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Thread: olympian diets? page 2

  1. #11
    sjmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    I was capable of hiking as fast as I possibly could at altitude up and down steep mountains 30 miles a day eating only sugary candy (not chocolate), cookies, cheeze-its and artificial cheese powder in my pasta. One day I managed to go 30 miles before 3:30pm, starting at my usual time of 6am. I got stronger and could accomplish more and more the longer I did this. I was absolutely shocked at the performance levels I was able to achieve on such a poor diet. I don't believe for a second that a better diet would have gotten me better performance. However, a better diet probably would have saved me from problems down the line when I quit doing this and probably would have given me a better mood during the effort. Some day I hope to try it again on a primal diet and see if I can achieve the same or better, but by then I will be significantly older.
    You make me want to go long-distance hiking so badly!

    And now, an actual question related to the topic at hand:
    I'm just wondering, what about the athletes that don't even really appear healthy? Ex. I know weightlifters have a lot of muscle, and there must be some advantage to being so big (or they wouldn't be), but how does that gut help 'em out? Would a leaner person with the same muscle mass do as well?

  2. #12
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    Djokovic, Steve Nash, and David Ortiz are probably the most famous athletes who follow paleo-ish diets.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    Ex. I know weightlifters have a lot of muscle, and there must be some advantage to being so big (or they wouldn't be), but how does that gut help 'em out? Would a leaner person with the same muscle mass do as well?
    Yes, that person would do as well, but not better. In the case of the athletes you're talking about the gut doesn't hinder their performance, so why waste the effort and energy trying to lose it? They're not trying to look sexy, they're trying to lift as much as possible.

    What really helps them is muscle, and having as much as they can. The more they eat, the easier it is to gain and maintain muscle, plus they recover faster. So I'm guessing they opt to overeat somewhat, without concerning themselves over having a gut.

  4. #14
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    If two weight lifters lift the same numbers the lighter athlete is considered the winner. So there could be times where dropping a bit of fat might break a tie in their favour, but clearly they prioritize strength above all else.

  5. #15
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    I'ts always interested me how weightlifters & "strongmen" nearly always look like the fat blokes at the bar.
    Is it because all that superficial muscle really is just that and the real work is done by the core muscles?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirk41 View Post
    Djokovic, Steve Nash, and David Ortiz are probably the most famous athletes who follow paleo-ish diets.
    When I was reading the thread, I was thinking that we needed some feedback from primal athletes... hey isn't there that pro basketball player on the forums... and here you are! Has primal improved your performance? Have you been sick less often? What do your teammates think? Has anyone followed you into primal?

    Maybe the best test would be to take a SAD -- one who is NOT overly sensitive to gluten -- and replace every gram of grain with a gram of sweet potatoes or white rice. Replace every veggie oil gram with a CO or ghee gram. That should take care of most of the experimental controls. Check overall performance.
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

  7. #17
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    I always thought weight lifters had to be heavy. How could someone small hold up so much weight? It's like being the base of a pyramid. You want a strong, hefty base to hold up that weight.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

  8. #18
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    I always thought weight lifters had to be heavy. How could someone small hold up so much weight?
    It also depends on their weight class. If someone is in the heaviest class they can eat with a lot more impunity.
    If someone is trying to not go over weight into the next class they'll need to be stricter with their diet.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_h View Post
    It also depends on their weight class. If someone is in the heaviest class they can eat with a lot more impunity.
    If someone is trying to not go over weight into the next class they'll need to be stricter with their diet.
    Yeah I use to work out with a power lifter that weighed in the 160 range (5'5" or so).. These guys are all about strength to weight ratio. You go to "Unlimited" class and lets face it.....your gonna be a lot stronger with a bunch of blubber than without. Not in terms of being to move YOUR OWN mass.....but in terms of moving other mass, sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    Yes, that person would do as well, but not better. In the case of the athletes you're talking about the gut doesn't hinder their performance, so why waste the effort and energy trying to lose it? They're not trying to look sexy, they're trying to lift as much as possible.

    What really helps them is muscle, and having as much as they can. The more they eat, the easier it is to gain and maintain muscle, plus they recover faster. So I'm guessing they opt to overeat somewhat, without concerning themselves over having a gut.
    This, all of this. My partner used to joke that she was bigorexic when she competed in powerlifting the first time around, because it's all about being big and lifting large amounts of weight (even if the bodyweight to weight lifted ratio isn't awesome). She's lifting more now and is lighter, but training is her specialty* :P

    *so it's possible to lift heavy things while being paleo/being smaller, but it's so much easier if you are not either of the former

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