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I’ve been getting a huge number of emails about a recently released diet and supplement strategy, and, because it has a fair amount in common with previous strategies and dietary practices that I’ve either recommended or written about, I thought I would address it here.

A few weeks back, T-Nation.com finally revealed a full article and Livespill discussion about the “Mag-10 Pulse Fast” a practice about which T-Nation coach and muscle building expert Christian Thibaedeau has mentioned several times in regard to the training and contest prep of a number of his bodybuilding competitors.

Now, before we go further, I feel it necessary to put forth a bit of a disclaimer:

I am a freelance fitness author with no official ties to T-Nation, nor any financial stake in the magazine or the parent supplement company thereof, Biotest.

However, T-Nation has always been and hopefully will always be a good friend of Roman Fitness Systems, and I write for the magazine as frequently as I’m able. The editors have always been pretty good to me, and I have an excellent relationship with the site and the company. I use their products from time to time (some more than others) and I believe that while they are a bit heavy on the marketing every now and again, Biotest makes some of the best supplements in the industry and have great quality control.

This article is not intended to endorse the company, nor to tear them down in any way. It’s merely a frank discussion of a product I haven’t yet used, based on my own observations and knowledge of similar practices.

Given all of that, in this discussion I’ll try to be as objective as possible.

With the boring disclaimer BS out of the way, let’s get down to brass tacks.

To bring everyone up to speed, let’s get a brief synopsis of this protocol. Essentially, the Mag-10 Pulse Fast is a fast day during which subjects take frequent doses (known as Pulses) of the protein supplement Mag-10. During this day, no calories outside of this supplement are to be taken in.

Of course, that doesn’t really explain the theory behind the protocol or explain tell you why you should or shouldn’t be doing it. Before we get into that, I think it best to enter into a (very) brief discussion of fasting in general.

Fasting, simply, is not eating. (Like I said, this is going to be very brief.) There are both full day fasts (which I’ve recommended on various occasions) and daily fasts or variations of intermittent fasting. In the latter model, you simply restrict your eating window to a predetermined but relatively short period of time; therefore, everything outside of this window will be time spent fasting.

Which brings us to the question:

Why fast?

There are really two main reasons to employ fasting: Calorie restriction and hormonal manipulation.

Calorie Stuff – Speaking generally, fast days work because they put you in a huge caloric deficit without even moving, and you wind up exercising and expanding that deficit tremendously.

As an example, let’s say we have a sample client. For the sake of visualization, our client is 193 pounds, 8% body fat, and really, really, really ridiculously good looking. His name, by the way, is Broman.

So let’s say by the calorie formula I normally use, Broman’s daily Caloric intake would be just about 3,000 Calories in order to maintain his weight. If he wanted to just have a traditional diet, he’d reduce to 2,600.

He begins with a Caloric deficit of 400, and then maybe does 800 Calories worth of activity, for a total reduction of 1200 Calories. Not bad. At this rate, he should lose two pounds per week.

However, in the full day fasting model, Broman just straight up does not eat.

So right off the bat, he is taking in 0 calories instead of 3,000, or even 2,600. Add in a reasonable amount of exercise (let’s stick with 800), and we have a really significant deficit. If he doesn’t exercise, Broman is 3000 Calories in the hole. By training as he normally would, he’s at negative 3,800 Calories.

Essentially, Anyone fasting for even one day per week is reducing their total Caloric intake by 14%, assuming uniform dietary intake on all other days.

Not hard to see how this can lead to fat loss.

Hormonal StuffIntermittent fasting proponents are (rightfully) very fast to point out the hormonal benefits of fasting. And, honestly, those that discuss this as the primary focus of their nutritional strategies are really more adequately equipped to discuss this in depth.

Rather than get into a huge discussion of hormonal interaction (which I feel would be just a bit beyond the scope of this already overly long post) I will just give a few bullet points.

Fasting:

  • Increases the secretion of growth hormone. We’ve discussed growth hormone before, so, for the sake of brevity, let’s allow that any and all increases in GH lead to faster fat loss and a greater propensity for muscle gain.
  • Increase in Insulin sensitivity. This is particularly true when training is involved. That is, training in a fasted state increases insulin sensitivity, which of course helps for fat loss. That aside, fasting in general seems to help in this regard.
  • Leptin Manipulation. Leptin levels decrease when fasting, but you get a big boost the minute you start to eat again. Dietary manipulation of leptin for fat loss is one of the main principles of both Cheat Your Way Thin and the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet, two programs which I’ve discussed ad nauseum, so for those who aren’t familiar, check those programs out.

