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bodybuilding and fasting

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15 Jul 2011 15:32 #8417 by slimfitguy
slimfitguy created the topic: bodybuilding and fasting
anybody experiences, especialy the male ones, with gym workout and budybuilding during a fasting. Did you need to change your workout routines?

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15 Jul 2011 17:13 #8422 by cory
cory replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
I personally don't go to the gym but I do exercise six days a week, during my long fast (4 days dry/28 days water/8 days juice) I had to change my workouts but strength/flexibility workouts seem to be effected least by fasting while cardio especially endurance ones seems worse affected.

But for shorter fasts and now for medium fasts (7 days dry fast) I can continue my normal workout routines which are currently more cardio based as trying to lose more fat but also I use some weights/resistance bands for strength training. I personally completed the beachbody workouts insanity/insanity asylum and currently doing the turbofire while fasting.

Like most things when you start out you will find it harder to workout while fasting but will slowly improve over time.

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15 Jul 2011 18:22 #8423 by Marsh
Marsh replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
I go to the gym, but only to CV and light weights - all for running. Never could "body build" anyway, as I've always been a slight build, and not interested in "buff", anyway.
When fasting, I find the gym is okay, but lifting weights is harder, compared to normal cv and swimming.

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16 Jul 2011 05:30 #8444 by slimfitguy
slimfitguy replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
i didn´t notice a big difference between 1rst and 2nd day of fasting, but on the 3rd day i felt weaker and had to do less repetitions.
I didn´t do workout in gym but pull ups, push ups and other bodyweight exercises, which normaly are the hardest.

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19 Oct 2011 15:50 - 19 Oct 2011 16:16 #9295 by Sadasius
Sadasius replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
Well here is a good topic. I for one am a retired IFBB competing bodybuilder. Now for building muscle I have always found it easy as I have good genetics for building muscle. My friends hate me for it. Working out while fasting is a very unique situation. I actually build muscle during a fast and here is why.

For the 1st 10 days I am actually getting stronger when doing heavy lifting. The only difference you will notice at first is that glycogen stores are gone so you are not going to have the energy in the same way. You have to mentally break that energy barrier and once you do you will notice something odd. You are actually stronger physically. Every time I fast I have to increase the weight used to actually be able to have a proper workout. Sound strange? Yeah it did to me at first as well.

I remember fasting the first time a few years ago and the information I got was from this website helped keep my motivated during my trials in fasting. For awhile I did not come here because I have incorporated fasting into my lifestyle. I fast at least 10 times a year as needed to detox my system and to keep it on track to keep burning fat and building muscle. I do not bodybuild like I used to for health reasons because to be able to compete your looking into a very dark area in sports concerning steroids and that is not an area you want to get into.

As for changing the routine you will have to experiment with yourself. Find your area in the fast where you are strongest and take advantage of that new strength as it will actually help you accelerate muscle building especially when you get off the fast. It is a kind of slingshot effect that I noticed incredible results that are very dramatic.

After a few times doing it you will notice it gets better and you will know the times to change your routine to take advantage of the new strength. The weakness you had felt was not actually muscle weakness, it was the lack of glycogen in your muscles. The muscles will pull in energy but not in the same way it seems. Kind of feels like the energy seeps into the muscle instead of relying on the glycogen stores within the muscle that makes the energy instantly. So it is kind of an endurance run muscle wise and that is what is making you think you are weaker when your not. Fight through that feeling mentally and you will see something awesome. That you are indeed stronger.

One thing you have to realize is that the hunter gatherer in us broke through that barrier mentally because hunger drove them through it as opposed to us who are fasting willingly. So since doing weights will not feed our hunger it stands to reason we have to push our motivation as our energy needs are no longer instant like in using glycogen stores. So the hunter will have the strength when called up by the body to catch his/her food. So knowing our evolutionary traits can help us take advantage of our system and incorporate it into our daily living/workouts.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

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19 Oct 2011 21:10 #9297 by slimfitguy
slimfitguy replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
that sounds realy interesting. How long do you fast then and how much do you exercise during fasting?
How much weight do you loose during a fast?

