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This week I received an email from Idris in regards to what dieting method works best when coupled with Visual Impact.

He writes…

“Hi Clint, firstly congrats with the results on the program. I have just bought the Visual Impact program and also Eat Stop Eat.
My question is during phase 1 did you follow Eat Stop Eat or Lean Gains? Or were you just eating at maintenance? As I am under the impression that during this phase it is more about volume therefore you would need too consume more food/protein to add in repairing the muscles.

Also, did you follow the program to a t? or did you increase HIIT or an extra day or weights?

Anyway, congrats again and I hope you can help me with the above questions.”

Thanks for the kudos Idris.

Too be honest, I was mixing my diet up inadvertently when I first started Visual Impact.
The problem was, I didn’t know the full extent of how lean gains operates.
I was doing an Eat Stop Eat fast once per week (22-24hour period), then trying the lean gains approach of a smaller fasting window of 16hours with the 8hr re-feed at least twice per week.

My schedule went something like this…

Monday: Normal eating patterns
Tuesday: Lean gains (16/8)
Wednesday: Eat Stop Eat (24hr fast)
Thursday : Normal eating patterns
Friday: Lean Gains (16/8)
Saturday: Normal eating patterns
Sunday: Normal eating patterns
Obviously, I had it completely wrong, but there was at least noticeable fatloss using this method.

Normal eating patterns?

By this I mean, I ate 3 times a day with slightly above maintenance calories. Of course, I HATE counting calories, but having done so for a long period of time, (in a previous life) I know due to my own experience when I’ve eaten over my quota for the day.


I used this sparingly in Phase 1, then increased it to EVERY day I trained (all 4) during the second and third phases.

If you plan on doing fasted training coupled with Visual Impact, I’d limit your HIIT to once per week at the most due to muscle loss issues. (and even then, don’t forget your BCAA’s).

Additional weight days

None were required at all. I did 4 days of weights (repeating the first workout of the program on the 4th Day).

If I was to do the program again…

I’d probably follow a more strict fasting regimen (at least 5 days a week), keep my calories at slightly above maintenance through the first and second phases (for muscle gains) whilst going BELOW maintenance during the third + bonus phases for maximum fat loss.

I hope that answers your questions.

For more about lean gains, check out this link here >
To checkout my own experiences with Visual Impact, check out the male version here > and the female version here >

Clint’s Note: Got any questions you’d like answered? Ask them below, or drop me an email.

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Jarrod says:

    Hey Clint,
    I’ve been reading a lot about Visual Impact and I wanted an honest, staright up, opinion from someone who’s used the program. Does it live up to everything that it claims? It seems like Rusty know what he’s doing but is it worth the time? And what i mean by that is will it be one of those kind of programs that will leave you thinking “Well this is ok buuut.” Basically leaving you disappointed. Thanks Clint. You’re doing a great job.

    • Clint Nielsen says:

      I knew from the get go that the program would work wonders due to the fact that the phases are so varied in their approach.
      They also target muscle building and strength in different ways offering great variation.
      As Rusty has said, there is no ‘one program to rule them all’ as all will work to a degree. I have just found this one to be the most flexible and easiest to stick to long term.
      I think that anyone can achieve great results if they stick at it — don’t forget that its a 6 month program, not an overnight success :)

      • Jarrod says:

        Absolutley Clint, anything worth while takes time and effort. There’s definatly some great programs out there, but I like what Rusty wants to help you acomplish through V I, which is why I was looking into it. I appreciate your input Clint. Keep up the great work and enjoy traveling around this great country.

  • Jules says:

    Hey Clint, just wanna ask.. I’m about to do the bonus phase and am on a 5 day intermittent fasting approach. Did u do any cardio or HIIT trainning then?

    • Clint Nielsen says:

      I didnt personally – No. Cardio is fine. Just be careful with it. It can negate your muscle gains if you do strenuous cardio in a fasted state but you can certainly do cardio on non-weight training days.

  • Over the summer i basically done a hybrid program of convict conditioning mixed with Visual Impact, because i stop eating around 6-8 pm, I wake up, get up, drink my black coffee, wait for half hour, train for about an hour and a half, then I wait two hours before finally eating, which inadvertently made me do the lean gains 16 hour fast without even realising. I also did 2 24 hour fasts in phase 2 and 3 as i had a lot of fat to burn and my primary goal was to lose fat and add a bit of muscle, check out my facebook page to see my great results!/pages/Somebody-LiedNot-Me/236572526393734?sk=wall

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