Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Sunday lifting thread – diet and fasting.

It’s been a while since I posted a Sunday lifting thread, mostly due to the present circumstances. I have been lifting throughout this period but it has been a bit up and down, like my moods. But it’s critical to keep working at the iron no matter what your circumstances. The iron gives you strength, not just physically but mentally as well.

In addition to the iron I am doing my best to make sure that I eat properly. This means that Sunday afternoon is my big cooking day of the week. Typically a roast chicken for lunch which I will then turn the leftovers into stock and then use that to make a soup and a stew which go into the fridge and serve my hunger needs during the week when I am a little tired or lacking motivation to cook properly.

A good diet high in protein and fat and low in carbs is really important for you in a general health sense, but if you’re lifting serious weights 3 or more times a week then you also need a big replenishment so as to not suffer muscle atrophy.

Roissy had an interesting post this week on this subject where he covered three distinct bases: Lift weights, cut carbs, intermittently fast.

The lifting weights; and by weights we mean barbells, and by load we mean maximum; is already an accepted standard in the manosphere. Lifting heavy weights doesn’t just build strength and muscle; it builds and enlarges your internal organs as well. This is much better for you than high impact cardio such as long distance running which actually damages your body over time. Instead of wearing out we’re interested in building, shaping, and developing an anti-fragile core.

The cutting carbs aspect I have followed for many years now due to a combination of spending so much time in northern Italy, (yey protein!), and a general distrust of anything that the government says is good for you. Give me bacon and eggs any day over a bowl of porridge. And throw in some black pudding while you’re at it.

Both of these practices are now beginning to be backed up by Science!, which as always is an example of the so-called experts playing catch up with people who have half a brain cell to rub together.

Roissy links to a very interesting article about how heart attacks and heart disease were virtually unknown before the 1920s. It truly is a disease of the 20th century and is attributed to smoking cigarettes, (not cigars or pipe tobacco), seed oils, and sugar. I cook with olive oil or butter, but more and more I am substituting these for good old fashioned lard. The stew that I intend to cook in a few hours is going to have a very strong base of this wonderful cooking fat.

Intermittent fasting, the practice of giving your digestive system the occasional break, is also something that I do on occasion. I don’t have to think about it as it comes naturally. For instance, last night I skipped dinner after having a light lunch. The reason is that I wasn’t feeling particularly hungry and I felt no reason to force food on my body. Saturday evening is ideal for this type of little break as unlike during the week I know that I won’t suffer any ill effects the next day due to it being a day of rest.

For me this amounted to a 16 hour fast. The experts, God help us, reckon that you should do this every day but I think that this is far too extreme and completely unreachable if you also lift heavy weights which you should be doing. My body naturally tells me when it needs a break. The key is to listen to what it is saying.

Anyway, it’s rebuild time for me at the gym and I’m using this as an opportunity to really work on my form. So for example, on my squats I’m making a point of getting right below parallel and holding it on the very last rep of my last set. If I can’t make it back up after a good 5 second pause at depth on the last hit then I’m not adding the extra weight the next time I hit the gym.

As the North American Thanksgiving holiday is almost here, I wish my American cousins good eating, excellent drinking, fine lounging around, and a great gym session to get back into it the day after it all goes down.



Podcast #96 – The 28 traits of the modern man episode.


The traits of the modern marriageable woman


  1. “it’s critical to keep working at the iron no matter what your circumstances”

    What if the circumstances currently include a herniated disk in my back? 🙂 Good news is they are rushing the surgery since they are worried about damage to the nerve bundle and it is outpatient so shouldn’t be a difficult recovery. Another reason to stay in shape so that when you do have to have a surgery, the recovery can be quick.

    I agree with the sugar issue as we now eat obscene amounts of sugar even when we try not to, but how do cigarettes factor into heart disease prior to 1920? Was there really less smoking?

    I am always a bit skeptical also about claims that such-and-such used to be unknown because they rarely take into account longer lifespans due to modern medicine. Back when people were dying around age 65, people weren’t generally getting cancer at age 85, for example.

    • Adam

      Hope you have a quick and full recovery, man.

      Was there really less smoking? Apparently so. From the quoted article:

      Annual per capita cigarette consumption in the U.S. in 1900 was 54 cigarettes. Machine-manufacturing caused the price of cigarettes to drop, and per capita consumption rose dramatically to over 4000 by 1965, and currently stands at about 1000. Less than 5% of Americans smoked cigarettes in 1900, while 42% were smokers in 1965.

