Hi guys , I have finally started going to the gym to help change my body composition. I do some running to warm up , then resistance train for most of my hour then cool down with a run/walk to finish. I’m not bothered about doing cardio and weights in the same session, it’s fine. It’s not over the top hard , but my muscles are sore from it for 1 or 2 days then I go again. So 3 times a week roughly. NOW THE ARGUMENT! Put Carbs in on those days or just run with it. I have felt fine doing it in full ketosis and it’s not as if I’m trying to dead lift 200kg…just some basic weight training. So much stuff online is saying that I will waste muscle away , if I don’t put any carbs in??? I don’t want to keep skinny arms and legs anymore with the gut and man boobs so I don’t want to risk muscle waste. But I do want to strip every bit of fat off my gut and chest. My ultimate goal would be around 15% body fat. Im about 25% body fat but only look fat on my gut to the lower chest. Fairly stripped everywhere else. TIA.
Cardio/weight routine. Carbs?
I thought it was protein that builds and preserves muscle, especially the branched-chain amino acids. Of course, you need energy to fuel the growth, but that can come from fat as well as carbohydrate. I guess it’s a question of what the elevated insulin from the extra carbohydrate will do for you.
There’s also glycogen replacement.
I’ve tried eating a TKD (targeted keto diet), where I have carbs the meal after a workout, 2 times week. I’ve eaten up to 100g of carbs in those meals.
The good news is that I can still maintain ketosis (or at least nonzero blood ketones, >0.1 mmol/l).
The bad news is that I can’t determine whether this is a benefit or detriment. This week, I’m eating without the carbs. I’ll see whether I feel any different.
One thing I think carbs do help (and this is where glycogen comes in) is that I seem “bigger” after the carbs. That is, my muscles tend to “puff up” a bit. I think I’m physically smaller without the carbs. (Hmm…could I test this scientifically? I’ll have to think about that.) Is that meaningful? Probably not a lot, given that I’m not getting on a stage to be judged, nor does anyone care whether my muscles are bigger or not.
I haven’t figured out whether there’s a benefit in terms of weight/strength increases. Part of this is because I’m doing body weight training, and it’s harder to determine strength increases. Part of this is because muscle gain is excruciatingly slow for me. As in, strength gains can take years, not days, weeks or even months.
@PaulL’s reply above is spot on.
If you want to change your body composition, eating carbs can only serve to keep that from happening.
@SomeGuy: No, people gain muscle and cut just fine on carbs too…
They may interfere with fat-loss for some of us but muscle gain? Keto can interfere with that for the people who eat too little on this woe…
Carbs may help some people with workouts, it’s known but if one just want to be somewhat more muscular, they might not be needed.
That’s why I don’t plan to add carbs myself. Never felt the need to add carbs and it’s fine if my progress won’t be optimal. I just want more muscles and strength. But it’s possible some carbs may help sometimes, I have no idea, maybe I will notice as I will have plenty of off days just like before. But I don’t worry about things, I just do what I can and we will see, if no results come (unlikely if I do my workouts right. I always eat plenty and too much protein as well so that won’t be a problem either, I rest and everything), I still will be able to change things.
But if one goes for the most optimal route and the biggest muscles, well they should research what to do. I don’t aim that high. I just know muscle gain itself doesn’t require carbs. They may help with a proper workout, people say so, they are needed for very very high activity and as Bob said, they puff up muscles more (glycogen and all the water it holds).
@Shinita You seem to be confusing what one eats with the problem of eating too little. Luke seeks to change his body composition. Let’s agree to disagree.
Good to test. See what works. Measure. Some workouts can be done in a fasted state other should not be, as performance will suffer.
When you say “Body weight training” I am not clear what you mean. If strength gains are not happing in the short term (1-4 weeks) then change your program. Can you give an example?
Body weight training, one example (I use some of his exercises):
I always work out in a fasted state, as that is the only time I have to work out. Most times, “fasted” = around 8-9 hours fasted; sometimes, it means 32 hours.
If strength gains are not happening in the short term (1-4 weeks) then change your program.
If you think you’re going to have consistent gains every 1-4 weeks, for 30+ years (as I’ve been training, since I was 15 or 16 in the early 1980s), then you have something to learn.
Edit: and for anyone else who thinks this is possible, consider the following. Say you bench press 200 pounds (a nice round number and not overly large if you’re male, young, and have some strength). You gain 2 pounds on your bench in four weeks (one month). That’s only 1%. (Does a 1 pound weight even exist for Olympic bars? Not sure.) You do that every 4 weeks, so 24 pounds per year. Over 30 years, that’s 720 pounds (2x12x30) in addition to the 200 pounds you started with, so a bench press of 920 pounds.
Even when I was a body builder and in my prime of 18-24, it took me forever, and I mean YEARS to build up to a 315 pound bench, and that was basically a 1 rep max. Unless you’re genetically gifted and male and young, you’re lucky to make much progress at all over the course of the year.
Muscle soreness is due to the muscle breaking down and then rebuilding. Making your muscle and strength grow. Always do cardio after weights. Save you energy for weights. Its a fine line when doing Keto and exercise. Test. How long have you been doing Keto? Are you fat adapted? Depending on the how heavy you are lifting, it is possible that your body could catabolizing muscle for energy. Try have an energy bar that has 20+ grams of protein and 20+ grams of carbs about 1 hour before your weight training session. Do this for a week, then switch and have the bar right after. Note how your body reacts to this. Are you able to lift more weight? Does your body recovery faster/slower on the different protocols. My own experience is that the carbs before AND after do help with the a high intensity workout and with my recovery.
