Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Consequence and Clarity


I'm a lot less naive than I was a year ago. I'm still naive enough to believe that I can explain something very few people might be able to understand.

I'm writing and rewriting this article over and over again. Countless forms of the same damn thing. In the end it always ends up being way too long, veering off into several directions.

This is a fool's errand, I realise. I give up. I'm just going to hope that you take it for what it is - an honest account from my side of the fence. After all.  I can't be doing the same thing over and over again, and expect a different result - can I? No. That's the definition of insanity.

Defining Insanity 

Insanity: do the same thing over and over again. Expect a different result. Spin it round and round. Now do it one more time, please. I like it like thatT. This is how the fitness industry machine works. Take a concept, dumb it down, give it the fad diet treatment, and then feed it to the masses. I, for one, knows this better than anyone else.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years, you've probably seen the explosive growth of interest in fasting/intermittent fasting type diets, along with its poorly written Leangains ripoffs. "Ripoff" is the understatement of the century.The 8-Hour Diet is the latest abomination, and it's no doubt the most impressive thus far. Impressive only due to the sheer idiocy and the sizeable marketing engine that drives it. If my advice is worth anything to you, I'd tell you to stay the Hell away from it. Many won't - and that's the problem. Bad PR is good PR in this wretched industry.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can't say that I agree. I don't want to be part of this circus. Actually, I think it's downright insulting when people expect me to be excited about it. It suggests that people have an ass backwards understanding of my values, my principles and my character. I can take a lot of shit and still remain unfazed by it. But when I get lumped together with the inferior and the fake, that's when I say 'fuck it.'

Still. The 8-Hour Diet is just a drop in the ocean and it's hardly the cause of any real grief on my part. It takes a lot more than the fad diet treatment of fasting to piss me off. It takes...Well. I guess this is where I run into problems. The 'explaining' part.


Let's see. I'll try to explain, with the understanding that I don't have any hope of succeeding to convey things from my perspective. My perspective seems to be different than anyone else's, that's for damn sure.

But still, you know those artsy fartsy types that talk about "real art"? I can't help but feeling like I might come off like one of those. Sounding hard and overtly pretentious, complaining about some first world problem while sipping Chardonnay. It's my sincerest wish that I don't.

What you'll get from me here is, as usual (´cept not so usual), the no-bullshit perspective - nothing to sell, nobody to convince. Just that good ol' NO-BS Berkhan swag. Might be the last time in a good while, but who the Hell knows with me.

Anyway. Exactly one year ago to the day, I stood before same crossroad that I'm standing before today. I asked myself a question. "Left or right?" - leave or stay.

On January 6th, 2012, I wrote this.

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 stayed around - just not in the way you think. I watched. And I fucked around a little bit.

What you saw was half a handful of fairly forgettable articles, relative to what I withheld. That was my mistake. I took the middle road - more so in the mind, than in the actions you saw.

Note the middle paragraph:

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.

Let me clarify what I meant by that. The limits I'm talking about, are the limits imposed on the collective ability to evaluate and appreciate scientific research and judge the value of an opinion. This has been made very clear to me in the year that passed - through several very specific examples, equally well represented by characters from the scientific community, and the new breed of broscientists who spout nonsense and lies with scientific pretences.

One standout example amidst many travesties this year came in the form of "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" by BBC Horizon, and the abrasively stupid and absurd nonsense spouted by one of the scientists (Longo). Another travesty was my witnessing of how well-received it was. I kept my mouth shut, because I wanted to see if and who could actually spot the horseshit for what it was - no one did. That was very discouraging to see - but hardly not surpsising. Let's call it a wake-up call. Several such wake-up calls presented themselves to me throughout the year.

I won't be more specific - for now.

The gist of it all is this. I find little joy in discussing/using scientific research in an environment that seems to be doing exactly the same thing as I'm doing, but they only make it sound good. The incompetent use of science stretches way beyond TV shows, way beyond the fitness community, way beyond the mainstream, and well into the scientific journals.

Science is an illusion. It preys on the fact that people can't tell who's right or wrong when the lingo gets complicated enough.

It is not the fad diet books that are the greatest problems as I see it. It's the sophisticated lie that masquerades under scientific pretensions, and comes clad in the very best of intentions.

Another problem presents in weasely characters who copy every little thing I write. They turn it into their own little profit machine - in inferior form. Needless to say, I'm not motivated to write anything truly original. Remember: I had no problem with that before. What a shame. There's so much I'd like to show you. (Seriously. I'm not being facetious - it's just demotivating to know that every original thing gets copied these days:/)

This is not an ocean of shit, my friends. This is a wasteland of the mind, and this site will always be an outpost of enlightenment. But I'm taking a break for now. I'm going right - I'm not taking the middle road this time.

Listen, I'm not really happy in the role as "the intermittent fasting guy", and can't I fool myself into thinking that I'm compatible with the existing understanding thereof (i.e. my opinion differs from the rest). Least of all, I can't pretend that I'm compatible with bullshit, bandwagon-hoping, and the disingenuine characters that drives it forth.

But my discontentment stretches way beyond that which appears to be the most obvious and simplest items of disgruntlement to most people. That's my curse, that's a riddle that I may have to leave hanging in the air for now.

I found an old newspaper clip. It's about the contest that kicked off my modelling career in the late 90's. That's me to the right, winner of the male category, along with the winning female contestant (a well-known TV reality show celebrity). In many ways, the modelling business reminds me of the fitness industry. I quit in the middle of a good career. I had it made. Why did I quit? Smiling never felt natural to me, and I was bored to tears. I could care less about money and fame over integrity and authenticity. Same reason I'm backing off this time. 

Defining Integrity

Here's a concept that is - and always - will remain of fundamental importance to me. To me. Not to others. To me, it's very important. To most people in this business, it means absolutely nothing.

It's called integrity.

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulnessor accuracy of one's actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.
The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete).[2] In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.
value system's abstraction depth and range of applicable interaction may also function as significant factors in identifying integrity due to their congruence or lack of congruence with observation. A value system may evolve over time[3] while retaining integrity if those who espouse the values account for and resolve inconsistencies.[4]

Integrity means that I've been doing this for 7 years now. Integrity means that I don't change my ideas just to hop on a bandwagon. Integrity means that I refine what works, and don't have 67 ways of doing the same damn thing.

To have integrity, you must have expertise. True expertise results from the drive to fix yourself - your flaw, and your obsession with it. You become an expert on fixing yourself. The itch drives expertise. The itch drives curiosity. The itch drives learning and doing. This is what makes an expert - not an "expert" in the sense that everyone's an expert these days. The itch drives mastery. 

I've come a long way. I've paid the price. I get to call myself competent. Integrity comes with competence. Integrity comes with the knowledge of your competence - and the incompetence of others. It stings my eyes. And it's everywhere.

The hate of incompetence was what drove me in my crusade against the dietary dogma of the mid-2000's. The hate of incompetence is also what drove me to make this site and put countless hours into scientific research when everyone else seemed to care for easy answers and sheepish repetitions of mantras that proved to be untrue.

Knowing that you're good at something, can be a double-edged sword. You become acutely aware of how useless everyone else is - not everyone, but a Hell of a lot more than you'd ever expected. If you let it get to you - and I will, for better or worse - it leads to a lot of anger and frustration. What kind of nerve do these people have, calling themselves "experts", or using their PhDs, as a means to scam and deceive people of their money? Why 

I know I'm pretty damn good at getting people lean. I also got a knack for the scientific research and possess a rather deep understanding thereof, within the broad context of nutrition and physiology. Whatever art there is to getting lean and staying lean, I consider myself cream of the crop. I talk it, walk it, teach it, and write it. That's it. I'll claim this title with a straight face, but I would never claim to be - for example - a strength and conditioning specialist, or an athletics coach.

I wouldn't write a book about abs, if I'd never have abs myself. I wouldn't make up an ab routine out of thin air, like some people do. I don't even write about such things. I wouldn't give advice or recommendations that I didn't have any experience of, or true belief in, just to make a quick buck - yet I see tons of so-called experts doing just that.

I think everyone would be a lot better off if we'd all stick to this rule - be honest and stick to what you know. Don't trample on unknown territory. Don't bullshit people.

Anyway. The hate of incompetence is also what makes me take a step back. Away from the circus. Away from the childish illusions I previously maintained.

Consequence and Clarity

With numerous Leangains fans across the globe, I feel a responsibility to let you know where I stand - to give you clear answers.

1. Please don't ask when - or if - the book is coming. Don't expect anything. I sincerely apologise for any promises made, and I hope that you can appreciate the informative material that I've given you for free on this site. That said, you shouldn't be surprised if something appears either. What's important to me, is to rid myself of the burden of expectations and provide an answer to those who keep asking about a book.

2. I'm going back to personal training (online mostly). I am perfectly happy to assume this role: trainer. This is what I do. Not writing. Not adding fuel to bandwagons. There is nothing more demotivating than the blatant stealing, improper use of science, and the weasely paper machét characters characters that defile this business, and make a profit of what I give for free - delivered in vastly inferior form, of course. Donations doesn't pay the rent, unfortunately (though they are very much appreciated - there's a button on the bottom of this site).

Dan Ordoins is an old client of mine. I remember him very well, and I value the personal experiences we shared together - the learning process, and the the long-lasting impact it would prove to have. He's just of many names and stories that I've come to treasure throughout the years, just like I've come to learn that I treasure the personal stories behind the many success stories I've created with my writing.

Oh, BTW. In 2013, keep your eyes peeled for at least two names on the big screen, giving a thumbs up to Leangains in one way or the other...

3. Thanks for all the success stories. I will finally get to read them, and I hope to publish many on this site - to keep the site alive, but most importantly to act as inspiration to others.

4. I will still be around, but my focus will be elsewhere - it will not be on new articles for this site (but as mentioned above, I will still post). Please understand that I put a lot of time and effort into my writing. My articles are original, well-researched, free of charge, and often stolen by those who seek to make a profit of it. This sucks the joy and passion out of writing.

5. Lastly, I'd like to say that there is a story - or a few stories - behind all this. I'd hope to share it with you in the future. I think this post would make more sense with that in the back of your mind.

6. Leangains is very much alive now, and forever. But for you and me both, it's important that I detach myself from the ongoing bullshit (much of which happens behind the scenes).

Below follows a few points of interest that I want to clarify, correct or explain.

Making Good

This concerns a few articles posted here in the year that passed.

I promised an "expert's review" of Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat Expanded 5th Edition.

My plan was to dissect, comment, and critique the book from a unique perspective, going far beyond a lay readers understanding. But expert to me doesn't mean expert in the lingo that people have grown used to.

I didn't follow through. Through the lens of an expert ("expert" from the Berkhan Thesaurus), the book contains a few strange conclusions, and at times, a lacking understanding of physiological mechanisms, and questionable use of scientific research. The review would have come off as harsh, and I didn't think Pilon really deserved that.

Trust me. To this day, Brad Pilon's book is still the best book you can buy on the topic of intermittent fasting as subject of interest. Don't even bother with the rest. 

In fact, Brad Pilon's book is quite possibly the best ebook across the board when it comes to metabolic/physiological theory, i.e. he covers these quite well and doesn't make shit up.

My apologies, Brad. There are countless others that deserves a harsher treatment than this. Surely you understand how peculiar your answer appears. That's OK. Personally, I have a few drinks and let my mouth run loose on Twitter every now and then. 

