Friday, January 6, 2012

Client Update


A pretentious introduction will not set the tone for 2012, so to hell with that, Happy New Year and cheers to all.

I'll kick off 2012 with another client update, talk some shit, and we'll see where it ends up. I accidentally deleted half the post without saving, including a bunch of interesting and not-so-interesting stuff, so it can't really get worse than this anyway.

It's Friday and I've already spent too much time on fiddling with this stuff, really just want to get it done and hit publish. So I'll have a drink and do whatever editing is needed later on. Might add stuff - forgot some details and data.

IMPORTANT:  I don't want your money and there's nothing to buy, as noted at the end. On vacation. Read for informative purpose and inspiration only, or to see realistic "optimal" real-world progress/results/data - 100% BS free.*

^^ I had to add this, because some people got the idea that I was offering or asking for something.

* Meaning no funny stuff, steroids, whatever - realistic "optimal" results, ranging from intermediate to highly advanced. That should be interesting to most, I hope, and if not - wrong place, move on.


Added stuff, took away some. New after-picture of Brandon at 191-192 or so. Looks pretty damn good.

Thought I'd drop a line to say that I might be leaving. So maybe sometime in the future means just that, like I wrote, but then people keep asking anyway. Might be in a good while or it might never be at all. So that's that.

The reasons are mainly in terms of the limits I see in this field and how everything operates around it. I like the practical get-it-done-stuff, process, what I do with clients, etc, nothing else. Well, besides the science and research, but in talking about tangible things. If you like that, you're stranded on a tiny island in an ocean of shit.

Cool story, bro. Anyway, that's not the most likely thing that'll happen, and I'll stick around for some time still. It's not like I'm taking a vacation-vacation either, because there's still clients to be maintained, stuff written, etc. But I'll try to read a few books, chill, or whatever else rare opportunity I find to...

Don't screw around too much with this fitness shit. Let the good times roll, bro, and tell 'em Old Berkhan sent 'ya. 


I picked an assortment of clients, went for some diversity. Choose most clients based on some point/nugget I wanted to share. Probably forgot a few good ones (sorry). There's a few more on an external HD from my old comp.

I'll summarize the important stuff and have included some testimonials. Not from everyone, since this would be way too long. Actually, you know what, I'll just copy-paste some stuff from emails and call that testimonials. How about that.

You can see past client updates here. The posts goes back several pages, so you'll have to click "older posts" in the right corner if you want to see them all. You can also check out some older testimonials and results here.

I could talk about some clients of notoriety and fame, but I can't or won't, whether it's for the sake of discretion, or because I don't think the time is right. They include people who are fairly well-known and successful in their respective niche, business, or area of expertise, but they won't be included here. I mentioned poker pro Phil Galfond and social media profile/author Julien Smith in this article, but there's a few other names I could drop if I wanted to wow and impress. Perhaps later this year.


1a. I get predictable results - fat loss and concomitant strength/muscle gain is the norm. Fat loss with full strength/muscle retention is worst case. Every client lost fat and saw an overall strength/muscle increase compared to start (stats from before-picture). Variance is low, there's no second-guessing, same overall result with everyone. Only the magnitude varies depending on weeks spent on program, compliance and genetics, etc. 

This is not the norm anywhere else - how and why here? For exceptional results to become standard, you refine what works, polish and build upon what's successful - and nothing else. A methodical process, better each round, and finally perfected. 

1b. I've been in this game much too long to screw up. When clients don't do exactly what I tell them to do, when they get a brilliant idea of their own, they suffer for it, and don't get the typical results. Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often, because they know it upsets me. 

2. What you get after all this tinkering, are baseline values, variables, and formulas with a very high likelihood to work in a specific context, the context being for this client, his or her goals, limitations, and stats. It's math and statistics, with a slew of your good sense and intuition thrown in to make it tick. And then of course, there's some stuff you can't quantify - like the right words to the right client, to set him or her on the right path. 

3a. Doesn't everyone tell you that their stuff is better, special, will add mounds of muscle and burn fat like crazy? Of course, it's a god damn cliché, and words don't really mean shit unless you have enough sense to evaluate them.

3b. Start by drawing a distinction between Internet marketers, NewsLetter Gurus, and that third category of people who work in the trenches, who actually knows their shit. If you can't make, it's your loss. Just some friendly advice, I don't give a shit what you do with it.

4. Will add a little something good. You'll see. Later tonight, or weekend.

Forgot some details below, age, etc, I'll fix later.


Before: 226 lbs
After, Week 10: 211 lbs
November: 213-215 lbs 

Bojan impressed me with his consistency, burning enthusiasm, and drive for excellence. He started out strong, with an amazing first 10 weeks of progress.

In Summer, he told me that he decided to enter a bodybuilding competition. Then, in August, a Powerlifting meet. Finally, I heard from him again a few weeks ago - and he's still going strong, staying lean at 213-215 lbs.

Still doing leangains, still loving it, maintain low bodyfat has never been this easy.

....Just did a PL meet last weekend. Placed 1st at 100 kilos! Go LeanGains!
...You need to be featured on Oprah or something, man.

I don't know what his body weight was for the contest, or how big and important that powerlifting meet really was, because that's not relevant to the point here. Consistently striving for improvement, maintaining that drive and burning enthusiasm, that's the point.


Before: 121 lbs
After: 113 lbs

Started with Carrie in early 2011, forgot all about her for a bit, and then saw her awesome new look a months later. I was very pleased.

