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Clean Bulking With Intermittent Fasting
If you’re into bodybuilding you may have heard the term “intermittent fasting.”
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting (usually meaning consumption of water only)…
Although this strategy is typically used for fat burn and may seem like a strange way to gain muscle mass, by only eating food for a short period of time in a day, it can actually work to your advantage if done correctly. This can be a great diet plan to adopt to get the muscle size that you seek while avoiding unnecessary fat gains while “bulking”.
Bulking on Intermittent Fasting (IF)
On this plan you’ll be eating your calories at set a period of the day and then not eating at all for several hours. You will need to maintain a caloric surplus by getting enough calories into your body during your “feeding window”. Use my simple hardgainer diet plan formula to calculate exactly how many calories YOU will need in order to maintain a caloric surplus. Ideally you’ll want to eat all of your calories in a 6-8 hour window. I would recommend a feeding window of 12pm-6pm or 12pm-8pm. Once you have chosen the hours in which you will be consuming your calories, you can then schedule your meals accordingly.
Following this approach means you will need to consume the 2000-3000+ calories in a selected period of time and then fast for the rest of the day. Avoid eating foods that are low calorie as you won’t meet your calorie goals for the entire day.
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Intermittent Fasting Schedule Example:
12pm: Meal 1
2pm: Meal 2
5pm: Meal 3
7pm: Meal 4
Training on IF
I recommend fitting your training session somewhere during your 6-8 hour feeding window, but it is NOT required that you do. Although I tend to train better when fasted, you should eat before and after your exercise if you feel too weak to train in a fasted state. Some (like me) can pull it off, but others should never try working out in the middle of a fast if you simply don’t have the energy to complete the workout. If you do decide to consume a pre-workout meal, make sure you rest for a bit and let your food digest before your training session. The amount of meals you consume is completely up to you, just make sure you get all the calories that you need for the day in the given window.
After your workout you might find the recovery process easier if you get the majority of your carbohydrates directly after training. This works to restore your muscle glycogen levels which may or may not be depleted after an intense session. Some people might find they don’t need to do this, but it’s always best to just listen to your body. If you want to minimize fat gains, I recommend scheduling your carbohydrate in take around your workout while you’re active or your metabolic rate is increased.
Is Intermittent Fasting for You?
This plan can be different for everyone. Decide when you’re going to eat and when you’re going to fast. Make sure to take into consideration your personal life and schedule before deciding to try intermittent fasting. This approach, although beneficial, is not for everyone and certainly not NECESSARY for clean bulking. This is simply just another approach/technique that some may find helpful.
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