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I'm running out of gas on my workouts.

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  • I'm running out of gas on my workouts.

    So when I started primal eating I backed off the weight a bit to ease into this. I didn't want to go hog wild and get frustrated and quit. Well, things are moving along ok diet wise, I'm making progress and phasing out bad habits. However, I've noticed my workouts are suffering. 15 minutes in I'm out of steam. I've tried to adjust my breakfast and lunch to not be too heavy but provide enough food, I'm usually very well hydrated, even coffee an hour or so before doesn't help. I tried adding some fruit an hour or two before, its not helping. I expected some adjustment period but I feel its getting worse and I'm pretty confused as to how to fix the problem.

    For info purposes, I'm 38 male, doing athlean x training program, and my goal is to lose 20 lbs. I've lost about 7-8 lbs so far with just the diet change but that was mostly water I suspect.

    Tank you in advance for any assistance.

  • #2
    I googled, checked out the site and all I saw is before and after's and $$$ to even see a workout. What is the workout you are doing? How have you been eating to support the workouts and the rest of your daily living activity?
    I laughed out loud at their blog post today when the first sentence was about how body fat percentage was the best measure of a strength training program.

    The best measure of a strength training program is how much you could lift compared to how much you can lift now.

    Maybe that's why they want the $$$ up front.
    Last edited by pace2race; 05-14-2013, 05:32 PM.


    • #3
      Does anyone else have any feedback related to my initial question? I'm having issues with energy during my workouts. This wasn't the case before primal (2 months back when carbs were obviously part of my diet), and now it is. Thank you for the feedback.


      • #4
        I think pace2race asked about your workout because it really is relevant. Your performance (or problems with performance) depends on (a) the amount of carbs (and other macros) you're eating and (b) the type of workout your doing. If you don't describe your workout, people can't help you. Also, how much carbs are you eating (in grams per day, on average). Different people who are "primal" consume vastly different amounts of carbs. It may also be helpful if you posted a sample menu for a typical day.

        My journal


        • #5
          I didn't respond to his post because while he did ask about my workouts, the majority of his post was condescending mixed with smarta** comments based on a few minutes on the athlean x website. I have no desire to participate in a "which workouts suck and which ones don't" argument. The Internet is riddled with those and its a waste of everyones time. Im convinced Athlean X is a solid workout program for ME. I did starting strength for 2 years with good strength results and have moved on to athlean x after a coworker bought it. I tried it for 90 days and liked it so much I bought the program myself. I really enjoy the workouts, the schedule and the variety, and the results I've experienced have been great. It has worked well for ME.

          The issue I'm currently having, and the reason for my post, is that I do not have solid energy to finish the workouts now that grains are absent and I'm increasing the weight again. A typical week will have 4 workouts that are weight based and one conditioning day. If you go on youtube you'll see a ton of videos on athleanx. The weight based days are typically 4-6 exercises that are weight and body weight oriented. You'll have 3-4 sets of one exercise before moving on to the next. The rest periods are typically shorter then most programs and are 45-60 seconds between sets. The workouts typically last 30 minutes. Some are shorter. The conditioning day can be as short as 5 minutes and as long as 20. Hill sprints, mountain climbers, circuit, etc.

          When I first started AX I had grains in my diet. I didn't realize the stomach issues I'd been having for years were grain related. Since I've removed grains from my diet and added probiotics, my stomach issues are almost completely gone. The flip side of that is that I've noticed a lack of energy as I started to add the weight back to like before I eliminated grains. This is my question; what do I need to look at to resolve the energy issue? I am still learning how to eat primal so the answer may be very simple.

          I would guesstimate that my daily intake of carbs is 90. I use my net diary (not everyday) and that's what it would show. I do eat yogurt and drink milk and a protein powder blend. Also, I do eat tubers. I have cut out all grains, cereals, breads, etc. I rarely eat rice. The only things I drink besides milk are water and espresso.

          Is this a situation where more calories are needed or more fat or something else entirely? Thank you for your feedback.


