Intermittent Fasting and Lean Bulking
When people think of a period of fasting, the first thing that typically comes to mind is fat loss or weight loss. The fact that fasting can be used as a tool to pack on loads of lean muscle is often looked over. Conventional wisdom will tell you that by not eating for a period of time, muscle growth will be sacrificed and protein synthesis will not be as efficient. With the amount of hormonal benefits that go along with fasting, I encourage all people to continue it during their muscle building phase.
THE TRUTH ABOUT FASTING AND MUSCLE GAIN
Let me make this statement clear right off the bat. Fasting for a period of time each day will NOT be detrimental to your muscle gains while lean bulking. Fasting has numerous muscle building hormonal benefits in order to help the body maintain lean body mass. Testosterone as well as growth hormone is elevated naturally in the body when calories are not present in the bloodstream. These are very anabolic hormones that play just as big of a roll in building muscle as calories do.
INTERMITTENT FASTING INCREASES CORTISOL
This is a red flag statement to everyone right off the bat! Cortisol is the opposite of what anyone (especially a weight lifter) wants in their body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is secreted in the body and is FAT STORING. This is one of the major reasons why most people shy away from fasting during a period of lean bulking.
The truth is that this is not a major issue due to the fact that insulin levels in the body decrease during a fasted state as cortisol rises. This has been shown to prevent the body from storing fat. Insulin spikes can be controlled with a diet high in fat and low in sugar and other processed carbohydrates. Carbs and sugar spike insulin levels almost instantly which can lead to fat gain.
BUILDING MUSCLE REQUIRES A SURPLUS
In order to build new muscle tissue, the body needs to be in a calorie surplus each day. This means that by the time your head hits the pillow each night, your body needs to consume more calories than you have burned that day. If this does not happen, no new muscle growth will occur.
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it is an eating window timeframe. This means that bulking and fasting is compatible due to the fact that the ultimate deciding factor to a successful bulk is the daily macro-nutrient (protein, carbs, and fat) ratio as well as progressive training.
Fasting will aid in the eating timeframe while in a surplus because it makes the body better at macro-nutrient partitioning. This means you will get more efficient at designating protein and amino acids to muscle tissue that needs repair to keep protein synthesis going. Fasting is a tool to keep your surplus just enough to continue to build muscle without leading to excess eating that will result in unwanted fat gain.
TIPS WHILE FASTING
1. One of the biggest tips I can give to people wanting to make fasting part of their lifestyle is to work out in a fasted state! The added hormone benefits from being fasted will prevent muscle protein breakdown while training. Fat will also be the primary fuel source while training because calories are not present in the body at the time.
2. Another huge tip is to not be so strict and obsessive on yourself the whole time regarding your eating window.
The ultimate deciding factor to gain muscle will be overall diet and total daily calorie/macro-nutrient consumption. People are so strict regarding the time the need to start and stop eating for the day that they often forget to look at the big picture.
3. My final tip is to play around with different meal timing options. The body typically reaches a fasted state around 16 hours without food or caloric beverages. This means that going 16+ hours (including sleep of course) is going to have to fit your lifestyle. In needs to be a time frame that you can adhere to the majority of the time to create routine, habit, and consistency.
Fasting is a overall game changer when it comes to health, physique, and strength.
CZ FITNESS AND INTERMITTENT FASTING
My custom coaching programs have been completely transforming lives all over the country. With numerous success stories and real results, it's a no brainer why I utilize this tool with so many individuals. Setting the individual with better workouts, better relationships with food, and a lifestyle that fits them is all part of my programs. Intermittent fasting has aided in this tremendously.
Check out past clients success with intermittent fasting at www.caseyzanderhealth.com/transformations