Here's a girl who does not shy away from heavy lifting, squats, and Grey Goose. Real training. Not the useless foo-foo bullshit many women call "training".

I just noticed I actually have a video of me deadlifting 205 lbs x 4 back in July (bodyweight 114-115lbs.. and after a night of drinking.. haha).

Oh my! Better watch out there now, wouldn't want to get too big and bulky. A nice +30 lbs gain on deadlifts compared to starting stats. (Added alternative back show the negative effects of 2 x body weight deadlifts on gluteus maximus, AKA butt. Clearly too tight. I promise to tone next time. Forgive me, Carrie.)

We talked a bit about her progress, and she told me she followed my exact program for a few months, changed it slightly to fit her personal diet preferences and lifestyle, kept the training as prescribed. 
I would think there may be others who would like to reach this point of adopting a lifestyle where they don't have to track or fret over every morsel of food that goes into their mouth. Your protocol can definitely help people achieve this.
...Thank you for all your knowledge and help! It's honestly changed my life (which I'm sure you year all the time)! :)


Age: 45
Before: 190-192 lbs
After, Week 12: 172 lbs

After 8 Weeks:
...This was best test I've had in 4-5 years! My cholesterol dropped from 218 to 150, hdl went from 54 to 47, ldl went from 142 to 92, triglycerides went from 108 to 55! 

My strength has increased in almost every exercise that you perscribed. Like all of your previous success stories, I tell everyone, that this plan was about as easy as it gets, once you adjust to it and is something that I will follow for life! ...My results so far have been nothing short of spectacular. 
...All of our friends were like WTF have you been doing? And they knew me during my P90x days! 


Before: 185 lbs
After, Week 12: 177 lbs


Before: 63 kg
After, Week 14: 58 kg

KS was the best kind of client - well-worded and intelligent, 100% compliant and an astute observer that took note of his results and prior experiences. I asked him for a testimonial, because I knew it would be good and thorough. It follows below.

Martin, I can’t thank you enough for the coaching. The results are incredible – I have never been leaner or stronger. Surprising, given the relatively small change in weight. You actually turned the word “recomp” into reality – something I often heard of but never believed. I was a believer and a follower before you started coaching me, but actually having the opportunity to work with you really made all the pieces fit together. 
It was incredible how easily the results came after that – fat loss while gaining strength, maintenance with continued gains, and strength and hypertrophy without adding fat – despite taking frequent time off for business trips. 
Like we discussed, I am even more surprised by the mental benefits of the system – the lack of binge-type bounce backs after dieting down to extremely low body fat and the ability to relax and not be stressed out around food are even greater benefits of your system than the ability to take body composition for granted. It is funny to start thinking of 9% or 10% BF as “not lean”, but that is the magic of your system – easy to stay leaner than that even on your worst days.
I really enjoy your coaching style and I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you – best decision ever. Followed directions, got results, doesn’t get any simpler than that. Looking forward to continued leangains in the next few weeks and months.
Can’t wait for the book to come out – it is going to shake things up. In the mean time, you’ve got a dedicated follower and supporter. Your methods of eating and training are the most comfortable that I’ve ever come across and I can honestly say that this is a lifestyle that isn’t going to change.
Some UD2 pics are attached.

Body weight at the time was ~57 - 58kg, depending on the day and time measured. If you compare these pics to the ones I sent you last week, the difference in the way I look is pretty obvious: UD2 = skinny-lean, LG=muscular lean at the same weight. 
Coincidentally, the pictures are almost exactly 1 year apart. Date code on the UD2 pics shows June 27, 2010. The other difference, of course, is that on UD2 I had to eat bird food most of the week.


Age: 22
Before: 89 kg
After, Week 12: 77 kg
After, Week 18: 75-77, give or take a few, not sure. Took it nice and slow after W12, with the holiday's and all.

The diet and training is amazing and easy to stick to. I think I'm just starting to hit my stride with reverse pyramid training and proper diet adherence. It's only going to get better from here. 
12 Week Results
Squat: 70 kg -> 90 kg
Deadlift: 90 kg -> 130 kg
Bench press: 63 kg -> 80 kg
Chins: 12.5 kg -> 32 kg 
The cut has been a breeze; no effort at all. I really enjoyed the RPT training. The diet is easily the best part of this. Clear guidelines which lets you work in the foods that you want to eat and still get great results. I've eaten pizza, ice cream and cookies - something which I couldn't do when I tried to lose fat doing a paleo diet. The best thing is that I feel healthier. 
Leangains is the way to go. You're a sucker if you're not doing it.


Before: 227 lbs
After, Week 16: 198 lbs

I know I'm still fat but I'm not done yet and actually I feel like I'm hitting another pretty good stride right now. Workouts have been going great and I've not only maintained strength, but actually gotten stronger.
....I snapped these this morning at a bodyweight of 197.8. Lot's of work left to do but I'm still going. I think the before and afters are pretty dramatic. My face is so much leaner. I've had to buy all new clothes to wear to work which was both cool, and a huge pain in the ass.


Before/After: 9-week gain from 75 kg to 78 kg, followed by 2-week cut to 77 kg

Here's a good example of the nice-and-slow-approach: the original "lean gains" approach. Nowadays, Leangains and the Leangains protocols are commonly used for fat loss, and naturally so because it's what most people want and need. It's also the logical evolution of the concept itself, as it has proved itself extremely effective for fat loss specifically, and remains relatively untested for lean muscle gain.