I think also that the weaknes is more a mental thing and forces can be activated by willpower.

Question is only if that works, the body burns fat or muscles then?

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19 Oct 2011 22:30 - 19 Oct 2011 22:35 #9298 by Sadasius
Sadasius replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
I fast anywhere from 3 days to 14 days several times throughout the year. I tailor my fasts to my needs. If I ate some processed foods during a certain time I would increase the fast days to help offset the toxins I let in and also body composition. If I notice I had gained a couple pounds where I do not want it then I will increase my fast days and tailor my workout to target that specific area.

There is a trick to keep the body from burning muscle. Eat fat before the fast as it will make the body used to using that as energy. Also when you fast you do shrink from water lose. Do not forget that muscles are 85% or more of water and fat is much less. To me it is something to brag about when a muscle is depleted of water and yet is still stronger then when full and full of glycogen. It is very interesting. After all it is why people took creatine monohydrate powder in drinks as it made the muscle stronger by pulling more water into the muscle making it much more taught increasing tendon strength. So even though your muscle look like they shrank they did not. Once you eat again they will fill back up again with the water and glycogen looking once again more full.

It was a bodybuilding trick for some time actually that 2 to 3 days before a competition you would dry fast for those days and then on competition day you would quickly load up on simple carbs and drink a certain amount of water to body ratio. It was important to take the right amounts so you did not look blurry under the heavy lights on the stage. It made the muscle bellies really full and the extensive dieting before the competition really made the separation that much more apparent.

During a fast sometimes I will not lose any weight at all. Reason being is that muscle weighs much more due to higher water content then fat. If I gained some muscle it may offset the amount of fat I have lost and look like I lost nothing but in fact I gained muscle and lost fat in the same process. However when I fast longer it is apparent that I lost weight and can lose 15 to 20lbs in a single fast depending on how I workout.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

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21 Oct 2011 16:47 #9312 by Marsh
Marsh replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
During fasting, I find I can still exercise quite well. Been fasting for a week, and going running every night, and a short sharp one-hour early morning session in the gym. Mainly cardio and some sit-ups, squats, etc.
Last night I pushed myself first 1hr on the treadmill, and 1hr on the x-trainer. Even though I feel I'm starving, I kept a good pace, to a point I felt my body weakening, probably due to sweating. Then did some lighter weights, but high reps.
I've noticed how the body shrinks, as you said in the muscles, and any fat I may have also goes, leaving lean mass, however, strength seems to remain the same.

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23 Oct 2011 03:44 #9320 by superhuman
superhuman replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting

Marsh wrote: During fasting, I find I can still exercise quite well. Been fasting for a week, and going running every night, and a short sharp one-hour early morning session in the gym. Mainly cardio and some sit-ups, squats, etc.
Last night I pushed myself first 1hr on the treadmill, and 1hr on the x-trainer. Even though I feel I'm starving, I kept a good pace, to a point I felt my body weakening, probably due to sweating. Then did some lighter weights, but high reps.
I've noticed how the body shrinks, as you said in the muscles, and any fat I may have also goes, leaving lean mass, however, strength seems to remain the same.


Jeezus your a beast. Really interesting. You should do some really structure weight training with compound movements so you could really measure your strenght. You have to be pretty clean since you can fast so much and not loose energy, strenght and stamina. You should loose stamina tho since glycogen is out the window when you fast so your performance will suffer

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06 Jul 2012 17:48 #11292 by don_vedo
don_vedo replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
So just to clarify Sadasius (anyone else), you lift heavy while fasting, and follow your lift with more fasting? The past 6 months I have adopted IF, I train in a fasted state, however I always end my lift with a post workout meal. Due to my indoctrination of all the mass health media, "get your post workout meal immediately," I have little confidence when it comes to lifting heavy without feeding right after. That being said I am really interested in this and think I will give it a go (maybe the first fast I will lift a bit lighter just to see how the body adapts and responds). Usually my lifts consists of heavy compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, benchpress. Anyways I guess I just wanted a bit more clarification, so that I can build a little more confidence going into this. Greatly appreciated!

