LOMAD – Occam’s Protocol – does it work?

With about 6 weeks of training behind me now, I was hoping to see a little bit more weight on the scales at this point, though I’m by no means disappointed. I wrote recently about things seeming to stop moving upwards, for a week or so, and so I set out to tackle this problem with a few solutions.

The most obvious change was adding milk to my protein shakes, and adding an extra protein shake per day, for a total of 2-3 drinks on non-workout days, and 3 on workout days. This worked out to a total of around 1 liter of milk per day, or LOMAD. I’m not yet going near GOMAD (gallon of milk a day), however if the time comes, I will consider it.

I also added a protein bar (20g protein, 20g sugars) for immediately after a workout. Though I’m aware of the protein window probably closing before this hit my bloodstream, it was more about finding another time of day when I could stomach more food.

I changed my 1/3 cup of brown rice (before cooking), and my 1/3 cup of red lentils (before cooking) to 1/2 cup in each case. So my breakfast was very large, and my lunch 1 and lunch 2 likewise. Dinner was still a regular slow carb meal, with a half protein shake.


Finally, I’m happy to say I’ve cracked the 160 pounds barrier that I seem to be hovering near for a couple of weeks. My weigh ins, which were done on my cheat day mornings, under the same circumstances, look like this for the last 4 weeks: 158, 158, 159, and now 161.

Obviously it’s not a huge change, but there seems to be something symbolic about being able to find a way to help my body up that muscle building mountain that it’s always been so hesitant to climb. I am now climbing it, and having reached this little peak, the 175lb peak seem to be that much close, which is a great feeling. Much like anyone gets when they seem themselves getting nearer to a weight loss target.

Though it might seem a little strange to be talking about gaining weight, in the middle of lots of people who want to lose some, it’s basically the same process – changing habits and then seeing results come in the form of changes in your body. There isn’t actually that much difference at all. As I prepare for a very active summer, I want to know that my body has the strength to tackle everything I throw at it, and seeing the weight on the scales, and the numbers at the gym going up, are two good ways to know that before I go and start climbing mountains or embarking on epic kayaking adventures.

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16 Responses to LOMAD – Occam’s Protocol – does it work?

  • Justin says:

    Hey Luke,

    Off the top of my head I think that is one thing that Tim doesn’t stress enough in the book is that you need to keep tweaking your meals and routines as your body changes so it doesn’t plateau.

    For protein synthesis I found a reference on the leangains site to this pubmed article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8563679 seems that protein sythesis jumps to ~50% 4 hours after heavy lifting and peaks about 24 hours later. Still have to take into account time for digestion though. I think that is why some people think casein protein is more effective than whey for its slow release into the body. (I haven’t started taking casein yet still taking whey isolate).

    Also a BCAA pre and post work is highly recommended too. I have been taking xtend and notice some good results (affiliate link to svncanada.com http://bit.ly/fdV8Qh )

    Also how come no pictures yet? I am sure you are getting pretty ripped by now.


  • Sean says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am one of the few who is on a weight gain mission myself. I started at 154.5 lbs. January 26th and am about 172.5 lbs. now. I am trying to get to that 20 lb. mark, but might keep going. While 18 lbs. sounds like a lot, it doesn’t “look” like a lot. I feel great though!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Sean, thanks so much for commenting!
      I am really interested to hear about you gains – you’re doing really well! That sounds like around 9 weeks now, and you’ve gained 18lbs! I sure hope I’m around that, now that I have figured out the food. So far, I am at around 11lbs gained over 6 weeks.
      I’m interested to hear that the weight doesn’t ‘look’ like a lot – I guess muscle weighs a lot more than fat (ie is much more dense for how much ‘space’ it takes up).
      Would you be interested in sharing more info about your daily eating?