Those are the basics–if you’re really interested in fasting and it’s affects on your hormones, some of the best guys to check out are Brad Pilon and Martin Berkhan.

Moving on:

Let’s return briefly to the discussion of Caloric restriction. Not eating for an entire day certainly does lead to a large Caloric deficit, which should lead to fat loss, as noted above with our client Broman. Of course, it can be argued that huge deficits can lead to muscle loss; however, there are ways to allow for losing fat without losing muscle.

The first method (which you’ve seen before) is to schedule the fast day so that it comes on the heels of a cheat day (as in my feast–>fast model) or after a relatively high Calorie day when you’re trying to gain mass. As leptin levels will be elevated and you’re sitting on a huge caloric surplus from the previous day, you’ll be able to do it without losing mass.

In this model, I have always recommended that you supplement with Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) in order to help preserve muscle.

As I’ve said, I’ve written about it before, so if you want more information on that, read the blog post and check out the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet.

I should mention that a lot of the fasting gurus don’t make this recommendation, and seem not to feel that any muscle loss is likely, even with a 36-hour fast.

I’m not sure I agree. Mainly, I feel that BCAA’s are so cheap and are generally pretty effective supplement in their own right that there’s really no drawback to using them for this purpose.

The second method, about which the remainder of this post will be concerned, is the Mag-10 Pulse Fast model. In the new layout by Biotest, instead of using just BCAAs, you’ve got the doses of Mag-10 protein, taken 8-10 times per day.

Now, as far as helping hold on to mass while adding minimal Calories, something like this Mag-10 pulse should certainly help; you’ll be getting good amino acids to preserve muscle while simultaneously keeping your calories pretty damn low.

The argument Biotest puts forth is really pretty similar to what most fasting experts say about fasting: putting it simply, using the Mag-10 Pulse Fast essentially allow for simultaneous muscle gain and fat loss.

But how?

Well, the Pulse Fast allows you to live on extremely reduced Calories, as well as increase the sensitivity of various hormonal/anabolic receptors. The contents of the Mag-10 both take advantage of and exacerbate this, allowing for increased energy and strength during the fasting period.

Once you start eating again, you’re primed for growth.

To use their terms, you’re creating a “thermo-anabolic” environment and turn you into an “easy gainer.”

Does any of that sound familiar?

Well, it should, because it pretty much just sounds like a summary of the hormonal stuff I talked about earlier.

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not saying they’re full of shit; quite the opposite. Nearly all of what they are saying about fasting is essentially true.

So, even if the recommended supplements were made up of nothing more revolutionary than Amino Acids and/or Cocaine, this would entire thing still probably work pretty well.

That isn’t what I’m questioning, and that isn’t why I bothered to write this post.

Rather, the MAIN thing here is that I don’t know that this is overall going to be THAT much better than just dosing directly with BCAAs during the fast day.

Obviously Biotest says it is, but they are trying to sell you a 130 dollar package instead of a 20 dollar bottle of BCAAs.

Knowing Biotest they way I do, though, I would have to say that at the very least I believe that THEY believe there is a reason to do this. That is, in my experience with them, they’re not the type of company to bother creating protocols like this unless on some level they think it’s better than what’s been available.

They have some case studies, some good sales copy and seemingly some good results.

I obviously believe that there is great merit to fasting for a full day every now and again to lose fat, and I think that done properly you are going to be able to hold onto strength and mass without an issue.

What I DON’T know is if this protocol is going to be more effective than just using BCAAs.

And, if it does prove to be more effective, will it the increase in efficacy be great enough to justify the cost?

Time for a Breakdown:

I think it would help if we put the entire comparison in more bleak mathematical terms, and just to be the most clear, I’ll use only Biotest supplements to illustrate.

The Mag-10 Pulse Fast Package is $124.99 (NOTE: this package also includes Alpha GPC and Power Drive, two supplements about which discussion is a bit beyond the scope of this post.) This package, based on recommended dosing, will last you 3 Pulse Fast Days, working out to roughly $41.66 per day.