The nice-and-slow-approach is the only reasonable alternative for the natural trainer at Advanced and above, who wants to stay lean during the bulk.

Since the gains will be slow, and differences are subtle, these pictures with shifting poses and varying lighting conditions are useless to showcase the change per se, though other data is always interesting.

Right upper pic 75 kg --> bottom right 78 kg ---> left pic 77 kg, looking just as lean as 75 kg, or leaner.

Thanks to you to, since i started Leangains and your training regime ihave been making gains like i did the first year of training. 
What's funny is that I have always trained my arms and shoulders a lot, but they have not grown any. Now that I don´t focus on these muscles they grow.

Net strength gain:
Week 1-12
Deadlift (BW 75 kg) 180kg x 5 reps vs (BW 77 kg) 197,5kg x 5 reps deadlift (+2 kg bw, +17.5 kg dl)Squat: (BW 75 kg) 125kg x 6 reps vs (BW 77 kg) 150kg x 6 reps squat (+2 kg bw, + 25 kg sw)Chin-ups BW + 20kg x 6 reps vs (BW 77 kg) bodyweight + 40kg x 6 reps chins (+22 kg 6RM)
Excellent results using the standards-ratio for BW:strength for LBM gains.



I have had a few weeks off here and there...BIG weekends involving shitloads of booze and bad food! However, I am happy with my results so far. 
You're a fucking legend.

Matt took the shittiest pictures, drank a lot of booze, but got good results that deserve some recognition here. He made the most progress the first 10-12 weeks. This picture I got, the only one half-decent is fairly representative of his 10-12 week progress, but better still.

Reading his emails gives me a headache right now, pisses me off. Think he started out 75 kg dropped to ~73 kg after 8 weeks, clearly much leaner and with a decent amount of muscle gained. The before-picture here would be ~70 kg or some such. I'll need to ask him, because I refuse to read his shitty reports right now.

In any case, he looks a hell of a lot better in the after-picture, even though his body weight didn't change much.


Before: 75 kg
After: 65 kg

This is me after leangains its been 12 weeks since I started. Got to admit it wasn't that hard and I enjoyed every minute, will keep it up. 

Strength has gone up also.
Bench - 75kg x 5 ---> 85kg x 6
Deadlift - 120kg x 4 ---> 135kg x 5
Chins - BW + 25kg x 4 ---->BW + 37.5kg x 5.
Martin, I've got to say your knowledge has been a blessing for me. I found it pretty easy, and never did I go to sleep feeling hungry, actually I went to bed with a full stomach all the time.


Before: 90 kg / ~ 200 lbs
After, Week 12: 81-82 kg / ~180 lbs

Added 40-50 lbs to squats and deads.

  ...Thank you again for your help - after nearly 8 years of trying to get in shape i have made the best gains i ever have in the last 3 months, and am confident that if i continue this plan for another 3 months, i can achieve a good single figure body fat percentage, and then begin to build.


Age: 36
Before: 171 lbs
After: 145 lbs

Michael started in July, finished in early December. It wasn't smooth sailing all the way, since the process was interrupted by weeks of travel, illness and holidays. But he kept at it, settling for maintenance when progress wasn't possible - which is much harder than it sounds.

The majority of casuals, has a hard time just sticking it though, when they can't train or eat a certain way, and more often than not they'll go on a binge, and flush weeks or months of progress down the drain.

Michael reaped the rewards of his sensible habits and excellent consistency. 5 months later he looks like a new man.

I'm 145 pounds in that picture, was 171 when I started the diet, for a total loss of 26 pounds. Strength has gone up, I'm stronger now then when I started.
Everything worked out great, I'm very happy with my progress. Although I'm not at 5% yet and still have awhile to go before I achieve that, I now believe that it's within my reach and that I can do it anytime I choose to - you've given me the tools, the confidence and the piece of mind. If you're ever in NYC area, I owe you a drink!


Before: 158-160
After, Week 8: 150-152

Great results in a short period of time. The rug might not quite do the results justice, but I am not the type to tell a man to shave. The before/after-picture on back shows a much improved V-taper.

Just wanted to update you and let you know all my lifts are up across the board. This is by far the easiest time (and most successful) I've ever had dieting. 

All lifts are higher. I've lost a total of 8lbs.  
Bench Press: 195x5 ----> 205 x 8
Squat: 205x10 ----> 235 x 8
Deadlift: 315x5 ----> 355 x 5
Chins: BW+25 x 10 ----> BW+72.5x5 
I think I've found the first problem with doing leangains... this morning while doing curls I ran into a bit of an issue. The bars in the gym that are allocated for curls only go up to 100, which I can easily rep for 10+ reps. So now I'm forced to curl in the squat rack. Yep, I'm THAT guy now. This is no doubt related to doing weighted chins with BW + 80 for reps. Thanks, jerk.
In all seriousness, I've put on about 4lbs in the last month with what seems like no increase in body fat. I found what you said in the article about 'The Secret Benefit of Having Low Body Fat' to be intensely true; I have a TON of spare time now. Thanks again for everything and I look forward to reading your book.


Age: 27
Before: 195 lbs
After, Week 8: 179 lbs

Work in progress, but note the radical change in such a short time-period. Good stuff.

