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Palumbo Ketogenic diet: Maintain & Cut with mk677


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Palumbo ketogenic diet: Maintain & Cut with mk677

Raise your GH and igf-1 with mk677 or peptides to the levels at the high end for an 18 year old:

accelerate fat loss
enhance workout recuperation
add muscle and strength (20% on average studies show, I concur)

Did a 2 year study of 25mg mk677 in the morning, read all I could find, then tried for myself 7 months on, 5 months off...for 2 years...performed around 7 blood work tests, noticed a trend...

It raised my igf-1 from 227 ng/ml to 372 ng/ml for the 1st 2 weeks each year, then leveled off to 327 ng/ml 4 weeks in, even read the same 6 months in, same going on 2nd year on it. The body puts in a feedback system after 2 weeks to keep the levels from getting any higher than around the high level of an 18 year old. This corresponds to what the scientist found with their mk677 study on beagles, same findings with the feedback regulatory system.

The mk677 corresponds to the equivalent of 3.4iu pharm grade GH from China, as each 1 iu of pharm grade gh raised my igf-1 by 95 points, as I get a 380 ng/ml igf-1 reading with 4iu of pharm grade GH from China.

I tested my insulin levels, and A1C and liver values and they were all completely normal on the 7th month of being on the mk677, and this was without taking any +r-ala or berberine at all during those 7 months. There is zero to minimal bloat while being on mk677 while being on a ketogenic diet. Hunger pains die down after 4 weeks. Others say on a carb rich diet, the bloat decreases after 4 weeks.

Here are the results of the research I did so far:
Alpha6164's (medical doctor's best friend):
167 igf1---->272 igf1 (100mcg grf(1-29) + 100mcg ghrp2 x 3 times a day) = 105 point increase

227 igf-1---->372 igf1 (25mg mk677) = increase of 145 points for 1st two weeks
227 igf-1---->327 igf1 (25mg mk677) = increase of 100 points after the 1st couple weeks, read same at 6 months in.
227 igf1---->380 igf1 (4iu chinese generic pharm grade) = 153 point jump
224 igf1---->359 igf1 (12.5mg mk677) = increase of 135 points*
232 igf1---->312 igf1 (25mg mk677) = increase of 80 points**
150 igf1---->242 igf1 (20mg mk677) = increase of 92 points***
141 igf1-----217 igf1 (20mg mk677) = increase of 76 points****
unknown igf1---->376 igf1 (25mg mk677) = unknown increase*****

*See Fitraver post "bloods on 12.5mg mk677"
**See Mrsaturatedfat post "37 days on mk677"
***See thebigone post "Humatrope,MK677 and other GH labs for you guys"
****See machine5150 post "MK677 Before and After Blood Work w/ IGF Levels Raised 53.9%"
*****See sayitaintsoap post "THT's MK-677 review and blood work"

**Notice the similar point jumps between peptides and mk677, either one seems to reach a max of around 100 igf-1 points.

For those that get lethargy with mk677 (I don't get any at all), you can always use the peptides above x 3 times a day for around the same average increase that mk677 gives (average of 100 point increase in igf-1).

I'm the bodybuilder that stays on a Palumbo ketogenic diet year round (1 to 1.5g of protein and 0.5g of fats per day). When I cut, I use 1800 calories a day (3 meals a day), but eat only 8 hours of the day, and fast for the other 16 hours, running laps for cardio during the fast. In other words, I eat breakfast, lunch, and 65g protein shake at 2:30pm (last meal of the day). Taking in around 220 to 240g of protein a day. There are some other famous bodybuilders who stay on a ketogenic diet year round if you look them up, one in particular from South America. We can get just as strong and make the same gains as our carb enriched counterparts.

As gluconeogenesis from the protein is 5g max per hour, over the course of a day with fasting after 3pm, I get on average 60g of glucose from the protein which fuels my workouts, shuttles glycogen to the muscles, enhances recovery...and yet I am still not kicked out of ketosis. It's easy to loose several percentage of bodyfat while holding muscle over the course of 3 months.

Believe it or not, but 3 new studies at ergo-log on bodybuilders show you can loose twice the fat and hold the muscle while incorporating fasting for 16 hours + doing cardio during the fast, yet lean muscle losses remained stagnant. fat loss was doubled over just fasting or cardio alone. Ergo-log studies on bcaa's also show you can prevent muscle-breakdown during your workout and cardio by taking 5g before each. Ergo-log website is great for tips and pointers.

When I was in my 20's and 30's I could eat whatever I wanted and remain super muscular and very low bodyfat, this all changed after age 40. The Palumbo ketogenic diet got me back to the way I used to look in my 20's, as my insulin sensitivity decreased as I got older, probably from eating whatever I wanted in my younger years, as a payback.

Anyhow, love primo or primobolan while cutting at 700mg a week (100mg inject daily), Arnold was said to have liked 100mg a day (700mg a week). How much test you add to it is up to you, 150 to 200mg TRT levels, slightly above that at 350mg etc.

For me on TRT at 200mg a week (60mg shot EOD with 0.6mg arimidex) at each of the every day shots, my E2 stays perfect at 25, with between 22 and 30 being a good level. With 350mg a week, which is 100mg EOD, arimidex needed is 1mg at each of the EOD shots to remain in range.


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
One last thing, since primo and diets often go hand in hand...

The RENPHO electronic body fat scale is super accurate and reads bodyfat percentage down to the .1 (1/10th percent). Also gives accurate muscle mass reading, and 6 other body readings, scale kicks ass, it is not all over the place, and you can read your bodyfat and musclemass daily, these scales have come a long ways over the years.

On primo, blood pressure is normal, sleep is great, it gives you the look of being on steroids but you don't feel like you are on steroids. PSA normally reads 0.74 or so on 0 to 4 scale after a 12 week cycle. Slow steady gains, pure muscle, very full & round & bloat.

The crystal structure of the raw is super fine, glistening and shiny like a fish scale or what diamond shavings might look like if it were possible? very different from any other xtal structure have examined.

Typical 1800 calorie cutting day on the Palumbo keto diet:

700 calories + 700 calories + 450 calories = 1850 calories

protein = 230 to 240g

fats = 34g breakfast + 15 to 30g lunch + 14g last shake with almonds.
wake up = 20g whey isolate shake in water = 20g protein, 100 calories
1 tablespoon flax seed oil = 120 calories, 14g fats

Breakfast: 6 x-large eggs, keep 3 of the yolks, sunny side up along with 3 slices of fried lean smoked ham, eggs and ham all fried with a tiny bit of butter. protein = 42 for the eggs + 12 for the ham = 55g total, fats = 20 grams. 3 slice ham = 60 calories, 6 egg calories = 450 calories.

total calories for whey shake + flax oil + breakfast = 700 calories, protein = 75g, fats = 34g.
Lunch: 2 grilled chicken breast on a tray by itself from whataburger for four dollars and 1 small peeled avacado:

protein = 80 grams
fats = 15 grams from the avacado
total calories = 230 for avacado + 230 for each breast x 2 = 700 calories

alternate lunch: Large plate of Panda bear chain terriaki chicken with super greens = 80 grams protein.

alternate lunch: Golden corral buffet: small salad with two tablespoons bit of blue cheese dressing + 6 yummy baked fish:

3oz fish x 5 = 21g protein x 5 = 105g protein, 114 calories each x 5 = 570 calories
1 tablespoon blue cheese dressing = 7g fat, 70 calories.
salad = 100 calories.
total calories = 750

alternate lunch: 1 flank steak with frozen cooked spinach, add in 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream or sour cream with the spinach:

steak = 100 grams protein, fats = 25g from steak, calories = 700
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream = 50 calories, 5g fat
total calories = 750
2:30 last meal of the day = 3 scoops of met-rx metamoysyn protein plus = 22g x 3 = 66g protein (300 calories) with 25 almonds or 1oz (good source of sodium and potassium for keto diet) = 150 calories.