As an aside, with that package, you’ll run out of Mag-10 first; but you’d still have plenty of everything else left over. Stretching it from there, you can also add another tub of Mag-10 to your order, bringing the total to $184.98, and bring to total to about $26.42 for 7 total Pulse Fast Days; which, while not incredibly cheap, quite a bit more reasonable.

Skipping the full protocol and using only the Mag-10 Protein supplement, let’s go again with the cheaper option of ordering two containers of Mag-10. This brings the price per unit from 59.99 to 54.99, or 109.98. Again, you’ll get 7 Pulse Fast Days. With this abbreviated protocol, you’re looking at $15.71 per Pulse Fast Day. Better still.

To be fair, let’s consider here, though, that $15.71 is probably less than you would spend on food during an average day. (Yeah, you’re not eating for 36 hours. Forgot about that, didn’t cha?)

However, let’s look at the other option.

Biotest BCAAs retail at $24.99 for 240 capsules. The recommended dosage is 6 capsules, but for the purposes of physique maintenance during a fast, I would have people using about 30 capsules per fast day. In that case, each bottle would last you 8 fast days, or just about $3.12–quite a difference.

Even at it’s cheapest, using Pulse Fast Days with Mag-10 is going to cost you six times the amount of money that you’d pay for using the discounted BCAAs alone.

If you were to opt with the full Pulse Fast Protocol, (even at it’s cheapest) you’d pay more than 10 times cost of using the BCAAs.

Okay, enough mathz.

You are at this point wondering, “Roman, is this worth it for me?”

Honestly, I have no idea. I haven’t tried the protocol (yet) and I don’t know that I will at any point in the near future, so I’ll have to reserve a verdict for that date.

What I DO know is that I’ve done fast days using BCAAs alone and gotten great results over the past few years. My experiences with that, out of interest, helped lead to the inclusion of fast days using BCAAs in the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet, by the way, and thousands of people have gotten great results using that method.

(NOTE: It must be mentioned that in that instance, it’s a fast day following a cheat day, which does make a difference. A fast day without a cheat day is a different beast, but I have done those as well — using slightly higher BCAAs –and also seeing nice results.)

So where does this all leave us?

Unfortunately, I can only hazard a guess here, but what I’ll say is that as much as I love Biotest, I believe that while they got the idea right, the execution might be overkill for the average person.

From a dollar-to-dollar perspective, I have a really hard time believing that you’re going to get 6-10 times the results. I mean, hell, if you do, hat’s off to them in the most honest and sincere way possible.

To be fair, even if you were to get “only” twice the results using the Pulse Fast than you would by using just BCAAs, it might not justify the cost for some people.

On the other hand, for those people who have very advanced physiques and for whom losing even 1 pound of muscle is a grave concern (or, to be blunt, those who simply do not mind a price increase of 10x to get 2x better results because their fat loss is just that important to them) I’d say give it a try.

If money is no object (and/or you like experimenting) I can certainly see the appeal.

For me personally: while money isn’t “no object” for me, I’ll be blunt and say that stuff like this really piques my curiosity, and at some point if I have to pay 125 bucks to satisfy that curiosity and test it out, I will do so without hesitation or regret, if only so that I can give you a more honest appraisal.

Further to that, I personally DO fall into the category of people for whom their physique is an investment of utmost importance, so if I saw phenomenal results I would be able to justify the cost going forward. I guess the smart thing for Biotest to do here would be send me some free stuff and let me blog about my experiences. *hinthint*

You’ll have to make your own decision on this one, but for the average trainee or anyone with more than 20 pounds of fat to lose, I’d say you can probably hold off until you get leaner.

Summary

Okay, for those who skipped the majority of the post because I am an overly verbose, garrulous, loquacious individual who is so prone to voluble prolixity that he cannot write a blog post of less than 3,000 words, I’ve also just written a brief summary.

The Mag-10 Pulse Fast

What it Be: A fast day using frequent doses or “pulses” of Biotest’s Mag-10 Protein Supplement.

What it Do: Allows you to gain muscle and lose fat due to a mix of extreme Caloric restriction and hormonal manipulation.

Do It Workz: Yes; given the inclusion of the fast day alone, and the research that supports fasting, it would be hard to say that this didn’t work.

