Body By Science, Fasting and BFR Training Results (with pics!)

(Windmill Tilter) #1

I lost a bunch weight earlier this year using a combination of Keto, fasting, and a once per week, 20 minute, Body by Science workout as inspired by the book by Dr. Doug McGuff.

I dropped from 265lbs down to about 220lbs. After 3 months of that, I decided to take short break, which turned into a very long break, predictably resulting in weight regain. I’ve restarted keto, have begun alternate day fasting, and I’ve just restarted my Body by Science workouts. I’m currently at 229lbs and my goal is to drop down to 185.

Here are some pics of my progress thus far:

I’m about 8lbs heavier than that right now, but that’s the gist of the progress I’ve managed so far this year. I’m looking to making equivalent progress in 2020.

The one thing I learned from my time in the gym is that form & intensity is super important! To that end, I’m going to be spending some time with a personal trainer now and then to keep my form in check and to make sure that I’m truly reaching muscle failure in each exercise.

Who else out there is doing Body by Science? Any pointers you’d like to share? Have you used a trainer that specialized in HIT? Was it worth it?

I’ll be posting my progress over the next few months in my accountability thread, but I thought I’d throw this out there to the forum at large to see who else is doing Body by Science with fasting so that we can compare notes and see what’s working (or not working!). :slightly_smiling_face:

Blood Flow Restriction article
(Bob M) #2

I did that. I agree with you that it’s quite challenging to get to failure and also to set up multiple pieces of equipment so that you can get the routine done quickly.

I have since moved to mainly body weight training, but still to failure. For instance, I’ll do pushups on the ground until I cannot do them, then as quickly as I can, I’ll do pushups with my feet propped on a bench or other raised step, do those until I can’t do them, then (as little rest as possible) do pushups on the bench (feet on ground) until I can’t do them.

A trainer could still help with all of this.

Good luck on your continued progress!

(Windmill Tilter) #3

This is the personal trainer that I’ll be working with, a guy named Jay Vincent. He’s a walking encyclopedia of High Intensity Training (HIT) knowledge, and a very talented trainer. Predictably, he’s also very expensive. I worked with him for just a couple sessions after reading Body by Science because I was a total gym noob and wanted to be sure I was doing it right.

I plan to spend more time working with him in 2020 to keep my form in check. Not every week, but definitely every month. He just opened a second gym much nearer to where I live, so at least it won’t be such a long drive.

Working out once a week for 20 minutes sounds like a preposterous way to build muscle, but it really does work. Genetics and age play a large role obviously, but you can build an impressive physique this way. Here is one of Jay’s recent progress pics. He built 90% of that working out twice per week for 20-30 minutes. He now works out once every 9 days. Before anyone says it, he did it without the use of steroids or HGH. I have no expectation or ambition to build that much muscle, but Jay makes it clear that you can maximize genetic potential with a HIT approach.

For anybody interested in what a High Intensity Training workout looks like, here is a vid of what Jay does once every 9 days, and what he had me do in our sessions together. It doesn’t look like much, but trust me when I say these workouts are intense. It takes me 3-4 days to recover, compared to 1 day when I was doing Stronglifts/ Starting Strength with free weights.

(Windmill Tilter) #4

Absolutely. It’s harder in a commercial gym because invariably, some idiot is doing 20 sets of 10 reps on the next machine you need… :grinning:

The toughest part for me is getting to total muscle failure. It hurts like hell. If you don’t get to total failure though, and you’re not giving at least 99% intensity, it really impacts progress. I know I could have done better in that department. Still, my leg press went up from 500lbs to 600lbs in 3 months, so I was definitely making progress!

The big thing for me was that I didn’t lose muscle while losing weight. Typically, 25%-30% of weight loss is lean mass, some portion of which is muscle. I was happy with how much muscle I was able to hang on to by just adding in a 20 minute workout every week!

(Katie) #5

Congratulations on your changes and success so far!

I have not done Body By Science, but I have heard of it. Most recently I listened to @Scottmys discuss it on his podcast (among other things) with Lawrence Neal. It was a great episode!


I do Body By Science. I do LOVE it, but the gains haven’t been quite what I’ve wanted so far. I’m 65 by the way.

(Bob M) #7

I think this is part of the reason I’m having a harder time fasting lately. I find fasting for 36+ hours very difficult to do. I think that’s because my short, intense body weight workouts are even more intense than BBS workouts, mainly because I can get from exercise to exercise. With BBS, as you state, someone might be or get on equipment that is critical for muscle depletion/failure. Since I just need my own body or the items I use (pull up bar, etc.) have multiple copies and no one is on them, I’m getting a more intense workout.

