Want Results? Just 2 weeks on Occam's Protocol… results!

Note: If you want the numbers, the highlights and the charts: skip to the results here.

As I sit here and consider all the time that I’ve spent at gyms in the past 10 years, one thing comes to mind: at least it gave me something to compare this to. Put simple though, the results between my previous gym efforts and this phase of workouts have no similarities.Previously, and even heeding warnings I had read about not making workouts too long, I would be in the gym for a little under an hour, getting through my 6-or-so different lifts, pushes, and pulls, and then head on and do some ab workouts. Of course, I felt stronger, and I saw some gains on paper with my strength.

Once, I even managed to gain 5 pounds, after a concerted 4 weeks diligently following a ‘string bean’s’ bulking program. It was the closest, in fact to the Occam’s Protocol workouts, and got me in the best shape I’ve been in. With that as the benchmark (noticeably lower body fat and weighing, at my max, around 163 pounds), my dive into the Occam’s Protocol workouts have been exciting, intriguing and at times, shocking.

I’ve done 3 ‘A’ Workouts, and 2 ‘B’ Workouts, across 2.5 weeks. The numbers really speak for themselves, I have seen gains on all lifts and exercises, and have seen a gain on the scales. See below for my charts of Workout A, Workout B and my weight on the scales. All weigh-ins took place at the same time of day, same routine of meals, etc.

Highlights of Results from 2 weeks (5 workouts total):

  • Yates EZ Row – 57% strength gain, no form loss
  • Shoulder Press – 10lb gain.
  • Myotatic Crunch – increase 25%, with better form
  • Incline Bench – 22% gain (still haven’t done workout 3 of ‘B’)
  • Leg Press – 22% gain (this is 40 lbs!!)
  • Kettlebell – 400kgs more lifted – 50 reps @ 16kg went to 50 reps @ 24kg – that’s a 50% gain.

 Want Results? Just 2 weeks on Occam's Protocol... results!

 Want Results? Just 2 weeks on Occam's Protocol... results!

 Want Results? Just 2 weeks on Occam's Protocol... results!

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So with this data showing a great trend, the next question, of course, is whether I’m putting on muscle or fat. I think the first answer comes from the increases in the gym – literally every exercise that involves weights has gone up remarkably – especially the leg press and the Yates EZ Row. For those who might ask the question of whether I started with low weights – I followed, exactly to the letter, the book’s formula for determining starting weight.

The next answer, is in appearance. Muscles are actually more visible than they previously were, which suggests a drop in body fat, not a gain, as one might expect whilst adding extra food intake. This could well be the work of the PAGG, or could be attributed to the clean slow carb diet + protein drinks that I’m sticking to.

How to replicate this

Everyone is different, so I don’t want to suggest your results will be identical. I do know, however, that lots of people are having success and great results with similar programs, and that it is possible to replicate what I’m doing.


  • Slow Carb x4 meals
  • Meal times are around 8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm
  • Breakfast is consistently 1/3 cup (before cooking) red split lentils, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites, 1 cup spinach or green beans (Sometimes I add a bit of parmesan cheese)
  • Added 1 cup cooked brown rice to 2 meals per day
  • 1/2 protein shake (made with water) morning and night
  • 1 protein shake during workout
  • PAGG – AGG X4 /day – with each meal, P at bedtime
  • Vitamin B mornings
  • Cal/Mag at night
  • Creatine x5g 2x/day
  • L-Glutamine – x5 2x/day + 25g post-workout
  • Time workout so lunch (with rice) comes within 1 hour of finishing
  • Cheat days are game-on for anything, lunch-bedtime
  • Lemon juice in water – 8-10 glasses/day
  • Green tea in the morning, and some afternoons
  • Almond butter when hungry between meals


  • No cardio – a couple walks /week (25mins max) (this is killing me I love running and swimming)
  • ‘A’ workout, rest 2 days, ‘B’ workout, rest 3 days. I am shifting to 3 day rest between both now.
  • On the last rep, go until you are off the planet – never give up.
  • Use a spotter on anything that could need one
  • Have used 1 extra failure rep on some lifts, after 10 second rest
  • 5 min warmup on cross trainer to get blood flowing
  • 3 reps with little weight to check injuries and all-clear to lift
  • Timed rest breaks between exercises

With these results, I strongly believe that both the weights programs, and the eating regime, are both wholly responsible, together, for these results.

