Time for another client update.
Added three additional clients – Jorgen, Chris and Mathilda. Added testimonials.
Added new pic of Mikael R. Added three testimonials; Craig, Michael and Dave.
Added a client – Andreas S. Added a testimonial – Joseph. Alright, these will be the last of the additions to this post before the next client update. I will hopefully have time for a blogpost next week, so check in for that.
See all client updates and testimonials on this site by clicking here and here.
Andreaz placed 2nd in the -70 kg weight class at Sweden Grand Prix. I used an unconventional contest prep, keeping water and sodium high until the very end. He came in great, but didn’t have to suffer through the catatonic state and malaise of a conventional contest prep.
There are many people who supported me on this trip in the form of love and friendship. However, one supported me with something that no one else could give; knowledge. Martin Berkhan is without doubt the best I have ever worked with.
What I am talking about when I say knowledge is scientific evidence and experience from x number of clients. He knows what will happen in the body before it happens.
I want to the give Martin a special thanks for the help with getting me in the shape of my life. I strongly recommend Martin to anyone who wants to stand on a stage.Andreaz
Mary placed 2nd in The 69th Annual NPC Cincinnati Open Bodybuilding, Figure, Fitness & Bikini Championships. I think Mary’s effort is particularily impressive, considering she is juggling a hectic job as a firewoman, along with a very energetic 4-year old.
My main goal when starting IF was to have a lifestyle change, not just try a new diet. I stumbled upon Martin’s website one day, and was really impressed.
Of course, seeing that he was from overseas, I Googled him and looked up everything I could on him and IF. I actually found quite a bit of information through interviews he did with other fitness experts. Seeing that he was taking clients, I gave it a shot and emailed him. He was very responsive and helpful. When I told him my goals of dropping BF, he came up with a plan that worked for me, and my crazy work/lifestyle. It actually made my life easier.
He helped me lean down from 20%BF to 9.5%BF and I gained quite a bit of muscle mass (over 10 lbs of lean muscle mass from where I was a year ago), but Martin still kept me lean. I had taken a year off from competing, hoping to do well at my next show. As my show date got closer, Martin gave me some great training strategies that really kicked it into high gear for me. Although I got sick the week of the show, I was able to pull it together to get second place in my class! Even after the show, (and taking a week off to eat) I am still very lean.
One important point I want to stress, I have learned that Martin’s diet/training regimen is not just for people wanting to compete. It’s for anyone and everyone who wants to have a lifestyle where you are not constantly stressing about the foods you eat and the times you have to eat. I have talked with him quite a bit about living this lifestyle. It is so brilliant, in that, once you get the principles, you can work it around in such a way that it will fit any lifestyle. I set my diet up to eat three meals, which allows me to feel full after each meal. For me, eating five or six small meals a day made me hungrier, and I would actually break down and binge!
As cheesy as it sounds, IF and Martin have changed my life. I will never go back to my old ways of eating. Martin has given me a lot of information on IF that has the research behind it to back it up. He cites all his references so you can look it up for yourself. I would have to be an idiot to not do this for the rest of my life!Mary
I had the pleasure of working with Bonnie LeFrak (www.bonnielefrak.com) from First Response Fitness Inc, and this is what she has to say about me.
As an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Professional Bodybuilder, I thought I knew EXACTLY how to eat and workout to achieve a lean physique I could be comfortable in year round.
Seemingly, I did everything right….I ate “clean” and did what I considered to be an intense 5 day bodybuilding split. Additionally, I was logging up to 10 hours of cardio a week. Not sure how, but it happened… I became THAT person who keeps repeating the same thing over and over and getting zero results.
Luckily, that all changed when I discovered Martin Berkhan while perusing some of the blogs and web sites devoted to alternate day fasting and similar protocols. I studied his blog and was intrigued. I knew that I needed help and after a few email exchanges with Martin, I trusted in his expertise and signed on with him.
Without giving out all the details, let me say my program has made a complete u-turn. I am no longer slaving away for hours in the gym with nothing to show for it. Martin designed a workout program (for me) that has given me noticeable strength gains seemingly overnight. Stronger AND leaner.