I have maintained my strength and gotten stronger on some lifts (especially weighted chins, where I'm increasing the weight by about 2.5lbs/week still).
I'm definitely happy with the progress so far and think that I probably still have about 10lbs to go before reaching my goal.


Before: ~275 lbs
After, Week 8: ~265 lbs

Here's a work in progress, included as an example of bodyrecomposition in the overweight - perhaps an inspiring example, as some of my readers face other challenges before thinking about a six-pack.

Note the modest weight loss in 8 weeks, 10 lbs is nothing at this level. But check the back development: a decent chunk of muscle added.

The challenge is not only in diet, but also with the insecurity and doubt that some feel, as rapid muscle gain during the honeymoon phase can "outrace" a significant part of the weight loss as seen on the scale. That was was the case here, as the client clearly lost more than 10 lbs of fat, gained muscle, therefore skewing the numbers.

Mike G

Before: 182 lbs
After, Week 12: 166 lbs

Good results, but a work in progress. Some muscle on those bones and it'll look just right. Strength gains overall.



Re: consultations. I'm on vacation. Taking a break.

Once and if I take clients again, know that the request queue is very long. The method is unconventional, and not for everyone. I can save us both time by telling you about it. Quote from an unpublished interview, adequate summary.

Most trainers cajole their clients, shower them with undeserved compliments, always ready to negotiate and compromise everything. This is partly because they play the nicety game. They have the "the-client-is-always-right"-mindset. I have the "the-client-is-usually-wrong-and-does-not-know-what's-good-for-him" mindset.
You see, people have all kinds of wild ideas and beliefs. Like a brain tumor, these ideas takes root in their head, poison the mind, and cause counterproductive behaviors. I'm a surgeon, so it's my duty to remove these ideas. I grab people by the neck and show them my scalpel. 'This might hurt for a little bit, but you will thank me later.', I say. The procedure is unconventional and violent, but it's very effective.

This is how it must be done and how it's always been done. Everyone prospers in the end. But if you have a sensitive side, or want the usual and the familiar, or maybe pep talk and motivational words, there are tons more suitable and accessible alternatives available - go there, instead.

Interested to work with me sometime in the future: shoot me an email, you'll be added to the list. When it's up for consideration, I'll get back to you, and that will take some time.

I might try something, an experiment, to accommodate people faster, without compromising my standards. That will make everything faster. I'll let you know about it, if and when it happens.

Ok, that's it. Edits later. 


James Kerrison said...

Great results from following a very solid program.
The best thing though is that it is something that con be maintained long term without much effort which is where the real, perhaps hidden, benefit is.

Regulus said...

Inspiring metamorphosis; following your protocol I've achieved similar physiological improvements...but the time it took was longer.

You supercharge progress IMMENSELY

Mike V. said...

Cool post, "nice work" to all your clients out there.

I will not be adding my name to your client list.

Not that I do not think it would be a good thing, it's just that I do not want to fuck around for months waiting to be taken on (or not) when I can spend the time doing something for myself.

Your web site is detailed enough, and the discussion it generates informative enough that I can work on it myself.
And in the end, that is what you are trying to teach right? The ability to pilot yourself towards your goals through knowledge, a solid plan and hard (smart) work rather than being hand held?

james kerrison said...

oh and one more thing...

I want to see the rest of that unpublished interview!

Martin Berkhan said...

Sounds good, Mike. Yes, my site is detailed and informative, and

'And in the end, that is what you are trying to teach right? '

Is correct. But you got the rest wrong, because I am not asking or offering anything.

The update - for myself mainly, for others as inspiration, for informative purposes, to provide realistic real-world data, stats, etc. As some advert - no.

MountainDew said...

Martin, is there a max bf % for which someone should not try LG and should try dropping weight in a more "conventional" way?

David said...

Great results. Do you have any bodyfat percentage comparisons. Would be great to see the bodyfat and lean muscle numbers before and after.

Anonymous said...

Wait so what's going on? Theres no book ever coming out? Are you going Dave Chapelle on us?

Anonymous said...

Martin, how will we know about your training philosophies if you don't make a book?

rudy said...

finding is the best thing ever happened since i know the internet. regards from Indonesia.

Adrian Bennett said...

"Martin, is there a max bf % for which someone should not try LG and should try dropping weight in a more "conventional" way?"

I'd love an answer to that question as well. I've see you pepper here and there throughout the site that leangains is a protocol tailored for lean people looking to get very lean

Unknown said...

Martin do you advocate starting creatine at the beginning of a cut/recomp to your clients? And if so do you factor this in with the variation in weight despite fat loss?

Marko said...

Very impressive results! Congratulations to everyone on this page.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I've been strictly following and reading the leangains method for 6 months with minimal changes.

Also put my name on the client waiting list last summer so hopefully I get an opportunity to work with Martin soon.

Morten said...

I really hope you focus on the "gain" part for your next round of clients (you said yourself the protocol "remains relatively untested for lean muscle gain" in this article).

Sometimes I feel like I'll never break 75kg unless I ditch paleo and get fat (yes, I am aware that I won't automatically get fat from not eating paleo but I won't get fat if I don't).

Morten said...

I really hope you focus on the "gain" part for your next round of clients (you said yourself the protocol "remains relatively untested for lean muscle gain" in this article).

Sometimes I feel like I'll never break 75kg unless I ditch paleo and get fat (yes, I am aware that I won't automatically get fat from not eating paleo but I won't get fat if I don't).

WEC said...