And this I think means my body does not want me to skip eating for a day.

Combine that with doing tons of home remodeling work on the weekends, and fasting is tough.

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #8

I’m 66 and am doing BBS w/o a trainer. I use a clip board with history on it and I know exactly what wt for the next time for each eqpt. I separate lower and upper on different days and am trying to get to failure. I have been best at this the last 5 or 6 weeks and the last 3 especially.

I’m losing body fat at an accelerated rate and building some small bulk. My genes are not set for significant bulk. But my strength is growing each week. 1/week now for upper and 1/wk for lower.

I tend to eat breakfast these days and consume bone broth and a protein oriented meal. I have shifted to doing this on wed/thur and fast mon, tues. When I want to fast 3 days I will do BBS on Thursday and Friday.

So far only twice has competition for eqpt been a problem. But I am in the gym at 5 am and do a 10 min warm up and then have at it.

I can’t do leg presses right now because of a bad tendon. So I do 4 lower body. On the hip adduction (squeeze) I am topped out at 305 lbs. I still do these and have slowed down a lot which seems to give me some capacity for failure.

I have noticed a difference on all parts of my body and that is what I want. This is an infinite game for me. So progress is what matters. I’m not trying to optimize this to some nth degree.

If this is not clear - I love BBS workouts or at least the results.

(Windmill Tilter) #9

Fasting in conjunction with weight training is definitely a tricky one. This past winter/spring when I was fasting, I would always feast for at least two days after a BBS workout.

Hard to imagine a workout more intense than BBS. There were definitely times after just 80 seconds of leg press at 600# that I couldn’t even stand up and just had to sit there on the machine for a couple minutes like an idiot before I stand!

Since you’re doing bodyweight, have you checked out Drew Bayes Project Kratos? He’s been an HIT advocate and trainer for 30 years or so, and Kratos is his bodyweight only version of HIT. It looks brutal, but given the source, I’m guessing it’s good. I’ve been seeing a bunch of HIT luminaries like Skyler Tanner doing it and talking about it.

(Windmill Tilter) #10

Interesting. Have you seen gains but they haven’t met your goals, or have the gains been inadequate generally? The one thing I love about HIT is that the risk of injury are minimized by design, so it’s never necessary to stop doing because of injury. That’s kind of gain/win in and of itself in my book!

I tried Stronglifts 5x5, and had to stop after a few months because my back and knees were in a great deal of pain.

(Windmill Tilter) #11

I had a similar approach. Fasting and BBS go really well together I think. Earlier this year from Jan 15 through April 15 I did what could best be described as “serial fasting”. I would fast 84hrs, do my BBS workout in the fasted state, and then feast for 36hrs. Rinse and repeat for 3 months.

Five days seemed to be a good recovery time for me between workouts, and the ability to feast for 2 days after the workout seemed to work well too. I let my hunger be my guide to a large extent though. My basic rule was if I woke up hungry for breakfast, it defacto became a “feasting” day. Sometimes that would mean an extra day of feasting, and sometimes that would cut a 84hr fast down to 60hrs. I’d say 90% of the time however, the 3Fast/2Feast split felt really good.

Same here. I don’t enjoy the workout for the 7 minutes of time under tension (TUT), but I love the results. Watching the weight go up or the TUT go up every week is a great feeling. Visible progress is super motivating!

Any tips you’d suggest for getting the most of your workouts?

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #12

I’m just figuring this out myself. Sorry, not ready to supply more info than I already have.

(Bob M) #13

I think it’s more intense only because you can’t really go to failure by yourself with weights. For the 45 degree angle leg presses, for instance, you get to a certain point and you have to stop. If you had a helper, you could do forced reps/negatives/whatever. Without that, you can’t.

And to go from that to say a hack squat machine, you’re putting weights on the machine, etc. (Unless you’re lucky enough the machine was empty and you could set up both machines. Rare where I workout, but possible.)

But I can go from Romanian split squats to single leg squats on a bench to pistol squats to quad extensions with zero rest (other than most of these are for one leg only, so you are getting a rest there).

