233 – Fred Hahn – How to Build More Muscle with Intermittent Fasting, Keto, and High Intensity Training

Fred Hahn
Fred Hahn

Fred Hahn (fhahn @ slowburnfitness.com) has been involved in exercise ever since he became a member of The Charles Atlas Club when he was 10 years old. He is a certified personal trainer since 1990 at several of NYC’s leading health clubs, including the Equinox and New York Health and Racquet Club.

Fred is the owner of SlowBurn Personal Training Studios, a SlowBurn personal training and rehabilitative exercise center in NYC and Montclair, NJ. Along with moms, dads, and kids, his clients include prominent businessmen/women and celebrities. 

Fred, alongside Drs Michael and Mary Dan Eades, is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week. His book Strong Kids, Healthy Kids: The Revolutionary Program for Increasing Your Child’s Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week teaches parents and their children how to lift weights safely and eat healthily by following a low sugar/paleo eating plan.

Fred has appeared on NBC, CNN, WABC and he’s been interviewed by the New York Times and the Washington Post. Listen to Fred’s first appearance on the podcast HERE.

In this episode, Fred shares his diet, fasting, and workout routines, how to optimize muscle growth, advice and tips on growing your personal training business, and much more.

 

 

From January 2018 to July 2019, Fred achieved 28 pounds of fat loss and 14 pounds of muscle gain by daily fasting and adding ~250g of protein and under 60g of carbs per day.

Fred’s workouts are all done using single sets to failure using a resistance that renders failure in 40-80 seconds total TCF (time to concentric failure). Here is Fred’s workout template:

MONDAY WEDNESDAY FRIDAY
Nautilus super pullover

MedX pulldowns 

Nautilus rowing back

MedX lateral raise

Nautilus overhead press

Nautilus shrugs

Nautilus 10 degree chest

Nautilus biceps curls

Hammer gripper

Nautilus next gen hip extension

MedX leg press

Nautilus hip abduction

MedX knee flexion

MedX knee extension

MedX calf press on leg press

MedX seated dips

MedX pulldowns

MedX torso rotation

MedX spinal flexion

Nautilus lumbar extension

Nautilus cervical extension

Nautilus cervical flexion

 

Build a successful high intensity training business by joining HIT Business Membership

Enjoy the show using buttons and links below!

Listen on Apple Podcasts


Show Notes

  • 3:19 – Diet and fasting
  • 28:41 – Fred’s total lean mass gain and fat loss
  • 34:47 – Training protocol for optimal muscle growth
  • 49:31 – Resistance and time under load
  • 1:07:26 – How alcohol ruins your fat loss
  • 1:10:37 – Strategies to educate clients for a better client experience
  • 1:25:28 – How HIT Business Membership helped Fred grow his business
  • 1:28:05 – Fred’s journey towards personal transformation

Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

Comments 15

  • Hey great podcast, I was really hoping you would have pried Fred on his Calorie/Protein philosophy… Specifically if he believes he built muscle on a hypo-caloric diet provided he kept his protein up.

  • Great podcast Lawrence. This of course builds on the foundations laid by Martin ‘Leangains’ Berkhan who pioneered the 16:8 approach 10 years ago: were you not convinced by this approach previously Fred? The more recent development though is ‘metablic authophagy’ as put forward by Siim Land (highly recommend his new book if you haven’t read it yet). Like Fred, he proposes 18-20 hour fasts, followed by plenty of protein after a fasted workout (with pre-workout whey). The theory is that this approach maximises the benefits of catabolism/ autophagy (cell clean-up) during the 20 hour fast which then sensitises the body for the 4-6 hour anabolic ‘hi-TOR’ feeding period. Fred seems to be the proof I was looking for that the theory rings true in practice! I’ve been doing it for a couple of months and loving those big meals. I even did a 24 hour fast a few days ago (a first for me) – with the caveat that I challenge anyone to do this painlessly without the support of black coffee!! Thanks for breaking it down into such detail guys, much appreciated.

    • I know Berkhan really popularized 16/8, but I don’t think he was nearly as ketogenic as Fred. From what I know about Leangains (not too much), it’s high protein but cycles carbs and fats on different days. Berkhan may get away with more carbs as he’s much younger than Fred especially 10 years ago) …or maybe he’s one of those rare people who can really count and control his calories.

