LeanGains Results: Round III


Here is my 3rd cycle of using the LeanGains (LG) style of eating for the purpose of fat loss. My first two cycles are documented here:
LeanGains Results: Round I
LeanGains Results: Round II

If you are unfamiliar with LeanGains and/or Intermittent Fasting, I recommend that you take a look at those posts and the links contained within. Unless noted otherwise, I followed the same principles/procedures/methods contained within those documents.


After 2 successful cycles of cutting on LG, I decided to follow that up with:
4 weeks Lean Bulking
4 weeks (slow) Cutting

My Plan & Goals

My plan for this cycle is documented here: LeanGains Plan: Round III.

Goal-wise I wanted to lower my body fat percentage to 7-8%. I estimated (through the use of online calculators) that my final measurements would be approximately 168 lbs a 30″ waist. To measure body fat percentage, I would use three methods: IFCalculatorSkinfold (suprailliac site only) and Naval Research Method. I would take the average of these three methods and use that number as my body fat percentage.

Working Towards a Goal

During this time period, I kept a journal to keep track of my progress and to make writing this entry easier. Instead of simply re-posting all of that information, here is a link to the entry: LeanGains Journal: Round III

Some things worth noting:

  • Weeks 2 & 3
    • we had visitors, so I was lenient with my diet
  • Week 3
    • Shoulder pain – took easy on OHP weeks 4-8
  • Week 5
    • Was planning on starting slow cut, but manual labor made it tough
  • Week 6
    • week off of diet due to visitors/manual labor. Pushed fast to normal time, but ate with family when I did eat. Did not track anything
  • Week 7
    • experimented with extending my fast to 18 hrs per day to help reduce calories/hunger
  • Week 8
    • decided to extend this cycle to 10-12 weeks
    • continued to extend fasting period
    • altered macros – reduced protein intake on training days -replaced with carbs
  • Week 9
    • mid-week cheat day, so restricted intake on most days to minimize the effects
    • Set PRs for hiking distance, weighted chins, squats, deadlifts, OHP, & neutral grip dumbell bench press
  • Week 10
    • Sick
      • wasn’t able to workout or follow diet closely
      • decided to end the cycle at 10 weeks


My goal for the this period was:

Increase strength levels while maintaining or improving current body fat percentage over 8 weeks (03/24/13 – 05/19/13)
Target (guesstimate) – 168.0 lbs w/ 30” waist ~ 7-8% bodyfat

In the end I extended the cycle by two weeks (10 total) due to some unexpected breaks from the diet. During this extended period,  I was able to decrease by body fat % to around 8% (per my methods of measurements) and I was able to increase my strength level for my lifts. My estimate ending weight was accurate, but my waist measurement was higher than expected. I wanted to push the cut two more weeks (in the hopes of getting below 8%), but being sick made this tough.

Body Measurements

Week of 03/24/13
Weight  167   168 + 1 lb
Waistline 31.04″ 30.56″ -.48 “
Average Body Fat %*  9.26%  8.1%** -1.16%
Lean Body Mass (LBM)  151.5 lbs  154.4 lbs  +2.9 lbs***
 Lbs of Body Fat  15.5 lbs  13.6 lbs  -1.9 lbs

*Average body fat % is the average of the following methods: IFCalculatorSkinfold (suprailliac site only) and Naval Research Method. The individual measurements for each of these methods can been seen in Appendix I. This number is the average of the measurement taken over 3 days.
**This number seems low to me, but I attained it using the same methods that I started the cycle with. For the sake of consistency, I am using this number.
***This number seems really high to me, however I did lose .5″ off my waist and my weight stayed nearly the same.  An increase in LBM could explain this. 

Strength Measurements

Exercise Begin
Estimated 1RM*
Estimated 1RM*
Neutral Grip Dumbbell Bench Press 113 lbs 126 lbs  +13 lbs
Barbell Dead Lift 335 lbs 385 lbs  +50 lbs
Barbell Squat 230 lbs 290 lbs +60 lbs
Chin-Ups (weighted) 250 lbs 255 lbs +5 lbs
Standing Overhead Press (OHP) 130 lbs 145 lbs  +15 lbs

*1 Rep Max is calculated using the 1RM Calculator,  Bench Press Calculator or Strength Standards.


During this cycle I learned some new things, as well as reinforced some of the things I observed previously.

Key Points:

  • I have read in a few places that is it recommend to do LG in 10 week cycles, especially on a cut. You cut for 8 weeks, follow by 2 weeks of eating at TDEE. Personally, I feel that this would be more effective:
    • 4 weeks LG, 1 week of TDEE, 4 weeks LG, 1 week of TDEE (deload for lifting also)
  • I really need to track supplement and water intake. I’ve been putting this off for months and have started having shoulder pain again.
  • Getting sicks really interferes with this diet:
    • Break fast early to take medication
    • I add weight quickly because I find myself eating ‘comfort’ foods
    • I wanted to push the cut for 1-2 more weeks, but ended the cycle due to being sick.
      • without this setback, I believe I would’ve dipped below 8% (per my methods of measurement)
    • I believe my methods of measuring body fat percentage are giving me numbers that are artificially low, but my methods have been consistent. I’m not sure how to fix this problem.

 What’s Next?

I am taking a short break (6/5/13-6/8/13) from tracking kCals and macros, while I recover from a cold. During this time period, I will decide what my next 10-12 weeks will consist of.

Appendix 1

Body Measurements (Starting)
Weight: ~167 lbs (3/24-3/26)
Bodyfat per http://www.1percentedge.com/ifcalc/: 10.0% (31.04” waist at navel, 3/24-3/26)
Bodyfat per skin-fold test: 9.4% (6 mm at suprailliac site, 3/24-3/26)
Bodyfat per Navel research method: 8.37% (3/24-3/26)
Average Body fat: 9.26%

Body Measurements (Ending)
Weight: ~168 lbs (average measurement  6/2-6/4)
Bodyfat per http://www.1percentedge.com/ifcalc/: 8.7% (30.56” average measurement 6/2-6/4)
Bodyfat per skin-fold test: 8.39% (5.17 mm at suprailliac site average measurement 6/2-6/4)
Bodyfat per Naval research method: 7.14% (average measurement  6/2-6/4)
Average Body fat: 8.08%

Body Fat Percentage (click for large image)

Strength Measurements

Exercise Starting
1RM Estimate*
1RM Estimate*
Weight Lifted
Weight Lifted
Neutral Grip Dumbbell Bench Press 116 lbs 126 lbs +10 lbs
+ 4 reps
100 lbs x 4 reps
 100 lbs x 8 reps
Barbell Dead Lift 355 lbs 385 lbs +30 lbs
275 lbs x 9 reps
 345 lbs x 3 reps
Barbell Squat 230 lbs 290 lbs +60 lbs
185 lbs x 8 reps
265 lbs x 4 reps
Chin-Ups (weighted)** 250 lbs  255 lbs +5 lbs
(BW + 70 lbs) x 3 reps
(BW + 80 lbs) x 2 reps
Standing Overhead Press (OHP)*** 130 lbs 145 lbs +15 lbs
115 lbs x 5 reps
 120 lbs x 6 reps