Along with a total workout overhaul, Martin gave me a detailed nutrition “prescription” that has given me lots of flexibility within specific guidelines. Needless to say, you get MORE than you would imagine when signing on with Martin Berkhan. He OVER delivers, and in this day and age, very few people rarely do.
Everybody has noticed that I “leaned right out” and I could not be more genuinely thrilled with my program and the very tangible results. I whole heartedly encourage anybody who is looking for a lean body and improved strength to read everything Martin Berkhan shares, and certainly make the investment in the best program you will ever use. What I have learned (quickly) is priceless. You will be equally delighted, I promise you that!Bonnie
Julian made some spectacular gains and revamped his bodycomposition in a short amount of time. Notice the back area in particular, how the V-taper is coming through very nicely now (being almost non-existant at 222 lbs).
It’s only 14 lbs between the pics, but Julian looks like a completely different person now. Though I’ve cropped out his face, trust me when I say it looks as if he sliced ten years off his age. Julian is currently working on his goal towards 10% bf, and I’m eagerly following his developement.
When I was a student, I use to follow the “eat six meals a day every 2-3 hours if you ever want to see your abs” rule religiously. After all, this is what the experts suggest so it must be the only way, right? Even as a student the meal planning was quite difficult and some of my meals had to be meal replacements/nutrition shakes while others consisted of the usual suspects such as tuna, egg white, oats etc. Although I was in good shape (7% body fat) when I was a student it was really hard work (and I am not talking about the gym!). Meal preparation took over my life and I became obsessed with the amount of meals and meal timing, but hey, as long as it worked why should I change it?
The problem came when I started working as a professional, got married and my time became a lot more restricted. Meal preparation and timing became a full time job with a lot of planning and effort. I couldn’t keep up with the meal planning, professional and personal life and I got in the worst shape of my life. I new I needed a change.
I have always been interested in training, nutrition and supplementation and it has become a bit of a hobby for me but it also caused a lot of confusion. So many ‘experts’ touted their way as the only way – high carb, low card, GI diet, cardio, no cardio and so on. I got lost in the maze of information and I didn’t know what to follow anymore or who to listen to. What I did know and notice was that I was getting really overweight and getting more and more confused and I was also looking for a quick fix. I would start one diet and training programme and then stop after a couple of weeks because I read something else which conflicts with what I was doing – it was chaos.
One night while reading some articles Tom Venuto wrote I came upon an exchange of emails between Tom Venuto and Martin Berkhan (the same one featured on the Leangains website). Tom Venuto basically agreed with Martin view that meal frequency has nothing to do with speeding up the metabolism. I devoured the content on the Leangains website and I have to admit I was sceptical. I had followed or tried to follow the 6 meals a day approach for 14 years so how come I didn’t know about this 2-4 meal approach combined with fasting. Surely everyone would be using it as it seemed very straight forward and easy to follow. I needed to know more and that’s when I contacted Martin.
Martin was quick to respond and I found him very professional friendly and to the point. He is definitely a very knowledgeable, grounded individual with a no nonsense approach when it comes to training and nutrition. Martin constructed a training programme and a nutrition programme that best suited my busy lifestyle. He took me back to basics and it was as though the fog lifted when I went back to basics with a new twist – Intermittent Fasting.
Eating satiating foods, rich in nutrients based on my total daily energy expenditure and doing basic compound exercises was great. The best, without a doubt, is eating only three meals a day. What a pleasure waking up in the morning, pouring a cup of black coffee, eating a big lunch and two more meals in the evening. I thought I would be hungry on this diet and this was only the case for the first day or so but after that the hunger subsided and I haven’t been hungry since. In fact, I was hungry all the time eating six meals a day. The Leangains approach works for me and I would recommend it to anyone with a busy lifestyle (which is pretty much everyone these days!) who leads a busy life. Why on earth would you want to prepare 6 meals if 2 or 3 will do?
