I have an article coming soon and I can almost guarantee that you will get to learn about something completely new and fascinating. A topic I haven’t seen covered anywhere else outside the deepest pits of PubMed.

At least I don’t think so. Not from this perspective. But if I’m wrong I’m gonna have to go spank myself.

In the meantime, let me provide some motivation for getting in outrageously good shape this summer. Or spring. Or just about any damn occasion.

Success stories are emailed to me from people all across the globe and everyone has been using the simple but effective intermittent fasting guidelines I’ve outlined in The Leangains Guide.

This is from David Bengtsson in Sweden and here it goes.

Leangains Summer Motivation

I never believed in the idea that certain types of food or special diets would be the key to getting very lean. I have always kept in mind that the only way to lose weight is by managing energy input and output.

With this in mind I wanted to show myself and others that you can get lean, and stay lean, without the need of following what the fitness and health mainstream consider ‘healthy diets’. You know the need to leave out certain foods, the need to eat birdmeals every third hour and never eating until you’re full, and so forth.

What I wanted was a simple diet that was flexible, easy to follow, and backed by science. It should also allow me to get the macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that I need everyday. I also wanted something that would sidestep the usual problems with dieting, like the leptin crash, so I thought about using a cyclical diet approach.

I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to find something that covered all this, but after some searching, I found Martin Berkhan’s website. Since I wanted to know more about the advantages of fasting, I also read “Eat Stop Eat” by Brad Pilon.

After that I knew I was ready to start the diet using the Leangains approach.

A picture of David at 182lbs
David at 182-185 lbs before Leangains in April 2010.

Training wise I continued with my regular routine, which consisted of basic compound movements three times a week. Each workout took less than an hour. I prefer to work out fasted with an intake of 10 g EAA before and after the workout.

A picture of David at 164lbs
David at 164-166 lbs in June 2010 after 8 weeks of dieting with Leangains. A jaw-dropping transformation in such a short time.

I lost some strength during the end of the diet, but that’s because I rushed things and kept a too big calorie deficit given how lean I was. But now that I felt satisfied with my results, I felt confident that I could stay there and I switched goal to muscle gain. I basically continued my usual basic routine, but changed the set structure to Reverse Pyramid Training.

After 8 weeks of training, I’ve gained strength and my conditioning is as good as during the diet, if not better.

A picture of David at 182lbs
Truly exceptional abs.

Thanks to Leangains, I have found a new lifestyle which makes me able to stay lean 24/7 and I have never felt so great before. Skipping breakfast is the best thing I’ve done when it comes to diet.

Leangains also allows me to eat things like pizza, ice cream, cheesecakes, etc, since I don’t have a problem to stay full when I eat my daily intake of calories within a few hours. Another fun thing is to go out to eat with your friends at restaurants that offer ‘all you can eat’. Make sure that you have fasted a long time before, trained, and you will be able to eat a whole lot of food.


Score another one for the fact that you should be basing your diet on personal preferences – within reason, of course – and be critical of nonsensical diet advice in the fitness mainstream, like David was before he started dieting.

A few quick comments on some other things:

  1. David mentions EAA, which is a supplement consisting of the eight essential amino acids. EAA is somewhat more popular than BCAA here in Sweden.

The difference between the two is that BCAA-supplements primarily consist of branched-chain amino acids, which are the three aminos most intimately involved in muscle protein metabolism and synthesis.

I’m saying primarily because manufacturers also tend to add some other as well, such as beta-alanine and citrulline malate to Purple Wraath and Xtend, which are the brands I personally use and recommend.
The research on free-form aminos and muscle protein synthesis (MPS) has typically used EAA-mixtures. MPS is maximally stimulated by 10 g EAA in conjunction with fasted state training, which is why I recommend 10 g EAA or BCAA for fasted training.

There are no comparative studies on EAA and BCAA. For now you can simply assume that they are simply interchangeable. I plan on addressing this topic again. But don’t worry, there won’t be any shocking surprises…I think.

  1. Note that David dropped weight very fast. That’s risky business for someone already lean – and he paid the price with some strength loss.

A lot of people get greedy and overzealous when attempting to get the last fat off, and they pay for it with muscle loss, feeling like shit and hating the diet. Post-diet binges are also common if you push yourself too hard during the last weeks.

Just before you know it, you might find yourself back where you first started – starting a new diet, thinking that you’ll do it right this time.

Except “this time” doesn’t come unless you actively and constantly fight your inborn tendencies. Been there, done that. But I also conquered it.
You need to learn to temper yourself. Much easier said than done. Unfortunately for most people, it usually takes a few rounds of dieting and learning this lesson the hard way before it truly sinks in. Hell, it took me several years.

That’s it for tonight, folks.