Total calories = 450
25 almond fats = 14g

Fast from 2:30 thru dinner and sleep until breakfast the next day. And run 3 to 4 laps at the beautiful park with the springs and lake for 20 to 25 minutes or use treadmill at home if raining.

Other fats taken daily besides the 1 tbspoon flax seed oil: 5 fish oil caps, 6g of CLA caps.

Other supplements used daily:

* 6g HMB.

* 6g CLA, studies show over 7 weeks, 3.3lb lean mass gain vs 0.3lb lean mass gain placebo, users lost 2 lbs fat, while placebo gained fat:

Health benefits of taking CLA from mercola:

* 1500mg arachidonic acid pre-workout days only (studies at ergo log show 3.6lb lean muscle gain vs 0.2lb placebo lean gain over 8 weeks):

Should also add arachidonic acid results in super pumps for me when used pre-workout and long lasting soreness for days, one of my favorites when used with mk677, great pumps when combined.

* Betaine 1.25g x twice a day, studies show over 6 weeks, users added 6lbs lean mass vs 2lbs lean mass placebo. fat loss went down from 17% to 14% body fat, placebo gained fat.

* 5g bcaa used pre-workout and pre-cardio prevent muscle breakdown (ergo-log):

Told you so: BCAAs are anticatabolic

Strength athletes have been using BCAAs during their workouts for decades. BCAAs are believed to inhibit the breakdown of muscle tissue, and this is not just a figment of the imagination of supplements makers. Sports scientists at the Astrand Laboratory in Sweden published the results of a study...

Small amount of BCAAs and L-arginine prevents cardio-induced muscle breakdown

A cardio session – especially when done after strength training – has lots of positive health effects, but cardio exercise breaks down muscle tissue. For strength athletes cardio is a double-edged sword. Researchers at Otsuka Pharmaceutical in Japan think you can make one side of the sword less...


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
p.s Thanks warlock for your expertise on the Palumbo diet, which is what I was using for years, but never realized it existed with a name, and had been used by Pro Palumbo to shred bodybuilders.

Have to look good at the waterpark during summer (as I get a summer pass), and get compliments at the park all summer long by using this diet, said ergo's and supplements, and of course working out hard x 3 times a week, with cardio on the non-workout days.
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Well-known member
Kilo Klub Member
Apr 13, 2010
Honestly, everything looks good, but why are you still using CLA? Seriously


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
aphextwin said:
Honestly, everything looks good, but why are you still using CLA? Seriously
Had lost 1.5 inch on my waist in 2 months, could have been due to the mk677, CLA, diet, cardio, primo, betaine, who knows...I admit it's a shotgun approach.




Last edited:


Well-known member
Kilo Klub Member
Apr 13, 2010
I'd believe it's all the above minus the primo. Nice graph though.
Last edited:


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Thanks aphextwin.

Here's what I do know: In three months time, on the palumbo ketogenic diet, getting 240g of protein per day, with fasting for 16 hours, with running during the fast for 20 minutes on non-workout days, with working out x 3 times a week, while on primo for 12 weeks... fat percentage went down from 15% body fat to 12% body fat, loosing body fat daily, as the scale I used was highly accurate (RENPHO electronic body fat scale/muscle mass scale). I tracked it daily every morning after waking up. It sends all the data to your phone, so you can store it too. It tracks body fat in 0.1% increments (1/10th decimal).

Palumbo keto diet + fasting + cardio + good supplements is amazing, highly recommend if you are insulin sensitive like me.
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Active member
Dec 27, 2011
The nice thing about the 65g met-rx pure protein plus shake at 2:30pm (last meal of the day), is that it digest over an 8 hour period, made with lots of casein, milk, egg protein, and a bit of whey. Stuff is very cheap for a 2lb container and taste is fantastic. I usually add 1 tablespoon of no-carb heavy whipping cream to it with the water and ice in shaker bottle. Keep it cold in my lunch box which holds just the shaker bottle with 3 scoops dry powder and 25 almonds on the side. With some fish oil caps, cla caps, hmb, etc.


Well-known member
Kilo Klub Member
Mar 31, 2007
The nice thing about the 65g met-rx pure protein plus shake at 2:30pm (last meal of the day), is that it digest over an 8 hour period, made with lots of casein, milk, egg protein, and a bit of whey. Stuff is very cheap for a 2lb container and taste is fantastic. I usually add 1 tablespoon of no-carb heavy whipping cream to it with the water and ice in shaker bottle. Keep it cold in my lunch box which holds just the shaker bottle with 3 scoops dry powder and 25 almonds on the side. With some fish oil caps, cla caps, hmb, etc.

What flavor do you like for the met-rx pure protein plus shake? Is the consistency thick?


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
I love vanilla, it can be made thick or thinner depending on how much water you add. I think you said in one post you tried it once and liked the taste. It is great for muscle growth as it releases over 7 hours. I get a 20g whey isolate from designer whey protein 1st thing in the am, then the met-rx 65g at 2:30pm.

When I was natural, and used met-rx every day, I even had counselors and such accuse me of using steroids, when I explained I used met-rx daily, they just laughed at me and still said it must be steroids. The casein is great for growing muscle, studies on line comparing casein to whey are good to read.

Was a lifeguard while I was natural at the waterpark, and same time period I started to use met-rx back then, every day compliments from tourist and fellow lifeguards even while natural, I believe the met-rx I used twice a day back then was instrumental in my gains and muscle mass, kept muscle high and fat low.


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
This is what it looks like: met-rx.jpg
Remember women in the waterpark walking up to me in groups just to feel the arms and take pics with me, insane days. It was like a party every day. And this was while natural using just lots of protein daily.


Well-known member
Kilo Klub Member
Mar 31, 2007
I love vanilla, it can be made thick or thinner depending on how much water you add. I think you said in one post you tried it once and liked the taste. It is great for muscle growth as it releases over 7 hours. I get a 20g whey isolate from designer whey protein 1st thing in the am, then the met-rx 65g at 2:30pm.

When I was natural, and used met-rx every day, I even had counselors and such accuse me of using steroids, when I explained I used met-rx daily, they just laughed at me and still said it must be steroids. The casein is great for growing muscle, studies on line comparing casein to whey are good to read.

Was a lifeguard while I was natural at the waterpark, and same time period I started to use met-rx back then, every day compliments from tourist and fellow lifeguards even while natural, I believe the met-rx I used twice a day back then was instrumental in my gains and muscle mass, kept muscle high and fat low.
Thanks brother. I like the thicker taste shakes and barely consume whey on its own. I prefer casein, or casein and eggs or a mix of casein, beef, eggs, whey etc......

I made a mistake; I actually never tried the one you suggest. I had their meal replacement back in the day quite often. I remember it tasting so good and thick/creamy :)


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Give it a try brother, sure you will love it, let me know what you think.