      • Sean says:

        Hi Luke,

        Unfortunately, I have not taken a very scientific approach to the eating of late. I think that is sort of suggested anyways in the book. For the first 3 weeks or so I recorded everything I ate and counted the calories and protein. Now I just sort of go on ‘feel’ after getting into a routine. I do know that I am not eating as much now, hence the weight gains have slowed. I was eating between 3000-3500 calories a day and 175-200 grams of protein. I seem to have plateaued a bit, but I know I can continue it simply with more eating.

        As for the look, I definitely have more muscle, but there is a little fat. Not much though and I am probably the only one that notices it. I am very pleased with the results when I look in the mirror, my body has definition now and I don’t look ‘skinny’. I look thin and fit :-) Just keep eating and the pounds will come!

  • Brian says:


    Now that you are on Occam are you still taking a cheat day?

    I’m sort of stuck in between Occam and the SCD. On the one hand I want to lose more fat % to remove for visible fat from around my waste, but on the other I want to put on considerable muscle size and bulk. Do you think that is possible with the Occam…do both lose fat and gain muscle?

    Tim didn’t really make it clear how one transition from SCD to Occam. At this point I”m neither losing any weight nor gaining. Just stuck right at 184 lbs, 17% body fat every day, no matter how much or little I eat, and regardless of eating so well, supplementing as I should, and having added a kettlebell workout (to simulate the Occam workout) every 3 days.


    • Luke says:

      Hi Brian, thanks for your comment.
      I can definitely relate – there doesn’t seem to be a bridge between slow carb and Occam’s, and I too have found it challenging to continue gaining muscle mass after the first month or so on Occam’s. I do believe it has to do with not eating enough, in my case, and part of that is due to the challenge of getting in enough calories using the slow carb foods as a base. Even with brown rice at two meals, I think my calories are still quite low, compared to the calculated needs for the weight I’d like to be. (20 calories per lb of lean muscle mass, +10lbs – for me, = 3000/day – for you, around 3200 calories/day).
      Looking at my regular day’s food diary, now that I’m using milk in 2 protein shakes a day, I get:
      - Breakfast: 220 (eggs) + 320 (lentils) + 40 (spinach)
      - Average meal: 450 calories x3 per day
      - Average rice addition: 150 calories x2 per day
      - Protein drink (made with water): 110 calories x2
      - Occasional teaspoon of almond butter
      This leaves me with a total of: 2700 calories approx. So I’m still 300 calories short every day, which over a week is over 2000 – that’s going to have an impact.

      I think for where you are currently, its likely you’re feeling a bit like me – that some days you think about slow carb and fat loss, and some days you think about muscle gain. With this mindset, it doesn’t surprise me that I’m stagnant, just like Tim’s case study who did nothing but track his fat loss, and lost weight due to his mindset and all the little decisions every day, I expect a similar thing is going on with me, and perhaps you.

      My recommendation? Select one or the other, for a 4 week duration. Though I’m not sure of your goals, I would suggest going withs strictly slow carb for 4 weeks, and keeping the exercise light (ie kettlebells 2x a week and perhaps a walk or two), as you will feel more energy from this combination and build momentum, vs doing the Occam’s Protocol workouts and eating extra. Once you’ve chosen a direction – a decision has been made – totally abandon all thoughts of the other direction. Decision is based on latin ‘to cut away from’ – so literally be single-minded in your approach, and set the milestone of 4 weeks, to come back and reassess.

      Measure, weigh, and photography today, and then do the same at the end of the 4 weeks – it will help your decision at that time.

      I hope that helps, and wish you all the best.

      • Brian says:

        Thanks for the reply Luke. I actually did the SCD for about 6 weeks, and didn’t make much progress then either. I’ve lost 25lbs on my own in the past, simply by cutting calories, but for some reason using SCD I wasn’t able to lose any fat weight at all. However, I wasn’t really doing the kettlebells at all until I began to switch to the Occam. So perhaps I should go back to SCD for another 4, this time with the kettlebell.

