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Increasing intensity of workouts

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  • Increasing intensity of workouts

    I've set some fairly tough (by my standards) goals with my trainer and as a result am really increasing the intensity of my workouts.

    I'm working on a 16 week programme, 3 x a week full body workouts consisting of a heavy day, a medium day and a lighter day. On a weekly basis I will increase load for each of three weeks, with a fourth lighter week.

    I'm a week and a half in and loving the extra intensity, however I'm finding that on the day after my heavy day I'm feeling pretty tired - physically tired, not just muscle fatigue - and also pretty hungry.

    I currently eat very low carb as I'm still wanting to lose fat and am happy with this for now.

    I don't really want to enter into the higher/lower carb argument, but as far as nutrition before/after workouts I accept that I may possibly need to increase carbs. At the moment I tend to have coffee with coconut oil an hour or so before workouts (as I really don't like to eat beforehand) and afterwards I either just have a normal meal or make a smoothie with protein powder (plant based as I can't handle whey), some berries, maybe a banana and some coconut milk and/or water. I'm not so keen on the smoothie option but I do some of my workouts in the evenings and it's getting late when I'm home so I don't want to be cooking and eating a big meal.

    Your thoughts will be gratefully received?

  • #2
    If your lifting AND trying to lose weight I'd drop to a 2x/week lifting schedule. The extra volume is of no use and only breaks you down more if your aiming to stay in a caloric deficit.

    Far as the meals, your preworkout looks fine. Sure you could have a high carb meal once or twice a week right after your workout if you like. The fatigue the day after a very heavy lifting day is sometimes more neurological than muscular. You burn up all your neurotransmitters and trash your CNS a bit during a super heavy workout and that takes time to replenish.


    • #3
      I suppose that your "heavy day" means more weight on the bar and few reps and more sets? The feeling of tiredness from that kind of training is usually due to CNS fatigue and by doing a bit more reps and volume(and less intensity, mind you!) you will often feel better and more refreshed the days after.
      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

      - Schopenhauer


      • #4

        Yes, 'heavy' day is more weight on the bar - reps and sets are consistant.

        Good to know that feeling tired is normal. As for the hunger, I'll just try to listen to what my body is telling me.


        • #5
          When I know I'm going to be tired following a day of fairly intense activity, I pre-plan a meal for dinner that utilizes leftovers, but is satisfying. For example, I might BBQ some chicken breast a day or two before, and have a leftover chicken breast, which I refrigerate. I've got a container of lettuce/kale, etc. already washed. So when I need that easy but healthy meal with protein and veggies, it's a salad with grilled chicken, a little whole grain baguette with olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip, and some Chardonnay. Easy, delicious, and a little bit rewarding for all the hard work.


          • #6
            Thanks Bear - I don't have an issue with having food prepared...I'm very organised in that respect. It's more that I'm feeling very tired and wondering if that's normal (which apparently it is) and that I'm more hungry than normal so I'm wondering whether I need to look at eating more carbs before or after my workout to stop that from happening.

            Afraid your wholegrain baguette holds no appeal for me any grain eating days are long gone!