What's really freaky on 700mg of primo a week, was that I was still adding lbs to my bench, leg press, leg curl, leg extension, and everything else while still in a calorie deficit. In other words, making gains while rapidly loosing fat weekly. It's very important to get around 240g of protein a day (palumbo keto diet) for a 200lb person like myself. High protein will keep you gaining, primo needs something to work with.

It will boggle your mind. Perhaps my body was using some of my fat storage for extra calories to help build more muscle while loosing the fat, that's all I can think of in a calorie deficit. Primo will help you hold on to your hard earned muscle while your body will prefer to burn the fat, it has great nitrogen retention, and mk677 has great nitrogen retention as well, double edge sword with both combined.

I had to give up the oatmeal pre-workout as it was stalling my fat loss right now, when I gave it up, I returned in 2 days to the rapid fat burning once again. (It takes about 2 days for the liver to get rid of all the sugar from the oatmeal). So I stay on a strict keto diet all the time, even without the oatmeal pre-workout, there is no reduction in my gains or workout intensity in the gym, so no more TKD, just a strick palumbo keto diet with zero starchy carbs from now on. My body converts some of the protein to glucose (5g max per hour) to fuel workouts, send glycogen to muscles, aid recovery.


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Just a quick note: as 100mg a day injections to reach 700mg a week primo can start to become wearisome, backfilling an insulin syringe makes it nearly effortless. Draw with 21 gauge, take plunger out of insulin syringe, hold end of plunger with hand while back fill insulin syringe from the drawing 21 gauge needle. Then shoot with the 29 to 30gauge filled insulin syringe into deltoid.

After 2 weeks, weights in the weight room start to become more effortless, strength goes up, stamina is improved, and bloodpressure remains normal, unlike what using higher doses of test or deca, or dianabol can cause. The normal blood pressure due to no water retention is quite nice.

For example, even in the 1800 calorie a day deficit, on 700mg a week primo, by week 12 days in...this is how strength went up in my journal:

Bench press up from 9 reps with 78lbs each side up to 11 reps with 80 each side, 2nd set up fom 6 reps of 78lbs each side up to 10 reps with 80 each side

2-arm dumb-bell extension behind neck for triceps up from 7 reps for 75lbs to 7 reps with 80lbs, 2nd set up from 5 reps with 75lbs to 7 reps with 80lbs

Lying tricep dumbbell extension behind head up from 5 reps of 43lbs each side to 8 reps with 40lbs each side,



Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Even though my blood exam for insulin and A1C were completely normal, I just can't handle carbs like I used to, keto has worked well for this person with this predicament, allowed me to get from 15% to 12% body fat over several months, and minimize fat gain while adding muscle yearly.

One of my favorite articles:
Keto Bodybuilding: Can You Gain Muscle Without Carbs?

Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS

Fact-checked by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS.

Written by Lorenz Mac

on September 25, 2018

There’s a common misconception in the bodybuilding space that you need carbohydrates to build muscle. So does this mean you can’t successfully build muscle on the ketogenic diet?

After all, the ketogenic diet requires you to keep carbs to a minimum.

It turns out, the high-carb paradigm is outdated.

In fact, the ketogenic diet can help increase strength and build muscle while minimizing fat gain[*].

A new wave of bodybuilders are now using the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle to build muscle without carbohydrates.

In this article, we’ll talk about:

•Why you don’t need carbs on the ketogenic diet
•The importance of protein
•Using a targeted ketogenic diet approach for bodybuilding
•How many calories should you eat to build muscle
•Importance of monitoring electrolytes
•The ketogenic pre-workout shake
•Tips for building muscle on the keto diet
•What not to do when bodybuilding on keto
•Ketone production versus ketone utilization

The Common Misconception: You Need Carbs to Build Muscle

The traditional bodybuilding nutrition protocol assumed that carbohydrates were required to build muscle. It’s still common to hear bodybuilders talk about needing glycogen from carbs to spike insulin and create an anabolic response, which helps you build muscle.

The truth is, bodybuilding on a low-carb diet is completely viable when done correctly.

Studies have shown that following a strength training regimen along with a ketogenic diet can increase lean muscle mass without excess weight gain[*][*][*].

But it doesn’t happen overnight. Quite the opposite, in fact. Because you have to switch from using glucose (carbs) as fuel to using fat as fuel. This is called the “keto-adaptation” phase and it takes time. About one to four weeks when your workouts can suffer from a decrease in performance.

Why Your Strength May Suffer During Keto-Adaptation

When you are in the beginning phase of the ketogenic diet, you may not be able to exercise with the same intensity you did with carbs. This is because your body is switching from breaking down glucose for energy (glycolysis) to breaking down fat into ketones.

To successfully build muscle on the ketogenic diet, you have to follow the diet long-term.

Since your body is used to burning glucose (from carbohydrates) as its main source of energy your entire life, it needs time to adjust.

When you restrict carbohydrates, it has to find another source of energy. This is when ketones are introduced as your body’s main energy source.

The longer you stay on keto, the more efficient your metabolism becomes at burning ketones for energy and the better your workouts become.

So by training your body to run off ketones from fat, it improves your mitochondrial density. This allows you to train faster and longer.

In other words, once you become fully keto-adapted, your body synthesizes more energy, also known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), from both your stored body fat and dietary fat to fuel your workouts.

Studies have also shown that the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet has muscle sparing effects. That means — once you’re fully fat-adapted— your body will prevent itself from breaking down muscle even as you’re burning through fat[*].

You Need to Eat More protein (And Not Be Afraid of Gluconeogenesis)

One of the biggest concerns with building muscle on the ketogenic diet is that high protein consumption will kick you out of ketosis.

There is a process called gluconeogenesis where your body turns excess protein into glucose in your bloodstream. And it’s true that the presence of glucose will stop you from producing ketones.

But what many people forget to take into account is that your body and brain need glucose to survive. Even when you’re on a ketogenic diet, you want some glucose to feed specialized cells (particularly brain cells) that can only run on glucose. You even make glucose out of fat — fatty acids have a glycerol backbone that you convert into glucose[*].

So why do we do keto if we need glucose?

While we may need glucose to live, we don’t need near as much as the population consumes.

Currently, people are over-indulging on carbohydrates which are causing insulin resistance and hindering your body from burning stored body fat for energy. This leads to unwarranted fat gain, chronic high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation.

When ketogenic dieting, you are providing your body with just enough glucose (from fats and proteins) it needs to survive. Running off ketones gives you a more efficient energy source and allows you to build muscle through protein synthesis without worrying about gaining excess body fat.

How Much protein Should You Consume?

protein intake eat differs depending on your activity level.

Here are the general guidelines for protein consumption on the ketogenic diet[*][*]:

•Sedentary: .8g of protein per pound of lean body mass (total weight – body fat % * .8)
•Not much exercise: 1g of protein per kg body weight
•Moderate exercise: 1.3 g / protein per kg body weight
•Heavy exercise: 1.6g of protein per kg body weight

It’s common for people on the ketogenic diet to consume less than is needed to build muscle. Probably because the keto diet increases satiety. In other words, you don’t eat as much when you’re simply not hungry.

Want to gain more muscle on keto? Get more calories.

Eat More Calories to Gain More Muscle

Tracking your calories is the fastest way to reach your muscle building or weight loss goals.

