Ask Coach Allan

(Allan Misner) #1

Welcome to the Ask Coach Allan Topic!

When Carl was in Pensacola Beach for a Keto Minifest, we talked about setting up this forum. Many of us get into ketosis, have tons (also spelled tonnes?) of energy and don’t know how to use it. I’d like to help you with that.

Please post questions about exercise, motivation, rest, recovery, etc. I am an NASM certified personal trainer with specialization in corrective exercise, functional aging, and fitness nutrition (which was bunk because it touted the US govt guidelines). I eat ketogenic and train hard. I’m not here to coach you through keto, just help you maximize your fitness using keto.

Let’s stay calm, keto on, and get fit!

Beginning an exercise regime
Calorie restriction?
(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #2

Hi Allan!

Welcome to the forum!

When reaching a goal weight and beginning to exercise again during a ketogenic maintenance period, do you think it’s best to exercise entirely keto adapted or to introduce some healthy carb cycling before heavy lifting?

I tend to use work out days as an excuse to cheat, like today I am going to eat some chinese even though I know it’s completely bad and not at all the right type of carb, lol.

Also, I still have about 3-5kg to lose, do you think it’s best I continue with extending fasting to lose that body fat before I attempt to add some gains in the gym? Or is working out redundant right now if i’m attempting to strip body fat?

I appreciate your response! :slight_smile:

I have edited because I thought of another question;

Do you know roughly how much muscle glycogen is burned during a 30 minute body building workout?

(Wendy) #3

I have a question about firming abs. I am at mataince weight and have lost my abdominal fat but would like to firm up my abdominal muscles.
I’m 53, pretty fit but not athletic. 5’6 132 lbs .
I can suck my gut in pretty far but at rest is just a little flabby. I imagine some of it is skin.
The last time I tried to strengthen my abs, I used an app and set it for beginner. I got through it but it was really hard. :no_mouth: And I hurt for a week so I don’t think it was a good fit for me.
What kind of exercize would you recommend for me. Thanks!

(Allan Misner) #4


Your first question really has two answers and depends on what your body needs and what you want.

First off, I’ve never understood carb cycling. One our bodies are keto adapted, they are completely capable of maintaining proper muscle and liver glycogen levels. That is enough to keep you going for a good 90 - 120 minutes at moderate intensity.

I workout fasted and don’t have an issue. If you do seem to lack energy in the gym you might not be fully keto adapted. In that case, I’d recommend you try timing carbs and have some carbs before the workout (not increasing your total carbs).

As you know, fat loss comes from what and how much you eat. Yes, you do burn calories with exercise, but that isn’t its primary purpose. Exercise (or better yet, training) should be done to accomplish other fitness goals. If your energy levels are where they need to be during an extended fast, I see no reason you shouldn’t train. Just pay attention to what your body is telling you.

Let me know how it goes.

(Allan Misner) #5


I want you to think of your core like an aluminum soft drink can. Even empty, a can will support a lot of weight, but put one divot into it and it will collapse with just a little weight. Having a fit core is important. The type of fitness we need is muscular endurance all the way around the core.

The problem with most ab workouts is that they focus on muscular strength and power. If you’re going to throw a ball in at the World Cup, you need ab power, but for day to day, we don’t.

A basic workout for ab endurance is as follows:

  • Hollow Holds (3 sets 30 - 60 seconds)
  • Side planks (3 sets each side 30 - 60 seconds)
  • Prone cobra (3 sets 30 - 60 seconds)
    Each of these is an isometric exercise, you get into the position and hold it.

But now for the reality check:
The good news is that you already have the abs you want. To have abs that show, you’ll have to take your body fat below 10 - 12% (for women) and below 8 - 10% (for men). Most female bodybuilders are below 6%. That’s very low and hard to maintain for long (think for a show or a photo shoot and get back into the healthy range).

Yes, the skin might also prevent your abs from showing. Time will tell if that tightens. Core work for muscular endurance, drinking plenty of water, and having adequate protein/collagen may help. And I’d like to add, a basic weight lifting program to add overall muscle mass to your body will also help by creating a bit of taper and giving the skin a place to go.

(Mark Rhodes) #6

Hi Allen,

I met you at this years Ketofest and I am glad that you have committed to the forums. I think that your message is a great one and it also employs the simplicity of experience & “show me the science”.

I am so glad you are here!!!

(Edith) #7

Yes, I wanted to say, “Thank you,” as well. I don’t have any questions right now, but thank you for taking the time for those who do. I have a feeling I will learn quite a bit just from reading your responses to the others’ questions.

(Allan Misner) #8

Thanks, Mark!

(Allan Misner) #9

Thanks, Virginia!

(Duncan Kerridge) #10

Hey coach,

Thanks for doing this! I swim 3-4 times a week 1-2k per session and walk around 30 miles a week (4mph pace). I feel like I’ve got my cardio covered.

