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Building Muscle On An Intermittent Fasting Protocol!

Many people are curious about intermittent fasting protocols. Can you still effectively build muscle? Here are 3 things you need to try. Learn more.

By: Shannon Clark

Article Summary:
  • To build muscle while fasting your day must be set up right.
  • Make sure to get the bulk of your calories after your workouts.
  • Try to eat your first meal of the day before 5 in the morning.

  • Building Muscle On An Intermittent Fasting Protocol!

    Many people are starting to grow curious about some of the intermittent fasting diet protocols that are starting to be used. In some cases, your decision to adopt such an approach to your diet is due to the fact that you run a busy lifestyle and don't have time to spend cooking numerous meals each day and sitting down to eat them.

    Fasting Could Be Beneficial To Those Who Don't Have Time To Cook Numerous Meals Each Day.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Fasting Could Be Beneficial To Those Who Don't
    Have Time To Cook Numerous Meals Each Day.

    In other cases, you may choose to adopt this way of eating because of certain beliefs, such as during the Ramadan period where you fast from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    What Is Ramadan?
    Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality.

    Whatever your particular situation, you may wonder whether you can still effectively build muscle using this design set-up. Many individuals are quick to assume it's impossible, but if you spend some time setting up your day correctly, it's far from it.

    Here are the main things to know to maximize your success rate.


    Commit To Late Night Training Sessions

      If you are having a specific time period where you are going to fast (such as the 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. set-up), then you're best off placing your workouts in the evening hours since most people are not going to be able to get up much earlier than 5 a.m. to perform them.

      Since you should be eating before any form of resistance training, performing them mid-way through the day is out of the question. You'd also need to take in both protein and carbohydrates after the training session to kick-start the recovery process, something that also wouldn't be permissible if you were fasting all day long.

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      If you're training later on in the evening, this makes it convenient to have a smaller dinner meal as soon as you get home from work to pre-fuel the workout session.

      You can then workout at 7:30 p.m. for sixty minutes (however long your workout typically lasts), still allowing you to be out of the gym by about nine so you can get in another really good meal before going to bed at 10:00 p.m.


    Place The Bulk Of Your Calories Immediately After Your Workout

      The second thing you should be doing on this type of set-up is being sure you are placing the bulk of your calories immediately after the workout period. This is because it is at this point the body will most likely use them for generating lean muscle mass and because it will help to really boost your recovery from the workout itself.

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      So what you need to do is first figure out your calorie requirements in order to build muscle. Then take in about 20% of those calories right before the workout period, using a mix of both protein and carbs.

      After that, you then consume 60% of your total calories in the time period immediately after your workout until you go to bed (you can spread this into 2-3 meals over the next 2-4 hours if you wish).

      It will likely be a high number of calories to take in, however if you're focusing on as calorie dense of foods as possible (raw oats, dried fruit, bagels, red meat, etc.) then you should be able to get it in.

    Focus On Calorie Dense Foods Such As Red Meat.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Focus On Calorie Dense
    Foods Such As Red Meat.

      Also, since it's so soon after the workout period, with this type of diet set-up you're better off utilizing a higher carb diet for building muscle rather than a low carb, high fat variation. This is due to the fact that immediately after the workout period you want mostly carbs, so providing higher amounts of fats in this time could be detrimental.

      You don't have to eliminate all fats; you could have a large carb/protein meal immediately after training and then a higher fat/protein meal just before bed if you prefer, but try and keep the food intake right after the workout lower in total fat.

      Since fats are more calorie dense and easier to eat in higher volume (nuts, nut butters, oil, etc) it can be easier than trying to shove down more carbs when you're already feeling quite full.

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    Aim To Eat Something Just Before 5 A.M.

      Finally, the last thing you should do on this type of intermittent fasting set-up for building muscle is to eat something as soon as you wake up. For those who are just fasting for convenience sake, you can have this at any point depending on your natural wake-up time.

      If you're someone who is following Ramadan, then you should aim to wake up just before the fast begins (at 4:30 a.m.) and eat a slow digesting source of quality protein, such as cottage cheese along with more red meat, making up the last 20% of your total calorie intake.

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      Some carbs or fat can certainly be added to this meal as well, but be sure you are taking in at least 35% of your daily protein needs at this time (this is to provide your body with a steady stream of amino acids while you perform the fasting period throughout the day).

      If you wish to go back to sleep after eating, that is your decision. It may seem like a nuisance getting up to eat and then going back to sleep, but since that really early meal is only for a limited time period (during Ramadan), it's not something you'll have to do for long.

      If you naturally just get up that early for work, then it shouldn't be an issue in the first place.


    Conclusion

    So be sure you keep these points in mind. Attempting to do higher volume, intense workouts while maintaining an extremely low calorie intake due to a prolonged fasting period will backfire on you eventually.

    In time the body will become glycogen depleted and will not be able to keep up and recover effectively. To prevent this, you will have to get used to force eating, but as time goes on and you utilize this approach, it will feel more normal and natural to you.