Eat Stop Eat Expanded 5th Edition is still a good book, heavily referenced, and remains a rarity in an industry where the standard is shit. My standards seems to be different, but this is still one of the few books I can recommend with a straight face. I would never recommend a product or compromise my integrity by promoting something that I considered to be of poor quality.

Why Does Breakfast Make Me Hungry? This article should have been written in a more neutral language. I should have been more critical of my conclusions, rather than producing an advanced scientific theory of physiology and hormonal interaction to support my personal experiences and anecdotes of others. I will revise the article to better fit this criteria. My apologies. I have always prided myself on being fully transparent, competent, and completely honest in my use of science and its place within a practical application. Perhaps this came off as preaching to the choir, i.e. vilifying breakfast, and that was certainly not my intention.

Intermittent Fasting: A Catalyst For Change

Intermittent fasting was very important as a concept, for it played a groundbreaking role as a catalyst for facts that changed the mindscape within the community. When I first started talking about it in 2006, everyone agreed on how things should be done. Always eat breakfast, always eat small meals, frequently, don't eat in the evening, etc. Turned out it was all bullshit, of course.

Top Ten Fasting Myths Debunked

There was suddenly a whole new world of options to experiment with. This lead to countless new success stories all across the world - people who now finally could eat in a way that made them leaner, happier, and better in many other ways.

But it's very important to understand this:

A good decision is a decision that creates success. A good decision is your diet, and the numerous good decisions that make it work. However, to make a good decision - the best decision - you need to have options. How can you make a good decision for yourself, if you believe that there is only one good option and one good decision to make?

For example, how can you make the best decision if you believe that breakfast in the morning, six meals a day, and no carbs after 6 PM, are superior decisions - unquestionably the best ways to do things?

You can't, of course. Until I introduced intermittent fasting and debunked all the bullshit dogma of the times, countless people didn't have enough options. They didn't have the knowledge or the information required to make the best decisions, nor did I - and it always leads to failure in the long-term. The best decisions are often relative - and they should be made from the standpoint of your personal preferences, not from the standpoint of subjecting yourself to nonsensical rules.

Remember that. Be careful of people who have the best decisions for everybody. History repeats itself.

Did I overplay the intermittent fasting card? I don't think so. I was never dishonest about something and I went to great lengths to talk about how personal preferences are of far greater importance - i.e. whatever works for you in the long-term, that's the main thing.

The scientific research surrounding the topic remains an area of interest, so it still has my attention. But intermittent fasting as a point in itself is completely meaningless to me. I'm a pragmatist, I'll use whatever I deem to be best for the goal at hand.

It just so happened that intermittent fasting was the missing piece of the puzzle in many ways, for me, and it also happened to work very well within the context of the Leangains approach, which I summarised in The Leangains Guide.

Leangains Vs Intermittent Fasting

It's very important to understand this:

Leangains drove the popularity of intermittent fasting, not the other way around. An "intermittent fasting diet" is just an easy way to characterise an approach that includes several other distinct characteristics that make Leangains into what it is.

Leangains is also an approach formed by the correct use of scientific research, based on context specific human studies of acceptable validity, with the understanding that the practical application, and the outcome thereof, remains theoretical - e.g. we cannot say for certain how much of a difference intermittent fasting really does.

In fact, I couldn't care less about intermittent fasting if it wasn't for the fact that it's the superior decision for diet compliance. For me, it happened to be the magic bullet, just like it's been proven to be for many others.

The Leangains story is perhaps best summarized by Sam Fuller. Fundamentally, Leangains is just another strategy that allowed me to have the cake, and eat it - and so it happened to be for many others.

But to cling to intermittent fasting, or to hop on the  fasting bandwagon and fast for 16+ hours with the naive expectation of a magic trick - to willingly fast for fasting in itself, even if it's not really for you - is very foolish.

Remember. That's what people did in the mid-2000's - what we all did. We subjected us to rules that proved to be incompatible with long-term success, balance in life, and peace of mind. The role I played was in opening up your eyes to the alternative - to give you more options, and improve your decision making skills on dietary aspects that are of critical importance (i.e. the choice of meal frequency).

Back then, we ate every 2-3rd hour for the sake of eating every 2-3rd hours, we ate breakfast for the sake of eating breakfast, and we didn't eat much in the evening. But now, I see this might be happening again - in reverse.

See, now everyone's riding the fasting bandwagon. Perhaps best exemplified by the "The 8-Hour Diet", this the result of a marketing engine fueled by false promises, bullshittery and the disingenous make believe-science that impresses the lay man, pleases the crowds, and disgusts the one who sees right through it.

This is what corrodes this industry. This is what keeps people confused. This is what obfuscates success, and makes you forget the critical importance of personal preferences - not slavery under rules that doesn't really make sense for you.

This is the real reason...The Industry, man. They just want you to conform, and use you for their profit schemes. Fuck them, I'm staying real.

All of the above is just a little something that I want you to remember in a world of cheap gimmicks, make-believe experts, and the progressive abuse of scientific research by those you least expect (not to mention those you do expect it from).

I've always been a friend of the common guy (and girl) - anyone with a curious mind and a yearning for truth and honesty, will find a treasure trove in this site. I've spent countless hours on writing the many articles that people have come to appreciate throughout the years. I've provided them willingly - and freely - without compromising my integrity. I've done all this while maintaining a rather exclusive clientele, and I've done it with the understanding that I've been trading money for the joy of writing.

To discover that I'm often being lumped together with those who have the audacity to call themselves "fitness experts" and "trainers", yet are nothing more than internet marketers, is very frustrating, discouraging, and downright offensive. Adding to that, there is the greater and more complex problem with those who use their titles and so-called science to wilfully deceive or horseshit their way to fame and fortune. It seems like the good guys just can't win in this crazy world.

Take care.

P.S. For Swedish Leangains aficionados - I was the distinguished shit talker/guest in the 100th podcast episode of BODY Radio. Check it out. After years of nagging, I finally gave in. Glad to see that the show was very well received, broke the downloads PR, and boosted the show to top 40 on iTunes.

Bonus #1: Conversation With a Friend 

This post was heavily edited and shortened. I realised that it was so specific to my personal perspective, and quite hard to convey properly without all the details. Eventually, I gave up and just published what you got to read above. Still, there's some bonus material that I figured might be interesting to those who seek a deeper understanding.

I've added the first (and possibly only) bonus below. I'll decide on the rest in the days to come.


[E-mail exchange, October 1st, 2012.]

[Background: Just a conversation with a friend. That's all.]


....Am I making any sense, Phil? The frustration and anger is quite hard to convey, since it's so very specific to my work and my subjective experience of the events surrounding it, so I can imagine all this might sound a bit overdramatic and crazy to you.

Phil: Sorry for the delay, Martin. I said I'd write properly in my next mail, and wanted to find the time to do so. Also to try and respond in an equally heartfelt manner, which I greatly appreciated

My father was a vet. Animals can't talk. Which means you better be one hell of a diagnostician. Which also means you can do whatever the fuck you want. If the vet pronounces its verdict in a doctoral tone, the pet owner will kneel. 90% of the time, Nature will take care of the healing, and a visit to the vet is more or less psychological support. 

If the injury or disease is too bad, and if you're incompetent, just declare there's nothing to do and suavely talk your way to euthanasia. (and that's the best option, I won't get into the details of vets properly killing animals or throwing them into unbearable lengths of agony by prescribing astonishingly irrelevant and most of the time unnecessary medications to pets who'd have healed in a natural manner. Because in the end, all these crooks care about is their Christmas envelope from BigPharma, and a prescription makes the owner happy. Win-win right?)

All my father's misery came from being too good at what he did, and not suave enough. Through sweat and tears he elevated hismelf to expert status in bone surgery, gave and went to seminars multiple times a year. Meanwhile, 95% of his so-called colleagues never attended one in their entire life after they bagged their diploma but were more than thriving in mastering the craft of being obsequious storekeepers.

Oh yes, my father is bitter. Never become a vet he told me. So I became a designer. And surprise, it's the same opaque shit I get to paddle in. http://clientsfromhell.net/ will tell you more about our special condition, though I think you already had an idea.

But my father's case is probably closer to yours. Because, (even if the design world is also plagued with it, the consequences are less significant) it has to do with usurpation.

I often hear people say that our society has "inverted values". That it's got its head upside down. But I think it's actually not exactly so.

Yesterday we got out with my girlfriend and got relatively plastered. This morning she texted me from work to state how not so good she felt. She texted: "I also wore my panties backwards". I answered: "I hope it isn't a thong." She said: "actually it is. But not backwards this way. More like inside-out". Me: "makes me think of our society". Her: "what a jolly fellow you make".

As much as egalitarism, horizontality and the inherent illusion of a debate (too much noise) are the high price we pay for the empowerment of the masses, we can't do without it. Without the masses, no movement.  

The problem might be more insidious. It's not the total moron, nor most of the people (I can't bring myself to hate the masses), it's the evergrowing fraction of people with an art diploma who should have been plumbers. In french I call them les demi-habiles. The semi-skillful. Half-skillful. Journalists, debaters, psychology consultants, etc... The niches they created for themselves are legion, they sure know how to sail their little boats. So yes, usurpation, not an inversion, just a nasty little twist

And the consequence of that sudden increase in number of "experts" is unaccountabilty and impunity. 
Impunity also certainly has to do with christianism-read-wrong and the debilitating empathy of our visually driven world, but I suspect it's mainly due to sheer numbers, the crazy numbers of "experts" and the rate at which information is spouted. I can't bring myself to really blame the layman. Even if it doesn't mean I don't expect some degree of accountabilty,integrity and lucidity from him. But only some degree, I've learned to lower my hopes, sadly. Or maybe hopefully, I don't really know anymore.

Lastly, the [name omitted] video response to "officialy not you" struck me. I've watched other videos from him, and nearly all of them are in a way or another about his haters. You know how even on 9GAG we chronically come across a quote from a famous scientist whose powerful invention was at first ridiculed. And that fact is true. Problem is when shit art is now called "misunderstood", and when semi-skillfull project themselves as misunderstood geniuses standing tall against the storm. Not inverted values, these are usurpated values.

Sorry for this blabber Martin. I could just have said that your authenticity is scary in a world that tolerates fakeness. That I understand ho so well. It went longer than expected and I hope the personal aspect of all this will be of some added value. [It was.]


Chris Lee said...

awesome :)

tommy said...

Keep doing your thang martin, the reason why i like about you in the first place is that you a no bullshit guy. Keeping it real all the way. Whatever you may be doing in the future, i wish you all the best! Tommy from Malaysia.

Omar said...

The best! Thanks for changing my life!

Flavio Q Crunk said...


I just found your site a month ago and have been soaking it up. I don't even remember what led me here, but I have been singing the praises of it to all I know.

You seem to be the kind of guy who sees a problem and finds a solution to a problem. Unlike most.

I beseech you to not let the thieves and cheaters of the world win. They will win every time when men if character say "fuck it" and give in.

Don't be that guy.

You've given us so much good information and been so helpful to us(I never worked out, but recently started. Your site has kept me going.) that I would hate to think the a-holes of the world won and you stopped.

I can only imagine the level of shit you have put up with and my only request, even though I have no right to make it, is that you at least don't stop leangains letting it become an historical site, but that you say, "I will post when I will post." and make no confessions of promises to your readers about when.