Hey Martin,

I love your case studies, but I have problems relating to them because I'm 125 lbs and don't need to lose any body fat.

I know the LG protocol will add muscle, but do you have any clients that went from skinny and gained weight? I'd love to see those for some motivation.

Armi Legge said...

I can't thank you enough for hat you do Martin. As the results show, you're one of the few people who is able to apply knowledge in a way that produces results, and doesn't just sound cool.

Keep up the great work, and thank you for providing such wonderful information in a concise and relevant format. You're the man :) Happy New Years!


Crucifist said...

I hate to sound like a bandwagon poster, but I would also be interested to see some bulk/gain results, especially for the early morning fasted training protocol.

DS said...

Cool transformations. To make this even more informative to us, may I suggest you add client heights? This always gives me a better feel for how my progress compares. Thanks!

Rodney_l said...

Hi martin, i have been following lean gains since August last year have noticed sum great changes in the initial stages, is it normal for things to slow down?
Also a question, should i still retain some sort of calorie restriction whilst on Leangains?
Current gym workouts include bench squats curls lat pull downs chinups on monday and friday and bench and squats replaced with deadlifts and overhead presses wednesday
Tuesday and thurs are cardio/ conditioning type workouts
Help from anyone is greatly appreciated
Thanx guys
Thanx Martin

Anonymous said...

Martin, jag antar att folk försöker/ försökt blåsa dig på något sätt.
Skit i detta, du har & är originalet.
Folk kommer att köpa den.

v1.1 av boken, behöver bara sättas ihop & du har nog rätt många som kan hjälpa till med detta.


Sälj den endast i hardcopy på din sida. Tryck upp ett mindre begränsat antal själv hos tryckare, dessa kommer ryka direkt.

Ger dig kapital att trycka en ny omgång, du kan då uppdatera vissa saker eller lägga till, gör inte misstaget med e-bok. kör med hardcopy......ta ledigt för att skriv boken, med eller utan en medförfattare.

LG sedan april 2011,

Anonymous said...

Tryck några bra Lg tischor som man kan träna i.
Skulle sälja som smör i solsken

Mike V. said...

Thanks Martin for posting some more "stuff".

I think you mis-understood me about you "advertising" stuff.

Why I like your site is that you do not advertise or act like those "fitness program whores" I see so much on the webs.

I like your site because of the information and resources it provides, without the bullshit.

Yes, you do personalized training.
Yes, your wait lists are long.
Yes, if after working hard on my own if I needed more personalized information or that last 5% tweaking I might probably try to hire you.

However, what you site does proclaim is a sense of independence. That anybody with the right tools and knowledge, such as found on your site, can change their body for the better WITHOUT hand-holding, or without personalized training programs.

I would point out that anyone who is on your list, but does not work their ass off until you can take them on, is fucking around and sort of missing the point.

So, again, I will not be joining your waiting list because it is very full, and what you offer for free should be enough for all but the most extreme cases to handle by themselves.


Mike V.

Anonymous said...

Don't Leave us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maher said...


Since your future client waiting list is so huge, have you considered training others on how to do things and have them essentially work for you so you can help more people in a shorter amount of time?

Anonymous said...

Do you have any other clients who are not white?

Anonymous said...

I also wrote you a client request some time ago, but have not received a response so far. I can understand that you are busy, so I do not blame you :-).

In the meantime, after I'd lost 24 kg from June to October, I started working out the leangains style thirteen weeks ago. My bodyweight increased from 80.5kg to 84.5kg, my lifts @ 5 rep went up like this:

Squat: 80kg > 125kg
Bench: 80kg > 115kg
Deadlift: 80kg > 160kg
Pulldowns: 55kg @ 5rep > 85 kg @ 12rep (I'm starting with chinups next week).

I have two jobs, two children and study for my fourth university degree, so I only have time for exercising for about 65-75 minutes three times a week, but it is quite enough. I am not as shredded as your clients, as I am intent at raising my relative strength to decent levels before I lean out, but I am quite happy with the results anyway. So thank you for all the excellent articles and recommendations.

Emy Barkhimer said...

Martin, every time you post, the more awesome you become, including the latest "Stuff" post. Without finding this site and you, I would have never achieved my abs for the first time EVER. The best part? I'm exercising MUCH less than I have in years. My fasts are easy now, and I no longer stress about what I'm eating. Thank you for continued effort in all you do for the rest of us.

Sarah said...

martin, you're the best thing on the internetz.

Johan said...

Hej, Martin!

Grym site! Schyssta resultat! Har du något på lager som visar framstegen i fall där träningen och dieten varit mer inriktad på muskeluppbyggnad än fettförlust? Vore kul att se mer i sådana fall. Nu verkar din approach klara av både och samtidigt mer eller mindre, men ändå...

Kör en liten avstickare också:

Skickade ett mail till dig för ca 3-4 veckor sedan med en "fråga inför ev. konsultation". Skulle du kunna tänka dig att ta en titt på det och svara när du får tid över? Har förstått att du är på semester och antagligen har du 100 andra saker du hellre gör före det, men jag frågar i alla fall, då mina omständigheter är lite speciella.

Lycka till med nya året! :)

Armi Legge said...

If you taking a vacation allows you to keep writing for even longer - please do so. Long live Lean Gains :)


TheAragus said...

I love this post as it shows that bulk and cut isn't totally necessary.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work man! Take a long-ass vacation but don't forget to come back.