    Building Muscle On An Intermittent Fasting Protocol!
    ShannonC_77@yahoo.ca

    Back To Shannon Clark's Main Page

    Back To The Articles Main Page.

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    Vynx

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    Vynx

    Trying it now, seems legit.

    Jul 15, 2012 6:06am | report
    etibek

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    etibek

    better to start the fast during sleep, i.e. for me, fast starts at 700pm, fast ends at 1200pm, this keeps my fast at 16hours, and my feed within 8hours. train fasted with 10g BCAA's then take in majority of Cals post workout

    Sep 4, 2012 3:06pm | report
    HerculesLifter9

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    HerculesLifter9

    Completely agree man! I fast during my sleep as well... I start fasting at 10pm and start my eating at 12pm! High fats and protein meals before my workout at 5pm and then high carb and protien after my workout! then repeat! Good luck with the gains!

    Mar 10, 2014 3:34am | report
    • Body Stats
    • ht: 14'11"
    • wt: 179.45 lbs
    • bf: 16.0%
    bendeziel

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    bendeziel

    Agreed. Training fasted is the best part about it. As long as you take 10g of BCAAs 5-15 mins pre-workout then you activate the mTOR pathway which inhibits the increased protein breakdown of fasted training and takes advantage of the increased post-workout anabolic response. Walk on the treadmill for 30 mins to an hour after and you'll be shredded in no time.

    Mar 10, 2014 9:25pm | report
    froelichsm

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    froelichsm

    This article is all wrong. There's so many different variations to intermitent fasting and this is getting close to a decent structure, but still off. Best to do like etibek says and start you fast before you normally go to sleep. Also the benefits of fasted training and hormone levels are not discussed here, which plays a huge role in this type of diet. Warrior diet, leangains, eat stop eat, are all great variations of intermintent fasting. Do the research!

    Oct 26, 2012 9:55am | report
    Twconklin

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    Twconklin

    good info

    Article Rated:
    Nov 15, 2012 12:34pm | report
    CoachA33

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    CoachA33

    I fast during Ramadan and this is almost exactly how I go about my day! I typically stuck with my High fiber Oatmeal and eggs in the morning. I would eat a plate of chicken and rice or a sweet potato..go workout and then I would eat more chicken and rice.. I honestly felt great after about the 10th day of fasting and my body was adjusted.

    The only problem was if I took a preworkout- it was difficult to fall asleep some times.

    Nov 28, 2012 11:47am | report
    Rosshowse

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    Rosshowse

    Great articale been doing this for a while and I lost about a stone (14 pounds) in a month, thats without cardio!

    Today Im guna be starting a new 12 week program.

    Any reccomendations from this site?

    Goal = Size

    Jan 7, 2013 2:54am | report
    DevrinB

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    DevrinB

    I am currently trying intermittent fasting to reduce my bodyfat to about 5%. The way that I do it is, I eat my last meal between 7 and 8 pm and I don't eat until between 11 am and 12 noon. I usually workout about 9 am and sometimes even at 4 am. I figure that I may be able to burn a little extra fat between my workout and the time I eat my first meal. I'm pretty new to this so if anyone has anyone suggestions, I'd really appreciate it.

    Feb 18, 2013 11:36pm | report
    Jsnyd33

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    Jsnyd33

    This article seems a little misleading. Seems like more of a weightlifters guide to Ramadan, not Intermittent fasting. Better to do as the others have suggested and fast during sleep. 11-7, 12-8, 9-3. As long as your fasting state is longer then your feeding state (and you're getting the right calories) you're doing it right. Working out during your fast, or breaking your fast with a pre-work out or protein shake is good practice.

    Apr 26, 2013 6:17am | report
    foreverkid37

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    foreverkid37

    on my 3rd day ... grumpy :-) but lets see how it goes...

    Article Rated:
    May 8, 2013 12:25pm | report
    sarmaddashti

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    sarmaddashti

    Great!

    Jul 3, 2013 10:38am | report
    fakam

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    fakam

    hope this will help me out.

    Jul 4, 2013 7:28pm | report
    kitkat__777

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    kitkat__777

    excellent
    ramadan will start tomorrow
    usually i do nearly the same as posted above
    this year i am in London the fasting is about 19 hours :-)
    only 5 hours to train, eat & drink

    Jul 8, 2013 9:37pm | report
    larabification

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    larabification

    good luck dude!
    30 days to go
    till the EID

    Jul 10, 2013 8:08am | report
    Norhan4191

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    Norhan4191

    Thank you!

    Jul 10, 2013 9:52am | report
    • Body Stats
    • ht: 11'11"
    • wt: 143.5 lbs
    • bf: 17.8%
    zan986

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    zan986

    Really useful during Ramadan, thanks for the tips..

    Jul 10, 2013 4:39pm | report
    Showing 1 - 17 of 17 Comments

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