At least that way we all have the hope of the selfish in that we may glean more from someone who simply "gets it".


Unknown said...

Keep on, Martin. I appreciate what you have given to the community.

Mo Haffar said...

I have a feeling, years from now, people are going to reference this as the beginning of something new, a new ideology - Berkhanism.

You've provided, perhaps, the best analysis I've read with what is inherently wrong - not just with the fitness world, but with society.
Fair play to you man.

Elizabeth said...

Sorry you're feeing so shit. Reading about your approach on your blog seriously improved my attitude to food and the flexibility in eating how suits me without following bullshit rules with no actual basis to them. I've a mathematical background (where the word proof is used to mean "is definitely true"!) and I find it astonishing what flimsy rubbish is passed off as proof - and how easily it's accepted at face value!

I utterly sympathise with how crap you're feeling - I experienced a short term version of that at a point in my career, being lumped in with incompetent people in the same job and attacked from all angles. I'd never been an angry person and I was exploding uncontrollably with anger at the unjustness of it. I managed to distance myself from it sufficiently enough for it to become background noise - here's hoping that focussing on the personal training gives you a similar bit of peace.

Anonymous said...

Sound like a bitter guy who a) was too lazy to produce an actual product and b) somehow surprised when people who did produce an actual product based on his ideas made money.

Welcome to planet earth...

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin. Sad to see you go. I've never posted here before, but I found LG maybe 2 years ago and it's done wonders for me. Not as a lifestyle, but as a tool - it makes cutting incredibly (even laughably) easy, it's helped me move sub-10% without much effort, and it provides an easy break from bulking when I get sick of eating all day.

I don't generally take pictures of myself, but here is a progress shot from a little over a year ago. http://imgur.com/PzMRo

This site, far beyond just providing the idea of fasting, really opened my eyes to smart lifting and smart eating. I consider my first workouts after discovering your articles (and reading, reading, reading) to be my 'beginning' in terms of lifting - prior to that I was soft and really fairly weak.

I just wanted to say thank you. Since beginning I've gained probably 200lbs on my squat, 150lbs on my deadlift, and ~150+ on my bench press. Using this site (and your attitude) I've become a much better (and stronger!) lifter, and a lot more aesthetic. I also consider myself to be fucking weak.

NeverQuit said...

Thanks for an awesome post, your integrity is admirable and the wealth of knowledge you provide to your followers is greatly appreciated. Thanks for cutting the bullshit when it comes to training and nutrition its nice to have an online resource thats not trying to ram their useless products down my throat. Your posts fire me up and drive me to follow a path of authenticity in my journey through the fitness industry. How do I go about online training with you?


Zombie Kid said...


Nick hatfield said...

Well as this comes with great disappointment I feel that we can all say we are a bit smarter now.

Since I began reading everything I could on leangains, I quickly realized just how much bullshit is out there. Everyone uses 'science' to their own advantage to push their bullshit.

Every single article I read about nutrition and lifting, I go through with a fine tooth comb. I'm no fucking doctor or scientist but often I look at research for all possible conclusions that could be made from it. This is where most fuck up and twist shit around. They pick a bullshit conclusion, that could be drawn from the research, to support their claims. I feel this is not the case with lean gains.

I have checked this website religiously for some time. All I can say is that it opened my eyes to the bullshit and I think thats the most important thing of all.

Anonymous said...

So you have drowned in the discovery that hell is other people. Well, it would have been better for you if you hadn't but, since you have, your journey now involves superseding this understanding. Wish you well, honestly.

Tony said...

You do what you feel is right Martin. I greatly appreciate everything you've shared and I can't imagine where my life would be without having discovered your website earlier last year.

It saddens me that your concern for others stealing your knowledge prevents you from sharing it with those who care about you and what you have to say. You have helped so many people. I wish the satisfaction of helping others was enough to outweigh that which disheartens you. I do not mean to try and cause you guilt. I understand your frustration, and that without passion it is hard to go on.

Again, thank you for everything you given me and many others. I hope that you find more happiness with whatever road you choose.

Vince said...

I just wanted to say that your authenticity has changed my life. It is funny that we live in an age where a stranger that lives on the other side of the world from me can change my life, but it's true.

8 months ago, I was embarrassed to take my shirt off and always felt like a loser every time I tried and failed at a diet. Today, I have lost over 30 pounds and feel physically empowered for the first time in my life. Thank you for taking the time to share your authenticity with the rest of us.

Brandon said...

Soooo whens the book coming out? lol jk Martin. Been going LG strong for almost 2 years - I always hated breakfast and it made me feel sluggish, now that Martin judo chopped the fk out of BroScience aka BS <--more ways than 1. Growing up on Long Island you get a pretty large dose of BS on the daily. Starvation mode, 6-12 meals a day, protein bars, protein drinks, if its gotta fancy package or label - they're buying two bottles - its ridiculous. I'm 175 lbs and I can rep out 225x18; but I'm loyal to the reverse pyramid (6x295),(5x275),(4x245), but sometimes I just like to do it to show the juice heads what's up. Thanks Martin for all the REAL talk. Wish you all the best.

Jonathan Goodman said...

Thank you for this Martin. I really enjoyed the read and your well-articulated thoughts.

This article is something that should be read by every fitness professional out there, I'll do my best to make it happen.

Steve Gallo said...


You wrote: "....Am I making any sense, Phil? The frustration and anger is quite hard to convey, since it's so very specific to my work and my subjective experience of the events surrounding it, so I can imagine all this might sound a bit overdramatic and crazy to you."

I like to consider myself a fitness professional, but I also like to consider myself a bit of a renaissance man in that I have my hands in a lot of different pots.

My question to you is this: what makes you think that other fields in life are any different? Anyone who values integrity is shoehorned into the same role you find yourself in; a constant struggle against bullshit. I've seen it in every field I've ever been in.

I don't mean to be preachy or condescending. I'm a huge fan, I admire you, and I'm honestly curious what you hope to accomplish with this move.

I understand that you're burned out on the field. What are your options? Give it up? Fade into obscurity? Rather than focusing on what's wrong with the field, maybe you'd rekindle some lost motivation.

You aren't going to change the state of things, but do please keep in mind how many people you've influenced thus far. That's about anyone who's determined to stick to his guns can ask for.

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is more helpful to me than you might think. I too am fighting my way up a river of shit, but in a totally unrelated business(: professional audio).

Nobody gives a shit or knows why stuff does or doesn't work. Because of this, everybody stand as losers. Tens of thousands of peoples suffer because a few particular individuals who should care and know more just don't.

This article provides quite of a tool in understanding myself and my own journey up the shit river.
Sincerely, thank you.

/ Robin

Anonymous said...

Stay safe Martin, i've always appreciated your transparency.
Thank you.

Lee said...

Since I came across your site about a year ago, its been the only reference I go to for anything diet and exercise related. The validity of your work is astounding, and your research is impressive. I envy everything you've done and I hope one day I can be even half as informed as you. Though I'm going to be upset you're leaving (again), I definitely understand where you are coming from, and I'm sure anyone that respects you understands as well.

I'll be looking forward to you coming back from hiatus (if ever), and I'm sure if you wait it out, the whole fasting hype will die down and people will forget it with the next wave of fad diets.

Thanks for all your hard work, and just no you have not gone unappreciated.

Eric said...

I've never posted anything on this site but I use the information I've learned from reading Martin's posts. I just want to say that I value your integrity and as a college student I also value the price tag. I'm sorry that you have to deal with all of this, and it's too bad that many people will miss out on original information from you because the industry is dishonest and profit-seeking. Thanks for the valuable information I have already received.

halsey taylor said...

I've really enjoyed and benefited from your writings. Don't let the assholes get you down, assholes will be assholes, that's all they can ever do. Your work has touched a lot of people you will never even know, be happy with that. Thanks for all you've done.

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed and benefited from your writings. Don't let the assholes get you down, assholes will be assholes, that's all they can ever do. Your work has touched a lot of people you will never even know, be happy with that. Thanks for all you've done.

Elliot said...

Thanks so much for your share. Always get something out of what you have to say. Like many others, I would be honored to be your personal training client.

Luiza said...

Too much stimulation in only one blog post.

Juan Pablo Escobari said...

Fuck this is hard to take.
I cannot picture my life right now without the information I found the day I came across leangains.com
A thank you Mr. Berkhan is certainly not enough

Garth said...

Best of luck, and I'll miss your updates, they are always of the highest quality.

It's good to finally hear your side of the story, and not try to paste it together from your drunk tweets.

Anonymous said...

Martin, it looks like you're having some of the same problems you talked about before in your Q&A on Reddit.

Many (if not most) people try to copy others if others are achieving desirable results in: movies, music, fashion, finance, business, even law. My point is that your experience is hardly unique - I don't say that as an insult but as a warning that if you take the same drive to excellence to just about any other field with the hope of avoiding a bunch of cheap copycats, then you're in for disappointment.

We have similar problems in the law with experts parading an expertise before a court that they don't have and the court admitting the testimony for the jury's consideration even though it's often the court's job to shield the jury from incompetent experts. The difference in situations is instead of somebody being on an idiotic diet, people have actually gone to prison for stupid or horrendously biased expert testimony (it wouldn't surprise me if people have even been executed for it as well). I read a case once where a man was convicted on expert testimony based on a blood stain on his clothing. Turns out: it wasn't blood, it was paint. In another case, an expert claimed that he could tell the difference between Colombian marijuana grown in the U.S. vs. Colombian marijuana grown in Colombia. In still another case, a woman routinely testified that she could look at footprints (say in the mud or sand) - even partial ones - and be able to discern who made the footprint based on the impressions in the sand.

These above cases are just a tiny fraction of the idiotic testimony that has been admitted for jury's consideration in determining a defendant's guilt or innocence in a criminal trial. The problem is even worsened because the United States has an adversarial legal system where each side is responsible for hiring and paying its own experts. As such, neither party cares about the actual competence or impartiality of the expert (except to the extent that it affects his apparent impartiality to the jury). What matters are appearances. A plaintiff can go through a 100 experts that disagree with him and, on the 101st find some quack with decent credentials - good school, lots of testimony in prior cases even if all past testimony was quackery, etc. - that agrees with him, and that quack is going to be hired and put on the stand. The idea is that if a party is paying all this money to get an expert to testify then the expert better reach the conclusion the party wants him to reach. The situation is much worse for indigent defendants who can't afford to pay their own experts (and who the state won't help pay experts) so they're left to potentially attack a number of quacks who the credulous jury might believe based on these credentials and on their showmanship.

Charlatans, even well-credentialed charlatans, are everywhere. This site has really helped fight the bs in at least one important field. So, thanks for having this site and sharing this information. It's given me a lifestyle that works very well and I wish you all the best. I really, really respect your pursuit of excellence and your modesty with discussing areas that you haven't studied. Have a good new year.

Steven Rushing said...

Thanks for all your time and dedication to this resource i.e. website over the years. It's truly been a pleasure to read over the years. I wish you nothing but the best!

RenaissanceMan said...

Martin - I'm crying.

Morbicae Derp said...

Continue as you are. I garnered the same cases of fairly malicious plagiarism and misrepresentation of facts from some ex-colleagues and readers.

Fanboys who do all but actually construct their own ways to live, who sacrifice their own specific needs and physical requirements in a blind faith to a single (and obviously manipulatable) protocol for diet adherence, are generally more irritating to interact with than a stubborn idiot who refuses to undertake different ways of living and thinking.