I've been reading your site sporadically since around -09. Divulged into nearly each and every article you've written and I just thought I'd show my appreciation.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Martin for all the info you have shared over the years. I really hope that if you are gonna be away for a while you would reccomend some others that would disseminate the "true" leangains for pay or if you would put out a detailed pdf for pay. I have lost 45 pounds in 8 months using leangains. But now that i am on the cusp of getting ripped, i have seen no fat loss in 3 months. I know you could take me to the next level. I am sure I am waaaaaay down on your client list. I need the book or pdf.

Curtis said...

Martin, I've been following your blog since October 2007, and I have enormous respect for you and everything you've done. If you decide to leave us, I just wanted you to know that I've always thought of you as the Batman of the fitness industry. You've been the Dark Knight and fought the good fight for years now. Thank you for everything, and best of luck in your future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,

don't understand anything of what's going on.

but be sure you've done a tremendous job for many fitness enthusiasts including me and changed many minds. No one will ever be able to steal this approvement.
The crowd will know. No matter if you leave or i remember you as a good soul ;)

Anonymous said...

Question from a beginner. For me to lose 2lbs/wk, my daily caloric intake is supposed to be 2800-2900 kcal/day. Should I be looking to squeeze this amount of kcal into my feeding window, or does my intake decrease since I'm
not eating all day? Or am I misinterpreting the approach entirely? What is the meaning of life? Who killed Kennedy? Who invented softsoap, and why?

Seriously, though. This has been a question I've had trouble reconciling on my own. I'm in decent cardiovascular shape for 19% bf, 395 bench, 645 dead, 515 squat, 13 bw pullups. I'm not new to this, but bf has always been a struggle for me. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
not new to this, but I can't seem to find the answer to

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! I would've loved so much to be one of those clients! Your site is not only extremely informational, but exceedingly inspirational as well.

I'm following the site as best I can and I'm getting stronger faster than ever; not to mention that I've gotten leaner.

Add a post about specific macros and calorie counts and I won't need to visit any other fitness-related site :)

Anonymous said...

Firstly: Great job with the clients! Amazing results.

Secondly: Screw this teasing! I want those exact results for myself so I can stop focusing my time and effort in finding out how exactly can I do this.

Out with the book already! Goddamn!

I would imagine you would make at least a million bucks with an ebook of your method. It don't even have to be perfect. You can always release an updated version of it.
Or do it like Tim Ferriss and prelaunch it. Hype the shit out of it - ask for your followers to hype the shit out of it. They'll be glad to do it.

Do it now Martin! The community needs it! I need it!

- Mancini -

Prete said...

Very nice results. I have been doing thet lean gains lifestyle for 2 months (the nutrition) part together with stronglifts 5x5 and weightloss was not that much but yesterday I measured my waist for the second time (first time was 2 moths ago) and I lost 7 cm (2.8 inch) and gained strenght.

Now just a small question. How tall is the cliënt Marcus? Its just for motivational reason + to get an image of how i might look like (I'm 22yr old like him, same starting weight, similar build) i'm 188cm (6ft2) tall but can't imagine weighing 77kg (170 lbs)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm a 22 year old man, about 60 pounds overweight and I've been trying this 16/8 fast for the past 2 weeks. I haven't had any trouble following it, and have lost 4 pounds, which is quite good since I've plateaued for the past month and a half prior.
But something which bothers me is that roughly 8 hours into the fast and continuing up until about 2 hours after the fast, my libido is 0, any thoughts about this?

Anonymous said...

Inspiring results! When are you going back to work? Hopefully soon, because there are a lot of people out there counting on you to continue pushing the envelope when it comes to diet and training.

In the mean-time, here's a quote for you to ponder:

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Considering the results your clients have been getting, I'm sure that will prove true for LG as well.

Chirag Sagar said...

I have a question - I have been doing leangains for the past month and the results have been extremely impressive. However, I am joining the Triathlon team and the ultimate goal is to train for an Ironman Triathlon. I still want to hit my goal and maintain a 5-6% body fat figure, but will I stay be able to follow the leangains diet? If so, what foods should I be eating and has anyone here had experience training/running for a triathlon?

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin,

Interesting post! Sounds like you were in a different frame of mind with this one - you need a break! Could it be that you are burnt out by the endless stream of queries that are fired your way??

Great free resources with solid reference and backup, like many of the punters who read your stuff, it has helped me a lot, although my wife thinks I am a bit obsessed!

Mate, suggest you close the books on your training, go off and find a publisher and write a book for the masses. Either that or go get hitched and punch out a few kids to give yourself a real challenge!!!!

thanks and take it easy.

Lisa said...

OMG, come on with a book already!!!! Really looking to apply everything I have read so far, but its SO time consuming to piece it all together. Your site is addictive, can't stop reading & clicking links. Everytime I get on here, I have over ten tabs open from clicked links. Huge time killer jumping around to anything interesting you happen to be talking about at the moment. Please, write the book, I need the facts!

Daniel said...

I was banned from your FB page yesterday apparently for not "following instructions" when all I did was offer you friendly encouragement. You broke my heart MB, you broke my heart.

Dan Baiko said...


I really want to work with you and want to be 1st in line to do so. I understand that you will be taking on clients eventually please please please let me know when this might happen. If you or anyone that has had great results can point me to a particular article that gives you detailed instructions on how to follow the Lean gains approach please let me know.

Thanks !

Philipp said...