    • didact117

      What if the circumstances currently include a herniated disk in my back?

      Slow and very careful lifting, only after completion of your recovery period and physical therapy, with extremely strict attention paid to good form, is the way to go.

      It is possible to work around a bulging disc – but a herniated one is a severe problem.

      I agree with the sugar issue as we now eat obscene amounts of sugar even when we try not to, but how do cigarettes factor into heart disease prior to 1920?

      Tobacco used to be a relatively rare vice because that stuff was expensive back in the day. That is a big part of the reason why inflammation caused by tobacco smoking was an unusual thing before about the 1950s or so.

  2. Dave

    I find that if I fast from getting up in the morning till about 3pm I start to get both a bit dizzy and the occasional headache…. I made one attempt at a 24hr fast but became so dizzy I needed to eat something.

    I don’t know why this happens to me, but it makes several day fasts somewhat impossible.

    • Adam

      That’s why I fast in the afternoon and when I’m sleeping. So I have a normal breakfast and lunch but then don’t eat again until the next morning.

  3. Ichabod Crane

    Do any of you guys know how to find the right amount of carbs to do while on a low-carb, keto, and intermittent-fasting regime that will NOT lead to muscle atrophy?

    I started this kind of regime in January, lost 25 kilos and completely got my pre-metabolic syndrome under control (cholesterol, BP, waist, etc.) but I ended up loses a lot of muscle mass and I find that even though I lift weights 2 or 3 times a week, I am unable to add muscle like I was before this diet regime.

    I have read the Dr. Jason Fung’s books, and watch Dr. Berg’s podcast, but haven’t seen any specifics on this. BTW, that Dr. Berg looks like he has no muscles at all!

    • Adam

      The secret to putting on muscle weight is milk. The full cream good stuff. And gallons of it.

    • How much protein are you eating relative to your body weight? Bigger Leaner Stronger author mike matthews suggests more carbs less fat for muscle building. I read the book, followed it and calorie counted and got in the best shape of my life. It was more counting than I wanted to deal with though.

  4. didact117

    Superb post with loads of good information.

    As I have pointed out several times before, the iron is a ruthless and terrible teacher – but its great virtue is that it is totally fair. And because it is fair, it provides one of the best ways possible for a man to work out his burdens and problems. The iron doesn’t care about how you feel; it only cares about whether or not you can lift it. And that is a wonderful thing, in its own way, when we men are in pain and struggling – because it gives us perspective, calmness, focus, and clear measurable goals to achieve.

    This is exactly what men need in our lives.

    Combining heavy lifting with the best of good eating and intermittent fasting is a proven and tested way to build a healthy and strong body. Meal preparation, in particular, becomes much less of a chore when one strips it all back down to the basics: meat, fat, heat, and simple vegetables are all that is required to make a hearty and healthy meal. I am always mildly amused when I see how much time it takes others to prepare their meals the “conventional” way; for me, I’m done in the kitchen in under 30 minutes.

    Oh, and your idea of hitting the pause at the bottom of the squat is an excellent one. I started doing this sometime last year and it has really helped stabilise my core and fix some issues with form.

    Good on you for keeping up with your lifting program. You are coping with the difficulties in your life in a healthy and productive way.

  5. TechieDude

    I know a dude that went full vegetablist. True, he’s lost tons and is in great shape. He’s also tipping 60 and both him and the missus were flirting with diabetes.

    He can be an insufferable evangelist. I swear there’s nothing worse than a former fatty. Worse than a former smoker. Fact of the matter is, watching the diet, and eating almost no high glycemic foods is probably what did it rather than no meat.

    I eat eggs and some sort of breakfast meat every day. Unlike cereals or oatmeal, that will last me until well into the afternoon. And at that point, I’m less hungry, so I tend to eat a smaller lunch, if any at all. When I hit the breads, rice or pasta too hard, that’s when I put on pounds. My weight hasn’t deviated more than a few pounds in five years or so, and my blood sugar is well within spec.

    Every doctor I’ve seen has said “Eat less” to lose weight. If you moderate intake, keeping the fats and meat, you have an easier time regulating what you eat. Nearly all of them said “That’s just a vehicle to watch what you eat” when I asked about these different diets.

    As far as my vegetablist pal goes? I’m certain as he ages he’ll find muscle or skeletal issues coming from years of not inputting enough protein. Then, it’ll be too late.

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