I'd rather debate/argue with a stubborn man who completely lacks any aspiration for pundicity in the almost-political realm of nutrition, because at least you can broaden your own mind and amount of knowledge by researching and doing trial and error studies from the motivation to become more wise in the face of a debate.

But instead, you'll have hundreds of thousands of pieces of putty who will lap up and become religiously cemented in any idea that is entirely promoted by ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE, as they are too lazy to follow up scientific research that the idealists convey.

Thanks for clearing up some of the muddy areas of your activity, but if it's any consolation, I always tried to convince my clients and readers that results are subjective to special requirements and individual needs, and a blanket protocol, for most, requires review and alterations.

Good luck on your journeys.

Anonymous said...

All the best to you friend. Thanks for your excellent information.

neum said...

martin, youve been a great blessing to me. i will forever remember you as a writer, and a researcher. thanks for everything youve compiled on this site. this world is dead... keep on keepin on.

Unknown said...

Martin you are amazing, since I started following leangains I've seen your methods copied and bastardized all over the place, I often wondered why isn't Martin doing more to promote leangains? He could be making millions. Props to you for not taking the easy road man. Good luck to you.

Nelli said...

Lycka till hur det än blir!

al atienza said...

Save us, Martin!!!

Daniel McGoldrick said...

Martin, You've inspired my crusade for knowledge... studies, books, personal experience, and my own personal opinions shape my beliefs now more than the habitual murmurs of the people I work with. Regardless of whether I ever read another word written by you, thank you for what you did, even if other fucks bastardize it beyond recognition, it's been a god damn blessing using your protocols to take control of my life.

Anonymous said...

This is pure genius

Justin R said...

It's good to see you post again, Martin. Wish you the best, you deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Sure, but what about workout/rest day macros? That's the only thing we really need to know. Your site's been an invaluable resource, but there's just that one thing missing...

Dan D said...

Hi martin,

Great to get an insight into the past few years.

You should be congratulated for your genuine approach.

My take is that although you don't aspire to it, you will take most satisfaction from working out a system and marketing strategy to get your ideas to the masses. Selling out? Maybe but you have done the work and know the science, but it isn't enough as you note, every two bit internet scam will copy and paste your work to make money for themselves.

So, I can see a big crossroads, either stand by and do your own thing or have a go and see how far you get. The thing is you will help far more people than you could possibly impact with your personal training by doing a worldwide system. Maybe this is the goal that would give you motivation to go beyond the current work that gives you satisfaction.

All the best and thanks for the tips over the years, it has helped me personally and I do try to sell it to friends and family although I can't do half as good as job as you do!

Look at the positives and keep your chin up.


Dan D, Australia

Randy Muskee said...

The incompetence of people these days is just mind-blowing and laughable. People these days are just sheep in a mainstream media horde and nothing can convince them otherwise (even if they say they are not). Unless you're seeking for an answer with an 'empty cup' to start with, you're doomed to fail.

Finding such gems as your website and 'in Berkhan terms Expert' opinions are one in a million and interpreting them the right way is even more so (copying/ broscience).

It's unbelievably frustrating to see so many people being cattle for the food and fitness industry that it looks like there's almost no hope.

Thank you for all your insightful writings and I wish you the best.

P.s. I expect nothing from you in the future but will be secretly hoping for more.

Anonymous said...

As someone who's benefited massively from your site, thanks. Also, remember that old fella, what was his name... Galileo Galilei? He had fun times dealing with dogma and the Establishment too. Who remembers who the Pope was back then? Point is, good ideas last. Getting disheartened like this is symptomatic of a lack of perspective. Anyways. Like I said, thanks for everything, sincerely.

Anonymous said...

Do your thing brah. Hoping we'll hear from you again.

Asa Jay said...

Dude, that's sad to read. But I totally understand your point. Though your stuff is published and will never be forgotten, I will continue to promote the Leangains approach!
Perhaps thats how the only possible future for Leangains looks like - an own "marketing machinery" (complying integrity!), the best there is, which truly convinces experts, semi-experts and layman alike. After all, props would keep you going...

You said there's two names to look out for in 2013, but don't mention them - who are these guys? Is it even possible that Dave Asprey may be one them? Your review/comment on his stuff would be much appreciated! But as far as I can tell there's much compliance with Leangains.

Vinicius said...

Martin, you're a good man. I know that your decisions gonna be the best because you have integrity, and this is what counts in the end of the day.
Yes, you could use your fame or whatever to get a lot more money, but who cares?
I really only hope the best for you. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Well said. Express yourself more often, for your sake, not mine.

adriang said...

Taking a break is a good idea. You are seeing too many people in the mirror. You need to "re-find" that place where it is you, and only you that you see.

Alex O said...

Sucks that your taking a step back, I for one felt this blog was the only refuge from fitness misinformation. Good luck, and by the way, I know the queue is probably long but I sent you an email about the consulting. Thanks again for everything!

JohnP Gemini said...

Wow what an article, such a shame how people will copy your hard work and call it theirs, adding their tweaks to it. But you know what, I see it a lot. I can't say I'm a 100% LeanGain'er ... I have added my own twist to it to fit my life better ...

LeanGains taught me that I don't need 6-8 meals a day, that I don't need breakfast and I don't need to drink Acai juice or whatever new supplement to be lean. You opened a door to a new world.

People took that door for granted tho, they want a path, they want to see the road and the end of it ... And they want it now! So once you opened that door, as u left it wide open, everybody and their mothers came and started paving roads. Every person that started entering this world as saw no paved roads that you left, they followed the ones everybody else was paving "Do it just like this beacause it works!! Trust me bro, it's science"

You tried teaching is to think for ourselves and that there was other options, you never said "ban breakfast! It will get you fat" you said "Bro! There's more options, try this it's sweet stuff"

I thank you for what you have done for us. I wish one day I would get to work with you and train with you, your an awesome dude and I admire you. You keep doing what you do and being awesome.

Take care, JP

D said...

hey you're still around Martin!

jd said...

great article. you got me lean mate and you taught me very good eating habits. you will always be the "one" who showed me the light. i dont care what people think of me for saying that and i am sure they are still fat!

Anonymous said...

quit the butthurt and grow up.

Drama queen

Anonymous said...

Great article! i really have appreciated your work and taking the effort to write all those articles for free. Thank you! you have opened my eyes in the jungle off bullshit and broscience, i have "done" LG for 2 years now and i can never see myself stopping. So again thank you for putting the effort into this! Hope i run into you someday so i can thank you in person! Best wishes from Norway!

patrick said...

Martin, just read some Ayn Rand and cheer up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I understood you correctly, but (referring to your comment on fasting for fasting itself) do you not recommend fasting for people who just can't handle eating at all?

I've had bulimia and i've struggled with my diet for a longer period (7 years). For bulimia it is recommended to eat for every 3 hours to prevent binging. I'd like to try your diet but I'm afraid I might slip into old habits. My current goal is to eat normally, not starve myself. I eat quite normally already, but sometimes I eat too much in a short period of time, but I don't feel bad about it (in a "sick way") but it does annoy me. I'm not that happy with my physique. I am normal weight. Before my eating problems started i was actually about 10 kg lighter than now, altough women tend to get fatter when aging. i'm 25.) Have you trained with people with these kind of problems? What would you recommend?

(Just to clear things up and so that you wouldn't recommend visiting a doctor I am healthy in all psychiatric standards, and I told the bulimia story only to emphasize that i might not see eating only as a way to feed myself. I am happy with my life, and my eating problems aren't a cause of depression, i am not depressed, and/or ancious. I also lift heavy weights the way you recommend and if you suggested that i helps my eating, you are right, it does, but i haven't been able to lift as much as i'd like to because i've suffered from mycoplasma pneumoniae for about 4 months.)

CTolson said...

Martin, Whatever you decide to do. Whether it be going back to personal training, or taking a little break, please remember... You have positively effected thousands of people with your shared knowledge. you site gives a no-bullshit view of a subject that is normally RIDDLED with BS. I thank you, and wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Its hard to tolerate a society which seeks easy answers. I am but a humble aspirant to a chemical engineer but despite this i can relate to what you say, people prefer to put their egos, greed and short therm satisfaction ahead of true knowledge that could lead to real improvement for people. In fact, its really hard to find places like this website where you can explore great deal of information without compromising you to buy some bullshit product or follow some half-assed diet, after all, ¿who would go to such length as to do research and give potentially useful advice to people for free?, people who care for society to some degree at least, people like you.
P.S: English is not my main language, sorry for any typo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for inspiration and new insights. You made my life better

Wes G said...

Great post, Martin. I haven't seen any of these "new" diets, but all the crap in the industry is sad to say the least. Leansgains has transformed my thoughts on dieting/fitness lifestyle for the better. All the best.

Michael ten Hengel said...

Martin, Martin, Martin....

"Projection of expectation is always a disappointment"

Read some Buddhist books!

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for everything martin!

Tyler said...

Great read Martin. I know this has been troubling you for a while and am glad to hear you address it. Thanks for all your work and hope to read some more in the future. Stay true homie!

Paul said...

This was definitely a long article but it was excellent and very true. There are way too many people in the fitness industry ripping off others hard work.

Barney said...

It is the greatest samurai who lets his sword rust in its scabbard

Pierce Ogden said...


First off, let me say that your work is amazing. And I am sorry to hear of all the bullshit people trying to rip you off and take away from what you are doing. I work in Biochemistry (drug discovery to be exact), and I find your scientific backed reviews and writings to be great. I also enjoy how you break down the bullshit science in this field, as pubmed is ripe crap research published by shitty scientist (in all fields, not just nutrition & physiology). The world is a interesting place, full of shit people with shit ideas. Maybe you should take the time to rip some of these people apart on your blog, as you have the audience to actually change the minds of many. You could start with David Zinczenko, Peter Moore, Matt Goulding, the authors of that shit 8-hour fasting book. Once again thanks for all your hard work and research, I have enjoyed reading your work.


Eric said...

OMG, look at how the bastards tug at your fears to try to peddle their book: "We’ve all seen the damage Alzheimer’s can do in our own families, in relatives, or in the parents of close friends. And it terrifies many of us to think that our bodies might outlast our brains. If that worries you, you’re in the right place."

Evan Michaels said...

As someone who makes a living writing and selling (ORIGINAL) content it sickens me to read this post ...mostly because it's true.

It's very demotivating to realize that people steal content and ideas just to make a quick buck. The thing is though, that's always going to happen. Of course I would like to make more money, but I'm sure you agree that when you get that testimonial email it feels really good. But it doesn't pay the mortgage.

I think there's a best of both worlds though, and you just need to find it. Whether it's a $5/10 a month membership site or what. I certainly hope people like you don't lose all your motivation, because we need people like you to help pave a proper path for how information and proper data/research is created online in the future.

If you need any ideas, let me know :)

Luke Cooper said...

A deep thinking mind is a blessing in that complex thought, problem solving, seeing the big picture, and people evaluation comes easy....but it's that last one that makes it a curse many times, you realize there just aren't very many people after the "why". Just wanna be fed the next "what". Would love personal training but do not think I can afford it, either way you have my great thanks for the amazing resource of your website and it's wealth of Information.

Evan Michaels said...

As someone who makes a living creating and selling original content I can sympathize. So many marketers will strip your site of everything they can and not even think twice. It's just the way the world works sadly.