How are your results this week? What’s been your biggest ‘win’ so far? Leave a comment and let us all know how you’re doing.

You might be interested in reading these too:

  1. Starting Occam’s Protocol workouts Well, the time has come for the next phase of our Four Hour Body experiment. Having gone through a fat loss phase, using the slow carb meals and nothing more, we're moving on...
  2. 4 Hour Body Cheat Sheet: Occam’s Protocol Workout Sheet Hey everyone, as it's time for me to start on the Occam's Protocol workout, I wanted to share with everyone the 'cheat sheet' that I've made up to take to the gym with...
  3. Great results; a few hitches Its been a couple weeks of great results! I've been really happy with losing about 10 lbs and having a ton of energy. Unfortunately, I've had some other results come along with it......

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26 Responses to Want Results? Just 2 weeks on Occam's Protocol… results!

  • Justin says:

    Hey Luke,

    Gains seem pretty good. I am now down to my goal body weight as well and looking to add some muscle and lose some fat. I want to start Occam’s but I work out mostly at home with bodyweight and kettlebells. Making time to get to the gym is hard for me.

    I have also started to look into intermittent fasting I found on leangains.com. The pictures from the results there are quite impressive. http://www.leangains.com/search/label/Client%20results

    Keep up the good work.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Rob, thanks.

      I read about your recent weight loss – sorry to hear about the appendicitis though! I understand you’ll be looking for some body recomposition, effectively – fat loss, muscle gain, so the scales won’t change a lot but you will.

      I would suggest the kettlebells could definitely get you in a good state – especially if you check out the Kiwi’s workout routine. Seems pretty full-on. Thanks for the link – those guys are truly ripped. I’m not sure that I’m aiming for that, but it’s always inspiring to see what people are able to achieve when they set their mind to a goal.

      All the best,

  • Rob says:

    What do u generally have for breakfast alongside your protein shake?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Rob – my breakfast is almost the same every morning – 1/3 cup (before cooking) red split lentils boiled in water, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites (that’s 1/4 cup), 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup tomato salsa.

      Sometimes I switch green beans for spinach, that’s the only change! If I run out of eggs, I have had to make do with eggs whites x4/5.. but I don’t like to do that.

      I’ve updated the article – thanks for your comment!

  • that’s awesome Lucas. i admire the rigor with which you implement the diet and exercise protocols. it reminds me that i can do so much better with my current methods.

    • Luke says:

      Thanks for your comment!

      I’m really happy for you – I read you blog and it sounds like you’re having really wonderful success with the slow carb diet. That’s a great achievement! Congratulations, and all the best with reaching your goals.

  • AndyDJ says:

    I wasnt sure if you were aware but on the Occams Protocol, you dont actually have a cheat day.. the cheat day on Occams Protocol, should actually be a day of halving the amount of calories you intake. It is kinda skimmed over in the book.

    • Luke says:

      Hi Andy, thanks for your comment. The book is light on this detail, and in fact it’s only mentioned in one of the later chapters. Currently, as I’m focussed on muscle gain, my primary goal is getting enough calories in, and any suggestions of unloading calories or protein cycling is something that’s a more finite detail than I’m concentrated on right now. I’m trying to coincide my cheat days with a workout day, so a lot of that energy goes into the workout, and my muscles, which I think is a good idea, and to be honest, I still love the cheat day because it keeps me on track during the week, so I think so far, so good.
      You’re right about considering options when on Occam’s – and there is an 18 hour 5% protein window mentioned, which means barely any protein, then followed up by more eating, or even offloading half of your calorie requirements every second day. I think there’s merit in these ideas, but I think there’s a reason they weren’t included in the Occam’s Protocol chapter – they’re complex, the science behind them needs to be well understood, and it may create too much complexity for people to get successes from the Occam’s program.
      All the best with your workouts!

  • Glenn says:

    Hey Luke. Great info. Are you concerned with the creatine storing water in the muscles?

