Friday, May 30, 2008

New pics

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Added client pics in the May 21th post below. Check it out.

Book reviews (coming soon)

The Protein Book, by Lyle McDonald

The Stubborn Body Fat Solution, by Lyle McDonald

Eat Stop Eat, by Brad Pilon

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Client results updates, about the book and much more

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When I'm constantly thinking, working with and writing about training and nutrition, I prefer to spend my free time doing completely different and unrelated stuff. Socializing, reading, watching movies or laying on the couch and playing Nintendo DS are all activities that helps me keep my sanity and order of balance in my life. This is pretty much what I have been doing since the last update, which is why the blog has suffered a bit. Either way, I'll try to make it up by making this a fairly large and informational post that I will add stuff to in the coming days.

Client results update

Niclas
One of the greatest surprises of recent months was the impressive transformation seen in a client named Niclas, which in two months went from a fat 196 lbs, to a soon-to-be-lean 178 lbs. However, as the the diet went on, a fantastic V-taper unfolded itself under the fat; I was quite surprised to see such a pronounced change to his appearance, which basically changed from having no aestethical appeal what so ever, to revealing a physique with an upper body that is basically bodybuilding comp material in my eyes (with less fat, and more muscle of course - what I'm saying is that the frame is there).

Niclas, feb 2008@196 lbs





Niclas, april 2008@178 lbs







Niclas, may 2008 @ 170 lbs









Peter
Peter, feb 2008@179 lbs





Peter, april 2008@173 lbs





Peter, end of may 2008 @ 176 lbs

After Peter leaned out, I revamped the diet to better allow for lean muscle gains and constructed a shoulder/chest specialization routine. The diet was cyclic and had a very favourable effect on his physique; personally, I think his results are rather spectacular.







Despite a modest 3 lbs weight increase, Peter is even leaner than a month ago and has been
reporting noticeable size gains in the chest/shoulder area.


Marcus
Even though he isn't quite finished with the fat loss phase, Marcus has made substantial improvements over the last three months. Despite averaging almost 3 lbs/week, he has increased his strength to the effect of having made huge improvements in relative strength (maximal strength in relation to body weight). I should note that I don't quite think the recent pic makes his current condition justice, but I'll make due with what I have and hope for a better pic soon.

Marcus, feb 2008@213 lbs



Marcus, may 2008@180 lbs


Ben-Ami
No pics available for this client yet, but having gone from 305 lbs to 269 lbs in 10 weeks (almost 4 lbs/week) his achievement certainly is notable - especially since Ben-Ami suffers from a condition called narcolepsy, which causes him to suddenly fall asleep at irregular times during the day. Obviously, this throws a wrench into some issues related to training and activity levels, but we had to make due with what was available and he showed great compliance to the plan. Also, of great interest to me personally, is that the intermittent fasting regime seems to have had a very positive effect on his condition, markedly reducing the frequency of which the 'sleep attacks' occurred.




Another note related to the last point:

Ever since I started this blog, I've received quite a few e-mails from people all across the world claiming to have relieved various illnesses since embarking on an intermittent fasting regime. The illnesses are not only metabolically related (diabetes, insulin resistance etc), but also the kind that may be a function of neurotransmittors, cell regeneration and genetic heritage; the kinds you usually medicate and can't affect with dietary changes (or so says doctors and conventional wisdom).

I'll provide you with a personal example. With the risk of sounding like a quack, my eye sight have improved ever since I embarked on the IF regime two years ago. I first noticed this one evening a few months ago after having taken out my contact lenses and gone to bed. I couldn't sleep, so I turned on the TV and reached for my glasses, which I found to have left in the bathroom. Curiously, I then discovered that I didn't need them.

I decided to test my eye sight to confirm the notion that it had indeed improved and found that I now tested at -3.50 (right) and -3.75 (left), which was an improvement of 0.25 from past values. A small improvement, but taking my rather drastic increase in time spent in front of the computer during that time, it makes me wonder if an even greater improvement could have been experienced without such an aggravating factor.

I've received similar accounts about eye sight improving on IF, but none with actual test values to compare. Interesting nonetheless.

About the book

I get a lot of e-mails regarding this topic and I think it's about time that I address this properly.




Martin,

I heard that you are writing a book on IF. When is it going to be released? Thanks for your time.

Darren




Yes, Darren, I am indeed writing a book about my experiences with intermittent fasting for muscle gaining, fat loss and improved body composition. The working title will probably be 'Leangains' + some descriptive undertitle.

The book will include an objective look (well, as objective as it can get considering it's pretty hard to avoid inherent bias) at the research and how it can be applied to the weight training crowd, as well as the lay person primarily interested in health. This will be followed by a speculative chapter, where I outline my reasons and thinking behind the various recommendations for the different protocols, which in turn will be followed by three chapters outlining the three protocols in detail. Sections for individual modifications based on general stats, gender, starting body fat percentage and glucose tolerance will be included in each chapter, with enough detail for anyone to set up a diet and training routine themselves.

I'll probably have one or two chapters with sample training routines, meal plans, and one dedicated to dispelling some nutritional myths ('you gotta eat every third hour to stoke the metabolic fire', 'you'll get catabolic if you don't eat protein every so often blablabla' and that kind of nonsense).

Lyle McDonald will make an appearance in the book as well, but he won't play a big part in the writing process since he doesn't have that much to bring to the table on this particular topic. He has already started on another project, about women and fat loss, to follow his recently released Stubborn Body Fat Solution (reviewed further down the page).

As for the material produced so far, much was lost in a computer crash that occurred last week. I sent a draft of a chapter to a trusted source to receive his opinions a few months ago, and that is basically what is left of what I've written. This took a large toll on my motivation, but I try to look at each negative event as an opportunity to learn something; the lesson of this particular happening being to make regular back ups of my goddamn files on a regular basis. However, I will restart the writing process during the summer months and plan on having the book written and ready to be published some time in 2009.

I have not decided on format yet - there are pros and cons of both hardcover and e-books, and these have to weighted against each other when the time comes. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, feel free to e-mail me and tell me what you think; professional opinions only, preferably from people involved in publishing.








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

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