Does it Work Better Than Other Options (ie Fasting Alone or Fasting With BCAAs): Unknown. Even if it does, it’s hard to say whether the increase in efficacy would justify the increase in cost.

Who Can Benefit: Very advanced trainees, people who like to experiment, Biotest, anyone who considers their training worthy of financial investment.

Who Should Skip It: People already making good progress, those who hate supplements, people who don’t like to fast, fat people, Biotest-haterz, really skinny kids who should be focusing on eating food and lifting weights, puppies.

Sound Off…

Okay, so I’m curious on what you guys think about this. At some point or another, I’ll probably give it a shot, if only so that I can either confirm or deny the effects.

Now, let’s not have any straight up “I hate supplements so I think no one should use them because all supplements are useless and supplement companiez are teh Devil and only want your monieesssszz!!11” We all know supplement companies–like all companiess–are trying to make money. Thanks anyway.

Similarly, let’s not have a bunch of T-Nation forum warriors who want to defend the good name of Biotest.

I just want to have an honest discussion.

If you have used the Pulse Fast, please leave your feedback; I’d love to hear from you–particularly if you’ve tried this both with BCAAs and Mag-10.

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

  • Jason

    Hey Roman,

    What exactly is in Mag- 10 ….

    see I don't understand why I can't use BCAAs and a casein protein powder with about the same method they use. It says that they have 300g of protein in their system and 10 doses of Casein would be about 300g. I'm not sure if that's more or less costly, but maybe I could atleast use a bit of casein cause that would stave off hunger.

    Get back to me and great article, Jason

  • Very good and fair review of the protocol. I can't get Mag-10 here in Norway but Hydrolized Casein (the main ingredient) can be obtained much cheaper elsewhere. Having used intemittent fasting with some success and have now started pulsing with Peptopro and glutamine once a week. Seems to be pretty effective so far

  • Update here.

    While I didn't lose any more fat over traditional fasting with BCAAs, my fasted training was a tiny bit better and I felt less tired after. So, I'm sure in the long run some results.

    If you can justify the price, that is.

  • Jeff

    Any updates on this topic since it was published? Have you tried the pulse fasts?

  • Craig OC

    I fast two times a week . Sunday I see-food diet and monday I fast as well as train and hoop. Wednesday I'll fast again. I dont supplement with BCAA's. I love not having to worry about food, just drink alot of water and train hard and have been getting great physical gains, but mentally its just an awesome relief.

  • Yike Lu

    John,

    I was just curious – how good were your TRAINING results on a BCAA fast? I'm curious since I've tried the Pulse Fast and have had very good training results.

    I've done this twice a week for a while. The day after one fast, I have done assistance movements for the powerlifts. The day after the other one I go balls out for PRs. I had been consistently hitting PRs for about a month before I switched to actually dieting (which I have been doing for 2 weeks now).

    Now that I'm dieting (with calories down to maybe 1500/day on nonfast days), I am STILL hitting PRs, though not quite as often.

    So I am asking about this with regards to BCAA since it seems this would put Pulse Fasting “over and above” BCAA.

    Note that of course we are not controlling for other factors (namely myself – genetics, training history etc), but it seems to be a good case as I don't feel that I'm genetically gifted.

  • Ethan

    Good article, I've been hoping someone would say something like this. I've been experimenting with intermittent fasting for about two months now. At first it was mainly just out of convenience, I wasn't terribly interested in dropping body fat (I maintain pretty comfortably around 10%), however now that I've gotten adjusted to the schedule I've noticed I'm starting to lean out every week.

    I just started doing cheat -> fast days based on the recommendations from your previous articles on the topic. I've now done it two weeks in a row and there are a couple things I've found:

    1. You are right, it really works. I don't know how to explain it, but the cheat -> fast protocol on Saturday – Sunday the past two weeks has seriously kickstarted something in my body and I feel and look leaner each week (following slightly below maintenance calories the rest of the week).

    2. I thought that the fast day would be difficult, but it's honestly a breeze. I will stop eating around midnight on Saturday / Sunday, and fsat 36 hours until noon on Monday when I start back into the IF'ing schedule. I barely get hunger pains at all, if I do they go away quickly.

    When the Biotest Fast protocol was released it looked interesting, but I couldn't help but think, is it really any different than just fasting?