But I really hope it doesn't rob you of all motivation to share. You have a very special ability and we need people like you to help create a future that focuses on research and data with trials and testing to back it up.

Maybe you just need a different format to present your information that will be more lucrative ...maybe it's a $5/10 a month membership site with content and video. There are all sorts of options.

You have to admit though, getting that random email testimonial where you changed someones life is pretty darn awesome.

Either way best of luck in the future and thanks for all of your hard work and effort. You've made the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how dumb, selfish, and guilty Andrew Morgan from Rippedbody.jp is feeling right now....

Brandon Garcia said...

Martin, Good Day. I am brand new to this and your site has given me much information. During my google searches I have seen much information and debate. If you could answer one question for me I realize your busy. Is it or is it not true that the body is burning stored fat while fasting? Nobody can answer that for me. Thank You

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to chime in with all the other people who are undoubtedly writing to let you know that we appreciate the time you've taken to research and write articles, and your no-bullshit attitude.

Personally, you freed me from the forced-feeding of six-times-a-day, you-must-eat-breakfast thinking. I'm happier, I'm healthier, and your writing is why I started thinking about alternatives.

Sadly, every profession has the same problem--people are fooled by flash, because substance requires too much effort. It's not so much some particular "society" as it is human nature, I think. (Ask some Rationalists about this.)

zazendo said...

Your perspective isn't so unique as it is rare, I think. I feel exactly the same, and it's precisely why I abandoned almost every blog I used to read. It's all a bunch of marketing hype and junk science. It's sickening.

I appreciate integrity, which is why I like this site.

And if I thought you were going the way of the douche, I'd dump this one as well.

I'm a pragmatist as well...

Anyway, good luck to ya, Martin.

Methinks ill hit the archives.

Fitness Log said...

Hey martin. your frustration is understandable. It is easy to see, in every domain, that people trade integrity for money.

People are constantly regurgitating information they read/hear as truth without confirming for themselves, thinking of the interests of others (using information to make oneself sound smarter), or using critical thinking.. Everyone is an expert as they say, and will even get defensive about their attachments to certain approaches.

Although I've gorged through so much about fitness/nutrition on the net and got my undergrad in exercise science, I am always reluctant to give rigid advice about almost anything because I am not a true expert in any field. I do not read research all day, I am not in a lab doing tests to support a hypothesis. I also understand that many variables affect results so that one study does not = truth.

A philosophical idea I enjoy about truth is that it is like the concept of infinity: we can get close, but never to a true completeness.

All I can do is give basic, flexible, sensible advice (consistent practice of the basics is usually all it takes) and give my advice as OPINION, not as a truth, but as my personal belief through tons of reading and sense.

I don't currently do IF, although I have experimented in the past during school. Still, I'd like to thank you for your integrity and contributions to help out common people like me with your knowledge, effort, opening up different avenues, and challenging the once dogmatic approaches that dominated bodybuilding and fitness culture. I'm sure these ideas have freed the lives of many.

After trying every "diet" and going on so many strength programs, in the end, I must laugh at myself as a victim of "fuckarounditis." These days, I keep it super simple in my training and nutrition, not worrying about all the BS that all my friends are worrying about. Keep what works, throw away what doesn't.

Anyone can say anything, and many have the position of persuasion. So many are willing to believe anything because they just don't know or believe the man with a degree. I have similar qualms with my mother who is prescribed BP meds that cause her to be weak, tired, among other negative effects. Although I hate it and I know it makes her arteries weak (Ca2+ blocker), I'm not competent enough to argue an MD without fulling understanding everything about the drug and blood pressure..

Sorry for so much text, but the community definitely benefits from people like yourself who isn't just an armchair critic, but applies and gives free information!

Eric Hutchinson said...

Martin, you're truly an inspiration. Reading this post was like watching a favorite superhero cartoon and seeing the bad guy get the upper hand right before a commercial.

In many ways, your post excites the exact same emotions. The fans will sit through commercials while they anxiously await their hero's return to action so the bad guy can never harm again. I know that sort of pressure has rested on your shoulders for a while now, but there's a larger reason for your ability to understand deeper concepts and effectively teach.

For the sake of the grander mission focused on opening eyes to truth, I hope you're progressing to bigger things. I hope you're working toward a larger platform, wherever that may be, and I hope this particular commercial break doesn't last long. Thank you for everything man.

Fred said...

Thank you for your website and efforts. You are the only person who could have convinced me that it would be safe and even effective for me to skip breakfast and eat in a way that fits into my lifestyle better. I really do enjoy reading your opinions on research. Especially since you address the strengths and weaknesses of the research method used. I wish you all the best luck. Thank you for putting your best effort out here to be copied and torn apart, but also appreciated. Good luck in everything you do.

Hannu Leinonen said...

Just found your site. I'll dig into it. My goal is to fasten 6 kg and gain 3 kg muscle in 6 months. I'm an average 55 with bodyfat about 18 - 19%. (I'll know in 1 hour.)

My question is, would you call this http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly3.htm
a IF approach? It's moderately fastening and after strength training it's feeding.

Hannu Leinonen said...

I just started to follow your blog.

My goal is to fasten 6 kg and gain 3 kg.

Would you call this http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly3.htm a IF approach. Is it any good? It's mostly fastening, but strength training it's feeding.

James Brunt IV said...

Ive been following your work since the beginning. I wondered when you would finally get sick of the BS. Rare is a man with true integrity these days Mr Berkhan. Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and most importantly, have fun.

Henrik Viberg Forsgren said...

Too bad about how your tolerance for have diminished for the populations sheer lack of interest in knowledge, completely understandable, but still tragic for many. I have learned a hell of alot (well to be honest the bulk of it about nutrition anyway). People come to me to better understand research and that is a little bit sad when I become some sort of "go to guy" at the same time i know I'm far away from being even in the same ball park as you are.

Well this rambling is just my way of saying that you are freatly approciated for what you've done for me. I also have an enquiry, so expect an email in the near future and do with that enquiry what you wish. Hopefully it'll be beneficial for me!

Andy Smith said...

Hi Martin

I've recently discovered your website through trying to clear the nutrition dogma and rubbish that plague this industry and can't help but feel sad that you'll be taking a break. Your website and factual posts have completely changed my view on dieting and training forever. IF and lifting heavy are my last stops for me with regards to livng a healthy lifestyle.
I hope you find your mojo again to bring back such interesting posts and perhaps get that illusive book out. But saying that, I understand your need to attack life precisely the way you want, so us plebs will just have to hope and pray for your eventual return beyond client update posts.

Thanks so much for removing the "scales" from my eyes. All the best for your future endeavors.

Will Hebbes said...


You truly are a class act. Never have I read something so honest and straight from the heart. At the end of the day, you have done a great service to all of us by questioning the "norms" of the fitness world. I just want to say, that you have set me down a path that has absolutely changed the way I approach life in general. If one of these days I make it to your neck of the woods, I owe you a pint and a cheesecake.



Adrian Martinez said...

Your site has changed my life and my approach to health and well being. The time you have spent writing is not taken for granted here. Thank you for all you do and the haters can get fucked.

Justin G said...

Very interesting post Martin. I'm a firm believer that 90% of the time everything comes down to money. Cold hard cash. Money doesn't care about us, and I wish the feeling was mutual.
What I do claim to care about is your devotion to exposing alternative methods to people like myself. If it wasn't for discovering this website, I would still be mindlessly floating around bb.com and other silly sites that include articles that are published just to confuse me and possibly try to get me to purchase a worthless supplement. I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you for all of the articles (including this one) and keep up the good work. Someones gotta do it!

Lee R said...

Hi Martin,

I understand your frustration. I can't imagine how upsetting it must be to see what you've worked so hard to help people with twisted and turned into bullshit by fake 'bandwagon jumpers'. This is the first time I've posted and I thought it should be the best time, gathering you will be off for a while.

I wanted to thank you for every article you've posted and the countless amount of blood, sweat and tears you've put into helping the community. You have helped me break through my fat loss plateau, fix my fuckarounditis and feel like I can really start living my life normally, without having to worry about starvation mode and all that other shitty dogma. I can now enjoy life whilst still remaining healthy and strong. I now know the true science behind fat loss and don't feel it's unreachable. I feel for the first time (fitness wise) that a path is laid out right in front of me, I know exactly what to do and where to go, I just need to follow it to reach my goal. For the first time in my life (I used to be 111kg 2 years ago) I can now start to see my abs, and am sitting around 10% body fat and strong as ever.

All the best Martin, and thank you so much for everything you've done for me. You have truly made a massive difference to my life, as I'm sure you have to many others.

I admire your integrity and honesty. These are the best qualities in a person.

Cheers mate and take care,

Lee (From Australia)


I ve never been sadder after reading an article in my whole life...This is the first time that i feel so scared about the idea of loosing a person i appreciate so deeply that i would definitively call him a very precious friend(then again i would never have thought that i would call someone whom i know so little in person,"precious friend" it is a very limited phrase for me.)But the real anxiety arises not from the possibility of loss,but from knowing that this friend of me suffers.And that is much worse than any egoistic fear i might have about him.I really want to share my story of meeting such an extraordinary person through sheer luck and the impact his thoughts opinions and teachings had to my life and my percepective about the expert era(which i face everyday in my university of business administration through econometric analysis and financial analysis with equations whose hypothesis were never really explained to us and mathematics of doubtfull integrity..it stinks horseshit from every angle but that's enough about me).I will always be checking the internet about the name MARTIN BERKHAN w8ing for a dynamic comeback, that's for sure! i sure as hell believe that people feeling your itch will never keep themselves silent for a long time..That's their curse and they cant do anything about it.That is why the world is getting better.Because some people are willing to dive deep in that shitfull society and start cleaning her from the inside out not worrying about themselves, ready to face her wrath.The 8 hour diet shocked me.Anger was splitting at every angle.The idea that someone stole something that was rightfully Matin's made me so angry that i accidentaly flamed a friend once when he mentioned the diet (not being his fault though, how could he have known..)My friend, i dont know where life will take you.Maybe fate has it that you will remain with us or leave for the best which is also fine if that will make you happy.But from my percpective i feel indebted to keep shouting your name each time a new faggish expert claims this domain as his property or keeps telling bullshit about everything we learned with you, for that i am willing to learn more about nutrition and research evaluation and i will.That's the least we can do for you as you were so honest and integrated with us!And if we ever made you infurious with our comments , stupid questions about fasting and everything else.I already know that you understand the agony of being in the so called science era yet knowing so little true facts at all..., i know you already let those bad moments go to void.Because that is what kind of person your are.

Thanks for everything you learned and gave me with an honesty in extiction at this age(flaming is also in those things, flaming in a way means caring. if you dont care about someone then you dont speak to him at all) and i wish you the best of luck in whichever path you will choose to follow from now on.But i will always keep checking about you!!