Yeah! Some really awesome looking guys - and of course an more than awesome looking girl!

Great work dudes!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG -! Come back already, PLEASE! Everyday I check for a new post, or a newsletter update and it's not there :(

Unknown said...

Winning lottery ticket? Yawn.

Stranded in tropical paradise with hot women? Meh.

Consultation with Martin Berkhan? OMFG YES!

leadben said...

I want to be added to the list. How can I email Martin?

Mike said...


Write the book already. Don't you see we want to give you our money!

Matthew said...


I just wanted to thank you for all of the information that you've made available. After reading "fuckarounditis", I did a little research on your routine and have since adopted it in its posted entirety.

In only 10 days, I'm seeing more gains in the gym that I've seen in the past 5 years of working out. Until now, it never really sunk in- too many sets, too little weight. The BCAAs have done wonders for my DOMS as well. I've wasted a LOT of time being afraid of deadlifts all of these years.

Also- the diet is so phenomenal in the ease of adapting it to everyday life. I see no reason to ever stop doing the leangains protocol. It's amazing to be able to get full at supper time and still drop fat.

Thank you so much for this site.

Anonymous said...


Been following LG for a while now, even got a couple others onto it cause they kept asking me how I was doing what I was doing...

I still get email from my nutritional 'gurus' of times gone by. Wow it's amazing how much I've learned from your site, thanks man.

But... Looks like the fitness (marketing) experts have figured out that there could be something to this IF, and have formulated a few more products to sell the masses... Of this involves some back pedalling on their behalf, but that's what they do well, spin, spin and more spin.

Martin, when my inbox was slammed with 'intermittent fasting' info from a whole host of guys who don't even know what they are talking about, I just thought crap, Martin where is your freaking book...

These monkeys are going to have some fun...

Unknown said...

Today was my first day and I'm just curious if it's really on to have 1500 calories post workout. I'm a crossfitter doing strength lifts, oly stuff and HIIT training. Male 5'10" 188lbs. I calculated my workout day calories at 3057 and non workout days 1800 and change.

Anonymous said...

Hello i have just started reading about fasting and the studies behind it. I would like to try as i have stubburn fat to get rid of but I need soem help (ecercises and especially what am i allowed to eat). Where can i get it?

Gym Equipment said...

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Darren said...

Martin, have you ever read the books 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand? I think you may be able to relate to the lead characters. You know, THEY don't really matter! ;)

Thanks for everything you have shared over the years.

Seth said...

Have you written any articles comparing the effectiveness of using a one or two meals pre workout, as opposed to fasted training? My work schedule prevents me from being able to train fasted at a reasonable time, and I am wondering if it is worth my time to try this method as it seems that most people use fasted training.

Anonymous said...

Do you think drinking a lot of water could keep me back getting really lean ?
I'm a tennis coach who is on the court teaching 6-7 hours a day in the big heat out in the sun.
I'm drinking a lot of water during the and even during my 16 hours fasted period I'm always thirsty and need to drink a lot of water before going to bed or in the morning hours.
Do you think this could be an issue that could work against me reaching my goals ?
I'm at 10-11% body fat and I want to get down to around 7% or even lower if possible.
Do you think lot of water will be a problem?

Emma-Lee Molander said...

Great progress :-D

Ella said...

Dear Martin, do you offer online counselling? Would love to be able to receive your guidance!

jaysond said...

Hope your having a wonderful vacation. i am using a 22/2 approach.eating all my macros within 2hrs and i am truly fasting the other 22. is there a benefit to 16/8? ive seen your comments about the warrior diet but it seemed because of the allotted fruits and veggies during the fast. i am truly fasting for 22hrs!

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This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anonymous said...

How do I join in? I am ready to let go of my old way of thinking. Help !!!

sksc18 said...

Hi Martin,
I haven't had time to look through a lot of your posts but I noticed a very pro-meat protein vibe in what I did read and was wondering if you've ever looked into the science behind how human bodies react to large intakes of meat protein both currently and through out history.
I noticed in other posts how thorough you were with checking your facts accurately through legitimate, peer reviewed journals and would love to read what you uncover after looking into this particular area of food science.
Obviously you have a system and it seems to work magic, but as a vegan who is working to try and obtain similar results and who has read several studies on the negative side effects of meat protein consumption along with the success stories of many vegan athletes, including body builders, I would be very interested in reading your take on it and any suggestions you might have.

here said...

I really hope you focus on the "gain" part for your next round of clients (you said yourself the protocol "remains relatively untested for lean muscle gain" in this article).

Anonymous said...

when is the best time to take creatine?
I think that, with the postworkout meal the risk is not ot be able to digest creatine and have it inblood with spike of insuline......
take creatine before workout is not a problem ,but after?
what about makeing a meal 1 hour before the big postworkout meal with 100 high gi carbs 40~50 fast pros and 5 gr of creatine?
u are changing my life with this intermettin fasting ideas! thanks!!

Kevin Johnson said...

Hi, Martin. About the Cortisol (I'm sorry if you have already approached it, but I couldn't find this specific aspect). Is there any efficient way of controling the damage from cortisol release due to stress or anxiety?

Legendis said...

will an additional 5hours of fasting (by skipping breakfast) really have an significant impact to my lean mass, if i consume the same calories as before?

thx for an answer martin

Geoffrey Transom said...

