Weight lifting on 5/2

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  lvn 8 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Hi all, first post here! I’m thinking of giving 5/2 a try but wondering how it would work with weight lifting and building muscle. I’ve been dieting and weight training for a couple of months, I’ve lost 20lbs and my strength has been going up well. I do 3 pretty strenuous full body workouts a week, doing squats, deads and bench presses ect. I like the sound of 5/2 as there seems to be a lot of science backing it up and it could help with my goals of losing more weight and building a better body so thought I’d ask on here to see what the experts say. So it’d be great to hear from anyone with experience of lifting while doing 5/2 šŸ™‚

    Hi Dave,

    From my (admittedly not encyclopaedic!) knowledge, I would suggest that if your goal is to build muscle you’d be better doing the workouts during your feed days rather than your fast days. Your muscles require a lot of energy to rebuild, which means you need to be consuming the appropriate amount of calories for muscle growth.

    There are many studies however about fasted training and it’s positive impact on boosting fat loss, so if your goal is to get lean then fasted training on 5:2 could be helpful for that.

    I think it’s important not to try to lose fat and build muscle in the same workout. Concentrate your fasted training days on fat loss, and your feed day workouts on targeting those muscle groups you want to develop and making sure you have sufficient calories and protein to facilitate muscle repair and growth. There are some really good blogs on the subject if you have a Google (I’m vaguely quoting one of them here but I lost the link unfortunately!)

    I was olympic lifting and found that on those days I could not fast and needed to carb load. for me at any rate fasting would need to be started 24 hours after a lifting session. Although I am a fan of training fasted and then eating. I would certainly keep training sessions v short and simple on a fast day, tabata workouts or just 20 minutes of something. I can build muscle far too easily (which is not what you want as a woman) So have legs like trees but a lot of that is down to genetics.

    From personal experience I have found that if I try to do heavy – light lifting fairly regularly during the week that I have to eat and lift on the 5 days that I’m eating. The two days off are dedicated to fasting, because it is just too difficult for me to not eat all day and have intense workout. I really didn’t have the mental strength to do that, but everyone is different. With the routine of working out/eating the 5 days and then fasting 2 separate days during the week, I saw very good results.

    You can absolutely do 5:2 even when doing proper bodybuilding. Just watch that you are consuming enough protein to avoid lean muscle mass loss. Obviously protein is calorie expensive on fasting days, so make sure you get plenty the following day.

    You might want to switch your full body training to specific sessions, so rather than doing 3 x full body workouts, you do a back & biceps day, Legs & core day and Chest and triceps day. That way you’ll increase recovery.

    The best exercise for fasting days though is HIIT/Cardio/plyometrics etc as you get better cardio gains exercising fasted. e.g. google bonk training for example

    Hey Dave,
    I tried 5/2 for a while and I found that it was effective at building strength and muscle gains but over time, it starts to put a lot of stress on your joints and you become more prone to injuries. If you start 5/2 and are seeing good results from it, see if this is something you can yield consistent gains from throughout the year. However, if you find that over time you start to plateau and you are not as lean as you want to be, try a workout program that combines both weight training and short high-intensity training like http://www.bodynv.tv You should post a comment about your progress with 5/2, Iā€™m curious to see what comes of it.


    I train 5 days a week with my rest days being Monday and Friday. I typically fast Tuesday and Friday. I find weight lifting after a fast day (Wed am just before I break the fast) works just fine. I had been fasting Mondays but found that I needed the food to recover from my 4 training sessions on the weekend. And that way my Tue am workout was at the beginning of my fast. So absolutely weight lifting on 5:2 works well. I’ve been losing on avg 0.5-1kg a week while still improving on my weights.

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