Saturday, September 13, 2008

Client Results Update: Summer Competition

Some of you may recall that I announced an 8 week summer competition to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of this blog. Here, I'm showcasing four of the seven competitors that followed through (three had to drop out due to events related to travel and new job opportunities). The winner (Aaron) received the consultation fee in return.

Aaron, before at 203 lbs

Aaron, after at 186 lbs

Despite facing many challenges throughout the consultation period, Aaron managed to skillfully juggle a hectic work schedule and social events with his diet and training regimen; this netted him a loss of 17 lbs and a personal best in the deadlift. Having shown such success in a not-so-diet-friendly environment, I think Aaron was worthy of being crowned the winner of the lot.

I love the Leangains approach! The problem I usually have with dieting is hunger. With the Leangains approach, I actually felt full during the eating phase. The morning hunger wasn't bad at all, and knowing a filling meal was coming made it very easy to tolerate. Martin provided a detailed plan and was always available to offer feedback. I highly recommend the Leangains approach, and I intend on maintaining this lifestyle for the health benefits of IF'ing and the ease of use. It is so nice to not be thinking of 6 meals a day and to be free of the constant planning and cooking.

- Aaron

Tiffany, before at 150 lbs

Tiffany, after at 145-146 lbs (4 weeks)

Tiffany was only able to remain on the diet and training regimen for 4 weeks (due to relocating), but made impressive progress during that time. I was quite surprised that a mere 4-5 lbs fat loss had such a profound impact on her physique.

I've tried many different diet plans over the years, and they've all pretty much worked as long as I've complied with them. In the past, my dieting success has been directly linked to my motivation. I'm willing to put up with a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and hunger!) if I am motivated enough. Once the motivation is gone though, I always slip back up to a weight that's easier to maintain, because I'm not motivated enough to maintain a weight that requires deprivation and constant hunger. I'm also not motivated enough to drastically change my lifestyle. I would rather enjoy restaurants and bars at 20% bodyfat than eat perfectly clean all the time in order to be 15%. It's just not that important to me. My experience with intermittent fasting has been great because I've been fairly successful without much motivation. It fits so well into my schedule and lifestyle that it's not very painful. It still requires some discipline, but on this plan I will be able to maintain a lower bodyfat level without feeling deprived. I do miss breakfast, but it's a sacrifice I can easily make. It's way easier to give up breakfast than to give up restaurants and bars. Also, even though I miss breakfast, I definitely do NOT miss the mini-meals, or having to carry tupperware containers around with me everywhere. Even if I were to stop following a strict IF regimen, I will certainly never go back to 6 meals a day. I am thoroughly convinced that 6 meals a day has no positive effect on body composition. The only thing 6 meals a day ever did for me was to make my diet MUCH more difficult in every aspect - hunger, food obsession, convenience, compliance, feelings of deprivation, etc. I am much happier now that I know I can be more flexible with my diet and still make progress.

- Tiffany

Einar, before at 205 lbs

Einar, after at 186 lbs

Einar lost an impressive amount of body fat while gaining strength consistently throughout the consultation period, but I fear these pictures may not do his body transformation full justice.

Before I contacted Martin I didn`t know much about calorie counting or how to put together an efficient training routine. As I got started with the diet and training routine Martin gave me I was surprised of my own progress, I lost weight and gained strenght at the same time, something I didn`t even think was possible. All of this was done with the leangains approach, which saved me a lot of wasted time eating and preparing food. Any questions I had were answered with a detalied explanation, leaving little room for mistakes.
I would highly recommend Martin your personal trainer as he certainly has helped me to understand a lot about dieting and training.

- Einar


Megan made an impressive change to her physique, whilst gaining a good amount of strength and cardiovascular fitness, but has choosen not to display her pics for personal reasons. I have included her stats here instead.

Megan, before

Body weight: 265 lbs

Bench Press: 80 lbs x 5
Squats: 135 lbs x 6
Deadlift: 175 lbs x 5

Megan, after

Body weight: 240 lbs

Bench Press: 115 lbs x 8
Squats: 185 lbs x 8
Deadlift: 235 lbs x 4

I've struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember and when I say I've done every diet under the sun I really, really mean it (it's such a cliché right!?). They all work, but I always end up rebounding (aka binge eating...) once the feelings of deprivation hits me. BUT! I can honestly say that I think intermittent fasting may just be that missing part of the puzzle I've been looking for. Oh, and not to mention being made aware of all stupid mistakes I've made in the past! During the eight weeks I've been doing this diet, I've managed to be "strict" without feeling the need to overeat when I feel a setback or when I feel deprived. That's a first! I'm REALLY psyched about the progress I've made so far and I think hiring Martin was the best investment I've made in a very long time.

