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Can we all be lean!?



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  • Can we all be lean!?

    hi All

    Been lurking for quite a while now but am keen to clear a few things to help keep me motivated.

    I have a similar story to most (standard western diet and overweight but trianed hard) I have now been paleo for about 6 months with a Christmas break inbetween and have seen the folloing benefits:

    age 38

    weight loss - 105 KG to 80 KG (231 lbs - 176 lbs)
    feeling good
    better look
    constant blood sugar etc etc - the usual benefits

    I have large shoulders back from past international swimming (many years ago) I also have good aerobic base and have competed Ironman triathlon (althoug was not slim when I competed)

    But, I am keen to know if I carry on the weight loss will/can i get a lean/muscular look (maybe not a six pack but four would be nice) Or is there a natural stopping point due to genetics etc?

    I am keen to get that ripped look while I am still quite young!! maybe a little vain but I feel we all should be the best fitness/look we can manage.

    i currently walk loads with my dog (2-3 hours per day)
    weight train - 3/4 times per week - heavy compound exercises - mix between 5 - 10 reps - x 5 sets

    any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Many thanks



  • #2
    Why dont you ask the children in africa if everyone can get lean?

    Seriously though, of course everyone can get lean, some might naturally lose more muscle in the process than others but thats mainly a matter of your diet.


    • #3
      Lean is the default look, where most people are today is not normal. So yes, everyone can become lean, some will just be more muscular than others.


      • #4
        You can get lean. Your genetics determines how much you have to invest into getting lean in terms of time, money and pysical and psychological endurance. Most people can be healthy and 'smooth' with some extra fat on a reasonable amount of efforts with minimal discomfort. To be sub-average BF% (i.e. visibly lean) most people need to work on macros, eating schedules and endure hunger. The professional body image folks (bodybuilders, models) are not lean 24:7 x 365 a year. They alternate between comfortably fat state, and the 'event' state. We all have seen those rare folks that look great and lean year-round, but it is unknoawabale unless you are their confidant if it is due to genetics or martyrdom.
        My Journal:
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


        • #5
          When I was young, I wanted to be slim for sexual reasons.
          Now that I'm old, I want to be slim for health reasons.
          Just finished Mark's big, updated book last night.
          I appreciated his chapter that advised us not to shoot for "magazine cover look" (they're doctored galore with graphics programs anyway). Being healthy doesn't mean bikini-knock out.
          Reminds me of the movie when a lean, muscular guy took off his shirt and the girl looked shocked and exclaimed:
          "You look like you've been PhotoShopped!"

          I've noticed that "extreme body types" seek out partners that are also "extreme body types" -- whether it's being fit, or being FAT!


          • #6
            Thanks for the replys - It would be good to get down to a fit looking shape - readiness! Most of my adult life I have always had the fat around my middle and trained hard - but that was before eating real. hopefully with the new nutrition and training techniques I can achieve a state of readiness?

            thanks again


            • #7
              10-15% is pretty easily obtainable in my case. I don't try to do anything less.


              • #8
                Check out The site has a strategy for what you are talking about.


                • #9
                  I have been at this now for almost 2 years. I'm 46, m, 5'11, 165lbs. 2 years ago I was nearly 250lbs. I spent 21 years in the military and was fit enough to pass all my PT tests, but still always carried a spare tire. When I retired in 2004, I let myself go to hell, gained 50 lbs and was a metabolic wreck within 2 years. When I decided to get back in shape, I tried the CW way--low fat, low-cal, cardio-heavy--didn't work. I'd lose 20 gain 25.

                  I discovered PB in 2010, in first year I had dropped to 175 and maintained it for a long time, but still had too much belly flab.

                  This winter, I got serious and threw fasting and cold thermogenesis at it. Result: now 165lbs w/six pack.

                  My eating plan was simple and sustainable; eat until full twice a day, skip breakfast most days, no snacking, and not eating on Thursday. So, a daily IF 16-8 style and a weekly fast of approx 40 hrs. Otherwise, strict paleo with limited fruit and cheese.

                  Exercise wise; body weight stuff only, pullups/chinups/pushups/squats/dips and walking 3-5 miles a day, sprints once a week or every other week.

                  Cold wise: I exposed myself to as much cold as I could last winter. I exercised regularly dressed in minimal clothes in temps around -10F - 32F. Took very cold baths (40 deg F) several times a week, and set thermostats as low as I was allowed (64 at work, 68 at home). Walked barefoot in the snow several times a week for 15 minutes or so.

                  The diet and exercise were pretty much what got me down to 175 with a spare tire, but the cold is what helped me get rid of the fat and get a six-pack.


                  • #10
                    Yes check out lean Also Eat Stop Eat- Brad Pilon is a pro body builder. Lean Hybrid also- Elliot Hulse has a great body building system based on The Warrior Diet.


                    • #11
                      Yes, you can.

                      With normal diet and right effort and enough sleep, your body will go toward it's natural balance. Some body types naturally carry more fat than others, so where you stop will be dependent upon that.

                      It is also possible to go farther into leanness than your natural spot. It will take special measures -- more effort and more specific effort depending upon your unique needs.


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the positive replies, this will help motivate me to get lean and not to think I should have a life of being pudgy because of my genes!

                        With reference to IF, I have been following a form of this for a week now:

                        Am - walk 30 to 60 mins
                        8.00am breakfast
                        12.00 lunch but not always as don't normally feel hungry
                        Then walk or weights in the evening (weights 3 times per week, sprint once)
                        No more food till tomorrow AM
                        Although take BCAA supplement before and after gym session and sprint (purple wrath)

                        Does this look ok. I know lean gains suggest doing this the other way round, ie train in morning and eat in the evening, but I don't have access to the gym in the morning.

                        Does this programme look ok?


                        • #13
                          Hi Marcus, I too am hoping to slim down, (but not necessarily lean out, I like my curves. ) so I'm hopeful that it's possible to do. Also, congrats on the progress so far!!

                          Looking over the exercise you listed, I think what you're missing is the High Intensity exercise. When you do HIIT, and then don't eat carbs afterwards, your body naturally releases Human Growth Hormone (like tons of it) in the two hours after you exercise. (Key is to eat 20 g/protein within 30 minutes of you working out.)

                          Before I found MDA, I followed Dr. Mercola a lot, (I still do), he talks a lot about "Peak 8", which Phil Campbell has studied a lot and has written a book about ("Ready, Set, Go"), Phil calls HIIT, Sprint 8. You can watch a short youtube video about it here:
                          Peak 8: Diet and Somatopause - YouTube

                          IMO, the key things about what he says is in that clip, is that HGH goes after fat like a heat seeking missile, is anti-aging and helps build muscle. Also, he spoke about how we age we enter a phase called somataphause which he calls "the middle age spread". And this HIIT, Peak 8, Sprint 8 type workout can help reverse it.

                          I bought his book (Ready, Set, Go) and find it very interesting so far.

                          Anyway, just my $.02, Good luck w/everything!


                          Oops, just saw your latest post, saying that you sprint once a week. Maybe up it to twice a week, and try adapting it to the Sprint 8/Peak 8 way of doing it?
                          Last edited by lissee; 05-06-2012, 12:30 AM. Reason: Edit at the end.