I’m conscious I don’t do any strength work though. I’m not a fan of the gym/weights. I wondered if you had any suggestions for me start out some strength work at home? Upper body stuff, my legs have always been strong.

I’m 6’3, 195lbs and have been keto for a couple of years. Cheers!

(Allan Misner) #11

Yes, it is quite easy to get an upper body workout at home. I’d encourage you to get some resistance bands (the kind with handles and different resistant levels/colors).

A basic workout would be as follows:

  • Push ups (5 sets to failure)
  • Band rows (5 sets of 8, the last two sets should be right to failure)
  • Band overhead press (5 sets of 8, the last two sets should be right to failure).

Once you get comfortable with the bands, you can buy a pull up bar and add more variety.

(Duncan Kerridge) #12

Thanks! I did start doing some pushups earlier in the year, i’ll get back on it

(Keith) #13

Hi Coach,

I started Keto 3 weeks ago and have noticed a big drop in my athletic ability. I am a very active person, I have competed in long distance kayak/canoe paddling for many years and regularly run, lift weights and do other cross training.

I am on paddling off season now, but I run with a Polar HR watch and it gives me a “Running Index” after each session, which is basically a HR v Speed algorithm to measure fitness. For the past year this has been hovering between 55 and 57, but has now plummeted to 49 to 51 on most runs since starting Keto and I generally feel little energy or power in my legs when doing aerobic or anaerobic exercise. (Or from a 2850 to a 2500 Cooper test if this is a more familiar measure). (

My weightlifting is unaffected though and I can pretty much lift what I could before.

My resting heart rate is much higher now too, it is usually in the mid 50s, but is now mid 60s. Also, when running to get my heart rate to 90% plus I would normally need to focus and push myself very hard (or a big hill!), but now it just creeps up there without me realizing it or feeling like I am working hard.

I started Keto as despite my high levels of activity and conventionally healthy eating I had been putting on a couple of kilos a year since turning 40. In this respect the diet has been successful as I have dropped 4kgs and don’t feel hungry or otherwise deprived.,

Thanks for any advice you can give.

(Allan Misner) #14


This drop in performance is normal. But the good news is that you’ll recover your performance and likely surpass it. Your body is looking for blood sugar and glycogen from the muscles and liver to go, which as you can guess aren’t as high/full as they used to be.

Weight lifting is typically done in the first two anaerobic energy processes, so it isn’t affected like an endurance activity will be.

Once you get fully leto-adapted, your performance will improve. That can take several months, but most endurance folks I know are back to standard after about 8 weeks (provided they stick to keto and keep training). I know that’s tough to take, especially if you’re a competitive person (even competing against yourself).

In the meantime, keep hydrated, which means water and electrolytes. And you can play around with your carb timing, eating more of your allotted carbs for the day before you train.

And when you’ve dropped a few kg, you’ll be even better when you’re adapted.

Let me know how it goes.


Hi Allan
In 2 weeks I will be running my first marathon since starting Keto. I have been Keto for 13 weeks. I’m a 55 yr woman, 119 lbs, 5’7” and long time runner. My average marathon time is 3:45. Since starting Keto I can run long but not fast. Generally 9:45-10 min/mile. A month ago I ran a half marathon on water only during the race and drank UCAN before the race. Felt good and did a 1:48. But I could not have kept going another 13 miles. Felt low on energy at the end. I keep to 20g carbs/day. Would adding in more carbs in the couple days before my marathon be a good idea? Should I use gel packets during the marathon, maybe the second half? On my last long training run I experimented and took a GU at mile 18. The next five miles were my fastest! I was just hoping to not need them anymore. Thanks for any advice!

(Troy) #16

Great info
Do you have or recommend a certain brand?
Several to choose from on Amazon

(Allan Misner) #17

Here are the ones I recommend for my clients >

That is an affiliate link. It won’t cost you any more but I do get a small commission if you buy.

I like these in particular because they are labeled to help you know your resistance level rather than just having to memorize the colors.

(Karen) #18

Extremely generous! Thanks and welcome Allan.


(Karen) #19

62 years old. NEVER an athlete. Always last to be chosen for PE. I have been listening to a STEM talk
with Art De Vany. The discussion was about aging, and the importance of strength.
I have a bunch of arthritis and no exercise in place. Right shoulder clicks and can’t rise up on right foot. Please give me a good beginning beginners strength program idea. I know I can do 10 or 15 minutes. It’s Monday. I’ll check back next Monday to add to the plan. THoughts?. Just started yoga after work Tuesday. Modified it, but my shoulder hurt all week.


(Vladaar Malane) #20

Hi Coach, I’d like my 6 pack abs to go please. :slight_smile:

Just kidding great idea on coach for over 40, that’s me. Glad to see this forum addition. Keep up the good work.