For muscle growth on keto:
•Consume 150 – 500 extra calories above your normal maintenance calories
•Consume around 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass at a minimum
•The rest of your calories should come from healthy fats

Building muscle is a matter of consuming more calories than your body burns daily. Eating at a caloric surplus in addition to adequate protein levels will help you achieve the muscular physique you’ve been working towards.

Use this handy keto macro calculator to help you find out how much of each macronutrient you should be eating to build muscle based on your own individual metrics.

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet Approach for Bodybuilders

A targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) encourages up to 20-50g of carbohydrates immediately before or after your training session. And yes, that’s your entire carb allotment for the day.

This allows your body to use that quick glucose to amplify your workouts. When done properly, your body burns through those carbs quickly and you’ll pop right back into ketosis.

A TKD approach works for people who have already followed the ketogenic diet for at least a month.

And it usually works better for people who perform really hardcore workouts.

But in general, the amount of carbs you’ll consume is based on the intensity of your workout.

Here’s an estimate of how many carbs you should consume based on activity:
•People who do high-intensity training like Crossfit can consume 50g of carbs a day
•Competitive athletes can consume up to 100g of carbs a day
•An average person who exercises four to five times a week can get by with fewer than 20g of carbs a day

If you are just a beginner with the ketogenic diet and your main goal is weight loss, don’t try the TKD approach.

Instead, you should consider following a standard ketogenic diet meal plan while focusing on other performance-enhancing factors, like eating enough protein.

Pay Close Attention to Your Electrolyte Consumption

Maintaining proper electrolyte levels is imperative for optimal athletic performance[*].

The main electrolytes you should always monitor include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These are the top three electrolytes you’re likely to lose through sweat and urine.

It’s crucial to refuel your body with keto-friendly, nutrient-dense foods to ensure your body is performing at its best during your workouts.

Ketogenic-friendly, magnesium-rich foods include:

Keto bodybuilding

Ketogenic-friendly, potassium-rich foods include:

Keto bodybuilding

You can also supplement with Keto Electrolytes if you are prone to electrolyte deficiencies or you just want a quick and easy option.

Sodium Intake Must Increase on the Ketogenic Diet

One of the biggest mistakes people make when restricting carbohydrates is a lack of sodium intake.

When you restrict carbs, your body excretes more electrolytes than usual. Especially during the first few weeks of keto-adaptation and especially sodium[*].

If you’re bonking at the gym while on the keto diet, try, increasing your sodium intake, especially before your workouts.

Sodium is required for healthy muscles, nerve activity, and helps regulate muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood volume.

Both the ketogenic diet and exercise contribute to the loss of water and electrolytes.

If you’re not consuming enough, you may fall into the dreaded keto flu.

The minimum you should consume is 5,000mg to 7,000mg of sodium daily. Before your training, make sure to take 1,000mg to 2,000mg to improve performance.

Sodium consumption doesn’t increase depending on your weight loss or muscle building goals. Instead, focus on increasing sodium if you are sweating more frequently or if you have just started the ketogenic diet.

Tip: Adding sodium to your water in the morning or before your workout can drastically help with your training. If you feel that you are getting tired fast in the gym, you’ll find that including more salt will help you last longer during your workouts and need less rest between sets.

What Type of Sodium Should You Use?

Where you get your salt doesn’t matter as much as the amount you’re consuming.

The best course of action is to use a mixture of:
•Himalayan sea salt
•Mortons lite salt

This mixture will give you enough sodium to fuel your workouts along with potassium from Mortons lite salt to help you hydrate.

How to Properly Fuel Your Workouts

Aside from maintaining balanced electrolytes, some people may still feel a slight decrease in performance after restricting carbohydrates, especially athletes.

If your workouts are suffering and you need an extra boost, here’s a great ketone-boosting pre-workout shake:
•20-30g of high-quality whey isolate or beef protein
•5-15g of Keto Collagen
•1-2g of sodium
•5g of creatine, if needed
•Pour into coffee and blend
•Consume 20-30 minutes before training

Here’s why this drink works:
•The amino acids in protein help build muscle
•The MCT oil powder gives you an immediate energy source from fats
•The sodium will help you last longer during your workouts
•creatine increases short-term strength[*]
•Both the fats and protein will raise insulin just enough to put your body in an anabolic state (muscle building)

Sugar-Free Electrolyte Drink

Many keto diet bodybuilders like to sip on an electrolyte drink throughout the day. This should be sugar-free and include sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Be careful not to consume any drinks that are high in sugar such as Gatorade as it will kick you out of ketosis.

Tips For Building Muscle On Keto

You’ve learned plenty in this ultimate guide to building muscle on keto.

How can you put it all together? Get leaner, stronger, and healthier?

Here are some actionable tips:

#1 Reduce Carbs

Recall that carbs don’t matter for building muscle. In fact, they seem to hinder it.

Here’s what you do. Load up the Perfect Keto Calculator, input your diet, and take note of your daily carb intake.

If more than 15-20% of your calories are carbs, you’re probably not in ketosis. You’re probably not helping your muscles either.

Not to worry. Just swap out carbs for healthy fats (like MCT oil and nut butter) and healthy proteins (like grass fed whey protein). Then recalculate your ratios and smile.

#2 Eat Enough protein

It’s possible to go keto, yet still be short on protein. Without plenty of leucine in your blood, you can’t synthesize muscle like a champ.

Fortunately, it’s easy to dial up your protein intake:
•Eat more meat, fish, and eggs
•Include grass fed whey protein powder or collagen protein powder in your smoothie
•If you’re vegan, and can’t eat high-quality whey protein, consider hemp or pea protein
•Choose high protein, keto-friendly snacks like Perfect Keto Bars

And of course, crunch those numbers to ensure you’re eating enough protein every day.

#3 Strength train

NetFlix marathons, however blissful, won’t advance your muscle building goals. Nope. You have to put in the work.

But it needn’t feel like work. Resistance exercise — a proven mood-booster[*] — can be tons of fun.

Here are some fun muscle building workouts:
•Heavy, compound lifts like pull-ups, squats, bench press, and deadlifts
•Yoga or pilates
•Bodyweight exercises like push ups, planks, and bodyweight squats
•Sprinting — increases anabolic hormones like testosterone[*]

The list goes on — so pick one or two, and get stronger.

# 4 Supplement creatine

Remember glycogen? It’s your storage form of glucose, stored mostly in muscle cells.

Low carb keto diets, however, don’t exactly optimize for glycogen in serious athletes. In fact: if you’re constantly depleting your muscle glycogen with hard workouts, you might want to step up your supplement game.

Enter creatine. creatine helps you synthesize and maintain glycogen stores — and probably should be taken by any keto-adapted athlete.

In addition to glycogen enhancement, creatine — a safe and natural compound[*] — also helps:
•Build strength and muscle[*]
•Prevent age-related muscle loss[*]
•Increase explosive power[*]
•Boost cognitive performance[*]

How should you take creatine? Your best bet is creatine monohydrate — the cheapest, most-researched, and most widely-available form of this supplement.

One example is Perfect Keto Perform — which contains, in addition to creatine monohydrate, several other performance-boosting compounds. Happy supplementing.

What Not to Do When Bodybuilding on the Ketogenic Diet

There are several misconceptions that people fall prey to when exercising on the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.

