Productivity demons: Search and destroy

I hate the vagina. Never thought I’d say that. It’s already mid-January and I don’t feel like a new me. It doesn’t even feel like a new year. I’ve basically only left this chair to use the bathroom. It’s exam season. And this medical degree is starting to take the pedal to the metal. So I’ve …

Propane Podcast Episode 35: Interview with Dean Somerset

In this episode, we interview Dean Somerset: medical exercise specialist, kinesiologist and exercise physiologist – training a range of clients from post-surgery rehab to olympic athletes. Bloody smart guy. Here he is in the power-stance after opening a can of whoop-ass on someone: Interview:   If you enjoy our podcast, we’d love it if you …

Now is not the time to stop smoking

Yusef here, I’ve been a little quiet recently. It’s been the final push with these medical exams – it’s supposedly the hardest year. And I pushed the revision a little too hard – I let other things slip. The exams got on top of me and had their wicked way with me until I was …

What happens when you stop training? Part 2

If you missed part 1, read it here, where I discuss what happens to body composition, strength and muscle when you stop training, along with photos/videos of what happened to me and Jonny when we stopped training for 3 months.  In this article we’ll put the science into practice: how you can incorporate an extended break from …

Can you gain muscle in a calorie deficit?

It’s typically taken as gospel that you cannot gain strength while in a calorie deficit. And strength gain and/or maintenance is the clearest indicator of muscle retention. Your training age, level of body-fat, calories and training volume will all determine this, but this article is not about boring you with the basics. You and I …

Public health warning: False nutritional enlightenment

5 years ago, the Fuckarounditis outbreak was in full force (Berkhan et al. 2011) In the UK, we referred to this as being ‘bogged down’. Bogdown would commonly take the following form: ‘Simple Bogdown’: “But it’s 1400 calories from vegetables, or cheese, or egg?” “It’s any calories” “But what about cake, sweets and fruit?” “It’s …

Automate your diet, eat for £6/day

90% of the battle when dieting is making sure your kitchen is correctly stocked. Here’s our guide for the macro-conscious to automate your diet while minimising time, cost and mental RAM. Dilemma…   I need dem macros, but I’m not a foodie. I don’t get any kind of perverted enjoyment from cooking and preparing meals. I’m usually …

Dieting for the busy (or lazy) man

I’m constantly inspired by our clients – we learn a lot from them, particularly when we’re stuck in our own narrow perspectives, their lessons come as a slap in the face. This is Propane Athlete Ian. He has a life.. he’s not a sad fitness fanatic like me and Jonny.   He deadlifts 200kg x …

All aboard the gain train: Why #beastmode is stupid

Do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is: There’s no way to accelerate the process.   The good news is: There’s no way to accelerate the process.   Progression is like growing a tree: it can be guarded and watered, but further interference will not accelerate its progress. Diligent …

Propane Roundup – September edition

If you haven’t already subscribed, get on the Propane Podcast on iTunes. There’s interviews with Layne Norton, Eric Helms, Alberto Nunez, Spencer Nadolsky, and a lot more. Recent episodes How to improve your sleep and unlock all kinds of gains: – Do sleep supplements work? Are they safe? – Unloading your mind before bed – …

Why has everyone got it so horribly wrong?

I like to read around 5 main fields. A startling thing I’ve noticed is that the prevailing paradigms usually appear to be based on incorrect assumptions:   – Training for hypertrophy/strength – Nutrition for body composition – Learning and memory – Religion and spirituality – Personal finance     Nutcases, we salute you There’s an …

The ultimate hunger & satiety guide: The KEY to getting lean

In this article: –        Overview –       Theory: Mechanisms of satiety (fullness) regulation –        Application: Recommendations Reading time: 23 min. (Audio version here) Scroll to the end for key recommendations 1. Hunger Managing hunger is the key to a successful diet and becoming incredibly lean. Let me repeat that. THE KEY.         Appetite control is not a sexy topic, and often overlooked. At its core, it is the only thing standing between you and your nutritional targets. Getting a …

How to succeed with the Propane Protocol: Top tips

Below is our video guide of top tips to succeed with the Propane Protocol: Further reading: Sleep and recovery Fitting the protocol into your lifestyle, including alcohol, eating out, etc. Tracking macros while eating out  

7 Unusual Life-hacks: Effortless substitutions

Yes, the title is very Buzzfeedy.. but no GIFs, promise. Okay, maybe 1 gif:     Below are 7 effortless substitutions to enhance what you get out of life with no additional time commitment.   1) Meditate while you’re in the bathroom You go to the toilet 5x/day. Each ‘episode’ averages 3-5 minutes. Shower for …

Ultimate Guide to Macro-Friendly Cheesecakes

The allure of the cheesecake… nature’s seductress. Often seen as the enemy due to its devastating macros. Fortunately, here it is, reverse engineered. We have been eating dangerous amounts of high protein, low-calorie density cheesecakes. They mostly require only 3-4 common ingredients, and average 360kcal for the whole cake. Here is a variety of Propane-approved recipes, using lower fat, high-protein substitutions: Raspberry-Espresso-Dark-Chocolate Cheesecake …

It’s any calories: Getting bogged down

Jonny and I have recently become absolutely obsessed with Dr Abraham, an endocrinologist who specialises in diabetes and lipid disorders. Here’s why: The video brilliantly embodies two important truths: 1. The pernicious myth, perpetuated by the fitness industry that keeps people fat: “If you eat healthy food, you’ll lose weight” 2. The fact that his years …

How to Train During Ramadan – The Ultimate Guide V.4

It’s that time again. Here is Version 4 of our Ramadan strategy: optimised for maximum muscle retention with minimum intrusion to the spiritual aspect of Ramadan.   If you would like personalised coaching to help you guide diet and training through Ramadan please contact us to enquire about coaching services     Ramadan… A period …

How to diet to single-digit bodyfat

I’ve spent the last 16 weeks dieting from 82.5kg to 74kg, to drop a weight category for powerlifting. I hired Eric Helms from 3DMJ who handled my macros and training plan. This is easily the leanest I’ve been when compared with my initial transformation. I did zero cardio and mostly retained strength throughout, improving my Wilks coefficient. …

Top 5 ‘Zero-Calorie’ foods

A few articles come up on the front page of google when you search ‘zero calorie foods’. I’ve never seen such a high concentration of stupidity in my life. It’s like someone distilled all of the stupid on the internet, and dumped it on to that results page. The following one is my favourite. I’m …

Yusef: What I learned in 2013

1) ‘If It Fits Your Lifestyle’ (IIFYL) – If a new diet is 20% more effective but 80% harder to adhere to, dump it.  The whole principles around IIFYL on this website revolve around finding a diet and training program that can blend into the background, rather than chasing unrealistic optimality and falling off the wagon. 2) …

How to turn your training into meditation

Whatever your motivation, the fact you’re reading this website means that you are invested in your personal development in some form. Usually, talk of the mind-body-spirit union is avoided in fitness blogs, or worse, enshrouded in wanky spiritual & religious rhetoric. Alienating readers with esotericism is a disservice to the value of meditation. Why should you …