How would you like to get stronger, build muscle, and lose fat all while spending less time prepping in the kitchen? The icing on the cake: there’s also some wiggle room for some junk calories and those naughty sugary foods you really crave at night.
Well the guys over at Propane Fitness seem to be onto something with their propane program. And taking a look through their client progress posts, I’d say there has to be some merit to this too-good-to-be-true method of theirs.
The basic premise of the Propane Program is such:
- Every day you’ll do some fasting (Check out Martin Berkhan’s site for more basic info) until 1-2pm. Have some black coffee or green tea in the morning to help with energy.
- Eat a large protein + fat meal in the early afternoon to break the fast (shoot for 1/3 of your daily calories in this meal). Low carbs!
- Do a heavy weight workout ~3 hours later. Focus on doing 1-2 big compound movements for lower reps (3-6 reps), and then some supplemental higher rep work (8-15 reps) for smaller muscle groups
- Consume a HUGE proetin + carb meal (approx 1/2 of your daily calories) in the 2 hour window after training. A post workout shake can be included in this. Feel free to add some junky calories from the foods you crave- a few cookies or a pastry fits right in.
- Consume the last 15-20% of you calories 2-3 hours later, still protein + carbs and lower fat.
- On days off eat only protein + fat, and you may also choose to completely fast on one of your off days each week.
The science behind all this is simple: early in the day you stay in the fasted state to force your body to metabolize your fat for fuel, while sensitizing your muscles to insulin. Workout out in a low carb state further depletes your muscles of glycogen, and thus primes your body to handle the large influx of carbs and protein you’re about to shove into your face.
The high carbs + protein postworkout helps you spike insulin, replenish glycogen, and gives you a psychological break by allowing you to eat some of the foods you crave at night. This all adds together to create a very muscular, lean, and happy you.
Put the ‘lifestyle’ in ‘lifestyle design’
What I like most about the Propane Program is that it fits nicely into the modern bachelor lifestyle. You wake up and get going immediately- no need to waste 30 minutes in the morning on trivial things like breakfast. Psh, who needs breakfast anyways?
Then, just as you start to get hungry in the afternoon you feed with a huge satiating meal of protein + fat. After work you hit the gym and go home to be rewarded by a veritable feast. And if you’ve had a tough day fear not- you’re perfectly okay to have that brownie or slice of pizza you’re craving… AS LONG AS YOU EARNED IT BY TRAINING YOUR ASS OFF.
This also makes sense psychologically- I personally have no problem sticking to a diet during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down I’m ravenous for brownies, cookies, and generally anything carby. This program not allows allows for eating like that, but optimizes for it. Not to mention how cheap and generally time-saving it is to eat only 2-3 big meals a day.
So today marks my first full day trying the propane program. I’m not lifting quite according to their methodology- I’m doing Wendler’s 5/3/1 but I feel enough similarities are there between the programs to be fine.
I’ll definitely keep you guys updated on how the propane program works for building muscle and getting in great shape so stay tuned!