The Cyclical Ketogenic Diet

One common belief is that loading up on carbs once or twice a week is required when you’re first starting out. This is also known as the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD).

While CKD may help you gain muscle, it’s better to experiment with it once you’re more experienced on the keto diet.

When you’re new to the ketogenic diet, following a CKD approach will be counterproductive.

If you’re a beginner to keto, your body is still used to burning carbohydrates as its main energy source. By carb loading every week, you’ll slow down your progress.

Your body needs time to adjust to using ketones efficiently.

It can take up to a week or more before your body gets used to burning fats as energy.

This is what happens when you eat carbs every weekend when you’re not fat-adapted:
•On average, it’ll take two to three days to get into ketosis after you cut carbs out
•Once Saturday comes around and you carb load, you’re no longer in ketosis
•Then, your body has to reset the cycle of depleting the carbs from the liver to start generating ketones

This cycle in conjunction with the ketogenic transition phase means you’ll only be in a state of ketosis for one to two days out of the week.

Someone who is new to keto should be on the low-carb, high-fat diet for at least a month before considering a CKD. After a month, most people can even get by with carb backloading every 15 days to once a month rather than every week.

It’s also common for people to take the wrong approach when following a CKD.

One of the main reasons why people adopt a cyclical ketogenic diet is because they assume they can eat whatever they want — from pizza to Oreos — without worrying about ruining their diet.

This is a common misconception.

A proper carb load for bodybuilding requires very low fat consumption and high carb intake for one to two days of the week. Junk food like pizza is high in fat and carbohydrates.

A CKD isn’t a free pass to eating whatever you want!

It’s not the tastiest diet and requires a lot more discipline having to eat meals like chicken breast and rice for the whole day.

Instead, you should start out on a standard ketogenic diet.

Ketosis has muscle sparing benefits, but only if you’re keto-adapted[*]. When you’re first starting out, you may lose a small amount of lean mass. This is because your body wants glucose since it doesn’t know how to use ketones for fuel yet, so it takes some glucose from amino acids via your muscles.

When you start out with a CKD, you’ll constantly take small amounts of amino acids from your muscles and you’ll teeter in and out of ketosis so you never fully become keto-adapted.

Avoid CKD, carb backloading, and junk food — at least for the first month or so of keto.

Constant Cheat Days

Having a cheat meal every once in a while is perfectly acceptable. Most of us like to use cheat days to take a break and binge on junk food so you can come back into the diet rejuvenated.

But many people make the mistake of overindulging on unhealthy food when they have a cheat day. Just because you had a piece of chocolate cake does not mean you should eat the whole thing.

Instead, allow yourself to have a cheat meal here and there depending on how far you are from your goals.

For example, if you have 100lbs to lose, the more cheat meals you have, the longer it’ll take to reach your weight loss goal.

Conversely, if you are already close to your desired weight and you’re on the ketogenic diet to feel good and maintain stable energy systems, you can get by with more frequent cheat meals.

Fasted training

There’s a common misconception that training in a fasted state will help you burn more fat.

This is a misunderstanding and can be counterproductive toward your fat loss goals. Your body needs energy and doesn’t burn fat exclusively.

When you train fasted, you may lose fat but you may also burning lean body muscle mass.

If you’re doing crazy intense workouts, animal protein like beef protein along with MCT Oil Powder will provide you with more energy for a better workout to help burn fat without losing any muscle.

You may lose weight training fasted, but may also lose lean body mass in the long term.

Focus On Ketones Only

Just because you’re producing ketones doesn’t mean you’re losing weight. Overeating will hurt your training efforts and physical goals like fat loss and muscle gain.

Instead of focusing on ketone production, you should prioritize lean tissue growth. Invest in building lean mass with adequate protein and fat, but keep your eyes on your caloric intake and your overall body composition, not just the level of ketones in your blood.

The goal is to lose body fat and improve body composition as a whole, not just body weight overall.

Why Making Ketones is Not Always the Same as Using Ketones

People often confuse having high ketone levels with being in a fat burning mode. This isn’t always true, especially as a beginner.

Some factors that contribute to ketone production include:
•Dietary fat intake
•Amount of body fat you have
•Frequency of exercise

Having higher ketone levels doesn’t mean you’re losing fat.

Ketones are a source of energy and when you first start, it’s normal to have higher ketone levels. This is because your body isn’t fully adapted to using ketones for energy yet so ketones stay circulating in your blood or get excreted rather than used as fuel.

If you’re consuming enough nutrient-dense calories and you already have low body fat, your ketone production is going to be on the lower end.

There is no build-up of ketones because your body is actually using it as its main source of energy.

The longer you stay on the ketogenic diet, the more effective your body becomes in using ketones as energy. It’s common for more experienced keto dieters to see lower levels of ketones through ketone strips.

This shouldn’t discourage you whatsoever because your body is using ketones for energy more efficiently (instead of peeing it out).

It’s normal to be in the .6 – .8 mmol range of ketones once you are fully keto-adapted.

Note: If your goal is to lose weight and you still have a high body fat percentage, you should focus more on staying low carb rather than eating large amounts of fat. This shift allows your body to use its own fat storages for energy, which leads to increased fat loss.

Bodybuilding on the Ketogenic Diet Will Help You Build Muscle While Minimizing Fat Gain

The majority of the bodybuilding industry praises the low-fat, high-carbohydrate protocol for gaining muscle. Mostly because that’s been the status quo for so long.

But more recent science supports the idea that you don’t need carbohydrates to build muscle.

Following the strategies above will ensure that you minimize the time it takes for your body to become keto-adapted.

Bodybuilding on the ketogenic diet will allow you to build muscle while keeping fat to a minimum.

As long as you are carefully monitoring your electrolyte levels, measuring your body composition instead of ketones, and eating adequate amounts of protein, you will begin to see vast improvements in your overall physique.


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
Been on a keto diet for years, utilized it with fasting (eating only 8 hours of the day) and cardio during the fast to get down from 15% to 12% body fat while holding muscle and even making strength gains during the deficit. I think the body can use bodyfat for extra calories during the deficit to help build additional muscle so long as your protein is high.

Take in 240g of protein a day, gluconeogenesis is 5g max per hour, or around 60g protein turnover into glucose during the day with the fast, which helps with keeping muscles full, glycogen replinishment, muscle recovery, etc. while still not kicking you out of ketosis. The Palumbo keto diet is 1 to 1.5 grams of protein and 0.5grams of fat per lb of bodyweight for bodybuilders. Laid out a typical day on the diet here.

Never felt or looked better, go to the waterpark all summer long every year with pass and get compliments. You don't need carbs to gain muscle:

Studies have also shown that the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet has muscle sparing effects. That means — once you’re fully fat-adapted— your body will prevent itself from breaking down muscle even as you’re burning through fat.

Good book: "The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever" Hardcover – October 3, 2017 by Mark Sisson, and also check out the ketogains website started by the bodybuilder Luis Villasenor (from South America) he has been keto for 17 years, and he looks amazing.

How to Build Muscle on the Ketogenic Diet: An Interview with Luis Villaseñor of Ketogains

Can you build muscle mass on a ketogenic diet? Luis Villaseñor’s results speak for themselves.ñor-of-ketogains-33ff65155740



Active member
Dec 27, 2011
I feel this interview is so important, I'll post it here in case it ever goes missing:

How to Build Muscle on the Ketogenic Diet: An Interview with Luis Villaseñor of Ketogains

Can you build muscle mass on a ketogenic diet? Luis Villaseñor’s results speak for themselves.

