Wondering if I should continue CrossFit or move on to another exercise regimen

(Charles) #1

Hello all. New guy first post.

38/M Starting Weight 246 lbs current weight 231 lbs. I’m 4 weeks into Keto having started July 8, 2018. I began Keto after spending 2 years using a 40/30/30 style diet and have been doing CrossFit for those 2 years as well. This brought me down from 265 lbs to 234 lbs at my lowest but had been a roller coaster of ups and downs in weight. I don’t have any metabolic quirks that I’m aware of. I just decided to change to Keto due to all the success stories I’ve read with regard to weight loss.

I have noticed in the last 4 weeks that I do not have the same explosive power nor am I able to hit weight goals that I was in the past (i.e. Back Squat max of 305lbs and can now only hit 265lbs). I realize this is due to my muscles having to adapt to using Ketones. I am also aware there is an adjustment period of 6 weeks to 6 months for my muscles to fully adapt to ketones. I don’t know if this means I will be back to my glucose burning stats or not however.

So my question is whether I should continue pushing through this transition and stick with CrossFit or should I look into a weight lifting regimen, like 5x5, duing this transition? I just feel sad that I regressed in performance even though I’m seeing a difference in body weight and size.


(What The Fast?!) #2

Give it a few more months. Your power will come back. Your body isn’t used to using fat as fuel yet.

(shane ) #3

I have heard from a famous weight lifting/body building Keto athlete that on ketosis our bodies seem to work much better in the lower rep ranges and the really high rep ranges. Middle reps in the 8-10 range for sets will cause you to gas out quickly.

I like to keep my rep schemes in the 3 to 5 reps on compound lifts and then blast out 12-20 reps on the smaller muscle groups.

I have also heard people say that you will adapt and your strength will come back. I have also heard this adaption can take up to a year.

I guess the question really is, what is your goal? If it to enter a powerlifting meet next month you probably need to train for that.

If you want over all fitness, forget about weight on the bar and focus on the weight loss and fitness goals right now. Still train intense though and push yourself and try to keep as many pounds on the bar as possible.

(Katie) #4

I also do CrossFit and keto. I encourage you to stick with CrossFit, even though you are not putting up the same numbers and seem to have regressed a little bit. I think that with time your body will adjust. Seeing supposed lesser numbers/work capacity can be disappointing, but know that it is for a good reason (metabolic pathways readjusting). Hopefully it does not feel awkward for you if others notice, but it could be a cool opportunity to explain keto?

You said that you are seeing results with CrossFit, so it seems to be helping you to reach your health goals? It is such an enjoyable and social sport, do you enjoy those aspects? Do you think that you will enjoy lifting by yourself if you started a different program, or will you miss CrossFit? Are you a person who needs external accountability, or can you stick to a program by yourself?

My opinion: keep calm and keto and CrossFit on :slightly_smiling_face::muscle:t2::weight_lifting_man:t2:

(Jarred) #5

MI’ve been eating this way for about 3 years now. It pains me to say this because I wanted keto to be the end all. The perfect way of eating. The truth is in my experience the longer I’m in keytosis the more my gym performance sufferers. I’m also dog tired when I leave the gym. I also do low rep strength components, 5x5, 5x4 etc, oly lifting and CrossFit workouts.
If I eat carbs then immediately I get it all back. Sometimes more. Like the “keto workouts” are making me stronger, faster, but I just need that glycogen boost to see it. Or maybe my workout dwindle overtime so when I carb up I feel like Superman. I typically stay in keytosis about 2 to 3 months by then I usually give in and have some cake or something lol. My wife will always comment about how much better I look the next day, fuller tighter muscles and fuller face. Im currently at 16% bf and my goal is 12%. So for me at this point gym performance is very important as well as fat loss. I’m going to start an intentional carb loading meal. Every ten days or so. Then take it from there.
If gym performance is important to you then maybe carb loading might be an option. My experience is your workout will suffer no matter what it is.


