Michelle here. So, we get a ton of questions about morning workouts since the book (right there to the left... check it out.) recommends an optimal workout window of sometime between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, twice a week, no more than twenty minutes. The explanation behind why is on page 33, beginning with Why We Eat Carbs Later in the Day. The suggested workouts begin on page 45.
The 3:00 - 6:00 pm workout window is a suggestion for those who want to wring every ounce of fat burning potential from the protocol. If you have a 9-to-5 and can get that quick workout in after quitting time, awesome. But that's not the case with everyone, including me. I've got your hack for that!
How We Hack Insulin for Morning Workouts When Intermittent Fasting
As prescribed in the book, your workouts coincide with your carb re-feed days. You'd normally do your workout late afternoon/evening and then go to town on your carb re-feed night. Your muscle cells (and not fat cells) will be storing glycogen from the carb re-feed, allowing them to grow and repair overnight. Ideally you would have been intermittent fasting and keeping insulin levels low throughout the day, increasing your metabolism by about 20%. There's a protein shake recipe on page 73 that talks about adding a little bit of browned banana post-workout if it's your carb re-feed day. This does not apply if you workout in the morning. Brown bananas have a high sugar to starch ratio that spikes post-workout insulin. For morning workouts, we still want to do that, but without the glucose and fructose.
Enter L-Leucine. According to biophysicist John Kiefer, L-Leucine is an amino acid that is a potentiator. It provides for an insulin response that allows you to gain lean mass faster while on a cyclical ketogenic diet when you're fueling growth with quality protein.
When you workout in the morning here's what I suggest trying:
- train fasted
- immediately post-workout, have the shake as prescribed on page 73 except substitute the browned banana with no more than 5g of L-Leucine (shown here or get at any supplement store)
- continue intermittent fasting with MCT/butter coffee as normal until it's time to break the fast (normally around one or two p.m.)
- Have protein, veggies, fats
- Begin carb re-feed later afternoon/early evening. Enjoy! Good work!
Q & A Time
This question recently made my head spin exorcist style. Emails like the one below usually find themselves in the trash folder straight away. This protocol only asks for an hour a month of hard, physical work... and not even all at once! I shouldn't be giving this question the time of day. But I'd like to make a point.... not just to this person but for every woman on here who is trying to achieve something that is truly worth having.
(side note: please save your time by not writing to us asking for ways to help you cheat the protocol or yourself. It hurts my neck, and scares my dog, to have my head spin exorcist style)
If cutting corners, being lazy, placing blame, making excuses, looking for loopholes is part of our repertoire then we need to accept that we'll never realize our potential or understand the intrinsic value of authentic achievement in anything. Here's the question verbatim:
Q: Question. If I am not able to do my workout after the 3rd day because I am not able to should I do my workout the day before or the day after? Thanks!
A: The longest workout in the protocol is twenty minutes. The shortest: eight minutes. Only eight f-wording minutes. Half of that workout could have been over in the time it took you to write that email.
I pondered what it might be that you can't locate a spare eight minutes in the day... or set your alarm eight minutes earlier? Do you spend all 1,440 minutes of that particular day with your limbs completely immobile? Is it a health issuse? If it's a health issue, you probably shouldn't be attempting this protocol. Is it a travel issue? Because the eight minute workout requires no equipment whatsoever and can be done anywhere. So here's my advice:
- Stop wasting your time and ours looking for ways to cheat yourself. If you want to hack this protocol to include zero exercise, do the research and testing yourself first.
- Turn off the television, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, iPhone, Tinder for eight minutes and do something that actually serves your best self.
- Half-ass attempts yield half-ass results. Start the protocol when you're serious and then we'll take you seriously.
As a follow up, I did respond offline to this email. The response? "ha!ha! I love your approach! Can I workout in the morning?" Delete. R.I.P. lame email. Next!
Q: Hi I have a quick question. I read your book and loved it. Had great success then fell off the wagon. Back on I go. I am at work during the 3-6 pm window of workout time. Will it still help if I workout in the am?
A: So, we answered the morning workout question earlier in this post. Yes, always, always, always get that workout and carb re-feed in. Later afternoon is optimal but morning will suffice. I can't stress how integral it is to amping up muscle growth and fat burn. Falling off the wagon, horse, building, mountain top.... it happens. The good news is you know the protocol works for you and you have the knowledge now to the right the ship fairly quickly.
The downside is you don't want to take your metabolism through pendulum swings... achieving hormone balance and using fat as fuel then to throwing sugar in the tank and wreaking havoc on yourself all over again. This go round see if you can really ingrain those healthy habits as constants. The protocol isn't a first aid kit for cleaning up the metabolic mess we make of ourselves. It does happen and I'm the first to admit it. Start the carb depletion and don't look back! You can achieve anything.
Keep on making it happen for yourselves, ladies. You're the hero of your story.
PS: After you're finished working out and eating something awesome, like us on Facebook!