I ve never been sadder after reading an article in my whole life...This is the first time that i feel so scared about the idea of loosing a person i appreciate so deeply that i would definitively call him a very precious friend(then again i would never have thought that i would call someone whom i know so little in person,"precious friend" it is a very limited phrase for me.)But the real anxiety arises not from the possibility of loss,but from knowing that this friend of me suffers.And that is much worse than any egoistic fear i might have about him.I really want to share my story of meeting such an extraordinary person through sheer luck and the impact his thoughts opinions and teachings had to my life and my percepective about the expert era(which i face everyday in my university of business administration through econometric analysis and financial analysis with equations whose hypothesis were never really explained to us and mathematics of doubtfull integrity..it stinks horseshit from every angle but that's enough about me).I will always be checking the internet about the name MARTIN BERKHAN w8ing for a dynamic comeback, that's for sure! i sure as hell believe that people feeling your itch will never keep themselves silent for a long time..That's their curse and they cant do anything about it.That is why the world is getting better.Because some people are willing to dive deep in that shitfull society and start cleaning her from the inside out not worrying about themselves, ready to face her wrath.The 8 hour diet shocked me.Anger was splitting at every angle.The idea that someone stole something that was rightfully Matin's made me so angry that i accidentaly flamed a friend once when he mentioned the diet (not being his fault though, how could he have known..)My friend, i dont know where life will take you.Maybe fate has it that you will remain with us or leave for the best which is also fine if that will make you happy.But from my percpective i feel indebted to keep shouting your name each time a new faggish expert claims this domain as his property or keeps telling bullshit about everything we learned with you, for that i am willing to learn more about nutrition and research evaluation and i will.That's the least we can do for you as you were so honest and integrated with us!And if we ever made you infurious with our comments , stupid questions about fasting and everything else.I already know that you understand the agony of being in the so called science era yet knowing so little true facts at all..., i know you already let those bad moments go to void.Because that is what kind of person your are.

Thanks for everything you learned and gave me with an honesty in extiction at this age(flaming is also in those things, flaming in a way means caring. if you dont care about someone then you dont speak to him at all) and i wish you the best of luck in whichever path you will choose to follow from now on.But i will always keep checking about you!!

Tim Lohrmann said...

Such wise words, just a lot of respect for your visions and staying absolutely true to you own morals and believes! Takes a lit of guts posting this all on here! Love the information and all the knowledge that you shared with us... Would love to be a client of yours not only for the results... But for being able to talk with you about nutrition, phycology and the world that's surroundings us with all it's make believe and dogma's.

Good luck with your future where ever it my lead you to!

Ciaoo and greetings from the Netherlands,

Tim Lohrmann

Nick Miles said...


Never commented on one of your posts before but would like you to know that I have been using LG for nearly a year now and it has transformed my life. Not a lot more else I can add but I wish you well for the future, good luck with turning right.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to see so much frustration. If I may suggest, you can think about why you do what you do.

Though you don't strike me as a religious person, the Bhagavad Gita puts supreme importance of doing things for the sake of doing them, without regards to the fruits of the actions. In that light, you have done/are doing amazing work and contributing to the fitness and nutrition community. You have transformed the lives of many people. Assuming you are able to make a living, any additional name and fame is purely for the ego.

Charlie Durrant said...

I really really hope you get your book out. You are taking so much pride in not being apart of the fitness community(nothing to sell etc), but you are. Get the book out, cash in and take a holiday. Even if you don't want the hype and money, use it to get your mum something nice and stop feeling bitched over. Be happy you have made so many peoples dreams become achievable! Mine included, my fathers, friends etc. Cash In fuck the world, go traveling anonymously, admire the Lunacy of the rest of the world. All the best man

Charlie Durrant said...

I really really hope you get your book out. You are taking so much pride in not being apart of the fitness community(nothing to sell etc), but you are, youve changed many peoples lives for the better. Get the book out, cash in and take a holiday. Even if you don't want the hype and money, use it to get your mum something nice and stop feeling bitched over.. Be happy you have made so many peoples dreams become achievable! Mine included, my fathers, friends etc. Cash In fuck the world, go traveling anonymously, admire the Lunacy of it all. All the best man

Yossif @ Angrynutrition said...

Martin - I am truly sad to see you go in this manner, but I can't blame you. I've seen but a glimpse of the bullshit you have to deal with and I understand why you'd feel this way. Just know you've changed my life for the better. You're like the shining mystical knight: clad in the glowing armor of truth, armed with the sword of simplicity, fighting off the enormous dragon of bullshit. It cannot be killed, but you still continue to fight it. Thank you for all you've done.

Anonymous said...

I don't post on leangains normally, but this post made me a bit sad and so I'll reply.

This is how the world works and it sucks. There's few fields, where this can't happen as much - academic math for example.
The actual data is relatively unimportant - it's about being to able to 'sell' stuff. It's about having a nice, funny way of writing, making a ton of analogies, and making an impression on the masses.

However Martin, you still have a lot to be proud of. While what is being done with intermittent fasting is normal fad bullshit, it's still you who 'pointed' for things to go in this direction of scientifically sound dieting.
Maybe not to the masses, but to a lot of skeptical, objective people who aren't actual nutrition researchers (or whatever you want to call us), you've pointed out how much dogma there is, and how something as simple as changing the time you eat, can make it easier for some to lose weight.

Gabriele said...

Dear Martin,

you always generate great content. The only problem is that it's never enough.

When are you going to publish a book? That would be a best-seller for sure.


Colin Howarth said...

Martin, I feel like I want to say many things but for brevity I will simply say thank you. Yours is the writing I look forward to most, incredibly inspirational. I hope you post more, but I also hope you do what makes you happy.

Joey Chiu said...

Dear Martin,

I just want to say Thank You for all your hard work! I have never been this fit/healthy/lean my entire life. You have made me become a better person physically and mentally. I have more patience, discipline, and perseverance.

This article on integrity has encouraged me to strive for justice, beneficence, and the common good. Use knowledge to seek the truth and promote it unselfishly.

I don't quite understand fully what has happened, but I do hope everything works out! Please stay positive and continue to be a good role model! This earth needs more people like you! Smart, honest, righteous and passionate!

I am a true believe these basic core principles are vital to success. Again, just want to say Thanks for changing my life! For the better of course! I'm excited to have discovered this blog and look forward to your future work no matter what it is!

Thanks for reading!
Much love, no homo

Tim R. said...

Martin, your work has been undeniably wonderful but people have been starving for the details. Your book would have filled that need and removed the vacuum that existed that allowed others to dump junk into the space.

I'm sure you realize that your lack of action on getting the promised book to market is what caused all of this trash to come to the market in the first place.

Would it have happened even if you published the book? Yes, most likely but then at least the cream would have risen to the top as the public realized where the real quality was. And if not the entire public, at least the portion of it that you are trying to target anyway.

Thank you for your contributions and best of luck.

mamaelvis said...

I like the post. What are you going to do, torture yourself wondering why so many take the low road? I think the answer is just expect & accept it and do your own thing, as you seem to have concluded. Thanks for putting out there what you have done so far. It obviously helped alot of people.

mamaelvis said...

People taking the low road.

Expect it & accept it. Which you seem to have arrived at.

Thanks for introducing the idea of fasting again. It has obviously helped alot of people.

Anonymous said...

Martin....if you haven't read Ayn Rand, you owe it to yourself to do so.....her writing and philosophy certainly have helped me keep my sanity over the last 30 years.

Anonymous said...

Bra för dig martin!

Anonymous said...

Martin, thanks for everything on this site. You are very professional and courteous, it's a shame people don't give you the respect you deserve. Happy New Year too, let's get those goals we both desire, thanks again!

Mestan said...

Reminded me of this guy

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that he was saying these about organic fertilizers in 1981.
Besides his comment on experts, though, he seem to be very different, very content and ego-free.
I guess that it easier to get rid of ego once you get a Nobel prize.
The ultimate way to satisfy one's ego, might be to convince yourself that you don't have one.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame you for being upset. Just like anything else there's always greed. You know when I read Men's Health stealing your stuff it pissed me off. Men's health helped me gained 70 lbs by eating small frequent meals bs.

mike said...

Secrets and riddles..mixed with angst
Martin, your one of the finest minds around regarding IF/training.
"We" waited for the long promised book.
You didn't write one.
Your annoyed that others write book, but use your stuff..
Thats what happens in the real world.
I could start talking about all the papers by scientists you use for your blog..
You tell us that you had better articles "witheld"..
But didn't produce them..
You complained about the Horizon program and its mistakes..but couldn't be bothered pointing them out..
You were going to review in depth Brad Pilons book..but didn't,
Then you posted a link where your rude to Brad for not answering a question about fasting..and mocked him since "you wrote a book on fasting"..and in the screen capture you show here..you don't actually answer the question..
I am sure you did later but you get my point..
You like to talking about no BS..there you go..
The way I see it is..
You either keep giving away brilliant information for free..
Or you sell it..in a book/private member site..whatever.
Your choice mate.. :)


Unknown said...

Well, I sincerely though that all the IF stuff that Martin explains in his website was bullshit. I tried on my own with the info that is in the website and I was surprised on how fast the fat was going away and keeping my muscle. Even now that I'm out of any training, I'm having trouble to put on weight again. There are some pros and cons, but definitely I would like to be trained by him some day when I resume my weight training routine.

Unknown said...

This guy deserves the credit that he has. I tried this stuff firmly believing that it was bullshit, but it worked beautifully. Even now that I've been out of any training for two months I hardly gained any fat. I definitely would like to be trained by him some day when I resume my weight training workouts.

hamwid said...

Hej Martin. Jag diggar din attityd! Särskilt på senaste avsnittet av Body Radio.

Läste att du skall börja ta dig an klienter igen.

Får jag ställa mig i raden till sökande?

Jag är inte ute efter att bli en powerlifter eller liknande. Bara bli rippad som fan och kunna käka gott ibland.

John Underdown said...

Mate, I think the same thing almost every day.

I used to be a teacher. I quit cos I was fed up being told by 'experts' that teachers were shit.

Now I coach, and I have 'experts' tell me I'm doing it wrong.

I can't keep quitting. And neither should you.

John Underdown said...

I used to teach science. I quit because I was fed up of 'experts' telling me how to do my job.

Now I coach, and I have 'experts' telling me I'm doing it wrong.

I can't keep quitting. And neither should you.

Legendis said...

Sad to read this. but (as a creative guy) i can totally understand you.
you did your best and others take the profit.
and even got the cockiness to diss you and your advice.
im from germany so its a bit far away. but if i was ever in your neigborhood, YOU would be my personal coach and i would grant you every cent ill pay you for your good work.
and its of course better than my grammar which you have prooved over and over again.

thanks for your effort, thanks for debunking many mysts a believed over years and thank you for staying around.

dont let them win without a struggle!

much obliged


robo25261 said...

Wow Martin, that was some post. Reading through it took me on an emotional rollercoaster :-) From a personal point of view I'm saddened and pleased that you are taking a step back. Saddened form a selfish perspective as your articles were always thought provoking and informative, but pleased you are following your gut and doing what feels right.

When I first came across your site, I thought you were crazy! I'd been living on a diet of magazine information / diet plans and what people at the gym said was the right thing to do (even if they were receiving some unnatural support). It came as a huge relief that there was a maintainable way to stay in shape without having to prepare 6 meals a day and give a huge amount of time to preparation.

Over the past 18 months I've completely changed my body, I'm a mile away from your condition, but am in my best shape ever - Thank you! I've always trained hard and eaten 'clean' in a traditional sense but never expected the transformation I've been through.

If you are wading against the river, you will get tired and that's certainly what you have been doing - with the river having the huge momentum of the fitness industry behind it. So take a rest on the bank for a while but please do come back. As I said earlier you make people THINK and question; that if your greatest gift to us all.

Thanks again.

Ryan said...

