Hello, I have been on keto diet going on 5 weeks this week. I have lost 12 lbs. I am about 12-15 lbs from where I want to be. The problem I am having currently is that I have nowhere near the endurance I used to in my boot camp classes, which I understand is probably because of the switch from a diet featuring carbs to one that doesn’t feature as many. I go three days a week, one class is core and conditioning which I have found I can barely get through and the other two are strength days with finishers at the end. The strength days are a little easier for me to get through, so I was just going to go those days. I have read that it may take time to get fat adapted but I am not sure that even when I do, that I will be able to do these classes like I used to. Anyone on here do these types of workouts? They are basically circuit interval type workouts. I am also going to these classes at 5 am in a fasted state, had tried the Perfect Keto Perform and it seemed to help (probably the caffeine) but I couldn’t handle the MCT oil in it because I was having it almost every day instead of just days I worked out. Any help would be appreciated!
Mark Sisson goes into some detail:
Bottom line - expect there to be a performance drop until your body learns to burn fat more efficiently as a fuel.
Ok, will read. Thank you very much!
I run early in the morning prior to eating. I was coming off a ankle injury 6 months prior when I started so I wasn’t in the best shape. I felt zero energy and had what I call lead legs. I had to walk frequently which I have never done. One day I thought that I may need to reconsider my keto WOE because “this sucks”. I stuck it out and around my third month on keto my energy came back. I no longer need rests and do 30 miles a week with three gym visits to strength train. Fat adaption isn’t a switch I didn’t get it in one day, I just noticed that something changed but have no real idea when.
The best way I can describe fat adaption and the related workout energy increase is it’s like watching hair grow. You know it is happening but you can’t see it but one day you look in the mirror and say I need a haircut or “Hey I have energy again”.
It also doesn’t stop at the point it gets better. It keeps building upon itself as your body keeps learning how deal with fat and not carbs for fuel.
My advice is to put aside strenuous work outs like Boot Camp for a couple of months. It’s going to create lots of cortisol and get in the way of keto adaptation. If you give it a break and let your body adapt to keto and fat burning you will find better stamina and energy than when you ran on carbohydrates. But right now you’re pushing your body at the same time it’s trying to find the new metabolic efficiency of fat burning and so your carb limiting is leaving you weak, causing stress and creating the cortisol hormone to try and keep up with your activity induced stress. It’s part of the fight or flight mechanism and was a necessary part of human evolution. But modern life stress triggers it the same way as life and death situations did in early man, more often than it’s good for us. It puts you into a preservation of energy mode. I think you’ll be able to successfully go back to Boot Camp and get the benefits after your body is finished dealing with the change over.
Well, it sounds like I just have to be patient then. Thank you for your input I appreciate it.
Thank you for that answer. I was wondering if I may be doing more harm than good pushing myself in there. Maybe just do some long walks which don’t seem to bother me at all for obvious reasons. I used to jog but don’t do that anymore either due to a bad back. Back off a little bit and see if that helps.
Excellent link. I read through Sisson’s article, and if I can amplify some of my experiences as it relates to his advice:
Sticking to Weights and Walking. Last summer when I started keto/low carb, I did a lot of walking (100-125 mi month) and biking (1-2x week) and it was very effective in terms of both weight loss as well as building endurance. I never pushed myself hard, but I did it consistently. It is important to me to keep the activity enjoyable and not a chore.
Take Creatine. I just started taking this a few months ago and it seems to correlate with more energy for weight training. I notice better workouts when I’ve been taking creatine for a few days prior than when I don’t.
Carb Cycle When Necessary. I really don’t carb cycle, but I try to use carbs strategically for some of my endurance training. For example, I’ll eat an apple midway through a long bike ride (perhaps 20 mi) and find that it does give me some additional energy. Plus, most of those carbs get used up on the last leg of the ride. It’s a good way to enjoy a honey crisp apple when you’re trying to stay low carb.
Resistance training is good twice a week during this time as well as walking. 15 minutes of heavy lifting twice a week bring great results for many people. But the scale won’t move as much because of building muscle while dropping fat.
I don’t want to scare you off keto, but it took me about 6 months before I wasn’t sucking wind at taekwondo classes. But I started with just one a week, and they were in the evenings. Went to 2 a week after 4 months. By 9 months, I was back at my teenager level of performance in class, and could go as often as I wanted , and without any soreness and aches!
If you’re doing this in the mornings, fasted, and multiple times a week, you’re going to fat adapt much faster than I did!
I’d recommend enjoying this struggle, every time you do it you’re going to build more and better mitochondria!
It’s not just muscles that improve with exercise but your metabolism as well. If you give your body no choice but to adapt, it’ll happen faster. The cortisol from exercise is a benefit, and pretty much has to happen to get those beneficial adaptations. You have to give the muscles the message that you only just barely survived that encounter with the saber toothed tiger, and they’ll adapt to become stronger and more efficient.
Any movement is good of course and walking and cycling are great because you can more easily modulate your heart rate.
Heart rate is key since if it gets over a certain threshold, depending on your age and sex mostly, you’ll begin to burn glycogen. Keeping it below the threshold will allow muscles to keep burning Free Fatty Acids.
You may want the glycogen burned, but if you’re on a marathon or long bike ride, you don’t want to bonk in the middle of nowhere! I use it tactically, pumping out a mess of squats in the run up to a social event where there may be carbs Muscle glycogen will be replenished from the glucose before the Liver uses it for De Novo Lipogenesis.
I will be just doing the weight days at boot camp and walking I can seem to handle those classes. Will try the core and conditioning ones in a month or two again and see if any better. Thanks for your input.
Yeah when I do the core and conditioning days I find myself having to stop frequently which is something I never experienced before and I felt craptastic after, also something not used to. I am a just turned 50 yo woman and my fitbit showed my heart rate was not in max zone but getting up there. Definitely can do without that for now.
I actually felt like crap before KETO, which is why I was looking for some answers as to why. After about three weeks, my energy gradually started coming back. Now, two months in I’m feeling good with the exception of some minimal knee pain and chronic tendinitis, which I’ve had off and on for years.
Well, that’s good to hear, so I guess I just need to be a little more patient with myself.
Patience is key!!! Its frustrated but it’s key. I just finished my workout and got on the scale and again NO CHANGES but my clothes are still looser and my measurements are less.
That is awesome!! I think measurements and how your clothing fits are way better markers of progress anyways.