- Fasting for Anabolic Gains – Is it Possible?
Fasting for Anabolic Gains – Is it Possible?
Fasting is the act of decreasing the frequency of your meals to 1-2 large meals during a very small window and putting your body through a starvation mode for a long period of time with the benefit of body composition. Recently, the question of anabolic strength has risen.
Can fasting really promote anabolic gains? Is there a new style of fasting that can promote more anabolic gains?
In the realm of strength theory, this might seem counterintuitive – right? I mean, think about the logical way to build muscle. You train hard and recover with good wholesome foods.
This process requires a constant supply of energy to the muscle. Any deviation from the supply of carbs and protein will inevitably lead to a loss of muscle gains a lack of timely recovery – or so you would think.
What is Fasting?
Before we get into the benefits of fasting for anabolic strength we should define what we mean by fasting. On a very basic level, fasting is merely the act of depriving your body of any caloric intake for a long enough period of time to enter the “postabsorptive state”.
Post-absorptive state: the digestive tract is empty and energy comes from the breakdown of the body’s reserves. Through a series of processes, glucose is ultimately released into the bloodstream by the liver in order to maintain normal blood glucose levels.
Traditionally, this state was used to help people lose weight. If you can effectively enter the postabsorptive state more frequently you can limit the number of calories you intake and train your body to run off the fuel it has already stored – namely by using stored carbohydrates.
This is where much of the discussion starts to arise in its effectiveness as an anabolic agent.
If you can start to teach your body to effectively – I mean really effectively, use the carbs in your diet as a fuel source you can begin to experience a higher level of energy and a better return when it comes to anabolic strength.
What is Anabolic Strength?
In a previous blog, we discussed the definition of anabolism and anabolic strength but it is important to understand that on a very basic level anabolic strength is a term we use to describe your state of strength and power – which is greater than normal.
Can fasting really help you to achieve this anabolic state?
Well, yes. When completed properly, the anabolic fasting diet can be one of the most effective ways to build lean muscle and lose body fat.
How to Perform the Anabolic Fasting Diet
Originally created by Doctor. Pasquale to imitate the effects of taking anabolic steroids, the anabolic diet is one of the most effective diets for strength and fat loss. This is like taking anabolic steroids, but without all the nasty side effects (and the high price that comes with it).
The anabolic fasting diet is a diet that does not necessarily require you to fast. The fasting word actually comes because you are fasting from carbs – for most of the time.
Here’s how to complete the anabolic fasting diet and achieve strength and weight loss from it.
1. Prep Work
This diet requires you to start off with about 12 days of very little-to-no carb intake to acclimate your body to this style of diet. Your body will begin to enter the postabsorptive state on a regular basis, searching for good carbs to fuel your body and mind.
In the beginning, you may notice that you have a lack of energy, but this is just your body starting to convert its efforts away from carbs – and this is something that is sorted out later on.
2. 5/2 Cycle
The second step is to start putting carbs back into your diet. You will now start to do 5 days of limited carbs, about 40% protein and 60% fat, and then for the last 2 days of the week, you will provide your body with a surplus of carbs to intake.
This will pressure your body into using this dietary intake of carbs for muscle glycogen and blood glucose only and store the rest to be used later in the week.
This style of diet can help you to grow stronger and better teach your body to handle the demands of training.
Recommendations to Maximize Anabolic Strength
Before you just jump into this diet there are a few recommendations I would make to help ensure you are making the best possible strength and recovery gains:
Save Overload Workouts for Carb Days
If you are going to be serious about your diet you might as well start to time your meals and structure your workouts around those meals. I would recommend you use the 1-2 days of higher carb intake, and perhaps the day after as your most difficult training days of the week. Use these days to overload the muscles while you have a good supply of constant energy.
Eat Whole Foods
This diet will only work if you are super keen on your diet being as clean as possible. By this, I mean no grains, no dairy, no processed foods of any kind. Your goal should always be to eat this way, but especially when you are trying to make anabolic gains and fat loss – eating clean is essential.
Monitor Saturated Fats
Although this could be a good diet to start you off on the right foot for anabolic gains and fat loss, when it comes to a long-term diet this is obviously not the best. The level of high fats (especially saturated) can have detrimental effects on your health in the long-term.
If you are to undertake this diet for longer than a couple months it would be best to get your blood work completed on a regular basis to ensure you are not causing long-term damage.
No Carbs Means NO CARBS
The days where you are not allocated carbohydrates – 5 days of the weeks literally means no carbohydrates. This means you cannot have any bread, fruit, vegetables – anything that contains carbs is a general no-no. Remember, this is all in an effort to boost your strength and fat loss without having to take anabolic steroids.
When it comes to fasting for strength and overall body improvement the methods are pretty clear. Your goal is always to eat whole-foods and teach your body to best utilize the energy sources it is being provided with. IF you are to grow stronger, in the long run, you must ensure that you can maintain this diet for at least a month at a time.
Yes, this style of diet can help you to become more anabolic and achieve greater fat loss – just be sure that you can maintain the extreme needs of this diet.
If you are struggling to make the most effective gains possible we would recommend supplementing with an anabolic steroid alternative.
Winsol is a product created to mimic the effects of the popular steroid Winstrol without any of the nasty side effects.
Its 100% safe and all-natural ingredients are sure to give you the boost you need, plus it stacks really well with other supplements in the Crazy-Bulk lineup.
Related: Turn your body into an anabolic machine with the power of nutrition!
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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