Hold your head high Berkhan. It sucks that there are frauds out there who steal your stuff and I can't even imagine how frustrating that would be. However, I think you should still be proud of all the good information that you have provided the public (for free) and the differences that you have made in people's lives. Thank you for what you have done as I have greatly benefited from it as well.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours and I understand why are leaving this behind.

Dawn A said...

Hey I just wanted to let you know that I first saw a piece about the 8 hour diet on TV (stay with me - I promise I am not insulting you) and it seemed interesting. So I researched online and after reading your work I said, "They stole this guy's work!" So, I assure you, to any educated person it is obvious. Plus I found your website so informative and inspiring I did change my diet and I have been doing IF and I feel amazing. I made an appointment at the Y to learn about free-weights (was using Nautilus before). You made a difference in my life and I appreciate your writing and work. Thank you. (And I know "thank you" doesn't pay rent either! Sorry about that.)

Cassandra said...

So are you taking new clients? Online or in person only?

Josh U said...

It's a lot to absorb. I read it twice.

Thank you Martin for all the info over the years. The Leangains way has really simplified and improved my life, and I continue to recommend it to others.

Wishing you all the best. Thanks for keeping it real, scientific and straightforward. We wouldn't have it any other way.

benjamin goodale said...

hey martin,
great post!, keep up the good work, and keep fighting the good fight!i personally have achieved some solid results with the leangains protocol, and really appreciate all of the great, free info you provide...and it's wickedly funny to boot.

Anonymous said...


You bother me. You think you're the only smart person out there who has had an issue with "their" knowledge being commandeered or the only person that has to deal with stupid people?

People are ignorant. Deal with it. If you're not here to help, then stop writing why, self-aggrandizing posts in your little mentally unstable bubble.

Relax, try to improve the world, lift some heavy shit, and die. Why get worked up in the mean time?

The truthseeker

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that very enlightening article Mr Berkhan.It was very thought provoking and well written. All I can say is I wish you the best for this new year filled with happiness and success. Take care!

A Schreiner said...

It is annoying to be copied that is for sure - but i will say i did find your site because I saw an article in a woman's magazine about the 8 hour diet. When i started reading it my first thought was, how did this diet get promoted in this magazine. Then i researched and found that diet was written by mens health magazine people, i was reading women's health. Then i looked it up online, and found a blog somewhere saying how it ripped your concept off. I found your site and have been reading it ever since. I am not foolish enough to be sold by marketers and fad diet BS - it's clear you are very knowledgable regarding the science of it all - and also you have a more relaxed attitude about also enjoying life. That's really important. I'll keep reading your ideas and never pick up that bought at the store.

Thanks for making this site. Ive been following your plan since i found it for a few weeks now and it has made me really less ravenously hungry. That was my only goal - not really to gain tons of muscle or lose weight.

yimyammer said...

Good stuff, hate to see you go, but thanks for all you do and have done

I hope I'm on your long list of folks that want personal training, is there any way to find out if I am (I've sent several emails in the past)?

yimyammer said...

Hate to see you go, but thank you for all your fine work!

Btw, how can I know if I am on your long list of people wanting to be trained (I've sent several emails in the past)

Anonymous said...

Shame to see you go!

Anonymous said...

Hoping you stick around and don't get too upset at the idea that folks steal and bastardise Leangains.

Unfortunately it's human nature.

No one in their right minds thinks Zincenko is legit. He's a real crook though.

At least the Twins and
rippedbody.jp go out of their way to give you props.

Hang in their martin.

Roland Homoki said...

I'm very thankful for all the infomation you shared. Like many others I can tell, that you changed the way I live my life.
I'm very busy (sometimes waking 4 am, working, running my small business, having kids), so I would have never found all these data. I'm happy even when you just share an extract, or somebody else's article.
My only advice is to pay attention to the good things, like people, who can understand the knowladge you share, who appreciate your efforts, that you know the truth :). Because in this fuckedup world you can find so much shit, that it can drive you crazy and depressed. And I can imagine how much shit you get because you stand out. Don't give attention to the stupid ones. It takes decades to the masses to accept new ideas :D They are a bit slow. But all the intelligent people follow you ;)

daniel sivori said...

Martin:Din upptäckt är också bra och ditt beteende är oklanderlig och ärlig. Jag antar att det inte är någon lag av allsmäktighet det faktum som du kan patentera din upptäckt, så att ingen använder det för vinst. Minibuss önskar du fortsätta framåt med Leangains, än jag ayudo mycket till mi och tiotusentals människor runt om i världen. Daniel Sivori.
Martin:Din upptäckt är också bra och ditt beteende är oklanderlig och ärlig. Jag antar att det inte är någon lag av allsmäktighet det faktum som du kan patentera din upptäckt, så att ingen använder det för vinst. Minibuss önskar du fortsätta framåt med Leangains, än jag ayudo mycket till mi och tiotusentals människor runt om i världen. Daniel Sivori

Anonymous said...

Name names!

Anonymous said...

Hey man- if youre going to stop posting youve got it all wrong. Screw the "complex". You are ahead of the times. Big money runs this era, not the truth. Just keep spittin' knowledge and those who take the time to read and look at the facts will continue to enjoy your work. Ive been on this site for 30 minutes and youve already proven so much of the bullshit mainstream floods us with false. Stay strong dude.

Trogen läsare said...

Haha jag hade ingen aning om att du var skåning! Jag trodde du var en snobbig uppsvensk men du pratar ju fan grövre skånska än jag :)

Shawn Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn Johnson said...

Thank you, Martin. You have been a light in a world of money-making darkness - the fitness industry. Prior to coming across your site, I had wasted so much money on bullshit that gave me nothing but a deeper dent in my wallet. Thank you for enlightening me and all of your fans simply by providing the truth. Thank you for not spoon feeding me opinions, but rather just telling it like it is and allowing facts to speak for themselves. Thank you for having the courage to say "I don't know" when the facts simply weren't there. I no longer accept information blindly from the so-called "experts."Keep on keeping it real!

Shawn Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regretfully anonymous said...

I do this anonymously, because I don't know you and you don't know me. My opinion counts for nothing and I guess and hope that you'll read this and won't let it through. But whatever. For some reason, I felt I should comment. Probably in one part, because what you wrote is so personal.

I do feel like I can relate. I'm not as accomplished as you, and might never be. However, I relate to "the itch", that driving urge to master my little scientific interest. I'm currently studying sports med for my msc, reading a lot of articles. Going into nutrition, injuries, performance, and psychology.

That is why I like your writing, the scientific integrity. You avoid making leangains (or IF) out to be some kind of magic that breaks the rules of physiology. You don't start my BS alarm ringing (it's very sensitive, so I can't read mainstream stuff). However, studying psychology (sports psychology, but it's the same principles), it's rather like watching a public burn-out. It seems to me that you're emotionally invsted in this site and now it's time to move on. I think that you are making the right decision for you, and I'm happy for you. Personally, I think it's sad to see you stop writing but the good stuff isn't made in frustration and with negative emotions, you know?

I also relate to the intolerance of bullshit. Because I like your writing (scientific, not much B.S., entertaining attitude and background checks out!), I sometimes come across some articles "debunking" your stuff. I imagine it really must be frustrating. Every industry very likely has plenty of bullshit. I can't say I look forward to it, I'm more of a direct type of person (like I judge you to be) and I expect I'll respond in much the same way, just a little less public.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Please don't publish this, just know that at least one reader/fan appreciates this. Not just the science, information etc. But the honesty and bringing your personality into leangains. Good luck in the future, not that you need it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,
I have been stalking this area for a bit now and I must say I am impressed with the research and results people have experienced.

I think it's time that I start to act on it and join the fun.
Is there a way I can contact you? I'm looking for some more clarity in the diet () and possibly exercise routine (intensity, reps, full vs split etc... ). I'm not necessarily asking for you to babysit me but instead point in the right direction (ill do the walking) for me . Would highly appreciate.

Despite your decision for my request I am impressed with the accuracy, determination and result of this blog. It really highlights how dangerous information, especially in the field, can be misleading by the word of mouth from an uninformed person (impressed with the debunk myth post).

Today I officially start the routine (exercise/supplements/diet control). I hope that soon I too can join the ranks in the success stories/testimonials.

Looking forward to writing the review and testimony.

Off topic : I love the ignorant look from my peers when I inform them of my newly initiated routine (hoping I do correctly).

Anonymous said...

Wow, martin, this was just great man.
Feels good to feel sincerity, honesty.

I really liked the bonus, it shed a light into the beliefs i have that were fading to black.

Respect from a 6-month leangainer from Brazil,

Jason said...

Keep it up Martin. Although you may not be cut out to write a book, maybe a writer could work with you to put words on paper. Just a thought.

callingnew said...

Thanks for helping me learn how to train properly Martin. Sorry about the rats in your cellar.

Matt F said...

Good article. I'm surprised you've lasted as long as you have.

Shine on,

Anonymous said...

If you don't particularly feel like writing/publishing your book, but still want to get paid for your writing, have you considered a monthly article subscription service? Something like AARR but with articles instead of research reviews (or whatever the hell you want). Just an idea.

3DSumoWrestler said...

Hey Man. Chiming in late. Just wanted to say thanks to you for giving many of us a different option to live life and fitness. I know for many of us, it not only changed the way we eat and train, but the way we think. No longer do we blindly follow anyone, including you. What you've taught us is to question everything. I can tell you that you've changed my life and, in turn, I've been able to share what I've learned with more than a handful of people. No one is forced to do anything a certain way, but everyone is at ease w/the knowledge that there is a different way to do eat, train, and live.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop writing Martin. Leangains is an oasis of reason in a sea of bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Prob not much, considering he is a former client of martins.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. It's like the guy who made the polio vaccine saying only he could distribute it. Who cares if you "created" the info in the long term. Better to let it permeate, rather than sit in the dark recesses of your mentally unstable mind, no?

Anonymous said...

"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend."

-- Bruce Lee

Chris Coldicott said...

Martin, it actually grieves me to hear of your experience in this industry and your despondency towards it, for you are, without a doubt, my hero. Only after discovering your content, which you graciously displayed for free, was I able to unmask the bullshit theories that I had been following and finally break through my plateaus and achieve my desired results. Because of you I really got into the science of physiology and started reading study after study, relishing in my ever-expanding knowledge of a field I eventually fell in love with. Because of you I started to question things that I was told by the media and by society, and uncovered an astonishing number of truths that were previously unknown to me, which have since directed the course of my life to where I am today. When I think about it, reading your posts on the Leangains website was probably the root - the starting point from which I built myself up to today. I'm now going into business with my best friends while still in university - I know more about Science, philosophy and life than I thought I ever could because you inspired me. And I just want to say that no matter how bad things get, how many people wrongfully steal your work and turn it against your cause, that what you do is ultimately for good, and that, in the end, good wins out. Look at slavery, look at homophobia, look at unequal rights for women - these things were eventually recognised as the reprehensible practices that they were and I can promise you, even if I have to do it myself, that the truth will be revealed and the good will be uncovered. And I hope on that day you're there to guide everyone towards a fitter, brighter and leaner future. Keep up all of the things that make you happy, Martin, you've done enough. We'll take it from here :)

Steve stewart said...

I would be stuck doing Broscience without your hospitality. THANKS A TON!!

Steve stewart said...

Thanks for your knowledge Martin, you have gotten me out of Broscience! You have made a big impact on the industry.

Chad said...

