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Detailed feedback from a Leangains Client (reddit)

Detailed feedback from a Leangains Client (reddit)

Hail Vikings,

You all know that I am a big fan of Martin Berkhan and the LeanGains approach.  I have written a summary of the Intermittent Fasting lifestyle here.

Today I came across a really interesting read from reddit. A user named 31minutes described in detail his experience working with Martin along with his Reverse Pyramid Training program and diet plan.  Below is a summary of his comments as prepared by user Xbudd.  You can download this as a PDF here.

Material from /r/leangains “Former Berkhan Client. AMA”

Compiled by XBudd for /r/leangains


Counting Leangains Calories/Macros

  • Don’t think in terms of percentages; think in terms of weekly deficits.
  • I eat at maintenance on 3 workout days and want my weekly caloric intake to be ~4000 calories under maintenance.
  • A pound of fat on me (I’m 200lb) and a pound of fat on someone who’s will take the same weekly caloric deficit to lose.
  • I’m around -35% to -40% on rest days, 0 on workout days. But that only matters because that is what I need to get to my weekly 4,000 cal deficit.

Tracking Calories

  • Take an hour to make my two diet days then use
  • Use the foods you love and make them fit your macros.
  • After that, it’s just a matter of eating exactly the same thing each day.
  • You won’t mind, because every meal is made up of your favorite foods.

Calculating Calories/Macros

  • In response to current thoughts on macros: More protein on both days. Bottom threshold for fats should be higher on workout days, lower on rest days.
  • These are the ones I started with and essentially the same as what

Martin recommends to his Leangains clients:

  • Workout Day: 2756 Calories (Maintenance). 313g Protein. 274g Carb. 45g Fat.
  • Rest Day: 1768 Calories. 259g Protein. 88g Carb. 74g Fat.
  • That is for somebody at .
  • To figure out your macros, adjust based on your weight. For example, you weigh and want to cut? Multiply my macros by 0.9 to fit your weight.
  • This will NOT differ significantly based on your daily activity level
  • Stressing about the perfect amount of calories is overrated. You start at a good estimate. This gives you that. From there, you adjust your intake based on your weekly progress.
  • The adjustment is key

Creating a Meal Plan

  • Create a Rest Day and Workout Day plan and use same plan always!
  • 7 sticks lean pepperoni (840 cal, 98 pro, 21 carb, 56 fat)
  • 700g egg whites (364 cal, 76 pro, 5 carb, 1 fat)
  • 1 can tuna (90 cal, 20 pro, 0 carb, 1 fat)
  • 10 liver tabs (80 cal, 20 pro, 0 carb, 0 fat)
  • 680g soy milk (160 cal, 16 pro, 8 carb, 8 fat)
  • 40g hershey cocoa (80 cal, 8 pro, 24 carb, 4 fat)
  • 900g zucchini (154 cal, 11 pro, 30 carb, 3 fat)
  • TOTAL: 1768 Cal, 249 Pro, 88 Carb, 74 Fat
  • Note: The total for grams of carbs for rest day excluding insoluble fiber is somewhere around 30g. The number of carbs reported above (88g) factors in consumed insoluble fiber
  • 1,890g soy milk (450 cal, 45 pro, 23 carb, 23 fat)
  • 1 box kashi golean (980 cal, 91 pro, 140 carb, 7 fat)
  • 1,500g greek yogurt (857 cal, 154 pro, 51 carb, 0 fat)
  • 600g blueberries (290 cal, 3 pro, 60 carb, 4 fat)
  • 10x liver tabs (80 cal, 20 pro, 0 carb, 0 fat)
  • 11g coconut oil (99 cal, 0 pro, 0 carb, 11 fat)
  • TOTAL: 2756 Cal, 313 Pro, 274 Carb (not counting fiber
  • this time), 45 Fat

Diet for Bulk

  • Use the exact same foods and exact same ratio of macros.
  • Rest day was 100 calories over maintenance (~2856 cals).
  •  Workout day was 450 cal over maintenance (~3206 cal).
  • That gave me a weekly surplus of 1750 cals. About 0.5 pounds gained per week.

What To Do After A Cut

  • Look at your weight loss average over the last three weeks.
  • That gives a baseline for what your running deficit is.
  • For example, if you lost 0.8lb in week 14, 0.7lb in week 15, and 0.5
  • in week 16, your total weight loss over 3 weeks = 2lb.
  1.  One pound of fat is ~3500 calories. You lost two pounds over three weeks, so your deficit was 7000 calories spread over 21 days.
  2. That means your daily deficit averaged 333 calories.3
  3. Now, you know that you can add a total of 2333 calories (333cals*7days) to your week to switch to maintenance and keep your weight stable.
  4. Martin’s recommendation: “Think about the days you are more hungry and distribute calories appropriately.” stick to the same macro composition as before, but give yourself a 5% leeway to make adding foods easier. “5% leeway in the percentage intake, NOT the calories! For example, if your diet was 45% protein on your training days before, make sure it’s within 40-50% now that you’re maintaining.
  5. No food experiments, no changing the types of food you ate for two weeks. Martin: “Ideally, you should eat the exact same foods you ate during your fat loss phase, just more of them.”

I will transcribe more of this in the future, I thought it was an insightful look into the results a real client had and how he made progress on his cut.

Of course, I respect Martin and what he does so as always if you like something… Support it.  Find out more about leangains at

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