What if we told you there was a way to build strength and muscle but stay incredibly lean all at the same time?
You’d probably think we were bullshitting – we thought the same thing to be fair.
But natural bodybuilder, powerlifter and fitness model Cory Gregory looks like he’s stumbled upon the Holy Grail of dieting.
The Muscle Pharm founder has created something he has dubbed ‘anabolic fasting’ which he credits for helping him get bigger and stronger while keeping himself looking peeled.
What is this witchcraft you might ask? It’s basically a hybrid diet he has devised using the best elements from two separate diets – one primed for muscle growth and the other for fat loss.
Anabolic fasting is a clever combination of Dr Mauro DiPasquale’s famous ‘Anabolic Diet’ and the popular ‘intermittent fasting’ concept.
You’ve probably heard of intermittent fasting – where you basically do all your eating in an eight hour ‘window’ and then fast the rest of the time. Proponents says for the 16 hours you don’t eat, you’re basically burning your body fat as fuel.
But most people won’t have heard of the ‘Anabolic Diet’. It’s basically a way of manipulating carbs and fats, and your body’s hormonal response to them, to optimise fat burning and muscle building.
High fats and low carbs during the week to get your body in fat burning mode and then the opposite at the weekend where pigging out on carbs helps replenish your muscles glycogen stores and brings a huge anabolic gains similar to that when bodybuilders finally get a cheat meal after a competition.
Gregory pretty much discovered it by accident, as he explained on the Barbell Shrugged podcast.
”Most bodybuilders go through this diet process for 12 to 15 weeks and then the night of the show they eat everything in sight.
”They usually look better the next day, because there’s such an anabolic effect when you load those carbohydrates…and it’s usually at night too.
”So they’re eating all this food and their body is reacting and all their hormones have spiked. So he (Dr DiPasquale) was like ‘how do I create a diet plan that does that weekly?’
What he devised was a plan that was high in saturated fats and protein but low in carbs for most of the week, followed by high carbs days at the weekend to reap the anabolic effects of the hormone insulin which is released when you eat carbs.
”So it’s all about insulin stability and loading carbs at the proper time.
”I took bits of that diet that I liked – the carb spike areas I liked and the elevating hormones at a certain time.
”One thing he taught me was that if you spike insulin properly then GH (growth hormone) and test (Testosterone) comes with it.”
While he was following the Anabolic Diet protocol, followers on the internet were asking him about intermittent fasting. Gregory says he was always brought up to believe six meals a day was the only way to eat if you train. But he gave the IF a crack, just eating two meals over an eight hour period.
”Everyone had been asking me about intermittent fasting online like crazy. I had never given it a shot before.
”I gave intermittent fasting a true run but then by default I ate how I normally eat which is similar to the Anabolic Diet.
”So when I meshed them together I started getting leaner, I started feeling good and then I was getting ready for a shoot and I could get ready in four weeks but my numbers were still going up.
”My strength was still going up and I was looking better.”
So how does it work? Basically Gregory eats just two meals a day during an eight hour window and then includes something late at night that will give him an insulin spike – something carb based. One meal at midday, one meal at 6pm and then some carbs in the evening.
‘‘I have two quality meals a day then a spike before bed.
”I eat at 12 o’clock. Protein veg and a fat. I keep my insulin stable all day. My carbs don’t come until night. I’m completely the opposite to how I started off in this business. I used to think ‘you can’t eat carbs before bed’ and I was into the whole five meals a day.
”If you control insulin, you control how you feel and you control how you perform. That insulin crash is why everyone crashes at 3pm at their desk after they’ve eaten pasta for lunch.”
By eating just fats and proteins for his first meal he ensures that his insulin levels don’t spike (where we get a burst of energy and then a crash).
He also eats lots of vegetables to keep him full and stays hydrated throughout the day.
The best bit of his new protocol is that he doesn’t have to weigh any food and that he can still pig out at the weekends and not lose his shred.
Nightly Weighted Crunches Done! 1 week till Muscle Beach time to dial in #anabolicfasting & get these ABs looking thick and nasty. #nofilter ️Corygfitness.com @maxeffortmuscle #maxeffort #getstacked #squatlife #lungeandlearn #AnabolicFasting #workouts @reebok @reebokone @menshealthmag @inside_fitness
”I like jalepeno potato chips and I like dark beer. I’m a family man, I have three kids and they like to go for ice cream.
”How do I balance being a regular guy and this maniac fitness dude?
”So I’d smash nine tacos on a Friday and I’d wake up the next day and my (muscle) pump would be nasty.
”I’d do the same again on the Saturday night – one meal and some beers.
”Then when Sunday comes, bring it back tight to the protocol. Then Monday is like ‘boom’ I don’t look no different.”
This sounds like a diet plan we could get on board with. Here is Gregory talking more about it from around 37 minutes in…