Intermittent Fasting & Mental Toughness Workout


Last night was a rough workout for me.... as many of you know if you've been here for a while, my workouts don't focus on solely the physical development of strength aspect but largely on the mental toughness aspect and pushing myself to greater heights.

Last night started with about 10 sets of snatches. My body felt like it was on "empty" from the get go. Once I finished my snatches, I told one of my coaches that it's time for me to crank a "mental toughness" workout. Once I finished that first set of deadlifts I felt as if ALL my energy was sucked out.

Those are the times where you must push through.....

Overall, I was unsatisfied with this performance, the workout should have been completed in half the time, all sets and reps unbroken. BUT..... This is LIFE.

What if you have to go for a day without eating and at the end of the day you encounter a physical confrontation? This is why we say, "Train for LIFE!"

[youtube width="640" height="360"][/youtube]

Here's your workout for today: 04-11-12

1) Snatches from Floor: 3 x 5 reps light weight, 2 x 3 reps medium weight, 3 x 2 reps heavy weight

AFAP: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

A) Bodyweight Deadlift

B) Push Ups + 20 lbs

C) Pull Ups + 20 lbs

If you need 20 lb chains, get them HERE

Post your comments, weights used, times, etc in the comments section

Let's DO this!

Train For LIFE


PS: Mark your calendars for June 1st and 2nd, the FIRST Underground Strength Conference is going down in NJ. Details to be announced this week.

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11 Responses

  1. Beast workout man. I’ve been doing some fasted training and I feel a lot more focused and intense.

    1. Smitty!!! I love it as well, BUT, when I hit my workout so late into the night and have been away from food too long, any sort of conditioning becomes brutal!

      But, that IS the point….. thriving in that situation is next UP!

  2. Zach,

    BCAAs and coffee before a workout helps with focus and stamina when working out fasted (into the fast between 14-24hours). I know you can do without them because you’re a very tough guy mentally, also but it seems to me that this little investment goes a long way in terms of keeping the intensity up.

    Hope this helps,


  3. Yo Zach,

    I got that workout in. Tweeted you and didn’t come post it here. I loaded up 275 on the Squat 145 on the snatch and was too lazy to walk to the shed and grab the hurdles, so I used 2 tall plyo boxes to jump over (man I shoulda got the hurdles hahaha). Anyway,forgot to time it but I’d imagine I was somewhere around 25min or so. That ish around rounds 7-10 I was strugglin’. Back to that mental toughness, my body began to F with my mind questioning if it was too much weight or not. haha I finished it though. Thanks for the kicker!

  4. Last month I lost 20 pounds by training in a fasted state, eating the right foods and competed and came in 2nd place at the Miami Classic. Every morning I would take a long walk or do a ton of sled drag variations (I came up with a few dozen for the whole body). Later in the day would be Oly training. Training hungry is a different beast than training satiated. I didn’t really lose much strength, maybe a little stamina, but the feeling you acquire with being buoyant, athletic and energized is awesome.

  5. Nasty workout on an empty stomach. Pushed me to place I haven’t been in awhile and I loved it.
    Deadlift @ 185
    Ring pull ups + 1.5 pood kb
    Push ups + 45lb plate
    11 mins flat @ 165# bw
    Thanks for the inspiration you got me on the path to do some HUGE things in the near future.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I agree with Hughes. Great workout. Short, to the point, not neglecting many movements, and tough as s#$% in a fasted state. Thanks for the suggestion, Zach.

    BW = 157lbs

    DL: 160
    Pushup + 20lbs
    Pullup, unweighted


  7. Well today I killed this workout…. unfortunately I about lopped off my thumb monday evening while cooking dinner – so in result I didn’t do the snatches because I didn’t want to rip the stitches out. So here is what I did today.

    Overhead Squat – 135, 145, 155 for the reps and sets above
    Deadlift – 175lbs
    Push Ups – 20lb chain
    Pull Ups – 20lb chain

    Body weight – 173lbs
    Time – 4:25 secs for the AFAP… pretty killer

  8. Jeff Sand says:

    I’m a wrestler at Simpson college in indianola, iowa and I did the workout on Wednesday after I got the e-mail. It was my off day of lifting when it came to our college program, but I was in the mood to hit it hard and I thought it looked like a great workout to try. I did the floor snatches in about 12 minutes and then did the the deaf lift pushups and pull ups in about 9 minutes. I had a good time with this lift. We had been doing so much tempo in our lifts at school that I just wanted to go in and bust out a tough workout. Totally reminded me of bein in season again!

  9. I usually go most of the day without eating anything until after 4-5 pm (then I stuff face for 3-4 hours). A couple of days during the week I’ll have either some yogurt, a few vegetables, or some hard boiled eggs, but it’s usually for recovery a 1/2 hour to an hour after a training session. I almost always train in a fasted state. I used to eat the 3-6 meals throughout the day, but I have to say, since deciding to fast on a regular basis I feel so much better. I have more energy, I can concentrate more easily, and I know I can go the distance while everybody else needs to stop and refuel. After you do it for a few weeks, it feels totally normal. Now if I eat a whole meal during the day, it just doesn’t feel right. I feel tired, heavy, sluggish, and kind of dumb. I don’t care if this is “wrong”. When I started eating this way I weighed 170. I now easily maintain a very lean bodyweight of 185-190. I may not be the biggest, or the strongest, but I know I have an edge when it comes to mental toughness. I think it’s very important to prepare yourself for less than optimal conditions because you probably won’t always have access to weights, food, and supplements. Try training in a fasted state on occasion, train in the snow (if you get snow), train in the nasty hot heat, train in the rain. Knowing you can take it makes you feel dangerous, and that feels damn good.

    1. Damn right! Love the comment. I haven’t tried training in a fasted state before but i will definately try it. Feeling fired up!!

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