Although I would be the first to agree that there is still a lot of room for improvement in my physique I am definitely heading in the right direction. Not only have I lost 14lbs, but I have definitely gained some lean muscle mass and my strength has increased quite a bit. For example:
- Deadlift (4 reps): Increased from 308lbs to 429lbs (increase of 120lbs)
- Bench Press (4 reps): Increased from 220lbs to 297lbs (increase of 77lbs)
- Chins with added weight (4 reps): Increased from 11lbs (excluding full body weight) to 44lbs (increase of 33lbs)
- Seated Dumbbell Press (7 reps): Increased from 48lbs to 83lbs (increase of 35lbs)
I will be sending Martin another update in 12 weeks from now at which point I aim to be below 10% body fat using the Leangains approach (so watch this space). If you are reading this and you are still sceptical, just look at all the other success stories on Martin’s website. In fact just look at Martin – he obviously practices what he preaches and that is a life lesson for anyone who takes advice from someone else on a particular subject. Would you ask a poor man how to get rich? No you would ask a rich man. The same principal applies to nutrition and training.
If you are looking for some good, solid, well grounded scientifically up to date advice on training and nutrition which doesn’t take over your life then I recommend Martin’s approach. I love it!Julian
Robin is a work in progress, but so far this is the definition of a magnificent body recomposition; from 154 (left) to 163 (right) but, quite clearly, less fat and more muscle.
8 weeks between pics (154 lbs left hand side, currently at 163 lbs right hand side)
Robin has made some very substantial strength gains since we started.
- Squat: 155 lbs x 7 to 240 lbs x 7 (+85 lbs)
- Deadlift: 200 lbs x 5 to 255 x 5 (+55 lbs)
- Bench Press: 120 x 7 to 155 x 7 (+35 lbs)
In January 2009 my physical condition was a mess. During a time period of six months I had lost about 25-30 lbs due to a stressful environment and dire daily habits. I suffered from great difficulties falling asleep, required at least 8 hours of rest and had even greater difficulties getting out of bed.
I’ve never been particularly interested in neither working out nor following a diet even though I knew this path would lead to detrimental effects. Considering my condition, I no longer had any choice but getting my health back on track.
The last couple of years, I’ve been a frequent visitor on leangains.com and taken great interest in following the clients’ progress. Turning to Martin to getting my life back on track, adding quality weight and regaining a healthy physical condition was an easy choice.
Eight weeks down the road, I’m closing in on my objectives and my sleeping difficulties have been totally resolved. What completely blows me away, not being a morning-person, is to (on a daily permanent basis!) get up at 6 am with just 5-6 hours sleep and stay focused and alert throughout the day.Robin
Mikael R is a work in progress and I’m expecting great things when he’s done dieting in 4-5 weeks. Despite a fairly rapid drop in body fat% and weight, he’s kept his strength intact, resulting in a dramatic increase in relative strength (now squatting close to 2x body weight for reps).
Working with Martin I have lost 23 lbs and about 6″ off my waist during the past 12 weeks. While I believe this can be done on any reasonable diet, using the Leangains approach and intermittent fasting I have done this without much effort whilst keeping most of my strength. Hunger has been a non-issue and the fact that you get to eat big and satisfying meals even while loosing weight makes me believe Leangains is superior to any other regime out there.
When choosing strategy for improving your physique, choose one that you can easily stick to and thrive on. I choose Leangains, and its flexibility along with its easiness combined with the awesome results it delivers, makes me highly recommend it.Mikael R
Another work in progress.
My results have exceeded my expectations by far, as I’ve lost fat without any muscle loss at all. Not only have I leaned down significantly, but I’ve also experienced an improvement in mood and have much better energy throughout the day, I’m giving this approach 10/10!Mikael S
Another succesful body recomposition. Weight remained the same, but Rickard found himself leaner and stronger after only 4 weeks.
When I got in touch with Martin I was a mess. My fat loss had stalled, I had crazy cravings for different sweets all the time and I was on the edge developing some kind of eating disorder.
Maybe I had already developed an eating disorder I was obsessed about eating clean foods with as few calories as possible, so that I could binge as much as possible in my crazy setup caloric intake. I also could not stop thinking about food. I went around all day just thinking of food, looking at pictures of food, in such a degree that my friends started to think I was going mad.