Go to the profile of John Fawkes

Photo courtesy of Luis Villaseñor.

The ketogenic diet can produce some amazing results. In my previous article about getting started on the ketogenic diet, I described how ketosis can not only help you burn fat faster than any other diet, but that it can also lengthen your lifespan, improve your productivity, and even reduce your risk of certain forms of cancer.

However, one thing the ketogenic diet is not known for is its ability to put on a lot of muscle mass. In fact, it’s widely assumed to be a terrible diet for that purpose. Standard bodybuilding dogma holds that low-carb diets are ideal for fat loss, while high-carb diets are preferred for bulking up.

Luis Villaseñor begs to differ. A coach and personal trainer who has studied and followed ketogenic diets for years, he finds that the ketogenic diet is in many ways ideally suited for building muscle without gaining fat. And he has the results to back it up.

Passionate about bodybuilding due to a personal interest in improving his own physique and learning the “whys and how’s”, Luis has studied nutrition and practiced strength training since he was 17 years old. Luis has been practicing a low carb/ketogenic diet approach since 2001. He is the founder of Ketogains, and is regarded as one of the most experienced people in the fitness industry when it comes to low-carb dieting for body recomposition and strength training.

I sat down with Luis to ask him how he and his clients are able to build muscle on the ketogenic diet while staying lean and toned year-round. His advice may completely change the way you view low-carb diets.

Notes in italics are by me, not Luis.

Origins of Villaseñor’s Interest in Keto

How long have you been on the ketogenic diet? What made you want to start on it? Do you stay on it constantly, or do you cycle on and off of it?

I started keto around November or December 2001, after researching on the internet and fitness e-bulletins about some old cutting and contest prep diets form vintage era bodybuilders. I found the works of Mauro DiPasquale (The Anabolic Diet), Dan Duchaine (Underground Bodyopus) intriguing, and those eventually led me to Lyle McDonald and his refinements/adjustments for The Ketogenic Diet.

The diet resonated very much with me, and as my dietary preferences really aligned with the main staples (meats, proteins, vegetables, eggs) and it seemed easy to transition.

The main reason for trying the diet was because I wanted to really get a “lean, ripped physique” and I had tried countless diets before, with little success (of course, I knew little about nutrition at the time, as I was just starting college as an 18-year-old).

At first, I did the classic CKD (cyclical ketogenic diet, or carb cycling) protocol as suggested by Lyle, because it sounded appealing to be able to eat “all the carbs” during the weekends due to a “carb up”. The reality was that I felt horrible and bloated, very much because I did the carb load as most people do, but NOT as it should be done: most people treat it as a cheat day where they eat all the high carb (and of course high fat as well) overly processed food that they missed during the stricter days of the week: some pizza, donuts, cake, the usual. A proper carb-load should be done preferably with whole foods, and one should keep fat on the low end during these days. This leaves little room for a “cheat day” per se.

So, I started spacing more and more the “carb load” days from once a week, to once every 2 weeks, to once a month… and eventually just a few times a year, when there was a worthy occasion, say for a planned meal, but getting back on track the next day.

What prompted you to start Ketogains?

I have always been passionate about fitness, due to a personal interest in improving my own physique (I used to be the quintessential fat kid in school).

I like to learn the “whys and the how’s” of things, and so one of the main reasons that got me into nutrition and fitness in the first place, and eventually led me to found Ketogains, was to differentiate between sound, science-based information and “bro science.”

I started Ketogains over 5 years ago, after becoming dissatisfied with the overwhelming amount of misinformation shared among fitness and low carbohydrate internet forums: sometimes inaccurate, sometimes contradictory, and most of the time, just plain wrong, based solely on anecdotes or misunderstood science taken out of context.

It was the usual “it works for me” answer that irked me the most: people that used the catchphrase as a response when I tried to explain why their current approach might not be optimal for their goals.

Due to this, I started to write a comprehensive Evidence-Based Wiki on Reddit (r/ketogains) which would serve as a guide to help people learn more about a Ketogenic Diet in general, as well as its fitness applications.

The site grew from a FAQ and forum with a collection of nutrition studies and resources to an established health and fitness company where we empower, educate, and help people achieve the best shape and health of their lives.

Who Does Best With Ketogenic Diets?

In your experience, which kinds of people do the best and worst on this diet?

The main factor to review is dietary preference. If you like the types of foods that are keto-staples, you will do very well with the diet.

That said, this diet works very well for insulin-resistant individuals, women, and people over 35 years of age.

Do you see much a difference between men and women in terms of either how they feel or how well they adhere to this diet?

Some studies seem to point out that women do better with a higher-fat diet. Added with the satiety effect that keto seems to have on a lot of people, it might make dieting much easier for females.

That said, from my experience with clients, it's very much the same regarding adhesion: the main factor, regardless of gender, would be the diet preferences, which are mostly dictated by habits. If one is really motivated and gives the diet a chance, and does a whole food, protein-rich keto diet, adherence and satiety should be improved. I’ve seen more dropouts where people don’t adjust habits and are mostly using shakes and supplements, rather than whole foods.

Specifics About Eating for Ketosis

What’s your exact process for inducing ketosis?

It’s easy: just eat whole foods and keep the net carbs intake at less than 30g a day, for a few days. One should be in ketosis within 48 hours or so.

How conducive is the ketogenic diet to muscle growth? Is it better or worse than a traditional high-carb bulking diet in that regard, or is it about the same?

For the natural athlete*, I would say it’s about the same. There are some confounders: we are talking about net lean muscle. On a higher carb diet, you would retain more glycogen, more water, which gives the illusion of greater gains — if I carb-load and fill up my muscle glycogen stores, I can gain between 4 to 6 pounds while maintaining a degree of leanness.

A very insulin-sensitive person may do better with higher carbs, while someone who is insulin resistant will do very well with a lower-carb approach (not necessarily keto).

I also don’t like the term “bulking” nor do I use it myself or with clients. I prefer a slower, more controlled approach: “gaintaining,” as I call it, so you don’t have to diet down to show your abs. With keto, this is perfectly doable, as some people experience improved diet adherence (fewer cravings, less hunger) and eating for your macros becomes super easy.

But in the end, the “best diet” is the one you can adhere to, and one that aligns with your taste preferences.

•Note: “Natural” in this context means someone who is not on steroids or other PED’s that aid in muscle growth. Steroid users usually benefit from higher-carb diets than natural trainees.

How much protein should you consume to maximize satiety and/or hypertrophy without compromising ketosis?

There is quite a bit of misinformation regarding protein and ketogenic diets. Most people who hear about a keto diet start doing the more traditional, studied approach, which is the therapeutic version of keto. We need to understand that this approach was developed to treat mostly neurodegenerative diseases such as epilepsy. This therapeutic approach of keto is usually defined as a very high fat, low carb, low protein diet which uses set percentages: 70% of the calories come from fat, 5% from carbs, and 25% from protein.

When one is doing the ketogenic diet for body recomposition, one needs to set protein intake first, then adjust the other macros. For maintaining and building muscle, we have found that using at least 1.0 gram of protein per lean pound the person weights works very well. On days of strength training, it makes sense to increase to 1.2gram per lean pound.

