What’s up my dudes! I’m ready to go on a lean bulk and make some major progress on my physique this fall and I thought it would be really interesting to speak about intermittent fasting (IF).
A lot of naturally skinny guys are scared off by intermittent fasting because they think they have to eat every 2-3 hours to build muscle mass.
Not only is this false – but it could be holding back your progress. Intermittent fasting is something that I have a lot of experience with, as I have tried it out for several stretches of my life.
Today I’m going to cover the benefits of intermittent fasting, and how it can actually help you build lean muscle mass if you are a naturally skinny guy.
First thing is first, we need to discuss the rules of intermittent fasting.
The Rules of Intermittent Fasting
There are a few things you need to follow in order to get all of the benefits we are going to discuss in the next section.
Warning: What you are about to read will challenge your way of thinking and will go against the grain of many things you have been taught.
I urge you to please keep an open mind, and most importantly try this out yourself. My body has reacted wonderfully to intermittent fasting, but other guys have tried it and struggled miserably.
- You need to make sure you don’t eat for at least 16 hours
This may seem like a really long time, but you have to consider the fact that you will be sleeping for at least half this time, or at the minimum 5-6 hours. This means that all you have to do is push back your first meal 5-7 hours to achieve this 16 hour fasting window.
- No liquid calories
You are not allowed to have any liquid calories during your intermittent fasting period either. This means that you are not allowed to have anything like soda, sugary energy drinks, sports drinks, milk shakes, Frappuccino’s, and even tea with honey.
You need to make sure you limit what you are drinking to coffee and tea with no added sweetener, water, carbonated water, and in moderation energy drinks and soda with no calories.
No need to overcomplicate things – so these will be the only 2 rules we need to follow. Pretty simple – just don’t consume any calories for 16 hours and stay hydrated by drinking your favorite calorie free beverages.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Let’s dive into the benefits of intermittent fasting. I have done IF a few times in my life, and I was first motivated to give it a whirl when I read about the incredible muscle building and fat loss benefits.
How in the world would this benefit your muscle gains? You have to keep in mind that the strongest factor to building muscle mass are your natural anabolic hormones. HGH and testosterone are the holy grail of the muscle building hormones – and intermittent fasting has been shown to boost both of these alpha male hormones.
Another huge benefit that I noticed with IF was that my energy levels were through the roof. When your body is not constantly digesting food you give it time to secrete more natural hormones and increase its natural energy levels.
The main benefit that I personally got from intermittent fasting was longer periods of focus on my work. By pushing back my first meal to 6-8 hours into the day – I could get up and focus on my work and get my hardest task done first thing in the morning without thinking about food.
We are about to get into the muscle building benefits of IF – but another benefit I noticed with intermittent fasting is that I was able to maintain my strength very easily while I was cutting – and it also made my cutting diet a lot easier since I was only allowed to eat within a 6-8-hour window.
How To Build Muscle With Intermittent Fasting
Now that we know how to perform IF and some of the benefits – let’s chat about the specific things you need to do in order to make gains during intermittent fasting.
Although you will likely have higher levels of HGH and testosterone – its vital to understand these rules if you are a naturally skinny guy.
- A calorie surplus is still vital.
You will still need to consume a quality calorie surplus to make fast gains. In order for any muscle building strategy to work you will need to be at least 250 calories over maintenance.
For many of you guys – this will mean well over 3,000 calories. If you are having trouble trying to figure out how many calories your maintenance is – make sure to check out your Basal metabolic rate and then multiply by your activity level using the harris benedict equation.
Here is a link for you to check out:
Whatever number that you get for this – you still need to be over 250 calories to make really fast lean muscle gains.
How do we get a calorie surplus during IF? Very easy!
- Work out at the end of your fast.
If you do it right and your body adjusts well to intermittent fasting, you should be able to get in an intense workout during the last stage of your fast. This means that your first meal “breaking the fast” would be your post workout meal.
This is ideal for building muscle as a skinny guy as your body will be prime for muscle building fuel and glycogen replenishment.
Let’s say my last meal was at 8 PM the night before. I will play my workout around 10:30 AM – so by the very end of my resistance training workout I will be at around the 16-hour mark.
Another benefit from doing this is that I notice when I take pre workout or drink coffee before my workout it hits me way harder – since I am on an empty stomach. This allows me to train at my peak intensity which is always key when training for muscle mass.
- Post workout meals are HUGE.
If you do everything that I have stated above, you should have absolutely no issue consuming 1,000 calories in your post workout meal. By working out at the end of your intermittent fasting period you are putting your body in a prime anabolic position where it is starving for protein and carbohydrates to replenish your muscle glycogen levels.
Your post workout meal needs to be at least 1,000 calories if you are trying to build muscle mass, and the next trick is you should incorporate a high calorie mass building shake about 1.5 hours after your post workout meal.
We got a ton of mass building shake recipes on the YouTube Channel that are well over 1,000 calories – so make sure you check them out.
By incorporating a high calorie post workout meal and mass building shake within the 3 hours following your workout you are giving your body a huge surplus of calories to build lean muscle mass. This combined with the giant surge of anabolic hormones from intermittent fasting should form a potent muscle building punch.
What are your thoughts on Intermittent fasting? Let me know what you guys think and if you plan on giving it a try during bulking season!