Author Topic: Bad gym days lately  (Read 11084 times)

Offline JmeeJ

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Bad gym days lately
« on: September 14, 2011, 09:52:41 AM »
Hey guys.....new here, but I figured this was the best place to get answers.

I've been on a strict paleo diet for the past 6 weeks and have never felt better.  However, I have one issue that I was hoping to get some help with...

I'm 5'8, and I started off 6 weeks ago at 202 lbs.  I am now down to 189 as a type.

On my non workout days I'm getting about 1400 calories in.  Targets are about 35g Carb, 60g Fat, 160g Protein (which I don't always hit).  On the days I workout I usually get in about 1800 with the same ratios.  I have recently started mountain biking again (2 weeks ago).......which I think may be contributing to my poor days at the gym.  I wonder if I'm not draining myself too much of glycogen be going out riding for 2-1/2 hours on a Saturday afternoon, and then maybe 1 to 2 short 1 hour rides riding the week.  I would much rather bike than hit an elliptical or something for an hour.


For the past 1-1/2 weeks my days at the gym have not gone well at all.  I have been doing a 5x5 program that includes squat, rows, overhead press / squat, deadlift, bench.  I have noticed that I am getting strong on most of my workouts.  2 weeks ago I hit the 65 lb dumbbells for flat bench press and was able to EASILY complete 4 set of 5 reps and then need a tiny little bit of help on my last rep of the 5th set.

......last week I felt great and went to the gym expecting to POWER through my current weights only to find out that I barely even got through 2 sets of the 65s.  I figured my biking may have been the cause and I needed to re-carb up so I switched to 2 consecutive days of high carb/low fat in an attempt to get some strength back, but after my workout last night I found out that it didn't help.

I'm not sure what it is these past couple weeks but the weights have just felt extra heavy.


Does anyway have any ideas what could be causing my poor workouts?  Things to look for in my diet?  Could my mountain biking be the cause?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 09:55:12 AM by JmeeJ »

Offline Chris

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 10:07:55 AM »
No need to carb up if you're on a Paleo diet! You should be looking to use fat as energy rather than carbohydrates. And according to your fat intake from before, you need to be eating more of it. Have you been feeling drained of energy at all?

Given you activity level, I'd highly recommend consciously upping your calorie intake too. You should be getting 2000+ minimum, if possible, to continue to train and RECOVER!


Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 10:23:25 AM »
Thanks for the reply.

Based on my reports from MyFitnessPal site I've been averaging about 70-80g of fat a day all coming from good sources.  I have been VERY strict for the first 6 weeks.


See the whole calorie deficit thing is where I'm not sure about.  coming from the "conventional wisdom community" how much of that still applies to a Paleo diet.  My body has pretty much fully switched over to fat for fuel.  There are days where I could skip 2 meals and be just fine.  So I guess I don't really know where I should be targeting for calories to stay fueled up, but also to maintain a steady drop in weight on a weekly basis.  My first week of switching to paleo I dropped 8 lbs.  and then in the past 5 weeks I've dropped 5 lbs.  ......so I would like to keep losing at that rate and I think upping my fat/protein is going to have a negative effect on that.  No?



I always feel like I have lots of energy....but then when I start actually working out or climbing a hill on the bike I find that I am not as fueled up as I actually thought i was.




Offline Chris

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 10:56:33 AM »
I understand your scepticism about eating more calories than what your body tells you. A Paleolithic eater can gauge how many calories he needs by his hunger rather than calorie counting, but it depends on what you do. Someone who does weights to gain muscle mass NEEDS to up his calorie intake so that their body has more energy and protein to build muscle. While your hormones play the role of driving muscle development, calories are the energy needed to continue developing.

What are you looking to get from your weight training? Strength? Size? Endurance? A combination of these?

If weight loss is your goal and you feel you're doing well, you can leave the calories as they are. Bear in mind that as you continue to train your body is going to be metabolising more muscle whilst reducing fat. Your waistline will reduce but the scales will not budge, so don't be disheartened if you see the scales stalling.

The only thing that will have a negative effect on your weight loss is increasing how much carbohydrate you eat. All foods cause the hormone insulin to be released in order to utilise the calories you've eaten. Carbohydrates cause a greater spike in insulin than fat and protein. When carbohydrates are very high (such as in modern-man's diet) this sends a signal to store energy in your fat cells rather than releasing them (someone who uses fat for fuel has these cells constantly providing energy). Over the decades, our cells gradually become insulin resistant from spiking our carbohydrate too regularly. Insulin then can't do its job of getting the sugar in your blood to the cells and, in order to overcome the resistance, your fat cells increase in size.

Enough science :P Increasing fat and protein will not affect your weight loss much, if at all. A number of members here have lost fat weight whilst eating 3000+ calories. High fibre carbohydrates like berries and green veg will not spike your insulin like crazy (as potatoes, pasta, rice, wheat, etc. does!), so I'd recommend adding them in.

If your energy continues to be low during workouts, do try increasing your calories for the week and see if you're feeling better because of it. Find what gives you more energy! :)

Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 11:53:26 AM »
This is great info, thanks.

