View Full Version : Testing IF

Brian Shanks
07-06-2007, 06:51 AM
Ok a little background first.
I am a hobbiest nutrition and workout buff. I love to read about different things and try them out to test how they work.
I am also training in MMA and hope to compete this fall.
I started Paleo eating(75-80% compliant) about a year and a half ago when I told my coach I wanted to compete. I lost around 20lbs and have kept it off.

I recently started reading about IF in this forum and another one. The concepts sound like they have scientific principle backing them so I thought I would give it a try. Most days I train twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Depending on the day, It can be anything from a strength program, a muscle endurance program, conditioning, or BJJ/MMA class.

My goal of trying IF is to see if I can maintain my training intensity with fasting days included in my weekly schedule. I have recently had a problem with getting boil type infections on my arm and an ankle that doesn't seem to want to heal. I was hoping IF would help with the immune system, injury healing, and I am toying with the idea of fighting at 155 (current weight 175-180).

This week I implemented a type of IF. My goal is on Mon, Wed, and Fri to fast for 12 hours. Tues and Thurs I eat my regular 4-6 small meals, the weekends are basically what ever the family dictates. On fasting days I will eat from 7-7:30 in the morning, then eat from 7:30 till bed in the evening.

After reading through alot of the posts on IF, the lowest time of fasting is around 17 hours. Will I get any of the IF benefits by fasting only 12 hours?
This week I did an endurance workout which consisted of 5 snatches, 5 dumbbell swings, and 10 burpees with 1 minute rest inbetween complex for a total of 5 sets. It is a really tough workout and I made it through it. I didn't necessarily feel any downside from not having the food in me. Energy level seemed normal.
But this morning, (fasted yesterday because of wife and 4th of July) I did a mile run with fido and a core routine and I was punked. I am hoping once I get used to fasting this feeling will go away?

Sorry for the long post!
Any input is appreciated.
Also just recently subscribed to the newsletter so haven't read the issue discussing IF.

Thanks again


Robb Wolf
07-07-2007, 09:59 AM
Hey Brian!
It may be kinda lame but no one really knows how long one needs to fast to gain benefit. I suspect it is a somewhat linear dose/response curve with benefits for things like cancer treatment being out at the 48-72 hour level...but again, no on really knows.

I'd recommend easing into things...start with 12 hrs and See how you feel that week. then try marching it out 1 hour each week. Ideally you should feel "better" training should be solid and hopefully this helps to streamline your life. If not a simple Paleo/Zone approach works great and is always an ideal fall back.

Keep us posted!

Brian Shanks
07-20-2007, 10:26 AM

I took your advice and Sunday was my first 18 hour fast, I had a decent workout but it was after the fast ended.
Since then I have switched my IFing to 8pm to 10am on Tuesday and Thursdays. This means I only have to do one workout on a fasted state and get to refuel for BJJ class.
So far this week it has worked good.