So at this point I consulted Martin to help me with my diet and training. The first thing I noticed after just a few days on the schedule Martin gave me was that I was feeling stronger by the day and my cravings for sweets were blown away. But I was still some what obsessed with eating clean and avoided cituations where I could end up with not absolute control of what I should eat. I brought up this subject with Martin and after some well spoken words from Martin I got something to think about and his words did sink in pretty quickly.
After a while I also had got my head together so much that I, we call it dared, dared to add more energy dense foods to my meals. In the same time I also got my mind of food all the time.
My new schedule also did help me get of the plateau in my efforts to loose fat. But not only did it bust the plateau I was also doing noticeable gains in mucle mass at the same time.
So with the help of Martin I got my head together, got a more relaxed attitude to food, lost fat and gained muscles. All this in just four weeks.Rickard
I know, not the best pics, but this client had some nice strength gains (~+10% across the board) while losing enough fat to make his abs finally come through. Some muscle growth occured in the process, which explains why the mere 4 lbs difference between the pics show a relatively substantial visual improvement. 8 weeks between pics.
I’ve been working with Chris on and off for a year or so, and this time he contacted me for a photo shoot prep, wanting to look as shredded as possible.
Today, it’s almost one year between the pic below, and the later ones in black and white – the weight is more or less the same, but the improvements are very noticeable. Chris has undergone an impressive body recomposition to say the least.
I’ve known Martin now for a couple of years, and have utilized his services off and on during this timeframe. His advice has been consistently helpful, and I’ve always appreciated his candor.
In the final stages of my latest fat-loss phase, I contacted him about helping me prep for an upcoming photo shoot. He was quick to offer a template outlining exactly what I needed to do. The attention to detail was quite impressive, including highly atypical guidelines for sodium and water manipulation. The results were more than satisfactory (as shown in the photos themselves), and I cannot recommend more highly the expertise of anyone than Martin Berkhan.Chris
My sister had been getting too complacent with her weight and eating habits, and decided to do something about it three months ago. I helped her on the right path and here are the results so far.
Measurements on Jan 20th (diet start)
- Weight – 160 lbs/72 kg
- Waist – 79 cm
- Hips – 110 cm
- Weight – 155 lbs/70 kg
- Waist – 76,5 cm
- Hips – 105 cm
Measurements on April 25th, changes from 3 months diet noted in ( ).
- Weight – 147 lbs/66,5 kg (- 13 lbs/-5,5 kg)
- Waist – 72 cm (- 7 cm)
- Hips – 101 cm (- 9 cm)
Well done, sis, I’m proud.
Andreas S is a work in progress, but has so far lost 23 lbs in 12 weeks, while having maintained his strength very well.
Testimonials (no pics available yet)
No before-afters for this client, who gained a good amount of muscle and lost fat, but since he’s diabetic, I thought it would be worthwhile to let him recount how well intermittent fasting worked for him.
I decided to consult Martin for my diet and weightlifting program to get my motivation back. Since I am diabetic I never would of thought that I could get my insulindependence down so low, just from having a solid diet.
Ive learned from my dietician over the years that I need a high intake of pasta and potatoes, carbs in general, to have solid bloodsugar.
Martin quickly changed my mind. I was able to lower my insulindependency by 50% and my HbA1c was 6,0 before my diet and with Martins help I was able to lower it to 5,7 in 1 month. Its also a plus that my abs got visible and I increased my strength after every workout 😉 Thank you for all help and your fast feedback!Andreas
While Martin remains humble about the advantages of his Leangains system compared to an otherwise clean, but extraneous, high meal frequency diet, I am personally convinced that his approach is vastly superior. How do I know this? I have been tracking my diet meticulously since 2003, experimenting and being highly aware of my reaction to many different calorie intakes and macronutrient ratios. Yet it wasn’t until last year, around fall, that I considered altering my meal frequency, having read and become inspired by Martin’s writings and results. I didn’t hesitate to contact him, eager to see what he could do for me; very eager, as my results – I train for strength and muscle, not vanity – had become stagnant for some time.