The engineer in me keeps screaming energy in vs. energy out.....so hence my skepticism to up my calories.  I do love being keto though.  I never get crazy hunger urges like I used to and I don't get the 3:30pm crash sitting at my desk job like I used to. 

My goals at the gym are to simply get stronger and more fit.  I want a body to be proud of and one that will allow me to do all of the activities that I am missing out on because I have been neglecting my health for the past few years.  I don't want to hulk big, but it would be nice if I could actually do a wide-grip pull up with my own body weight.  LOL.  Having to do assisted pull ups and dips is emasculating......but I'm carrying around a lot of extra weight.  I miss rock climbing as well.....but I just don't enjoy going right now because I have so much extra weight to move around and my muscle endurance sucks.


So with that I will try bump up my meals to about 600-700 calories a piece and see what sort of effect that has on my performance.


Offline Chris

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 12:27:23 PM »
I'm an apprentice in engineering, so I can completely understand! :) Unfortunately, calories in > calories out idea goes out the window when it comes to our metabolism. Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes is a fairly good read about it.

I'm on the other end of scale, but I've always lacked the strength to pull my bodyweight around, so I understand how emasculating it can be. Keep working on your strength and body fat loss and you'll be there in no time!

It'd be good to hear back after you've upped your calories for a week or two and see if it's helped at all :)

Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 01:38:55 PM »
I'll certainly keep you posted on how this changes my gym/bike sessions.

Offline P4l3o M4N

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 05:13:20 PM »
Aside from diet what is your routine like ?

Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 05:36:11 PM »
I don't follow.

Could you clarify your question please?

Offline Wlfdg

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 12:20:30 AM »
I strength train, mountain bike and hike a ton.
If my carbs are too low it kills my strength work.
If my fat is too low my endurance suffers.
 I would say you aren't eating enough food to support both.

Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 07:58:34 AM »
Thank you for your input.  As I mentioned above I'm going to slowly ramp up my intake.  Yesterday I hit 1525 Cals with 32g Carbs, 97g Fat, 116g Protein, and 14g Fiber.

......I'm not going to lie.....it was hard eating that much.  I felt SO full.  it was gross.


So what have you been doing to help with both types of activities.  Where are you targeting your carbs and fat for the day?  It's nice seeing the lbs fly off the scale for the first while as that was my main reason to get back in shape, and winter is quickly on it's way so I'll be parking the mountain bike and focusing more on strength training and snowboarding.  I don't quite know what my limit is for carbs to kick me out of Keto, but I know when I did my 2 consecutive high-carb days I was back to the old crashes that I used to get after meals.......which I don't want to go back to.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 08:00:10 AM by JmeeJ »

Offline Wlfdg

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 08:38:13 AM »
If you're crashing you're going too low with fat.
All summer I've been primarily focused on strength. So my fat has been moderate to low 4 days a week and I've been gorging on cherries, grapes, peaches, etc..... everyday. 200g. + per day
My high fat days are re-feed days so they aren't low carb. I still pound down the fruit. 120-150g.

During splitboard season I eat moderate/low carb and high fat. Fat - 200g. + per day/ CHO - < 100g. per day

My protein intake is 300-400g a day.

FWIW - You're going about this like you're eating a SAD. Stop eating for fat loss. With your level of activity it's going to happen anyway.
"Eat for performance and body composition goals will follow."

Typical day for me summer
Water, coffee (black), 4-6ozs. fruit, 8 whole eggs, tallow or coconut oil, 1/2 - 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, multi-vitamin pack

hiking, hunting or mtn. biking

8ozs. fruit, 1.25 - 1.5 lbs. meat/fish/poultry, 10ozs. veggies cooked in fat

1 cup green tea/mate', 1-2ozs. dark chocolate (88% or darker)

weight train

cherries or grapes by the pound+

1-2lbs. of meat/fish/poultry, 8-10ozs. veggies, tallow,lard or coconut oil.

Some days I eat upwards of 5,000kcals.


Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 09:11:26 AM »
wow......I don't think I could eat that much if i tried.  On my high-carb days I was downing fruit like crazy and barely had enough room to get all my protein and fat in.


So basically what I gather is that either my weight loss takes a hit or my performance takes a hit.

Offline Wlfdg

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 11:53:06 AM »
wow......I don't think I could eat that much if i tried.  On my high-carb days I was downing fruit like crazy and barely had enough room to get all my protein and fat in.
I'm 6'1.75", weigh 225#


Quote
So basically what I gather is that either my weight loss takes a hit or my performance takes a hit.
First off "weight loss" = muscle loss = fat gain. You want to focus on muscle gain = fat loss.
Yes, initially weight loss will be effected. (read above ^)

Offline JmeeJ

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Re: Bad gym days lately
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 11:58:33 AM »
by weight loss.......I meant losing inches/lbs on the scale.


Although the scale is not that important to me, I don't want to end up super bulk.  I'm more interested in being lean and strong vs. worlds strongest man competition big.