    My question is this: you said you were considering testing it out. How exactly would you compare the results? Wouldn't you have to run the protocol for 6-8 weeks to be able to really tell if it's significantly better than BCAA? Also, how would you quantify the results?

  • Chris Gaspard

    Stimulating post Roman. I'd been eyeing the Mag-10 Pulse fast with intrigue every since it came up on T-Nation, it's good to hear your thoughts, as one of my very top most respected exercise / nutrition guru authorities. What are your thoughts on a fast day using only whey protein powder? (and water, of course. Because it would be gross dry.) I know technically that's not really a fast, but it is low calorie with BCAA's to preserve muscle. But would it still accomplish the hormonal purposes of a fast? I mean, Mag-10 has protein too, so what's the deal bruh? Haha curious to hear your thoughts.

  • Jonathan

    Hi John.

    Last week I ate a pizza with bacon, feta and salami, then half a bag of malteasers and some chips.

    So I decided to try the fast thing, and it worked out pretty well. I fasted from about 8pm on Thursday until 2pm on Friday. Hunger wasn't a great problem, but I definitely got a little stoopid, at about 11am, so I had lunch at 2. Being dumb while trying to think of commercials is not uesful. Next time I'll try it over a Saturday/Sunday.

    So it IS possible. I'll try to work it in every week or couple of weeks.

    Thanks for the info.

    Jon

  • mike

    Hey Roman, Wouldn't the amount of BCAAs be weight dependent? A 150lb male would need less BCAAs than a 200lb male. So 30 capsules would not be enough for some individuals.

  • Zac

    10 points for the unbiased blog, plus an awesome way to get some free 'goodies'….and let’s face it, life is all about the goodies. To be honest, as a student, unless this stuff is going to make me buff and tough without me having to do any work what-so-ever, I'm not going to fork out that amount of money; I'll just stick to lifting weights and eating right. But it’s an interesting blog, so cheers!

  • hey Roman!

    this is my journey too recently, ive been combining eat stop eat with a little lean gains but also trying to do a clean bulk. Yes once a week i still do a cheatday as it is better for me, although i feel like im overdoing the cheat sometimes. Whats your best advice for a clean bulk? Im on the third part of chad waterburys get strong program. Thats 3 times a week. However i like adding a fourth day for conditioning. Like a bodyweight circuit. Just to keep the fat at bay specially if im having a cheatday that day. Am i doing too much?

  • kerley

    well i'm not one to jump on the thats bs marketing bandwagon till after I've tried something, if works ill keep using it and if it doesn't ill just stop using it, thats the way i look at it anyways.

  • @Kerley – that's interest. Never I'm curious about doing it before a cheat day. Let me know how that goes, I think I'll try it as well.

  • kerley

    whoops do it the day BEFORE a cheat.

  • Johnn

    Not a bad write-up but…

    ..T-Nation and Biotest are just trying to cash in om the rising popularity of IF and fasting, which we mainly have Martin Berkhan to thank for. Before he came around NO ONE thought of fasting as something that can be effectively implemented to lose fat and gain muscle.

    He paved the way by showing not only a thorough understanding of the theory but also how to put it in practice by his own physique and clients.

    Save money, eat real food instead of supplements, and read his free guide to his method:

    http://www.leangains.com/2010/04/leangains-guide.html

    I'm personally using this and am very pleased with my results. It has also greatly improved my relationship with food. I no longer have cravings and I don't binge. That's very important for me personally as it used to be my biggest downfall.

  • Ted

    “@Ted – you make a good point. On the other hand, someone who only weighs 150 probably isn't going to be fasting. In general, I feel like it's really a fat loss protocol. Call me old school, but someone who's weighing in at 150 shouldn't be thinking about how to make NOT eating the most effective it can be.”

    So women that weigh 150 should be doing any program with fasting? :P Or guys that are slightly over 5'?

  • Glad to hear an honest opinion. I was thinking of trying this protocol but I don't have the extra flowsky to do so. I'd rather spend my money on the essentials and groceries and going out on my cheat day.

    I do, do the bcaa's I think it helps with the energy drain well that and creatine.

    Now would you say it's completely essential to train on your fast day if you already train pretty intensely 4 days a week and trying to pack on some serious mass?