The results exceeded my expectations and I am now a firm believer that men were not made to eat every other hour; the fast and feed cycle were a natural part of our lifestyle for thousands of years, and resorting back to these habits will result in greater strength, better energy and a more focused frame of mind. That is my belief, and here are my results after following the Leangains approach for four months.
October 22th, 2008
Body weight: 248 lbs
- Squat: 350 lbs x 21
- Deadlift: 450 x 8
- Bench Press: 350 x 5
- Strict Military Press: 235 x 3
February 21th, 2009
Body weight: 255 lbs
- Squat: 405 lbs x 18
- Deadlift: 515 x 6
- Bench Press: 375 x 4
- Strict Military Press: 250 x 3
I am very, very pleased with the expert advice provided by Martin, and I am eternally thankful to him for opening up my eyes to intermittent fasting and LeangainsLorentz
Life as a corporate manager in one of the largest companies in the US leaves little time for health and fitness, especially if you’re a family man like myself. But if you’ve been working out all your life, you’ll do your darndest to make it work somehow. Well, being at the gym five times a week, on an old Bill Philips routine, and trying to get those six meals a day didn’t cut it for me anymore.
Got word of Martin from one of my business associates one day and thought I’d see what he could do for me. Thank God I did. Besides dropping my body fat and scoring new personal bests, he’s made my life so much easier – by doing less, but doing it smarter. High yield for low investment is the golden egg in my world, and while it’s hard to come by in the business world, it’s easily accessible through Martin and his Leangains approach.Frank
I started working with Martin because I was looking for a new approach to dieting. Back in 2005, I started going to the gym and saw good results, dropping from 250 pounds to around 180. I did this without following any specific diet recommendations. But then I learned, as many people do, a “better way”: eat six meals a day and you’ll see better results. I started following that recommendation while continuing to go to the gym. However, I wasn’t able to finish the job and drop the final excess pounds I was carrying.
I worked with other online coaches, who got me stronger, but I wasn’t satisfied with my body composition. Not to mention, maintaining the insanity of eating six meals a day, every three hours for the past couple of years was exhausting. I was tired of it.
I first came across Martin in an interview and then read the many testimonials on his site. I decided to give his intermittent fasting approach a try – I had nothing to lose – and I enjoyed it. There was a freedom to it and I was seeing good results. But after having progress stall in the past, I decided that working with Martin would help ensure I complete my goal.
The past four months have been incredibly productive. I’ve nearly finished dropping the body fat I want to, and I haven’t felt the need to have “cheat meals” or worry about not eating constantly. Martin has been a first-class coach, with a fun approach to weight training and a results-producing approach to dieting. If you’ve stopped seeing results in your dieting, I recommend working with Martin.”Michael C
For the past 15 years, when it came to exercise programs, you name it and I tried it–from the popular (“zero carbs”) to the obscure (“hunter-gatherer” diet anyone?), from the simple (“all pasta, all the time”) to the insane (“the twinkie diet”). I lost weight alright, but in every case, I lose muscle mass too. I just didn’t think it was every possible to maintain or increase strength while losing fat at the same time.
On a “google” search of the topic, I came across Martin’s website and I was hooked immediately. The before-and-after photos and testimonials of his clients seemed too good to be true, but I thought, after trying everything out there, what have I got to lose?
Now, after losing almost 25 lbs of fat, while increasing muscle strength, I can honestly say that Martin’s program for fat loss and muscle strength is unquestionably the best I have ever tried. I have also worked out with many personal trainers over the years, but Martin’s knowledge of how to lose fat and increase strength far surpases that of any trainer I have ever used.
After years of being fed false, and in some cases, dangerous information by trainers and authors and dieticians, I needed to be “reprogrammed” to approach my goals the right way–and Martin has done exactly that, and more. I have changed my body in a way I never thought possible, and I urge everyone out there who feels like they have “tried it all” to contact Martin and start changing your body today.”Craig Appelbaum
Hi all. First post, and I felt it is appropriate to be on the BB.com thread that has made a huge difference in my life.
