Thursday, March 25, 2010

Animal Pak Vs Leangains

I started posting about my approach to intermittent fasting back in 2006.

Back then my writings and results inspired many to take the leap themselves. My blog came into fruition 2007 and more people decided to give intermittent fasting a chance. My clientele grew exponentially.

Since then I've received numerous e-mails from people, telling me about their results and thanking me for the inspiration and advice on this blog and the various forums I've posted on throughout the years.

Success stories

I've decided to post some of these success stories on the blog. If you have a success story of your own, feel free to e-mail me and tell me about it. If you have some before and after pics that would be great too. To narrow it down, I'm only interested in success stories where you feel I played some part. Maybe you feel you learned something useful from my writings that helped you change your physique for the better.

Bob Kupniewski

First out is Bob Kupniewski who recently won a muscle gaining contest, Iron Contest 2, hosted by Animal Pak (a big supplement company). The cool thing is that he did it by going against the advice of the trainer*, which was to eat seven times a day. Bob fasted at least 16 hours daily and ate two to three times a day. And won the damn thing.

* The trainer posted general diet and training guidelines on the Animal Pak forum.

Bob and the Animal Pak trainer at Arnold Classic.

Bob converted to the Leangains approach after having read my posts at Here are his before and after pics that won him the competition. These were taken Nov 30th 2009 and March 1st 2010.

Stats in the before-pics.

Weight: 153 lbs
Squat: 235 lbs x 7
Bench: 220 lbs x 5
Deadlift: 225 lbs x 10

Stats in the after-pics.

Weight: 171 lbs (+ 18 lbs)
Squat: 275 lbs x 8 (+ 40 lbs and + 1 rep)
Bench: 255 lbs x 5 (+ 35 lbs)
Deadlift: 285 lbs x 10 (+ 60 lbs)

According to BodPod-readings, Bob's body fat was 11% in the before-pics and 11.2% in the after-pics. This must be off by a few percentage points as in my view he's more along the lines of 14-15% in both pics. It's not often you see someone pack on 18 lbs without their body fat percentage changing much. The quality of the weight gain was very high. Well done, Bob.

I asked Bob to write about how he felt about intermittent fasting and this is what he wrote.

"I came from a background of working with previous trainers that always approached a higher meal frequency. Everything had to revolve around 4-6 meals per day in order to 'Keep the metabolism going, and stimulating muscle protein synthesis the best.' I would always be in a hurry to packing my food everyday, spending countless hours in the kitchen, and while working 2 jobs over the summer and not having much time for a gym, and food prep consuming my time I knew that something was not right and there was an easier alternative out there.

I am a full time education major, on top of that I am getting a minor in Economics to add to my resume. My time is very limited, and I cannot afford to sit around and eat throughout the day as my schedule does not allow much time for breaks. I saw a few people from the forums who took the Leangains approach to intermittent fasting, and I thought I should give this a try myself to see how it would suit me.

How do I feel about intermittent fasting? It's more of a lifestyle if anything, I enjoy eating big and eating a few times a day. I have had the best workouts of my life fasted and I have spent less time at the dinner table but yet am making incredible results in the weight room and in the mirror. Once I have turned this way I really don't see why I should ever turn back.

Now I can go out and enjoy family social events where food may not be very clean, but I can just eat a very large portion of protein in a meal prior and graze on foods to meet my caloric total for the day and not stress about a damn thing and be social without having to pull out Tupperware and eat some nasty ass fish or eggs.

Fasted training has brought the best of both worlds. Increased energy, better focus, and it has provided personal records for me over and over for the last 4 months. Even dealing with a low testosterone issue I am still seeing gains in the gym by keeping my gym time short (45 minutes) and not training as frequent (4x a week max). I used to do 5 day splits, hit every bodypart at least 2 x a week, and spend over 60-90 minutes, but then I got so worn out and tired that I saw no progress and cortisol levels were stressed to the max. It was not worth it and I needed to change my ways.

Martin's idea of less time in the gym and more rest seemed odd at first, but once I got the hang of it my body and lifts exploded. I do not see myself ever going back."

- Bob Kupniewski


Anonymous said...

Wow, impressive transformation. That's more than +1 lb per week which is exceptional since the gains look really dry.

Mark said...