Found this blog by accident, and the author goes right into the Pantheon (along with Joe Rogan and very.few.others). Anybody who uses "Bitch, please." understands what's up. And Point 23 on the 'Fuckarounditis Test' is internet gold....

"23. You're working on your "lagging biceps", but you can't even do 8 chin-ups with good form.

First of all, you're weak and fat."

I know, right? Mind... blown. (And guess what? I can't do 8 chinups).

So guess what? Brandon is me (I'm not *actually* Brandon, obviously). But I recognise that shape (The Lovely tells me I'm not quite that fat, and I have big legs [I squat 2x my lardy bodyweight; bench 1RM 1.5BW; leg press 300kg for 10, easy]).

So I'm 'bout to give this IF/LG gig a spin to see if I can't get myself into decent shape before I'm 50 (I'm 48 in Feb 2013). Currently I'm 225lb at 6'2", which is bad enough, but that's down from 245 six months ago. I dumped that first excess thanks to Peak8 "20min-HIIT-for-old-fat-guys" on the elliptical: my Cooper-test V02Max is also up from "What is this I don't even" to 47 (well above average for my age) in the same time, and my RHR is under 60. My diet is vege-rich (I'm vegetarian with periodic carnal lapses, and Reggiano maybe twice a week), every meal prepared from raw ingredients, and only 2tsp a day of table sugar (that shit will kill you). We have take-out maybe once a fortnight (Vegetarian Panang Curry (Thai), usually).

Anyhow - after decades of grunting through the '3-day split' and staying fat, I discovered that HIIT was made for me: give me brief, intense, pulse-above-100%-of-max (170BPM, for me) over the long, slow, boring tedium of "65-70%" traditional cardio.

And it seems that IF will suit me too - I have this weird thing where I don't get hungry (EVER) and I don't feel full. Never have - I've always eaten because of
(1) the clock ("Come on in, boy - it's dinnertime") ; or
(2) a thought ("You know what would taste great right now? Some eggs on toast, that's what."); or
(3) someone points me at some food.

And yet I've never fasted deliberately (once when I was in the military I 'involuntarily fasted' when a resupply drop failed [Don't ask]. 3 days with only water, and never a twinge, hunger-wise: my buds were 'bout to eat each other).

TL;DR: I'm in. Took the fat-pic today, and will update when I hit my first way-point (in 8 weeks).

Anonymous said...

when is the book going to be out? I really want to give this a go.

customized fat loss review said...

wow, some of, in fact ALL of your client transformations are indeed very inspirational. Seriously, impressed :)

çool blog about genf20 plus said...

Glad I stumble upon your site. Great post.

Mohamed Sharif said...

Hey Martin or anyone that can help,

This question doesn't seem to have been answered yet. I stumbled across this site a few months ago and jumped on IF right away. i'm 6ft, i weight 174lbs. I have been doing the basic lifts you've been recommending but lately i've slowly transitioned into crossfit. Sorry but i find weight lifting boring (but i did see crazy gains). My bench-press went from being able to do 225lb once to being able to 245 6 reps. my deadlift went from 225 for about 3 reps to 315 6 reps. My pullups increased significantly as well i went from being able to do about 15 pullups in a row to being able to do it with a 45lb plate attached to a belt i remember doing that about 8-10 in a row. I'm really imporessed with the gains but like i said I find normal weight lifting really really boring.

So on to my question. lol. like i said i'm not sure if this was discussed (i couldnt find anything, if it has please someone point me in the right direction) but how many calories am i supposed to be consuming daily. My BMR is about 1905 and according to different calculations i'm supposed to be eating about 2200-2300kcal to maintain my weight and more if i want to "bulk". how many calories am i supposed to be following while doing IF. as of now i probably reach about 2200 calories a day but like i said i do crossfit and i'm always active. i workout for about 1hr to 1hr and 30mins a day. I would like to shed some fat and gain more muscle over time. my BF is about 9.4% the last time i measured and i weigh about 174lb and i'm 6ft tall. Also what should my daily choleric intake be on my days off?

Any help would be appreciated.

Mohamed Sharif said...

Hey Martin,

This question doesnt seem to have been answered yet. I stumbled across this site a few months ago and jumped on IF right away. i'm 6ft, i weight 174lbs. I have been doing the basic lifts you've been recommending but lately i've slowly transitioned into crossfit. Sorry but i find weight lifting boring (but i did see crazy gains). My benchpress went from being able to do 225lb once to being able to 245 6 reps. my deadlift went from 225 for about 3 reps to 315 6 reps. My pullups increased significantly as well i went from being able to do about 15 pullups in a row to being able to do it with a 45lb plate attached to a belt i remember doing that about 8-10 in a row. I'm really imporessed with the gains but like i said I find normal weight lifting really really boring.

So on to my question. lol. like i said i'm not sure if this was discussed (i couldnt find anything, if it has please someone point me in the right direction) but how many calories am i supposed to be consuming daily. My BMR is about 1905 and according to different calculations i'm supposed to be eating about 2200-2300kcal to maintain my weight and more if i want to "bulk". how many calories am i supposed to be following while doing IF. as of now i probably reach about 2200 calories a day but like i said i do crossfit and i'm always active. i workout for about 1hr to 1hr and 30mins a day. I would like to shed some fat and gain more muscle over time. my BF is about 9.4% the last time i measured and i weigh about 174lb and i'm 6ft tall. Also what should my daily choleric intake be on my days off?

Any help would be appreciated.

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

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