          • #6
            Blend: 1 or 2 bananas, 6-10 dates, 100-200g full fat yoghurt, 25-50g nut/seed-butter. Drink about half an hour before the workout. This will make your daily carb intake kinda huge, but I find it gives me energy that lasts.
            Limit caffeine. I find it actually makes energy levels worse. Messes with your hormones and fat-release. For the benefits without a problem, have about 200mg of caffeine a day, no less than three hours before bed and an hour before a workout.

            If that fails: consider fasting extensively and working out fasted. The first few times will be hard, but by the third or fourth time your body may be fully adapted to burning its own fat, which is a more reliable and stable source of energy than dietary sources.
            Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

            I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
            I'd apologize, but...


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kochin View Post

              If that fails: consider fasting extensively and working out fasted. The first few times will be hard, but by the third or fourth time your body may be fully adapted to burning its own fat, which is a more reliable and stable source of energy than dietary sources.
              This or just workout in the morning before breakfast. That has helped my body learn to burn fat during workouts. I do 16-hour fasts and basically workout at the end of the fast. (Unlike most people who skip breakfast and break their fast at night, I stop eating by 5 pm so my 16-hour window ends in the morning.)

              So not having enough calories and not having enough carbs can both manifest as reduced stamina during workouts. I doubt that the problem is not enough fat. What has helped many people who do intense exercises (like Crossfit) is to add one sweet potato to their diet every day. It sounds like the workout program you follow is short and intense, kind of like Crossfit, so the sweet potato might help you too.

              There is nothing magical about grains so I doubt that it's eliminating grains that has caused your problems. More likely than not, the issue is with not getting enough carbs. When I first went primal and ate under 100 g of carbs per day (I was pretty close to 100 g but under, around 80-90, kind of like where you're at right now), I had a terrible time with my workouts. I felt it most when I ran. I'm a runner, and back then, although I did lift weights, I didn't lift very heavy, which is probably why I didn't have trouble lifting weights. But when I ran, it was crazy--runs that used to be easy were hard, and I even threw up a few times after runs. After a while, I could tell when I've been good with keeping my carb consumption low because that's when the runs would be hard.

              What really helped me was switching my workouts from evening to morning and working out before eating breakfast. So kind of like what Kochin suggested above but less extreme. I didn't fast extensively. I just did 16-hour fasts and worked out fasted at the end of that window.

              My journal


              • #8
                Kochin and serenity, excellent replies and suggestions, thank you. I think you may be right about my carbs and I will implement your methods to see which ones works the best. I do consume ALOT of coffee, espresso is my weakness and I have multiple shots twice daily. I was raised around strong coffee so its a family habit I've done for 20 years or so. Lol. I'm an addict no doubt.

                To both of you, That was very helpful, thank you.


                • #9
                  Kochin, it sounds like you're doing a half day timed carb diet layout. Ever heard of that?


                  • #10
                    When I was eating VLC I struggled to walk up long flights of stairs...!
                    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                    - Ray Peat


                    • #11
                      Try a cold baked potato or a bananana half an hour before training...
                      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

                      - Schopenhauer


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tlhfirelion View Post
                        Does anyone else have any feedback related to my initial question? I'm having issues with energy during my workouts. This wasn't the case before primal (2 months back when carbs were obviously part of my diet), and now it is. Thank you for the feedback.
                        Read the book. And eat some carbs. This isn't a low carb way of eating


                        • #13
                          Seems like a lot of working out. You might try cutting one or two of those workouts per week for a period of time and see how that improves the workouts that you are still doing. If you absolutely have to work out try walking or something of shorter duration (like a sprint wo). In time perhaps you get your diet dialed in and meshed with you wo routine.

                          Seems from your description that the fat burning adaptation is not quite there yet, so cut back a bit on the wos for a little while and see if that works.


                          • #14
                            Could be a bunch of stuff. Under-recovery, poor sleep, poor stress management, poor diet. If you are doing intense effort activity carbs are absolutely necessary. In fact, carbs are used primarily just for that, they make less ATP faster while fat makes a ton more ATP slower. For the most part I think people overdo the exercise part, wrt fat loss exercise is about the 5th thing you need to worry about. FYI, I'm a strength coach as my primary job and most of the time I have to tell people they don't need to see me 4 days a week unless they are an athlete.
                            Last edited by Dave Mayo; 05-20-2013, 03:05 PM.