I wanted to offer a first hand report on the Leangains program. After stumbling across this thread a few months ago, I figured I would give it a shot. I contacted Martin Berkhan in early March to become a client. Martin responded quickly and had me fill out a brief questionnaire. I officially started Leangains on March 9th weighing in at 230.8 and with an estimated bodyfat of 25%. My goal weight was 200 lbs by June 30th, about 2 lbs a week. I was a fairly experienced lifter, but with a crappy diet and I was carrying too much fat. As a baseline, the first week, I was benching 245 by 5, squatting 315 by 6-7 reps (to or slightly below parallel not ATG), and I was not a regular deadlifter. I started deadlifting at 315/335 by 5.
Since then, I have followed the Leangains diet and workout routine pretty religiously. I drank a few times (3-4 drinks, one night with a lot more.) but otherwise have complied very well. I had never before counted my macros, but started counting on Fitday.com and spent $7 on a food scale. That was a well-spent $7.
Here are my results to date: Current weight as of May 13th: 207.4 lbs. That is a drop of 23.4 pounds in 65 days, or 2.52 pounds a week on average. The goal was to lose about 2 pounds a week, but I’m not complaining. My bodyfat is probably down to about 17-18% as an estimate and dropping. My bench has stayed about the same with a one rep improvement to 245 by 6, but my squats have gone up to 370 by 7 last week (works out to a 444 max and a personal record), and deadlifts are up to 380 by 5. My workouts feel fantastic on this protocol. I could not be more pleased with how things are going.
Diet adherence has been very easy for me. I workout from 8:45-9:45 am (approx) pretty much fasted, taking 1.5 servings of Xtend as I begin (and during) my workout. I also drink a Sugar-Free Amp before workouts for energy. I start eating around 10:00-10:30 am and finish by 6:00-6:30 pm every day, keeping my feeding period right around 8 hours. I don’t worry if it is exactly 8 hours, but keep it close.
One of the great things about IF and Leangains is that I can eat enough food to get full and satiated each and every day, each and every meal, too, which really makes this not even seem like a reduced-calorie lifestyle. I was having a little issue at the start getting enough protein, but now take in 75 grams mixed in a shaker bottle mixed with milk or water and that gets me there. I am sometimes shocked at how little hunger I have outside of the feeding window. I feel like I am “cheating”, because it shouldn’t be this easy. Doing a diet like Atkins was brutal, and I lost strength, too, while this is very sustainable for me. This is not a diet for me, it is an easily maintainable lifestyle choice. Once I get down into the 10-12% bodyfat range (probably about 190 or so), I will post some pics. The great thing about this is that I have not the slightest doubt I will get there.
I just wanted to say thanks to many of you that are following the IF lifestyle with success. Your early testimonials in this thread, your progress pics and proof of success coupled with the before-after shots on Martin’s web site led me to try this. Thanks to Martin for the great training, and I will continue on with him for the foreseeable future.Dave Gerczak, Appleton, WI
Ok, where to start. Months before contacting Martin I was on the Zone diet. Everyone in the CrossFit community seemed to be doing it and getting good results. But I was completely famished on the 17 blocks a day a so called “expert” recommended to me. I wanted to lose fat, so I stuck with it…strictly. Well at least for 3 weeks, or so. And then the carb binges started, basically causing me to regain whatever fat I lost during the strict weeks! On top of the guilt and just feeling miserable in general, my performance suffered as well.
I kept thinking there was something wrong with me, since everyone except me seemed to be doing fantastic on the Zone approach. Even bumping up to 20 blocks didn’t do much for me. I still binged on sugary junk about twice a week. So, someone at the CrossFit forum recommended Martin’s services and I got in touch with him.
After a week on the diet, I discovered that I had been severely undereating on Zone. I couldn’t believe how much food I was allowed to eat on the Leangains diet and STILL lose fat! The sugar cravings dissappeared completely. My performance started improving again, and now I’ve beaten all my previous times on the benchmark sessions. So far I’m in week 6, and lost a total of 8 lbs, feel great and perform great. Love the fasting and the big meals, it really clicked with me from the start. I couldn’t be happier with the diet and the training I’m doing now, and I would highly recommend Martin and his Leangains program to anyone that is going through the same stuff I was.Joseph