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06 Jul 2012 18:21 - 06 Jul 2012 18:24 #11293 by Sadasius
Sadasius replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting

don_vedo wrote: So just to clarify Sadasius (anyone else), you lift heavy while fasting, and follow your lift with more fasting? The past 6 months I have adopted IF, I train in a fasted state, however I always end my lift with a post workout meal. Due to my indoctrination of all the mass health media, "get your post workout meal immediately," I have little confidence when it comes to lifting heavy without feeding right after. That being said I am really interested in this and think I will give it a go (maybe the first fast I will lift a bit lighter just to see how the body adapts and responds). Usually my lifts consists of heavy compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, benchpress. Anyways I guess I just wanted a bit more clarification, so that I can build a little more confidence going into this. Greatly appreciated!


Yeah I used to do the very same thing (eating after workouts right away for max absorption). I only fast from time to time and since I became Vegan I do not fast as much since cleaning up my diet. Deadlifts, Squats and Benchpress is where it is at for size and strength. Especially when you use the white (fast) twitch muscle fibers from going heavy and quick. Fasting after a workout as well takes getting used to. The body is crying out for some carbs to refill the glycogen stores in the muscles. It takes mucho discipline to fight through that and when you do, do not give in completely or you will rebound something fierce. It is all about the mastery of your body. You are in control. My favorite exercise is the deadlift. My grip is so strong I can roll frying pans into a hotdog with a handle. Kind of funny to watch my friends faces drop when I do that.

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

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06 Jul 2012 18:22 #11294 by cory
cory replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
Depends how long you fast for short fasts (e.g. 72 hours or less) you don't need to change anything, even on a long fast your strength workouts aren't affected much, long fasts do seem to make cardio workouts harder while your doing it. I personally did a 30 day water fast and it didn't effect my strength at all was lifting heavier by the end and also I did several 7 day dry fasts while maintaining my normal workouts. Currently I just dry fast one day a week as trying to build muscle mainly.

The main benefit of doing strength workouts while fasting is that it helps you maintain or even improve your muscles while losing fat, you might lose some mass but generally it will be mainly water, and may give your muscles a more toned look.

So don't worry about eating a post workout meal, you can fast a few days or maybe longer without any problems.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shant

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06 Jul 2012 19:42 #11296 by david
david replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
Welcome back Cory!

Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

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06 Jul 2012 22:28 #11297 by superhuman
superhuman replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
Cool. Im gonna do a 7 or 14 day water fast myself with 2-3 times a week strenght training. Really looking forward to see the results. The post workout window etc is just as crap as pre workout meal etc. Once you get used to it, its no stress :)

In terms of fast twitch muscle fibers, i have read ALOT about that the late days and it seems like there isnt exactly a good answear to it. I like arthur jones and mike mentzers writings since its so simple and have worked for so many and they say lifting for 6-12 reps with control to muscular failure is the thing to do, no matter if you are a body builder or an power lifter. Size = strenght and vica verca. Ofc genetics play sick role so does steriods and drugs :)

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07 Jul 2012 05:18 - 07 Jul 2012 05:20 #11304 by bigpaparn
bigpaparn replied the topic: Re: bodybuilding and fasting
great advice from all and thanx. i'm on day 6 and noted some light headed symptoms and a touch of nausea. chilled out for a couple of minutes and then back to it. i also cut back som,e on the cardio, from 30 minutes while on a regular diet to about 15 minutes on fast. adjusting it according to how i feel.
thanx again.

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