    But, after keeping my diet in check during the week with two high, one moderate, and 3 extremely low days (fast day included) i've noticed fat loss and gain in mass. i've jumped up 10 pounds over the last 2 months. oh yeah.

  • kerley

    @guido aka roman : im giving this a try in 2weeks time. one fast day a week and christian told me to do it the day after my cheat day.

  • Blaine

    I've been trying this with pepto-pro and leucine rather than mag 10. I think it's been 3 weeks since the first fast and I'm pretty happy with the results, down about 7 pounds and noticeably leaner. Hunger isn't too bad either, but that might just be me.

  • @Mark – tried to be as unbiased as possible. Again, I haven't tried the protocol yet, so this is all speculative, but I think it's a fair assessment. Thanks for commenting.

    @Glenn – They seem to have some raving fans over there…then again, fasting in general has a lot of raving fans. I'm very curious to know how many of the people who are doing the PF have tried fasting in general.

    @Kerley – stfu newb.

    @Ted – you make a good point. On the other hand, someone who only weighs 150 probably isn't going to be fasting. In general, I feel like it's really a fat loss protocol. Call me old school, but someone who's weighing in at 150 shouldn't be thinking about how to make NOT eating the most effective it can be.

    @Sam – glad I wrote the summary =)

    BCAAs are beneficial, but I suppose not essential. I've tried powders and I agree they are not tasty. I just take the pills; goes down much easier.

    @Mond – how much fat you burn depends on your total mass as well how much exercise you do, but in general, cutting out a whole day's worth of calories is bound to make you burn fat faster.

    @Triv – Glad to hear it's going well with just the casein. I'd been wondering about that–good info. Thanks!

    @Ty – Let me know how that goes man, I'm sure a lot of people would get something out of the update.

    @nathan – thanks for the props man!

    @Pats – Actually a lot of the intermittent fasting guys have had pretty good results with their clients and muscle gain. It's an interesting concept, for sure.

    @mike – awesome. Let me know if you feel a significant difference. I'm curious.

    @Will – actually, feast–>fast is supposed to be done with a mild caloric deficit on all other days during the week, not maintenance calories. Could be why gained some fat.

    Regarding potential hypoglycemia, I haven't experienced that. None of my clients have reported back, but it's interesting.

    Overall, I'm glad you're having a good experience with it, though!

    @Jonathan – fasting is pretty common. I've been doing it on and off for a few years. I always seem to enjoy it.

  • Pats

    @Jonathan

    It's tough, I normally never fast when I have something important to do (like class).

    I fast once or twice a month (usually a sunday) and ALWAYS after a cheat day (don't think I can handle it without one). Sometimes, I really feel bad so I just take a nap.

    I normally workout in the morning (when there's still some energy left from the CD) sometimes after drinking a big cup of coffee.

    Hope that helps!

  • I'm surprised at all the talk about fasting as if it's this totally normal protocol, similar to changing up your rep scheme, or drinking more water.

    I haven't fasted before. The longest I've gone recently without food is about 7 hours.

    How the hell do you handle it? Don't you just DIE of hunger? Do you reach a point at which your hunger mechanism just throw its hands in the air and gives up (without booze, which was a factor in your Feast–>Fast article)? Are there strategies for coping with fasting? How about an article about that?

    Or am I a moron who fails at searching?

  • AD

    If you want to cut it back to $60, just get the MAG-10. The other stuff is non-essential, its just for focus and clarity. I've done it without, no problems here boss.

  • Will

    Hi John,

    I did the feast then fast test for about 6 wks once a week while eating maintenance the rest of the week and cycling carbs. I gained body fat.

    I think for me the Mag 10 pulse fast means I can do the fast 1-2 times a week without having to “cheat” the day before. This gives me much better progress in terms of fat loss. Also, I combine peptopro with bcaas instead of using mag 10 to keep the cost down.

    As for using only bcaas during a fast and after a “non-cheat” day, Thibs addressed this in the livespill that it could lead to a hypoglycemic state if only taking leucine by itself. Not sure if you experienced that.