And I’ve always had strong quads from doing decades of squats (back when my back was better), but I cannot do a full range pistol squat. See what this guy does for instance:

So, I’m very impressed with these guys. This same guy was showing how to do some back exercises. He grabbed a parallel bar of the type you’d use to do dips, flipped upside down and pointed his legs in the air, then pulled his entire freaking body up and down for reps. That’s impressive.

Also, unlike with machines, these require a lot of balance. For some of the reps I’m doing, I’m falling over at times. Check out the pistol squats in the video.

Even the quad extensions, I can’t do the whole way.

So, it’s just a different way of working to failure. It does have some of the problems of machines (still can’t really go to failure), but since you are your own gym, you can pack more into a shorter time span. (Note: I still use machines for things like dips or pull ups, where I need help.)

(Windmill Tilter) #14

Looks like it would definitely be a good workout. My problem is that I can only bribe myself to work out if I know there is a hot sauna waiting for me at the end. So it’ll be the gym for me for the forseeable future :yum:

(Windmill Tilter) #15

That’s pretty funny. I found my trainer Jay Vincent listening to the High Intensity Business Podcast! It’s an incredible resource. Pretty much all of the best folks in the HIT world have come in for a long-form hour long podcast. Jay was a guest on the show and I realized he studio was in a town within driving distance… :smile:

The Body by Science workout is definitely worth a try. It’s pretty easy to get started, and the time investment is pretty small at just 20 mins a week. I’m a fan :smile:

(Kirk Wolak) #16

I do Slow-Slow (McGuff and Dr. Ben Bocchicchio) every week!
I just cut down to ONE time per week from TWO… Because I do too much fasting!
Be careful with overtraining!

Tips: Don’t extend 100% and do NOT collapse at the end, keep the weight in the 90% zone to keep the muscles under tension. When you fail, if you REALLY want to inroad, keep pushing on the weight with all you have for 10 more seconds.

If I fail at the 40-60% mark on the movement, but I can still move the weights in a LIMITED RANGE but not to the extremes, I will keep doing what I can until I can no longer even do that. I log that as: X / Y (so in seconds: Chest Pull: 160lbs 78 / 16
Meaning I was able to keep moving the weight in a limited range for 16 seconds. This is more obvious on the PEC DECK. Where you can no longer make the bars touch, and little by little you can’t get to the 50% mark, then you can’t even move the bars… Then you are done!)

The challenge is that you need protein when building muscle.
In this video, I talk to Bart Kay, who has like 2 degrees in exercise physiology and was a researcher in the area about BFR (You gotta try this), Slow-Slow and HIIT

I am planning to do a BFR Routine on Fridays, with SS on Mondays (after 2 days of fasting, and the refeed after the workout). I will do coffee with collagen before the workout!

Then working on getting HIIT at various times!

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #17

I did this this week. Wow that made such a difference. Felt it for an hour after being done.

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #18

I’m 66 yo and still need to lose some fat. (current wt ~185 down from 248 when I started keto and likely a high of near 300 years ago).

I’m 5’8" (was 5’10" until I started aging). I’m using this WOE / WOL and BBS to become an exemplar phenotype for my genotype at my age.

I’m not sure how bulky my genes will allow me to be. My lower body muscles are very well defined and seem a little elongated. My previous high wt I sure required me to have leg muscles that are strong and I have improved on that with failure training.

My arm and wrist diameters are small but I am gaining muscle definition. My sense is I will have somewhat elongated muscles and not short bulky ones.

I do want to completely get rid of my man boobs but I’m told here and elsewhere I have to get my body fat % way down. I have made progress on them and I include resistance training for pecs. (Pec fly and seated chest press).

I lift dumbells for my wrists (fingers up), one arm at a time and I’m up to 50lbs. I can see good muscle definition in my wrists and lower arms but again a bit elongated. I really like the wrist exercises for some reason.

(PSackmann) #19

So much good information here. I started BBS about a month ago, to reverse the muscle-loss I could feel. I tend to go on Friday afternoons, and break my fast afterwards. I’ll have to try fasting a day or so beforehand to see if that makes a difference. I too struggle getting to failure, so appreciate the tips everyone has shared. I can say, I’ve noticed I can do more as far as climbing stairs or carrying things, that’s a huge win. Although, the stepladder this week is definitely kicking my butt today–3 hours or so of painting each day this week makes me glad I’m no longer a total couch potato, I can feel it today though.

(Bunny) #20

Wow! He could incinerate a candy bar on contact no problem with muscles like that, awesomeness at its best!

Working out every 9 days, that sounds reasonable!