When the person is on a steep caloric deficit, even intakes of 1.5g/lean lb. are good (assuming the protein is from whole foods) for greater satiety. This will not really interfere in any important way with ketosis.

Note that for the purpose of ketosis, carbs would be kept at below 50g net per day, and the remaining of calories should be from fat grams, in accordance with the person’s goals.

How can you optimize the ketogenic diet for greater muscle growth and athletic performance? Do you add carbs around workouts, for instance?

Assuming the training is in check, and the person is at a good body fat percentage that optimizes muscle growth (between 9 to 14% for a male, 19 to 24% for a female), I normally have my clients practice a TKD (Targeted Ketogenic Diet) where we do ingest some carbohydrates in the form of glucose or dextrose pre-training.

Their daily carbohydrate intake may also be greater from a traditional keto diet, from the classic 20-30g net/day to 50-80g net/day, depending on the context of the person (duration and type of exercise, for example).

And as mentioned before, protein should be kept at no less than 1.0g/lean lb.

I also don’t suggest training fasted. You can do intermittent fasting, of course, but its best to move adjust the fasting/feeding schedule as one trains around the feeding windows.

The ketogenic diet seems to have unpredictable effects on blood markers — cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. Do you think this represents individual variation in response to ketosis per se, or does it stem from differences in what people eat on the diet?

It’s a mix of both: cholesterol will increase when you start a keto diet, and it can be due to various factors — if the person is losing a lot of body fat, their cholesterol marker may rise. Also, increased fat intake can raise cholesterol. Now, we know not all cholesterol is the same; there is HDL and LDL, and it is important to monitor triglycerides.

For the most part, even if the total cholesterol rises a bit, if the ratios are within safe parameters (Triglycerides/HDL, Total Cholesterol/HDL) this should be a sign that there is nothing wrong, but we also don’t want continuously high cholesterol levels.

Here is a great video by Dr Jeff Volek, one of the leading researchers on low-carb/ketogenic diets.

•Low carb diets tend to keep overall cholesterol much the same, with subjects fluctuating 5–10% either way mostly.
•Low-carb diets consistently significantly reduce triglycerides by 20–50%.
•Low-carb usually increases HDL-C by 10–20% but often doesn’t move significantly.
•The LDL-C story is the same as the total cholesterol outcome — it varies either way per individual.

There are some people who do very well on keto — me, for example. I present perfectly healthy and normal blood lipid panels, and some other people may be better off with a more paleo or higher carb diet.

For example, there is a subset of keto dieters know as “Lean Mass Hyper Responders”: usually leaner, active people who present substantially high levels of cholesterol. In the cases of clients, after having them increase both protein and carbs, while decreasing fats, they have improved considerably.

And finally, just as in any diet, there are good ways to follow the diet and terrible ways to do it. Just because the diet is in a way labeled as “high fat,” it does not mean one should be adding saturated fat just because. It is best to follow a ketogenic diet based on nutrient density, and have most of the fat be naturally occurring in your food. Whole eggs, salmon, sardines, meats, avocado, olives, and coconut oil are a great resource of high-quality fats, but again, in moderation and applied to a context. Adding unlimited nuts, butter and cheese, bacon, and commercial fats “just because keto” and with no regard to the quality/quantity is not the best way to do this dietary protocol.

I’ve heard mixed reports about water weight on the ketogenic diet, with some people saying it causes you to lose water weight and others saying the effects can be very unpredictable. What’s your take on this?

It really depends on where the person is before starting the diet. Overweight people, or more muscular people who come from a high carb, processed food diet will likely experience a higher initial loss of weight due loss of water and glycogen depletion, while someone who is on the lean side and/or who eats a more whole food, low carb diet (think paleo) will likely experience a more conservative change in weight, if any.

What are the most common mistakes people make on the ketogenic diet? What nutrient deficiencies should people watch out for?

1.Eating too little protein for fear of gluconeogenesis, the conversion of excess protein into glucose.
2.Fasting irresponsibly (more than 16 hours, not “re-feeding” properly, training fasted). Fasting IS GREAT; and may help improve insulin sensitivity, but when done correctly. Fast well, FEAST better.
3.Not minding calories. Energy balance still matters on keto, it’s not just about “insulin.”
4.Trying to reach the “fat macro” or keep up with the ketogenic ratio. Don’t use ratios, use grams for each macro, determined with a goal in hand.
5.Not minding electrolyte intake, especially when being active. Sodium: 5,000 to 7,000 mg, with 2,000 mg of them before training sessions, the rest distributed along the day. Potassium: 3,500 to 4,700 mg, which you can get from green veggies and salt. Magnesium, 500 mg, which you can get from green veggies and supplements.
6.Eating everything that is labeled “keto” — all whole food is mostly “keto” and does not need labeling. Preferably avoid “keto bars,” “keto cookies,” and “keto shakes,” especially when the main goal is fat loss. Again, eat whole foods. A keto diet can be very nutritionally dense if one eats whole foods, and there is not a single nutrient one may miss if one does keto intelligently, for example:
•Protein: Eggs, chicken breast, lean pork, turkey, beef, salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, shellfish, shrimp, etc.
•Carbs: Spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, Brussels sprouts, mushroom, tomato, swiss chard, etc.
•Fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, ghee (clarified butter), MCT oil, fats from fish (sardines, salmon), egg yolks, fats from meats (tallow), etc.

If someone has trouble eating enough on the keto diet, what foods would you recommend adding to get more calories in a healthy manner?

The key for a successful keto diet in the context of body recomposition is “nutrient density” — I like to say to my clients that calories/macros are like money; one needs to invest them in where they will yield the best results. So, high caloric foods for keto that meet the “nutrient density” requirements would be:

Salmon (and fatty fishes like cod), whole eggs, avocado, good quality cheeses (think cured, aged ones), fatty cuts of meats.

If the volume of food is the issue, then adding more meals, or some liquid calories in the form of a protein shake, and adding olive oil/coconut oil can help meet extra calories. But I’m not a fan of having people add “oils” just like that; drinking bulletproof coffee or eating gobs of butter is usually not the answer in most cases.

There is an old saying in bodybuilding: “there are no easy gainers or hard gainers, there are more so people who overeat and people who don’t eat enough.”

On Exercise for Building Muscle with Keto

How do you exercise for muscular hypertrophy on a ketogenic diet? How does program design have to be adjusted to account for the diet?

There are some adjustments that need to be considered, of course, especially during the start of the diet and during the induction phase: one will have to lower the volume and intensity of the training and be very diligent on reviewing electrolyte (sodium, potassium, magnesium) intake, especially around training.

After a while, it is very much the same and they will be able to keep exercising as they normally would. I practice “power building” — a mix of traditional bodybuilding and powerlifting — and in my +24 years of training, I have not had any setbacks.

There are also advanced adjustments one can do, such as transitioning to a Targeted Ketogenic Diet if one meets some requirements.

Since keto results in lower glycogen stores in the muscles, do you find that people benefit from longer rest periods between sets, or from keeping sets shorter?

Glycogen stores are not as “low” as a lot of people believe when on ketosis: This is very much a half-truth.

At the start of the diet, and especially for people who go “in/out” of keto (think doing a CKD protocol), muscle glycogen stores are diminished. As people adapt, and the longer they stay on keto, one really does not need to modify their training “as much” — especially with strength training (bodybuilding, powerlifting), as glycogen depletion during strength training is modest and glycogen resynthesis is generally complete within 24 hours regardless of diet composition.