Just wanted to say thank you - you have changed many lives for the better, including mine.

It is my opinion that those on the right path will always be met by naysayers, detractors, imitators and parasites. Just like facing a formidable cheesecake, true victory will only come by laughing in their face and plowing on.

I understand that you are extremely weary. I also do not propose that I would be any less disenchanted given the same experience. I do hope, however, that you find it in you to post from time to time - if not for those who look to you for inspiration, then purely to say f*ck you to everyone else.

Dave said...

That email reply is amazing and one of the best things I've read in a long time.
I feel for you Martin. All the best. You've done great things.

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,

I don't know if you'll actually read all of this this, but I appreciated your article.

I've been been noticing this pattern in too many other people, and having similar feelings myself. People who are actually at the top of the field (I mean world-class, best in the world, not just getting A's, doing well) frequently burn out because they are tired of all the BS, while those people that are less talented, but able to handle the BS rise to the top.

I am in academica and am sad to say that the researchers I consider superlative have either burned out and quit academia, or are doing "just" fairly well. Meanwhile, less talented researchers who care more about fame and ego than actual research are the ones winning international distinctions, getting the big funding grants or jobs, and so on. It sucks, and is disheartening. They are also the ones publishing sub-par content in prestigious journals, while solid work gets relegated to minor journals.

As a young researcher in training, my career benefited from working with these publicity-minded researchers. My work was published well and I landed good positions, partly, for sure, because of my mentors' marketing skills. Now, as I transition toward an independent program, I am trying very hard to avoid becoming cynical. Sometimes, when I can't stand the way the BS establishment runs the system - they are the ones who control funding, jobs, publishing, and so on - I just want to quit. But I love my research, and I love the other researchers - the young ones in training and the non-famous ones who just care about their work without any ego. And I want to cheer those guys on and help them do well. It's just that everyone "in charge"... not so much.

It gets very tiring or depressing. I've noticed this occur in other fields and professions as well. Arts, business, you name it.

I would be happy to say "fuck it" and just work with the people I respect... but at least in my field, you can't really continue professionally without partaking in the system somewhat.

For now, my answer is to focus on what is most important to me in life - my friends and family - and not take my profession too seriously. That doesn't mean that I don't do a good job. Just that I don't give a damn about how successful I am, as long as I get to enjoy it, more like a hobby or passion, than a profession.

If you come up with other answers, I would love to hear them! And by the way, in my opinion, anyone encouraging you not to "give up" but keep fighting the good fight, while they conveniently watch from the sidelines, is a total selfish asshat. You don't owe anybody but yourself (and maybe whoever changed your diapers :) ) a goddamn thing.

Patrik said...

Hi martin, I have been on lean gains since my 15, for about 5 months, i would like to ask something about pre workout meal.. if i train at 3 pm, can I break my fast with just tin of tuna (150kcals,30g protei) ?? do i need something more ?? like BCAAs ?? or is it enough for me ??

Sebastian said...

You have given us is an awesome tool, which we can use to our advantage or disadvantage purely based upon how much effort we put into reading, and piecing it together for individual use.

How can there be wrong or dissent in that?

I have been weight lifting on and off for years.
I never even realized that what "ripped guy in the gym told me" had become my reality, that I was actually living my life based upon such "realities" before I stumbled across this site.

I realise now that most of what I knew (more like thought I knew) and did was simply blind faith.

Thanks to you, I've been trying to go through everything I do and find the correct (at least what I can discern without education, sifting through all the bs) "methods" that work optimally.

In the past couple of months, I have had tremendous gains, I measured myself at an inbody720 machine and got the spectacular 6% bf result (this while gaining pb's in many exercises and still gaining in strength).

The tools you give work.

Please don't deprive us of this wonderful site of

Felix said...

Martin one word - "You are a Legend"

Anonymous said...

Man, fu*k other people and fu*k the world. What matters is you and your life and those that understand your philosophy. If you know you are the best in this field, don't concern yourself with petty critics coming from petty people and give all you got to produce the best book ever.

That is the only right answer to the confusion and to the anger you are feeling. And you probably know that better then anyone else.

Shut all the haters and amaze your fans with the best product ever written until now on Leangains and Intermittent Fasting. That's the only right way to pull through this situation.

Whatever you decide to do, wish you all the best. Your articles until now have been much appreciated.

ManVsTime said...

The selfish part of me says "Don't stop Martin" but I get it. I studied martial arts for 14 years, I LOVED IT, trained like mad, got my black belt, became an Instructor, opened schools, became a regional examiner, etc, etc. But ultimately the politics and the McDojo attitude ruined it for me. I decided to take a break but never went back. Over ten years later I still haven't. "They" killed every bit of passion I had left for it.

I can't say that made me feel much better. I enjoyed teaching. I felt like I let my students down but a bitter/twisted mentor is not a good one. I hope you can salvage your passion for your art and continue to share your knowledge and educate an appreciative audience.

Anonymous said...

Jag skriver detta halvanonymt för det kan verka lite bögigt--> men du är nog den enda person som jag inte känner, som jag respekterar. Inga överdrifter. Det är så det ligger till. Om du en trevlig kille? Det har inget med något att göra.

Respekten går inte att förklara i en sån här bloggkommentar. Det närmaste jag kan komma till att förklara varför det är så är att rekommendera dig till att läsa boken "Och världen skälvde" av Ayn Rand. Du behöver inte gilla den (prosan är skit), men du kommer respektera den.

Du är John Galt - Du låter inte heller roffarna få ta det som är ditt. Det enda vapen dom har är ditt medgivande. Ge dom det fan aldrig.

/Göran V

Anonymous said...

Martin, I never posted on your blog before, but wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your contributions. LeanGains has changed everything I learned from so called "experts" in this industry. It is liberating to follow an eating style that makes me happy, is easy to follow with disciplined consistency, and produces utterly amazing results. Best wishes to you Martin. I hate seeing all the bullshit of the industry weighing down on you. Honestly, nothing will change. You will always face the same bullshit you wrote about. Thanks for continuing to put up with it for this long. I hope you find a way to derive pleasure in writing again! I will miss your excellent articles that are truly original and innovative.

Anonymous said...

Hey Martin, earlier today during my fast I dislodged a large peice of beef that was in between my teeth. I am worried I just blew my fast. I am on day 4 now of leangains without much progress . Please advise.

Anonymous said...

Martin, thanks for helping a 16 year old out of an eating disorder. All the best, Matt from Florida.

Anonymous said...

Martin, you're just going through what every intelligent productive person has to deal with once they realise just how fucked up society really is.

Your writing has affected more people than you will ever know, and frankly it took your work in cutting through the bullshit for many, including myself, to understand how it is possible to sculpt the physique that we truly desire.

All i can say is that most people who know me think i am working some kind of magic as I lean down before their very eyes eating and exercising in ways that they cannot imagine ever working. They don't believe me when i explain it, they don't believe me when i tell them it is easy. Yet they cannot explain it in any other way.

Your work isn't even close to being done :)

Anonymous said...

Martin what ever you decide to do just know you have changed my life and I'm sure all that follow you in a way we could never repay you for. I wish there were more leaders who shared your open mind and out side the box thinking. If there were the world would be a better place. I will continue to frequent this site as long as it exist. I hope it never goes away. I wish you nothing but the best of luck in all your endeavors.

Lean gainer from Texas

Anonymous said...

you know what dude you have been talking about a book for the several years.. we all highly doubt you are ever going to finish it and release for everyone to have the same success you and your clients have had. Your "leangains guide" is a decent guide but with missing information that is in other posts. Your entire site has information spread across different posts and it is difficult for one to actually comprehend it without spending countless hours on it. We need a book or at least an actual guide.. not everyone can do it by themselves. A lot of people need STEP BY STEP instructions. Stop just thinking about writing and actually do it. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what you choose to do in the future, thank you for all the time and effort you put into Leangains. It's changed my life for the best.

Rodrigo said...

hey martin, how can I get you to be my online personal trainer?? Is there a way to contact you? 'Cause I found nothing at the website.

Anonymous said...

Life is tough, or is it your mind playing tricks on you? stop thinking about the negative things in life, I mean, is it really real?
You know something I and others are willing to pay for. Write the book. Write what you want. I want to read it. That is because from reading your blog I under the impression that is going to be worth it.

That is right, stop fucking around. Finish what you started.

a fan.

Anonymous said...

Just found your sight the other day and am completely stoked! You seem to have helped and been a figure of information and integrity for ALOT of people.

It saddens me that you're in a down faze, caring too much about what lesser people do. I hope to see you spring back as a buddha or jesus. Someone with integrity doling out wisdom and truth.

Good luck man!

Paloma said...

Dear Martin,
Thanks for your research and time spent here writing those fantastic articles. I am very new to IF/LG but since I started to skip breakfast (3 months ago) I am in a perfect mood all the time, have loads of energy and face everyday problems with a smile. :)
That has been a great change for me, because I was diagnosed with depression 7 months ago, couldn't go to work for a month and as a mother of two and full time working with a husband that works around the clock I can't believe the improvement I have made without any medication (apart from my weight train).
You have already contributed to a better world, a better life for most of us, so thank you!
Bear in mind that visionaries are always criticized, that's an universal rule. Be proud because you are a great man.

Anonymous said...

What was the thing in the fasting Documentary that was false? I saw it quite a while ago, but I do remember that one of the doctors said IGF-1 is bad for you and you should lower it, which I thought was incorrect. IGF-1 is a sign you are in an anabolic(growth) state and you want to balance this out with periodically being in a catabolic(breakdown) state i.e.fasting, strong exercise.

Anonymous said...


I don't know you, you don't know me but rest assure that you changed my life with the information you provided to all of us through your page.

I can never ever thank you enough. I understand what you're feeling...people doubting you with whatever stupid argument they come up with; the anger, the frustration, etc.
I just want you to know that some of us appreciate you and your passion and I sincerely wish you the best.

Greeting from Mexico!

Anonymous said...

Understand how you feel, the choice you have is to either walk away from your core values, surrender to the lifeless leeches out there, or, wage your internal war against them, stand up for your rights & principles,

because time passes and YOU could be the last man proudly standing "integrity" congruent & intact.

Cheers, Pete

1cc said...

Martin has been playing Far Cry 3, I see...

Anonymous said...


Quit whining, get off your ass and write your book. I'd buy it.

- Your fan

Chris said...

I'm sure readers of this site appreciate what you have given them for these years. However, I'd like to think that they would be even more grateful if you did put together the book and sold it to them at a reasonable price. And for the quality information that you give, you can charge a good price for the product. Why not focus on the outcome you can achieve and put your efforts into marketing the book-everybody is going to gain more from that. You probably could have done that in half the time you spent on writing this article. In short, stop complaining and make yourself some good money. Please. You deserve it.

edward fernandez said...

Hello Martin, as an aspiring film maker I can empathize with your outlook on society and the industries which reward the disingenuous. I want to show the world the beautiful films I want to create. Unfortunately, my industry, like yours, is rife with money seeking charlatans who want to make next year's anthropomorphic cat/dog movie. similar to your views on the term "expert," I cringe when they have the gall to call themselves "artists." Lastly, I'd like you to know that your website has helped me lose 80lbs in the last six months, I'm currently 290lbs. When I first discovered this site I read every article here in about a week. I intend to do that again beginning today. Martin, your genuine curiosity and altruism has restored my faith in humanity. I wish you well on all your future endeavors.

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

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