Generally, you want to fuel your workout. But you can easily over do it.
You are talking to the wrong person. I’ve been keto since 1/1/14. I started out doing what you recommend (eating before and after exercising). Now, I eat about 3 hours after exercising. And ALL of the scientific evidence supports this.
Furthermore, I can fast 32 hours, do a body weight workout where almost every exercise is to failure (can’t lift anymore) and have a GREAT workout. The workout lasts 1 hour 20 to 1 hour 30 minutes. Fasted for over a day.
Finally, not everyone is trying to be huge. I have a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder, and more other various injuries that I can’t remember them all . I just want to exercise and don’t give a whit as to what my “muscle mass” will be.
In the above post, Luke, states “I have finally started going to the gym.” I never stated consistent gains every 1-4 weeks. I am sure you would agree that a newbie will gain more strength and muscle as a percentage in the beginning than somebody like yourself with over 30+ years of experience?
I have been doing Keto and LCH since 1/15/2010 under the supervision of a medical doctor and sports scientist who is also a doctor. I did not recommend he follow what works for me, rather I suggested he test and see what works for him. (week 1, try before and in week 2 try after).
“And ALL of the scientific evidence supports this.” Your own confirmation bias supports what you want to believe. Have a look at the research done by Dr. Iñigo San Millán a research scientist in the field of cancer and endurance sports.
Have you come across the Pareto principle?
No, I don’t confuse them, why would I?
People change their body composition for the better with and without carbs, I basically say this. And both can be a problem sometimes if the one in question does it wrong. I don’t see any flaw in these statements…
Thanks, this was informative. As a 46 years old woman who may or may not do proper workouts at this point, it’s good to know it may work as I do (always fasted as I need the energy of a well-fasted state, I started to wonder when I should eat afterwards… it would be very problematic for me to eat soon after my workout but not impossible if it’s needed)… People are different but you proved it’s not necessarily bad the way that is convenient to me So there is some hope.
Though I suppose at my level I don’t even need to worry, just train… But as I never will gain much muscle, I try to do it right, you know, not to lower my chances…
Tape measure? Should be quick and easy, no?
Also, presumably the glycogen is accompanied by water weight. Is that an issue? I guess not, if the primary goal is to look more “puffed up”?
Surely not, if one is eating enough fat to supply the necessary energy, no? Not to mention enough protein to supply amino acids for new muscle?
Your call really. I’ve done standard keto, cyclical keto, targeted keto and now I do a hybrid of the two. What I can tell you is I did in fact lose a lot of strength with standard keto. I’ve been lifting for 20yrs and have done it every way there is.
Targeted Keto is when you take in fast digesting carbs pre workout so you both fuel the workout and have a little more in the tank that can go to muscle glycogen. Prefered carbs would be Dextrose or even better Cyclic Dextrin. You want it to burn like fire! Whole idea is load yourself up on rocket fuel, and have it all burned off hopefully by workouts end. That way when everything calms down post workout within the next couple hours you wind up going back into ketosis, where if you attempted that with real food, their’s lag time, digestion, processing it all, and the whole thing would just fall apart. You could do real food carbs 2-3hrs before the workout, but you’d still want them on the faster side of things.
Cyclical Keto is where once or twice a week you load carbs to top off your glycogen stores, and attempt not to go too much past that and start spilling over and possibly storing them as fat. Takes some playing around with.
I do both.
What I’ll say is when you walk into the gym with full glycogen tanks, it’s a very different experience than without. Literally night and day how much of a beating you can put on yourself when your muscles have the fuel to do it. It absolutely helps with the recovery as well zero question about it.
When I started my weirdo hybrid I still had fat to lose and that was after I’d not lost (and gained) from a long list of stupid decisions, all while doing standard keto. I think I was in the 250’s with BF% somewhere around 25%, which was a BodPod reading which is pretty descent as far as accuracy. Right now I’m weighing 215 at 13%BF, that was from a DEXA about 2mo ago. So you can absolutely still take fat off while doing stuff like that, just gotta dial your nutrition in right for you, and what you’re doing. While it shouldn’t have to be said, PROTEIN! Make sure you’re getting enough it every day! Only way we can store it, is to build muscle with it. Which also drives a higher metabolic rate which makes continued fat loss easier.
My current goal is to be at 10% by summer (we’ll see), but something to fight for either way!
Hi , thanks for the reply and the info. You mention your muscles look bigger when you have carbs to fuel a work out. Apparently this is true , the actual muscle holds a bit of water and glycogen if you are putting the carbs in to allow that to happen. Hence my question to the group , because others swear by carbs to help repair the muscle after, along with protein. I don’t think I’m working out to the level they are talking about through and don’t want to look “big” just really fit and lean.
Thanks so much. You really know a lot about what I’m trying to achieve here. I’ve taken in the information and it seems it’s a bit of trial and error to see where I end up. I’m still new to Keto so my main focus for the last 3 months has been to , not get out of ketosis it’s the devil, lol. And now already with different information , people are saying if you’re weight training , make sure you put carbs in. I hope I can find the best of both worlds.
The carbs you are talking about using are kind of like a supplement? Not real food correct? I’m from Australia but would you have any brand names of the stuff I can burn through whilst working out , so I’m basically back in ketosis as I sleep that night.
Thanks again. Appreciate it.
Hi thanks for the info. I get a really sore shoulder ( in the joint ) from push ups. I like the idea of body weight training. How do you hit your chest with a shoulder injury. It’s where I need a lot of work.