    • Luke says:

      Hi Glenn, thanks for posting. Having used creatine before, I am aware of creatine’s tendency to make muscles retain a little more water, however reading in the book about it being ‘just more water’ has set off my concerns – as it’s explained that the extra fluid means lots of extra muscular level activity is happening, not just simple storing of pure water.
      This has meaning for; weigh ins, strength gains and health – for weigh ins I think the gains made are still functional strength, so they count, and over time any instant-weight additions will remain in the muscles; for strength gains, the gains are real as long as the muscle is maintained over time, and for health – cycling off creatine regularly is important I think.

  • Ryan Vestby says:

    Thanks for the info Luke. I was beginning to doubt the little amount of training I was doing on this program but this gives me hope. I have to say I just started the workout and when I did workout A on Monday my body was humming after like never before. Which seems good.

    Thanks for the guidance you bring to the rest of us.

    Where do I send the cheque. ;)


    • Luke says:

      Hey Ryan, you’re very welcome. Thanks for leaving your comment!

      I can really identify with doubting the small amount of training. I’ve been deep into gym training over the last 10 years, and really understand a lot of the common theory that’s applied in creating training programs.. so it went against what I thought was my expertise in the field.

      Going to full failure, slowly, is something completely different to other workouts I’ve done, and it sure seems to be stimulating that muscle growth, like the book says. I’m glad you’ve got started, and I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it! Just make sure you have a spotter, so you can maximize your lifts. I’m really lucky to have some friendly faces in my local gym.

      Thanks for your comments, I have to admit I’m really just doing my best to share my experiences, in the hope that it helps other people out. Inspired by you, I’ve added a PayPal ‘donate’ button in the sidebar (no obligation of course) ;)

      Cheers and all the best!

  • Erik says:

    You mention brown rice and quinoa quite often, I thought those two things were not supposed to be in the slow carb diet?
    I may have missed something but I thought it was stuff that was supposed to be able to be turned white and brown rice can certainly be bleached.
    Thank you,

    • Luke says:

      Hi Erik, you’re correct that on slow carb rice and quinoa are out. However, our site is not solely focussed on the slow carb diet, but many aspects of the book and beyond. Brown rice and quinoa are recommended in the book when doing the Occam’s Protocol workouts.
      Hope that clears it up for you!

      All the best,

  • Marek says:

    Hi Luke,

    Can you send me or tweet some links to what exercises I should be doing for weight loss. At the moment im hitting an orbitracker, but form reading some of your posts, seems weights is the go. Do you have any online training schedules/plans? Thanks.

  • Andrew says:

    Have you looked at Doug McGuff’s ‘Body by Science’? Very similar to Occam’s (not sure if Tim had read this book or same research when he came up with the concept) and I’ve switched over to it with great results. Interested to see if anybody else has tinkered with both and what they found.

    Somebody on here also pointed out the quinoa/brown rice issue. While Tim suggests to go this route for caloric load I’ve opted for Sweet Potato/Yams instead and have had a lot better results. Less gut irritants and really yummy when roasted in a bit of coconut oil.

    • Luke says:

      Hey Andrew,
      I haven’t heard about McGuff’s program, but I have now! I’ll be reading up on it thank you.
      I have wondered about sweet potato/yam vs brown rice or quinoa as well, as I know a lot of Paleo followers go this route and have good results. When adding in the brown rice to a slow carb meal, I found the meals were so large that it was hard to eat them all in one sitting. I ended up splitting some meals in half, and having the second half 2 hours later. How much sweet potato would you add to a meal with meat, veges and beans?


  • DrorZukerman says:

    Hey Lucas, quick results update of my own (I’m not keeping a log, just thought it’ll be nice to know) – I gained 4 Kilograms in the first week using Occam’s Protocol standard A & B. No supplements or any major change to diet (although I did rather like the tuna-pasta-chilli meal, and I eat it almost every second day now…)

    • Luke says:

      Hey great results!! Wow. You must have great muscle adaptation and growth to gain like that. Thanks for sharing with us – are you pretty much eating 4 slow carb meals per day? What sort of quantities do you eat?
      All the best,

  • Weston says:

    Curious as to why the Yates EZ row is not in the Occams workout cheat sheet? Is it not worth doing?

