Good choice, my friend.
This is our 101 guide to transforming your physique. We’ll keep it brief, because this is far simpler than the online fitpro hobjobbers make it out to be. Becoming lean and muscular does not need to be a full time job.
Follow the process below, and you will permanently rocket-fuel your progress, with less effort.
Your Goal 🏁️
We simplify this down to muscle gain and fat loss for everyone. That’s because everybody has a bodybuilding goal, they just don’t realise it.
Everyone wants to be leaner with more muscle. They call it different things – e.g. ‘tone up’, ‘lose weight’, ‘get hench’, but it’s all the same: More muscle, less fat.
Getting lean is the biggest favour you can do for yourself:
- Life extension
- Self confidence
- Sex appeal & sex drive
- Uncomfortable truth: Stigma still exists, and nobody is talking about it. People perceive leaner people as more intelligent, sociable, likeable, driven. The opposite is true for obese people. While we wish this wasn’t the case, your body shape could be crippling your professional and social progress in a measurable way.
A great summary from Carl Juneau:
Set your target 🎯
Goals need hard data.
Numbers > Words.
A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the simplest metric of success to base your decisions upon.
Fat loss KPI: Set a % bodyweight to lose each week.
1% for aggressive cut (20%+ bodyfat)
0.5% to get lean.
Strength gain KPI:
Set a long term strength goal.
Break down into 12 week targets.
Test your strength with a 5-rep-max in comparable conditions every 12 weeks.
Muscle gain KPI: Hit a total target volume of work each week for target muscle groups.
Target: Increase your monthly reps x sets x load.
Diet KPI: Track weight daily.
Make decisions based on the AVERAGE weekly change.
Do you see how this works?
You’ve been lied to. The fitness industry is running about 20 years behind the research, and runs on a lot of old myths. A few important ones to clean up
The truth ⚖️
- 🥣️ Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. Eat according to hunger and daily schedule. If skipping breakfast, have coffee with a small amount of milk or green tea in the mornings.
- 🥗️ There no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. Here’s how we got lean while eating haribo, cheesecake and pringles every day for 6 months.
- 🍞️ Low carb diets are no better than high carb ones.
- 🏋️ The best way to lose fat or add muscle is through weight training.
The things that matter
Focus on these 3 things to maximise your progress:
2️⃣Daily-weigh ins in your feedback sheet (Morning, naked, before food and after using the toilet).
3️⃣️Aim to progress in your training from week to week.
If you did ONLY that, you’ll make a wild success of this plan and transform your physique.
If you take home nothing else from this overview, make sure to note the above carb/fat/protein numbers. Hold them dear.. stick them on your wall.
The goal of this system is to achieve the maximum results in terms of body composition in the shortest time, with the least daily inconvenience.
Here is our specific guideline for gaining lean muscle with minimal fat, or losing fat while preserving muscle mass.
How to Use This Guide
1) Pick a goal: gain muscle or lose fat. Do not try to do both. Not sure which one to do?
Calculate your macros
3) Training is the same whichever goal you are pursuing muscle gain and fat loss. The diet will not work without the training, and vice versa
4) Keep track of your results via weekly photos and daily morning weigh-ins. Keep lighting and conditions the same.
5) Become sexy.
So without further ado:
Summary – TL:DR
– Eat 2-4 large meals per day.
– Reduce carbs on rest days.
– Train 3x per week using the A/B split.
Log your training with HeavySet to keep track of your volume:
Top tips with the Protocol:
Below is our video guide of top tips to succeed with the Propane Protocol:
🥗️ Your Diet:
Provided that the above criteria are met, your diet is very flexible in terms of food choices and meal frequency. That means you can eat any foods you like as long as they satisfy the above constraint. It’s OK to use whey to make up your protein numbers, or sweets/cake to make up your carbs as long as you hit your daily macros at the end of the day.
- 🥣️Breakfast is optional,
- ⚖️A pair of kitchen scales are well worth investing in to easily track macros. Single-macro foods are a good thing to keep a supply of for the end of the day if you have to make up the numbers, e.g. 85% dark chocolate, whey, rice cakes.
- 🍔️Eat your food from whatever sources you like. However, more filling foods such as potato, swede and broccoli soup work well: low calorie density.
- 🍎️Aim to eat at least 1-2 servings of fruit/veg per day for fibre + micronutrients.
- 🍲️If you’re tight on time, I recommend outsourcing these decisions entirely. We use TheFitnessKitchens and MacroMeals for cheap and convenient meal prep. It takes the thinking out of the whole thing. Then all you have to do is turn up, eat and hit the reps.
- Try the 2:1 Day Planning Method:
Typically two meals in your day can be controlled to an extent. If you eat
out at dinner, it’s unlikely that you also eat out in the morning and at lunch. Equally, if you eat out at lunch, you probably will eat in at dinner. Of course, this won’t be the case every single time but it will be in the majority of cases. The 2:1 ratio is where we ensure that each day is that 2 meals are for function and 1 is for fun. Pick two meals that you can control each day and ensure that across these two meals you’re covering the points above, this way, you can still have one meal every single day where you can eat what you want without worrying about impacting progress.
Meal 1 – Function
40 % of calories and protein intake,
2 servings of fruit, 15 g fibre, 1 L water / fluid
Meal 2 – Function
40 % of calories and protein intake, 2 servings veggies, 15 g fibre, 0.5-1 L water / fluid
Meal 3 – Fun
Fill remaining calories for the day, ensuring
you have 20 % of your daily protein, 0.5-1 L water
🎯Q: What happens if I don’t hit my macros on a certain day?
Not a problem. If you’re going out for a meal, e.g. a pizza that sends you over your fat target, just aim to hit your protein goal and calorie goal for the day, no harm done. The average of your efforts is what matters.
How accurately do I need to hit my nutritional targets?
As accurately as you need for progress to continue, and no more. This doesn’t need to be a grind.
Military-grade precision isn’t required if your weight is moving in line with your goal, e.g. for fat loss 0.5-1% per week, or for muscle gain 100-400g/week.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – and if it is, increase the level of precision. The most important thing, therefore, is daily morning weigh-ins, so that you can identify the trend as early as possible.
Cardio is optional. Anything goes here, the key is enjoyment. Options for the uninspired are:
- 20-30 minute morning walk
- 1000m row
- 20 minutes swimming, vinyasa flow yoga from youtube.
Pick 3 of your most challenging stretches and perform them for 21 breaths 2-3x/week. More info on stretching.
The Workout Sessions is a collection of all workouts you do. Every workout is a page with meta information on the workout session, including the program, date, break time, duration of the workout and the hardness level. Every workout contains another table including the individual workouts with reps and sets (and weight).
Here are our video guides:
Detailed technique and warmup guides for the big lifts available here.
Here are just a few results from over 4000+ people we’ve worked with using these principles:
Looking for a full muscle gain or fat loss programme?
Our ready-to-go, affordable programmes are available here:
The V-Taper Protocol: How I added 25kg to my bench press in 8 weeks.
Fast(er) Fat Loss: Taking the guesswork out of your fat loss.