        • Luke says:

          Hey Brian,
          That is surprising that you didn’t get results over 6 weeks with slow carb, the majority of reports are that people lose some, if not a lot.
          I’d suggest going with slow carb for another 4 weeks, doing the kettlebells 2x or 3x a week at most. Have a good read through the slow carb chapter of the book and check if there’s anything you could adjust or add in that might help your chances of fat loss.

          All the best!

  • Sven says:

    Regarding protein bars. Have you tried PURE PROTEIN BARS, usually at Traders Joes or online. The 2.75OZ has a whopping 31g of protein and only 3g of sugar (this is for the Chocolate Peanut Butter). FAT is decent at 10g, NO trans Fat. Naturally Flavored, no junk, sweeteners and stuff. Love them, took me a while to find these. They taste pretty good.

  • Hi Luke

    Were you adding in the drugs with your run through of OP? Or just SCD + protein shake and doing the workouts?

    I did a 6 week run through of OP in March without adding drugs and the only diet change was a daily protein shake and I got very minimal results (http://nickmcintosh.com.au/2011/05/05/occams-protocol-case-study/)

    • Luke says:

      Hi Nick,

      Interesting result. When I did Occam’s Protocol, I was taking PAGG to try to limit fat gain. I had a couple of weeks off PAGG due to a timed break, and did see some fat come on. I was taking creatine, and L-glutamine also. Creatine 5g morning and night, L-Glutamine 25g after a workout.

      I believe however the strongest result comes from the increase of calories, and the addition of adequate rest. Tim talks about rest being important, but I always only understand rest away from weights and activity. I didn’t really grasp the sleep aspect. Sleep is vital, and cutting is short on a program like this can really hold results back.

      I think in general, that a protein shake, especially if made with water, isn’t a lot to add to the slow carb diet. I was just reviewing calorie counts today in fact, and slow carb, if you are eating 4 meals per day, is likely to be yielding around 1900 calories per day. If you take 1 protein shake, you have around 2000 calories per day. For my size (calculated from lean body mass) when I did Occam’s, my calorie goal, according to the book, was more like 3200 calories per day. Clearly, that’s a huge deficit. Add in 2 protein shakes a day, for 240 calories, add in 2 cups milk per day for another 240 calories, and you get around 2500 calories. Getting closer.. so then Tim also recommends 2 or 3 servings of brown rice/quinoa, which adds an additional 300-450 calories. Now it’s around 3000 per day. That’s a lot, but Occam’s is about muscle gain, fast as possible. Eating like this, if sticking to meals (4 a day) will likely result in fat gain, mainly due to the glycemic load of the meals. Splitting them in half, and going to more like 6 or 7 smaller meals per day allows for the same calories intake, with lower glycemic load at each meal = less fat gain ideally.

      Having read elsewhere, for lean gains, rather than the biggest gains, something more around 2700 calories is ideal for me, if I’m trying to add muscle and not add fat, but cover my bases as well as possible, without going over my needs (taking into account my training level).

      Occam’s is good, but there are other options. I see on your post that your gains were pretty small considering the gym effort you put in. I think most likely you weren’t getting enough protein (around 180g/day in my case), as protein can be hard to come by unless there’s a concerted effort to bring in enough. Also, total calories may have been a little low, and meals might not have been timed ideally. You’re right that the book lacks detail, and my best understanding of OP is to do 4 slow carb meals every day, to add rice to 2 of them, to add 1/2 protein shake morning and night, and then add LOMAD if you’re not gaining 2.5 lbs. That’s in an ideal world. Likewise, taking ALA, before each meal, taking Policosanol at night, and there are other supps mentioned as well. There is a lot to it, and I also wonder whether an unconditioned gym visitor might have trouble with the single sets, not being able to bring the intensity needed to really bring on positive failure in the muscles.

      I’d be interested if you give it a shot again.. or another program for that matter. There are good results documented with a range of workouts, including Occam’s and Geek to Freak (though I don’t recommend this, the workouts I found too long).


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