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Thread: What about Paleo/Primal for bodybuilding and physique athletes? page

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    GrainFreeIronGoddess's Avatar
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    What about Paleo/Primal for bodybuilding and physique athletes?

    Primal Fuel
    I really joined this forum because I'm looking for more information on applying the Paleo/Primal approach to bodybuilding, figure, fitness, and other physique sports. There is so much out there about the approach application for endurance athletes and then of course there are cross fitters, but I'm a figure athlete, and much of what is preached about flies in the face of the standard for how a figure/fitness/bodybuilder prepares for a contest and lives daily life.

    Our needs as athletes are unique in that we need fuel to train of course, but we also need to be eating in such a way that fosters a lean bodyfat percentage for the competition stage. We need to sculpt our bodies in order to achieve a certain "look". Although I'm aware Robb Wolf has tackled this question a bit in an interview with Robert Kennedy, I have not found much else about the application of the approach or how macros could and would be manipulated to suit the needs of an athlete who's body dosn't need to FUNCTION for a competition, but needs to LOOK a certain way.

    I have successfully adhere to a Paleo/primal approach for two contest preps now with shockingly amazing results. However there are some facets of the approach I'm struggling with and would love some feedback on.
    1- Sugar on a contest prep, mainly fruit. In the past I've been taught that fruit is to be avoided at all costs on a contest prep. Staples include usually oats, quinoa, brown rice, ezekiel bread, yams or potatoes. I have had success PERSONALLY switching to Paleo/Primal by using yam and apple.... but I'd love more opinions

    2- Bodybuilders and figure athletes eat multiple times throughout the day, typically 5-8 meals spaced about approximately 3 hours apart. This is something I've been struggling around- I personally eat 6x a day and althugh I'm WELL aware of the info out there on less frequent feedings, this is one habit I struggle to break or find a way to adapt. My meals are comprised of paleo/primal foods, but my feedings are still frequent

    3- Typically getting ready for a show involves 2 cardio sessions a day plus weights which is a lot of overtraining- I've managed to downgrade and I do a lot of walking and then HIIT work (sprinting etc) which has helped me to eliminate some of the training volume, but many athletes out there still do copious amounts of cardio in prep for a show

    4- Pre and post nutrition? Thoughts?

    5- Intermittent fasting? How would that apply to physique athlete in a contest prep?

    6- Calorie counting? This is a CORNERSTONE of a physique athlete, h0ow many calories per day and from what macronutrient source (carbs, protein,fats). What are recocmmended macros for a figure/fitness athlete?

    Basically I'm still seeking some answers on adapting this approach to suit a bodybuilder/figure athlete's lifestyle. As a figure athlete myself and someone who runs a business in which I train this type of athlete, I feel very strongly that an effort has been made to reach out to endurance athletes, but what about aesthetic athletes as well? I'm a STAUNCH advocate of the lifestyle, I just feel I need to learn more about applying it to this group of individuals.
    Grain Free Iron Goddess
    Paleo Figure Athlete
    www.alli-fitness.com“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates

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    hulked34's Avatar
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    I to want to here this answer. I am prepping for the first time with paleo for the Colorado BB Championship bodybuilding class. I do however do berries but it is right after my morning workout. Feeling good right now looking lean I am about 5.5 weeks out. The rest is mostly sweet potatoes. Currently at 188lbs.

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    js290's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by js290 View Post
    Informational but not quite what I was looking for.

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    In for an answer on this as well. I've cut down (end goal around 245 with a show in a few months), but I can't say if I've really done it correctly. I skipped all fruits and added loads of sweet potatoes, but everything was basically trial and error to see how my body responded.

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    not on the rug's Avatar
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    just a thought.. but i don't think this is nearly as complicated as it sounds. why can't someone compete as a bodybuilder or fitness competitor without eating grains and rancid vegetable oils?

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    Quote Originally Posted by not on the rug View Post
    just a thought.. but i don't think this is nearly as complicated as it sounds. why can't someone compete as a bodybuilder or fitness competitor without eating grains and rancid vegetable oils?
    I don't think it's JUST about the food types per say- its about the fact that bbers and figure/fitness athletes typically do several things that fly in the face of what it means to lead/live a primal lifestyle:
    1- two a day chronic cardio sessions, plus weight training usually (so we're categorically overtrained)
    2- Eating 6-8x per day
    3- Struggling to macro balance- carbs etc
    4- The ever present "peak week struggle" in which we macro manipulate, water manipulate and/or sodium manipulate and carb deplete or carb load to get in "peak shape" for the stage

    The body of a physique athlete during prep is not about feeling good or functioning its about looking good and I've read SO much about primal for ATHLETES but I'd REALLY love to know how the primal approach can and should be OPTIMALLY adapted to target figure/fitness/bbing athletes. I've prepped myself for two shows Paleo/Primal now, and am on my third contest prep as we speak and I'm just not 100% certain I'm doing thing optimally. I've done lots of googling and found nothing that really targets these issues....
    Grain Free Iron Goddess
    Paleo Figure Athlete
    www.alli-fitness.com“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” -Hippocrates

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    bloodorchid's Avatar
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    1. quinoa, oats, ezekial bread = carbs. fruit still = carbs, but i guess the 'sugar' is what gets poo-poo'd?

    2. i'm not a pro bodybuilder, but from all the reading i've done the small frequent meals are to keep blood sugar levels stable. in a diet filled with oats and brown rice, from reading about typical prep diets, that sounds about right. blood sugar spike, crash, hunger, so small meals every other hour

    3. no opinion one way or the other when it comes to contest prepping, this is not something i do

    4. i've never seen the point of it, it adds to 'more crap to keep up with' for me. but then again, i'm not a hardcore weight lifter (i'd like to be, but life says no right now)

    5. it's a calorie cutter *shrug*

    6. just from reading the forum, everyone has success with different ratios

    and those are my opinions from a 'reader, not quite a do-er'
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    have you looked into leangains? it's a bodybuilding/cutting approach that deals with many of your meal timing questions.

    i'm not a bodybuilder, but i follow the sport. one thing i've noticed - the advice out there in magazines seems to reflect what the pros do. that's all fine and well, accept they're not always super clear that the pros are taking a lot of drugs! no judgement on my end, i'm just saying that the recommendations on eating are based on a hormonal environment that's not natural. same goes for the recovery times, set & rep schemes, and cardio.

    beyond that, bodybuilding is not at all about health, it's about appearance and peaking at a certain time. it's not performance, it's not health, and it's not longevity. this puts it at odds with paleo. i do think you could merge paleo foods to a bodybuidling template though. why not? you can measure, count & way everything.

    and re. js290, the guy that posts links to the same shit on every thread, without commentary... yeah, s/he's pretty much useless.
    Last edited by jakey; 06-14-2012 at 03:57 PM.

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    Iron Goddess I guess we are back to trail and error. Whats funny is this how current BB/figure/fitness/physique diets have been built. I am looking the best at 4 weeks than ever before. I basically eat paleo but continue the 3 hr eating pattern. I believe you should eat when your hungry I am hungry every 2-3 hours. I probably eat too many sweet potatoes and yes berries. Why not if the current bodybuilder is worried about insulin spike the oat meal is a higher insulin spiker then berries. Still in the 2day training split but like you I do a lot more HIT and less time. I have a sports medicine background and every study on fat burn during exercise finds HIT more effective then long slow cardio. Yet everyone in this sports says no thats not right but these are the same people supplementing L-carnitine which physiologically can not be added to the creb cycle to speed or induce more fat burn. What we could be embarking on here is a new way to do prep.

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