- Megan


Victor Jonsson said...

Impressive results, like always ;)

I'm going to try something similar now when I'm going to get in shape before christmas.

For the last few weeks I've been doing (most of the time) a ~16 hour fast. From around 20:00 to 12:00.

I really like not having to eat in the morning. I can do stuff and get ready for work while other family members eat cereal or bread.

Keep up the good work.


Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, Victor. Good to hear you're liking the 16/8 approach.

Wazzup said...

Tiffany is HAWT :)

(just though I should mention that to make up for not winning).

Tiffany said...

Um, thanks wazzup.

egyebkent said...


How do we get in touch with you? I am very interested in your approach.

Anonymous said...

Whilst the winner (in fact all of these guys) show awesome results, I think the most impressive is Tiffany. Awesome vascularity around the abs. She was pretty slim before, but now is carved out of wood

Martin Berkhan said...


my contact details are in the sidebar and my profile.

Manveet said...

Congrats to all of the competitors. You guys have made some excellent progress.

Nice work, Martin.

I have successfully dieted down using the 16/8 approach as well. If it wasn't for my current schedule it's something I would do on a more regular basis.

When is the new book coming out Martin?

Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, Manveet.

As for the book, I said earlier that I wanted it out before the end of this year, but seeing that it's already September I don't know if that's realistic at all.

I'm currently juggling my clients and writing for a paperback bodybuilding magazine (monthly column + articles) with sporadic book writing and it's a slow process.

It's important for me that I don't skimp on quality to get it out faster, so I'm trying to block out all feelings of time pressure (and there is a lot, seeing that I get asked about the book a few times daily).

Simply put, I don't know when the book will be released, but when it will, it'll be damn good and well worth the wait.

Manveet said...

One more nagging question about the book:

Do you intend to include much about your approach to training in the book? In other words, will a kind of training system that works well with your dieting approach be included in the book as well, or is it more up to the reader to figure that aspect out on their own?

Martin Berkhan said...

Yes, I intend to include sample training templates for different purposes; that is, tested and tried templates that has been proven to work well on my clients.

kenyacowboy said...


I have been reading a lot of different takes on IF and paleo, etc etc. People like Art Devany and others I believe recommend waiting for a while post-workout to eat (to maximise HGH levels and boost metabolism), and I've read elsewhere that it is best to workout fasted.

This is obviously different from your approach. Do you think you would vary nutrition pre and post workout depending on if you were trying to focus on either fat loss or muscle building?

PSN said...

Martin Hi, I'm Paul and I'm from Venezuela, and if there are some errors in grammar it is the result of my little skill with the English language, which attempts to improve it little by little (for me to write it). I was really impressed by everything that I have read in their posts and in, however I have two questions:
1. To train in fasts, is not recommended a thermogenic (Xenadrine, Hydroxycut) and dismissal of coach eat, so sharing is the most effective.
2. This is important, especially for my ... It is advisable, in every day, lowered the window to eat, for example, about 4 hours ... I m not giving hunger throughout the day, but especially at night.
In advance thank you very much, does not know how grateful, excited, excited and happy I am for their discoveries. A hug Hispanic

Martin Berkhan said...


1. Thanks, but sorry I have no clue what you're asking here. Did you mean to ask if it's ok to train fasted, on a thermogenic like Xenadrine? Yes, of course.

2. Shorten the window to 4 hrs? No, I personally wouldn't recommend that.


yes I tend to vary carb intake pre-workout depending on the objective. And post-workout. And a bunch of other stuff.

Waiting to eat pwo in order to maximize HGH is a bunch of bullshit though.

Anonymous said...

Will this site every be updated???

Martin Berkhan said...

Good question. Can't believe it's been two months since I updated; I've just been insanely busy that's all. I'm gonna hit the track running and get to posting again in a few days - been thinking of running an article series on a particular topic where I hope people can learn a thing or two.

tasb89 said...

Hi Martin:
Extremely impressive results.

I train for triathlon. Have you used this plan for endurance athletes?


My name is Martin Berkhan and I work as a nutritional consultant, magazine writer and personal trainer.

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