    • Luke says:

      Hey Weston,
      Thanks for writing us. The Yates EZ Row is in there – perhaps you were looking at the machine options, not the free weights?
      I highly recommend the Yates Row for anyone looking for some great development across the back.

      All the best!

  • Josh says:

    Hey Luke,

    So my experience with the 4 hr body began with the slow carb diet and nothing more (aside from playing basketball pretty regularly) and I was able to get in the best shape of my life – leaner, more energy, visible six pack, etc. Then I decided I wanted to add some muscle to my frame and started Occam’s Protocol (much like you, it seems). I’ve done two A workouts and One B workout (second B workout is 2 days from now) and I’ve been a little bummed with the results – my lifts are getting stronger and my muscles are getting bigger, but it seems that I’m starting to lose the definition of my six pack. my biggest priority here is staying lean and having the right shape, and so adding muscle is an addendum to that primary goal, not the goal in itself. Anyway, I’m wondering if there is a sort of threshold period before which occam’s protocol starts to work. In other words, in your experience, does it take your body a certain amount of time to process the starches/protein shakes/greater caloric load before it starts processing it all better (aka, will I get my six pack back?)

    Here is my training Regimen…

    Breakfast – Eggs, Spinach, Lentils, Cottage Cheese
    *On workout Days, Whey Protein Shake after*
    Lunch – Typically the meal he details in the book: Quinoa, Tuna, Turkey Chili, Pepper Jack Cheese
    Dinner – Chipotle Burrito Bowl or Rotisserie Chicken w/peas, black beans, brown rice
    Casein Protein Shake before Bed

    200 Mg ala before meals

    A & B Machine Workouts as the book lays out

    • Luke says:

      Hey Josh,

      Great question. I’m interested to know how you’re doing, a couple of months on, as I haven’t been able to answer all the comments for a while now.

      My first comment is that Occam’s isn’t specifically focused on keeping us lean, and that’s one area where the book isn’t that clear. In fact, Occam’s is a protocol aimed at loading on muscle, (almost) at any cost. And the cost can be some fat gain. Tim comments ‘you can always lose the fat’. It’s a worthwhile point, in that if you keep up weight training, after adding muscle and fat, then you could lose fat with slow carb, and maintain most of that muscle. A more moderated version of a body builder’s bulking/cutting cycle. In reality, if you like being lean, it can be a tough pill to swallow and I’ve found the same result.
      This is why I started to investigate other options, and come up with some different plans of attack. For example dropping the cheat day entirely, and making it a low fat, high carb cheat evening after a workout, followed by a fast the next day until 3pm or so seems to be a good way to spike insulin, load in the muscles with nutrients, and then drop any fat that’s gained in doing so. Doing this a couple of times a week can help, if you follow slow carb the rest of the time. Another alternative is to go with a regular intermittent fasting approach, whereby you eat all your food for the day in a 8 hour window of time, the rest of the time you are just drinking water and green tea. Thirdly, eating even more around workouts, and then doing really intense interval training the day before each workout can maintain things well. Lastly, taking a day to have 50% of your food, weekly, can help keep the protein flowing in to the muscles.

      I hope that helps you out. There’s many techniques out there, and the intermittent fasting protocols seem the best for adding muscle while keeping lean.

      All the best!

  • Vik says:

    Hey Luke,

    Thanks for your post, really helpful info here! I just started this workout routine today, and was curious about the additional supplements you take along with the slow carb dieting. I know a lot of these are mentioned in the book, however do we have to follow this exact routine for similar results? I hardly take pills, now just used to having the protein shakes… but if I could pick a couple out of the 5 you listed, or maybe even just one, what would you recommend?


    • Luke Starbuck says:

      Hey Vik,

      The supplements question is always interesting. They are additional and not required, but that said, certain items definitely influence results.

      The foundation I recommend is fish oil, and then Vitamin B. I won’t go into details but there are big reasons for each. Fish oil around 10,000mg – 25,000mg for 2 weeks, then back to 5000 to 10000. More if your bodyfat % is higher.

      Then for workouts, I start with Creatine. That’s a key that yields great results.

      I’ll leave it there – that’s 3 ;)

      All the best,

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