      Fred strikes me as much closer to Ted Naiman (I listened to this podcast a few weeks ago and can’t remember if Naiman was mentioned).

  • The think is, muscle growth isn’t like a light bulb. It’s more like aspirine with a dose-response relationship.

  • Great podcast Lawrence & Fred. This of course builds on the foundations laid by Martin ‘Leangains’ Berkhan who pioneered the 16:8 approach 10 years ago: were you not convinced by this approach previously Fred? The more recent development though is ‘metabolic authophagy’ as put forward by Siim Land (highly recommend his new book if you haven’t read it yet). Like Fred, he proposes 18-20 hour fasts, followed by plenty of protein after a fasted workout (with pre-workout whey). The theory is that this approach maximises the benefits of catabolism/ autophagy (cellular clean-up) during the 20 hour fast whilst also sensitising the body for the 4-6 hour anabolic ‘hi-TOR’ feeding period. Fred seems to be the proof I was looking for that the theory actually rings true in practice! I’ve been doing it for a couple of months and loving those big meals. I even did a 24 hour fast a few days ago (a first for me) – with the caveat that I challenge anyone to do this painlessly without the support of black coffee!! One other point which is addressed in the book – avoid eating 2-4 hours before bedtime – due to insulin sensitivity/ melatonin secretion/ circadian issues. Thanks for breaking it down into such detail guys, much appreciated.

  • Not listened to this yet, but have just got the transformation PDF with Fred’s before and after photos in it. To do what Fred has done at the age of 57 is incredible. He looks pretty good to start with, but the after photos are really striking. This shows that if you really want to look like you train, leaning down is the way to go.

    The only thing I’d love to know is what Fred’s daily calorie intake was before and after.

  • I’ve downloaded the PDF with Fred’s results. He obviously looks much better than before and has done fantastically well for an experienced trainee in his mid to late 50s, with no cardio and probably less than an hour a week of proper exercise.

    But I can’t make the numbers add up.

    Fred’s InBody results.

    ============

    14 June 2016

    29.3 pounds of fat
    81.4 pounds of muscle
    173.8 pounds of total weight

    12 March 2019

    5.7 pounds of fat
    83.1 pounds of muscle
    152.3 pounds of total weight

    Difference
    23.6 pounds of fat lost
    1.7 pounds of muscle built
    21.5 pounds lighter overall

    ==========

    He should weigh 151.9 pounds, so there is 0.4 pounds unaccounted for, which could be water, bone mass etc. I’m not worried about that.

    In summary from June 2016 to March 2019 Fred was minus 23.6 pounds of fat, plus 1.7 pounds of muscle according to InBody.

    The blog post above mentions that from March 2019 until July 2019, a period of just 4 months, Fred lost 28 pounds of fat and built 14 pounds of muscle.

    If we go from the end of the InBody period with the final InBody results already accounted for, so from 12 March 2019 until, say, 31 July 2019, that Fred would have to lose another 4.4 pounds of fat and built another 12.3 pounds of muscle, to bring it up to the 28 pounds of fat lost and 14 pounds of muscle gained that is quoted in the blog post.

    I don’t get it. The InBody results stretch from June 2016 to March 2019 with good data, but then the blog post quotes even higher numbers over a shorter period of time.

    I can easily believe that Fred lost another 4.4 pounds of fat in the 4 months from March 2019 to July 2019, but I can’t believe he built 12.3 pounds of muscle in that time, not when the data from InBody says he built 1.7 pounds of muscle in 2 years, 8 months and 26 days.

    Please can someone explain what I’m misunderstanding. I can’t see where I’m going wrong.

  • Interesting discussion. Fred sure has gotten lean. But I’m skeptical of the 3.7% body fat measurement. That seems too low. I know that is what is InBody shows, but I am questioning the accuracy of that measurement.

  • Very informative podcast, Lawrence!
    Since Fred said the pre-exhaust exercise should target the biggest muscle in the subsequent compound exercise…
    …can anyone help understand why he also said “leg extension” is not a good pre-exhaust exercise to the “leg press” exercise? Isn’t quadriceps the biggest muscle involved in the leg press?
    If he simply inadvertently misspoke, that’s fine.
    Thank you.

  • Hi Everyone – thanks for all the interest. There is a lot to rely to and i am very busy but I’ll try my best, one at a time.

