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Thread: Poorer workout in the gym after starting Paleo? page

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    Drikanna's Avatar
    Drikanna is offline Junior Member
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    Poorer workout in the gym after starting Paleo?

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    First time poster and wanted to get some input from you more veteran members:

    I just completed my first serious week of Paleo and went to the gym to work out. I've basically been doing a "Big 5" routine (Doug McGuff 'Body by Science') but was a little discouraged when my week over week numbers dropped across the board. I have lost weight this past week, which is my primary goal as I feel I still have about 20lb to lose, but was surprised at not performing as well or better lifting weights as the week before, which has been the norm up to this point. Anyone have any insight as to why this may be? Perhaps I did not allow my body enough time to recover this week as I did do some more "low to moderate" exercises than usual, plus incorporated a new sprint workout just two days ago. Or perhaps its related to the very low carbohydrate intake? I guess my main concern is that I'm cannibalizing muscle in order to supply my body with carbs and I'm losing weight through muscle loss.

    Thoughts?

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    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is offline Senior Member
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    Is it because you've gone low carb? Some people don't do so well with that.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
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    OldSchhool's Avatar
    OldSchhool is online now Senior Member
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    I was mixing HIIT sessions in with my regular resistance training and I began losing weight too quickly including some muscle. I now just do my high intensity weight workouts and have even added a few more carbs back in mainly on the days I workout.
    Slowly adding muscle again and maintaining my current level of definition.

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    Drikanna's Avatar
    Drikanna is offline Junior Member
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    I've definitely been in the <50g (Keto/IF) this past week. Maybe I should bump it up and add some more fruits back into my diet? I'll likely still be under 100g/carb/day

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    bcbcbc2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drikanna View Post
    I've definitely been in the <50g (Keto/IF) this past week. Maybe I should bump it up and add some more fruits back into my diet? I'll likely still be under 100g/carb/day
    If this was your first <50g carb week and it worked for losing weight(your 1st priority) then don't worry about slightly underperforming workouts for at least 2 more weeks while your body adapts to the low-carb. Adding carbs without adding calories should work too but some of us get easier weight loss on low carb. Whatever works for you. BBS big 5 is what - 15 minutes? You don't need much carb loading for that.

    Also BBS with full 10-10 second reps can be very hard to track progress without a qualified trainer, The 'better' you do the first reps the less likely you are to get as many. That's why I've gone back to 4-4ish reps and making sure I progress the weight

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    Drikanna's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm doing the weight lifting myself and end up doing something around a 4-4 to 6-6 cadence (definitely not 10-10!), with fatiguing out at around the minute mark. I guess I'll just continue the diet again this week and maybe add a few pieces of fruit/other carbs here or there and see how things go. It's not my first first week of Paleo, just my first with rigidity in a while. I've sporadically used it over the last two years to go from my high of 215lb to the 185 I am now. I'm terrible about sticking to a diet if I don't have my meals planned out far in advance

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    MarielleGO's Avatar
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    Doing such a low carb you can't expect your body to behave right away.
    You should give it a week or two to adjust. Especially going fully Paleo you might experience carb-flu and will ask a lot of your body.
    You shouldn't push it so far the first weeks, just do what feels good.

    If you are continuing heavy weight lifting work out you should eat a bit more carbs on that day. You can keep it under the 100 grams a day to loose the weight...

    Just trust your body to tell you what to do. if it feels good, continue, if it feels bad, stop and relax.
    My story, My thought....

    It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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    Ripped's Avatar
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    It may or may not have anything to do with your diet. However, it's my opinion that especially when fat loss is the primary goal, it's better to consider diet and exercise as mutually exclusive entities.

    Why? Because you might lose strength at least temporarily while dieting. And worrying about it will only make you hold back on your dieting, which will also slow down the progress to your actual goal, which is to lose fat. Additionally, if you expect to lose strength while dieting, it only becomes an excuse not to work as hard. Either way, it serves you no good to think about it.

    I really don't think you have to worry so much about muscle loss anyways. The main problem with dieting is that sometimes you don't have the energy to perform optimally. But that doesn't mean you are losing muscle, it just means that your performance is suffering at least temporarily. For example, I've always been able to squat deep 315 for reps at any given time. But since dieting and losing 50 lbs, I usually can't do that unless I've worked up to it over several weeks, and it's a lot easier if I've been eating good recently. But what does that tell you? I haven't lost any muscle at all. It's just a temporary decrease in performance due to a decrease in total energy intake.

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    Ripped's Avatar
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    I just have one more comment on this diet and training issue. I got this idea from Arthur Saxon's definition of strength from one of his old books. He explained that a strongman must be strong and ready to perform a feat of strength at any given time regardless of if he skipped a meal, had been working all day, or what ever the situation may be, etc.. He wrote that over 100 years ago.

    How does that compare to the bodybuilders of today who cry if they miss a meal or don't get their post workout shake? Etc, etc.. It's all excuses. They didn't have all that a century ago.

    And how does that apply to you? If you were a hunter gatherer such as Grok, you wouldn't have the ability to cry and say you can't hunt because you missed your breakfast. If you some how got into a situation where some idiot picked a fight with you and you had to protect yourself, you wouldn't be in a situation to complain that you don't have any carbs.

    I can think of a lot of different examples. But I'm just saying, this is real life and human bodies are a lot more flexible than that. Your muscle isn't going to just magically melt away just because you did a little exercise, skipped a meal, and/or ate less carbs. It can handle a lot more than that.

    I can also tell you from my own experience. I've done a lot of fasting while trying to lose weight. I've eaten only 2 meals per day. I've skipped eating for 2 days in a row, and could still squat 275 for reps. I've fasted for up to 4 days in a row and came back stronger in the following weeks than I was before.

    If I can do that, do you really think cutting carbs out for a couple of days is going to make your muscles melt away? NO!!!

    Don't worry about it. Lift heavy to stay strong. And diet to cut the fat away. Simple as that.

    One last thing. If your strength is suffering temporarily, you can just start a brand new cycle and work it all the way through. I've done this while cutting and have been able to gain strength during the process that way. It gives you room for progression before you peak.

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    Carbs carbs carbs. Consistent training at a higher intensity will have more of a positive impact on your physique than mediocre workouts due to low carb.

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