  • ido halevi

    The fasting thing is nothing new to the world i'v been doing this since i'm 13 years old (Bar-Mitzva) for at least 1 time in a year…i'm glad your catching up with us (jews). :)

  • mike

    I've done the Mag-10 pulse fast (without the other two supps); and I've done the same fast w/out any supps. It was def easier w/ Mag-10 in terms of hunger pangs and less edgieness… can't say it was different in effect since fasting is newish to me. I'm trying it w/ just BCAAs today.

  • Pats

    Awesome post Roman! Appreciate the honesty!

    As a poor college student, the only supplements i use are P/G BCAA and VGF and ON protein. Still pretty heavy on the wallet but only essentials imo (i do sometimes use creatine as well if i want to gain).

    About Biotest, while you talked about them in the past and said good things, i really don't like this new product of theirs.

    Really… fasting and gaining muscle? When i'm fasting, it's to lose fat and if i want to get bigger, i overeat, i don't think paying 130$ just to gain 1/2 pounds of muscle during a fast day is a good idea lol unless like you said “money is no object”.

  • Hey Roman,

    Great post. Biotest should be happy to have a writer who is not afraid to challenge new things that come out in the industry. Also, it shows your followers that you really are 'for the the people' and not a brand whore.

    Good companies (biotest) hopefully understand that “to be popular… you have to be liked and disliked” and there are other choices around (maybe not so good? but they are around)

    From my own experience, biotest have excellent products and back it up with results, but unfortunately are not widely available in my region.

    Nice one Roman :)

  • Ty

    I think you presented both sides quite well and I commend you for it. I will certainly take these ideas into consideration in my next feast-fast.

  • Triv

    Roman,

    You are quite a character and I certainly enjoy reading your work! I do practice alot of what you recommend with nice results. I too, am in the health and fitness industry certified under the Poliquin Institute, following most of Charles methods, whilst NOT dismissing others if they look worthwhile. I have been carrying out this fast once every 7 days using Hydrolysed Casein which is the MAIN ingredient in MAG-10 with VERY good results. I have moved to doing it once every 5 days now as I get closer to 6 % bf but am also cheating once every 5 days so it is relative.

    Thanks for your insight into this “Pulse Fast”-very much appreciated and I agree with most of what you say.

  • Mond

    Good post,

    This is precisely why I did a BCAA only fast last week. However, the question remains, how much fat is really burned in 36 hours? Is the fast worth the temporarily lack of nutrients? The reason I brought this up is because I had a fever the day following the fast. I even took Greens and superfood to help out on the fast day. Maybe its just a coincidence but who knows

  • Sam

    I actually did skip a piece (read ” large chunk”) of the article so the summery was very helpful.

    I've been reading about it since it came out. I'm not a forum warrior but I do read a lot of the site. Most of what I know about fasting I learned from XFLD, the Pulse Fast article, and a few little tid-bits here and there. It seems very interesting and I'm pretty sure it would, and does, work pretty good, and I will have to agree with you that some of the marketing is way overblown. When I was reading it though, all I could think was “This is pretty straight forward. Couldn't I just do this with the supplements I already have that are much cheaper then Biotest?”

    And also, are BCAA's ecential when fasting? I did the XFLD but ordered powder form BCAA's and could barley choke them down. It dosn't seem to mix with anything.

  • Ted

    Couple thoughts struck me while reading this:

    1.) Wouldn't the effect of a full-out fast day on muscle loss without BCAAs depend on how much mass you already have? I.e. the reason you find BCAAs to be a significant part of your fast day in order not to lose muscle is because your body creates so much more of a caloric deficit while fasting due to your large amounts of muscle…? Someone else who has weighs in at only 150 lbs and 8% bf may find it easier to pull off a full fast day without BCAAs and not lose any muscle.

    2.) Everyone talks about how many calories are in a pound of fat. How many are in a pound of muscle? I would imagine that to be an important piece of the puzzle regarding whether one will lose a significant amount of muscle on fast days or not.

  • Kerley

    Blasphemer, t-nation is a saint.

  • Ryan Orrico

    Great post dude.

    Have you tried Berkhan's method? I think I might give it a go.

  • Glenn

    I read the article/advertisement in T-Nation and thought it looked interesting without being revolutionary but expensive. In other words, what you just said.

  • Mark

    I think that is a very unbiased look at it. Can't really argue with any of it.

    For those looking for every last edge with some extra money, go for it. For the common person who works out hard, is the “juice worth the squeeze”? Probably not.