Hey Martin,
Great post. I have a question on carb requirements. I'm only doing some heavy lifting intermittently throughout the week due to time restrictions but I'm dialing in the diet to balance things out. I'm eating pure Paleo foods plus butter and heavy cream. It's high in fat and lower in protein and carbs (calories are cycled with around 1,900 5 days a week and 2,500 2 days a week).
I'm still getting around 100g of carbs a day (all veggies and some fruit, no potatoes) but probably only 135g of protein at a bodyweight of 210 (LBM around 170). I've heard a lot about the body converting fats and protein to meet it's daily need of 200g of glucose a day so I'm not sure if I should be worried about muscle loss and therefore should increase carbs or protein or both. Any guidance would be great. I'm trying to lean down but like everyone, I don't want to get skinny fat. Maybe I should up the protein, throw in some sweet potatoes, and cut back on the fat?

Martin Berkhan said...


'I've heard a lot about the body converting fats and protein to meet it's daily need of 200g of glucose a day so I'm not sure if I should be worried about muscle loss and therefore should increase carbs or protein or both.'

Ask yourself if performance is increasing or decreasing. That question alone will tell you if there's any need to be worried.

The amount of triglycerides undergoing de novo gluconeogenesis is fairly insignificant. Dietary protein is a major contributor to DNL, not fats.

Mark said...

Thank you Martin. I will watch my performance. Overall, if one is watching calorie intake, do you think it's fine to shift some calories to carbs from fat to avoid potential issues? I think sweet potatoes and a little more fruit is just as, if not more, nutritious than butter or heavy cream but many die-hard paleo enthusiasts would fear too much fructose and starches outside of PWO meals due to the insulin release. I don't want to live on ultra low carbs but I'm fine with sticking to sweet potatoes as my most dense carb source. Thanks again.

Martin Berkhan said...


'Overall, if one is watching calorie intake, do you think it's fine to shift some calories to carbs from fat to avoid potential issues?'

It's more than fine. I'd wager it's better than what you're currently doing considering your carb intake is quite low. I've worked with a lot of paleo adherents. Most of them noticed benefits from increasing carbs relative to fat intake.

Roland said...

Nice success story! I hope mine's half as good, one day!

Mark said...

Sounds good Martin. I will increase my intake of sweet potatoes and fruit too and not worry about getting too much fructose. Thanks for your help, I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Anonymous said...


This seemed like a good post on which to ask the following questions (as opposed to cluttering your e-mail)....

Are there any minimum time commitments when you take on a new client? I ask this because I have a few friends who've expressed a desire to move away from the many meals a day approach and a bit of help changing their mindset relative to this approach, as well. As far as training and what to eat, they have a solid grasp and plenty of experience (and very good results to back it up), but they've expressed that said approach becomes draining after a while.

I'd definitely like to direct them your way, however I was not sure if shorter term consults were possible, basically to get steeped in the foundational concepts of your approach. Of course I also recognize that you may have a preference for working with people on a longer term basis, so I wanted to ask about this before taking up your time sending people your way who might not be the right fit in terms of who you tend to look for in new clients.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!

Billy Whelan

Martin Berkhan said...


Yes, there are options for experienced trainees who just needs help getting started. They can e-mail me if they're interested. I'll reply with more information once a spot becomes available.

fitto13 said...

Sensational work Bob!

This guy has a crazy work ethic. Like crazy. It's paid off too. Not everyone could pull a transformation like this without working even as half as hard as he does. He can pound that food down like no other as well.

Congrats to Martin again for creating something that is sustainable and works!

Rory said...

When I've finished my diet(which have been a never-ending cycle of misery mostly) maybe I'll write a success-story with before and after pics.

First time I got in decent shape was 2009(I started training 2004) and I've always struggled with the baby-portions of food you're supposed to eat as a bodybuilder. First time I succeeded dieting down to a condition I've never seen before was with IF. I am truly thankful Martin, I would have not been able to do this without IF because of me being a big eater. My next goal is becoming as ripped as you are, your my role-model in that area :)


Martin Berkhan said...

Thanks, Rory. That makes me happy to hear. Good luck, buddy.

Thomas said...

While his weight and strength increases speak for themselves, Bob did a pretty good job making sure his before pic made his muscles look small while his after pic emphasize his size (ie flexed vs. non flexed arms, spread vs. contracted lats-his quads look about the same).

Anyway, Martin, do you have an in-depth article on IF and weight/muscle gain? It seems difficult to eat the additional food in less time (although not impossible-I just get full). I do like the idea of the health benefits of IF (I purchased Pilon's ESE) and using it to help maintain some diet discipline while in a bulking phase. Any comments and/or links would be appreciated. Thanks.

Martin Berkhan said...

Don't like being full, don't do IF.

Or include less satiating/more energy dense foods.

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

Welcome to the Internet's leading resource on intermittent fasting and all things related.

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