The Cori cycle is responsible for this: the lactate produced by muscles during exercise can be resynthesized into glucose via GNG. Basically, the liver is recycling lactate into glucose, and the energy needed for this process is derived from fat burning.

When people initially switch to keto, the body is still looking for glucose and the rate of resynthesis is diminished. As the body adapts, it increases the rate. During this time, reducing the volume (fewer reps, fewer sets, or less weight) may be a useful strategy, as well as increasing rest times, AND adding and reviewing electrolyte intake helps A LOT, as well as maybe some peri-workout carbs (5–10g of glucose).

Here’s an overview of the literature on the effect of ketogenic dieting on strength training performance — courtesy of the Menno Henselman’s PT Course

Note: The name of this course was recently changed — before 2019 it was called the Bayesian PT Course. Luis is the instructor for the Spanish language version of this course.

Screenshot courtesy of Luis Villaseñor via Menno Henselman’s PT Course. Links to articles below.

•Paoli et al. (2012)
•Rhyu & Cho (2014, not 2017)
•Gregory (2016; thesis)
•Wilson et al. (2017)
•Zajac et al. (unpublished; possibly related work in this article)
•Agee (2015; thesis)
•Sawyer et al. (2013)

Details on Luis’ Personal Program

What are your own stats—height, weight, age, body fat percentage, strength—on the major lifts?

I’m 41 years old (born September 1977) and currently weight 77 kg. I have a BF% of around 9% via Skulpt*, so this translates (for me) to about 12% on DEXA* — I try to keep my BF% between 10 to 13% all year round.

Currently, my heaviest deadlift is at 545 (Here is one at 520 lbs), back squat at 415, bench at 325 and overhand press at 205.

I’m working on improving the form and engaging my weak points via accessory lifts to break some plateaus.

Note: Skulpt and DEXA are devices for measuring body composition. Skulpt is a portable scanner you can keep at home, while DEXA — Dual Emission X-Ray Absorbometry — is something you have to get done at a lab.

Can you share an example of what you personally would eat during a day or two of the keto diet? And your macro breakdown?

I’m a very simple man; I normally do intermittent fasting for 12 to 16 hours.

I drink coffee upon waking and while I do some morning work, then break my fast with what I call the “ketogains pre-workout coffee” — 25g whey protein, 10g MCT powder, 5g glucose, creatine, sea salt and lo-salt in strong coffee; after training, I would normally have a big protein-rich meal of 3-4 eggs, plus some animal protein (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, salmon, shrimp, etc.) and some spinach and avocados.

For dinner, it’s very similar: mostly animal protein and some veggies (spinach, zucchini, chayote). Most of the fat I eat comes from what naturally occurs in the food, but I may add some ghee, coconut oil or olive oil, depending on my macro allowance. I normally avoid dairy and nuts, as they add calories super easily and I prefer to be stricter. If I’m going to go over on a macro, it will be on protein or some form of veggies.

Normally, I eat 140 to 180g protein, 20 to 50g net carbs, and 70 to 140g fat — the distribution really depends whether I’m on maintenance or trying to lose some weight (to lose weight, I increase protein and reduce fat; to maintain I reduce protein and increase fat).

Yes, You Can Build Muscle on the Ketogenic Diet

Luis in 2018 — around 10–12% body fat. Photo courtesy of Luis Villaseñor.

Luis and his clients are living proof that the ketogenic diet doesn’t have to be relegated to use by epileptics and bodybuilders crash-dieting before a photoshoot — properly optimized, it can support muscle and strength goals about as well as more traditional high-carb diets.

Luis 1.jpg


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
The diet works very well year-round for insulin-resistant individuals, women, and people over 35 years of age, just like Luis mentions.

Notice that Luis also utilized 16 hour periods of fasting with a period of running in there just like myself for rapidly loosing fat while holding onto all your muscle, even making gains in the weight room, my workout diary has it all documented.

I was not a fat kid like bodybuilder Luis Villasenor as a kid, teenager, or young adult, just the opposite, high muscular mesomorph with low 10% bodyfat....but after age 40, things started to change, even though my insulin and A1C are completely normal, I started to notice I was becoming insulin resistant, and had to make changes permanently. Luis at 10% bodyfat is 180, I am 12% bodyfat at 210 on the keto diet and loving it.

You would be amazed at how well the mk677 works with a keto diet. The increased adrenaline and nor-adrenaline daily from being on the diet is great for my morning workouts as well. Sleep was already great, but became even better on the keto diet. Strength in the gym is just as good or better as when I was carb dependent.

Easy to read slide show from bodybuilder Luis:


Active member
Dec 27, 2011
One last comment, since I get these questions frequently:

1. I get lethargy with mk677, is there anything I can do?

2. I get hunger pains on mk677, will they ever go away?

3. I bloat on mk677, what can I do?

4. Is there a pump with mk677?

5. Can I lose fat with mk677?

1. I don't get any tiredness or lethargy with mk677 at all, but I have read some do. In that case, switch to peptide shots x 3 times a day for the same igf-1 and gh increases that mk677 will give you, both give an average 100 point increase in igf-1. You could also use nothing at all, or use around 4 iu + of good Chinese pharm grade HGH. You could even take mk677 for a period of 7 months, then switch to HGH to save money for 5 months, back and forth, etc.

2. Yes, the hunger pains are strong for the 1st 4 weeks, but then die down to normal after that.

3. If you are carb dependent, there is some bloating on mk677, some say it goes away after 1 month, but if you are on a keto diet year round, I have noticed zero to extremely minimal bloating, yet the fullness in your muscles is enhanced.

4. MK677 gives a good pump, but especially when combined with 1500mg of arachidonic acid used pre-workout on workout days only (this way you don't have to cycle it). Soreness is extended for long periods with the arachidonic acid, often for 2 days, and the pumps are quite intense (similar to a 20mg anavar pump)...ergo-log studies have shown a 3.25lb lean muscle increase with arachidonic acid as compared to 0.2lb for placebo over 8 weeks.

5. Studies on adults have shown very little fat loss with mk677 as compared to HGH, however, mk677 does have increased nitrogen retention in place of this drawback. I have noticed that if you are on a keto diet, and insulin levels are low, then the mk677 does add very good fat burning properties. Since it is bringing myself into the high range of GH and igf-1 for an 18 year old, you can only imagine the benefits for fat burning and increased strength & muscle over time.

Alpha6164's (medical doctor's best friend):
167 igf1---->272 igf1 (100mcg grf(1-29) + 100mcg ghrp2 x 3 times a day) = 105 point increase

227 igf-1---->372 igf1 (25mg mk677) = increase of 145 points for 1st two weeks
227 igf-1---->327 igf1 (25mg mk677) = increase of 100 points after the 1st couple weeks, read same at 6 months in.
227 igf1---->380 igf1 (4iu chinese generic pharm grade) = 153 point jump

Therefore, 25mg of mk677 used in the am, is the equivalent of 3.4iu of pharm grade HGH from China for me as I get a 95 point increae per each 1iu of HGH.


Well-known member
Kilo Klub Member
Apr 13, 2010
You keep very detail oriented blogs. I really do appreciate the fact you take all the time to put out good info

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