT is a way of lifting weights where you start with the heaviest set of at least 4 reps (think 4-6 max), rest 3 mins. Second set should be 10% less and AT LEAST 1 rep more, ideally 2, (think 5-7). Rest 2 mins. Last set gets reduced another 10% and again reps should be higher, at least 1 rep, ideally 2 (think 6-10). When is your first set too light? When you can get 6 reps. A good rule that was shared with me is once you can get 6, increase the weight the following week by 5lbs.
No cardio. Zero, zip, nada. The only thing that is suggested and encouraged is walking on rest days. That’s all folks. Go for a nice leisurely walk.
What I do: 3 days a week I train. There is 1 rest day between each day, 2 rest days at the end of the last day, (For example, I train Tues, Thurs, Sat, therefore I rest Monday, Weds, Sun). I start and end each training with a light warm up (stretch and a 5 min row or jumprope). I also do warm up sets. 5-5-3 (50%, 60%, 70% of my highest load)
Day 1-Backsquats. Overhead lunges. Strict Press
Day 3- Deadlifts, chin ups (3 sets).
Day 5- Bench press, push ups (2 sets of 15-20 push ups- if 15-20 is too easy, inclined push ups)
*Note: I also like to work on pull ups. I find I play with them more on Day 3 or 5.
Smiling is a requirement. After every workout, smile. It’s over. You pushed yourself HARD (right?! right!). This was no joke taken post-training day 1:
That’s it! For all you 6x/week WODers… have no fear, I have seen amazing results. I feared a 3 day strength training only workout would not work for me. It has. After week 3 I was down 7.2 lbs. Tomorrow is my week 4 weigh in.
Some suggested sites/networks that will get you going on your IF journey:
And for my ladies: There is a GREAT PRIVATE facebook group called Fit.Fierce.Fearless. Look it up and JOIN. At the top of the page you’ll see a section labelled “Files” where Leangains women upload awesome, informational sheets on everything you need, including an “IF” calculator with a step-by-step guide, as well as training methods. The group is meant for people to discuss issues, questions, etc. All the women on there are so educated about Leangains and regularly help answer questions, make suggestions and are very supportive.
Also! In order to be “strict” leangains you MUST track. Track calories, fat, protein and carbs. This means you need a food scale to weigh portions. Plan ahead the first few weeks so you don’t fall off. Planning alone the first couple weeks is the most time consuming. Note: you will feel like you’re eating way too much. Enjoy that, it’s okay! Trust me!
Now go read, get strict and plan! After reading up, ask me anything and I’ll do my best to answer!