    Fleischman said:

    “…can anyone help understand why he also said “leg extension” is not a good pre-exhaust exercise to the “leg press” exercise? Isn’t quadriceps the biggest muscle involved in the leg press?”

    Good question. The largest muscles involved in the leg press are the glutes, not the quads. A proper pre-exhaust for the leg press or squat exercise is hip extension or to a lesser degree, hip abduction. Leg extension to leg press is not a pre-exhaust exercise. You can’t pre-exhaust the quads. A similar error is biceps curls followed by pulldowns. The biceps are the weak link in pulldowns just as the quads are the weak link in leg press.

    As another example to illustrate the issue, triceps extensions to chest press is not a pre-exhaust – chest flyes to chest press is.

  • Greg P said:

    “Interesting discussion. Fred sure has gotten lean. But I’m skeptical of the 3.7% body fat measurement. That seems too low. I know that is what is InBody shows, but I am questioning the accuracy of that measurement.”

    The InBody 570 is about 90% as accurate as a DEXA and a DEXA is as accurate as it gets pretty much. There are other accurate calculations one can do with DEXA to make it even better like the following:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5110400/

    BUT….I did a DEXA and compared to my InBody test. The DEXA read me at 3% higher body fat than the InBody device. The DEXA machine, mind you, is measuring the fat on my head, neck, etc. So it stands to reason DEXA will test you higher than any bioimpedance testing device.

    EX: When I first did the experiment in April of 2017, my InBody had me at about 5%BF and the DEXA had me at 9%. So there seems to be a ~3% difference. So if the InBody reads me at 3.7% BF this means I am probably 6-7% BF on a DEXA.

  • AC said:

    “The blog post above mentions that from March 2019 until July 2019, a period of just 4 months, Fred lost 28 pounds of fat and built 14 pounds of muscle.”

    Does it? At what part of the blog does it say this?

    I see:

    “From January 2018 to July 2019, Fred achieved 28 pounds of fat loss and 14 pounds of muscle gain by daily fasting and adding ~250g of protein and under 60g of carbs per day.”

    I looked at my records and from 03/2019 – 07/2019 here are my numbers. (Realize they vary a bit here and there due to hydration):

    BF% 7.5, fat mass 11.3lbs., muscle mass 78.3lbs.
    BF% 5.0 fat mass 10.6lbs., muscle mass 89.1lbs.

    From January 2018 – July 2019, here are my numbers:

    BF mass: 34 pounds
    BF%: 20.1%
    Muscle mass: 75.4 pounds
    Lean mass: 135.6 pounds

    July 2019:

    BF mass: 8.6 pounds
    BF%: 5.3%
    Muscle mass: 88 pounds
    Lean mass: 156 pounds

    These are readings from the InBody 570. The changes are quite apparent.

    The best readings I have ever recorded on the InBody device since I’ve owned them are:

    BF mass: 6.2 pounds
    BF%: 3.9%
    Muscle mass: 90.1
    Lean mass: 158.1

    I hope this clears up the issue.

  • Michael Greenwood said:

    “Hey great podcast, I was really hoping you would have pried Fred on his Calorie/Protein philosophy… Specifically if he believes he built muscle on a hypo-caloric diet provided he kept his protein up.”

    I don’t consider calories at all. I think protein intake is critical. I’m 5’10” and my lean mass is about 160 pounds now. So, I try to get 1.5-2 grams of quality protein in per day with food or shakes or both.

    As an older person, I absorb/uptake protein less efficiently – this is shown in the work by Paddon/Jones. So you have to get enough in each meal and if you’re eating in a 4 hour window, you have some ingesting to do.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760315/

    I ate virtually no carbohydrates – a salad here, a peach there, chocolate every once in a while and sushi rice if I ate sushi but overall, the daily intake was never more than 30 grams.

    A days feeding might be:

    1/2 chicken with skin, green salad (90 grams protein)
    protein shake (50 grams protein)
    3 pork or lamb chops, green salad or 2 forkfuls of kimchi (100 grams protein)

    Total protein: 240 grams
    Total fat: Not sure but the fat from the meats seems plenty
    Total carbs: who cares
    Total calories: who cares

    I lost a lot of fat and gained a lot of muscle doing this. My health markers improved.

Leave a Reply to Rob H. Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.