I’m biased as my answer would always be to change to another form of lifting than crossfit either way, but to be fair plenty of keto crossfitters out there doing just fine. As you know the adaptation can take a while as you adapt to using fat instead of sugar. What I suggest to people lifting is nothing I don’t do myself. A good pre-workout is always good both for energy obviously as well as the supplements most of them have like creatine, citruline, BCAAs etc. While we can maintain muscle fine on keto we ARE at a disadvantage when it comes to building, that stuff helps. Exodenous ketones can help obviously with energy and are better at letting you (feel) like you’re working out with glycogen in the tanks but they’re not cheap.

You didn’t really regress, you don’t loose muscle eating this way unless you’re really screwing it up, It’s an energy thing. Most 5x5 plans are great and IMO would put muscle on you better than crossfit to begin with, but obviously do what you enjoy. Just don’t convince yourself that eating keto is making your muscles melt away, they’re still there YES they look smaller without the water retention, and YES you feel weaker without all the sugar but it’s an illusion, and a temporary one.

(Jarred) #7

Just playing devils advocate here! What do you mean by temporary? Are you saying ketones will eventually give you the athletic performance that glycogen will over time?

(Charles) #8

Appreciate the feedback and information from all - thank you. Ultimately the end game is weight loss. I’m not sure where I want to stop. The last Hydrostatic Body Analysis I did had me at 174.5 lbs of lean body mass (prior to Keto). I guess I’d like to see the 190’s before I decided to go into maintenance or building more lean muscle.

@fats_n_tats - the thought occurred to me that I may want to cycle back to carbs once I reached my goal weight and just eat them prior to the gym. Maybe increase my carb macro to include 20g of a non-incidental sources and gauge my performance and weight/measurements over the course of a few weeks?


Eh, that’s person specific but more or less yes. I don’t lift any different now than I did years ago on carbs but that took a while. But lifting and most working out is different than crossfit. Weight lifting is very demanding on the muscles where crossfit is both very demanding from both a muscle load standpoint and cardio at the same time in an … kinda crazy sorta unsafe way to begin with which makes it an EXTREMELY glycolytic exercise. But people do it!

(Jarred) #10

@Crooked_Letter. I also suffer through the work as a means to and end. For me as I get closer the the end im tired of suffering lol! The thing is I don’t really have a protocol. One thing I have learned is we are all different. For me I start noticing reduced performance in the gym after about ten days of keytosis. I’m going to start there and Carb load, Maybe 200 grams and see what happnens. I love keto and will always practice it. I think and ind I’m speaking from experience it can make people terrified of carbs. But I think if your healthy there not the devil. And can be utilized.

(Jarred) #11

@Ifod14 We will have to agree to disagree. I believe as do many people that keytosis hinders athletic performance. Weight lifting, body building, CrossFit, all of it. It’s ok to admit that! It took me a long time lol.
And CrossFits not unsafe. I’ve been doing it for years and have never had an injury. As mater of fact, it’s probably saved me from a few.
We have different perspectives! And that’s ok.

(Charles) #12

No doubt that’s not happening. I forget which podcast # it was (have been playing catch up from episode 1 to current since beginning of July) but I realize it’d have to be a very severe circumstance before my body started cannibalizing muscle for nutrition while I still have loads of fat to pull from. Thanks for the info!

(What The Fast?!) #13

Also, follow @killinitketo (Rachel Gregory) on Instagram, and search her name in Podcasts. She’s a cross fitter and keto coach who just put out a keto book.

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #14

I stopped Crossfit when I began Keto on April 30.
I ended up cancelling my membership last week, I haven’t felt the need to go back.
Obviously we have different goals, but I was wasting so much money when I couldn’t exercise yet, which was my main reason for cancelling.
I’m going to return to a normal gym routine in the meantime, maybe pick up crossfit again in a year or so.


I think you would prefer a traditional weightlifting program like Stronglifts 5x5 at your own pace unless you really need someone to push you.

(TJ Borden) #16

And it can go towards pork belly instead

(Katie the Quiche Scoffing Stick Ninja ) #17

Yes! All the pork!


Hi, newbie here.

This approach makes the most sense to me - heavy weight, LOW rep, so your muscles are basically using ATP that is already present, not searching for glycogen- also low intensity cardio, keeping in the power output range your body can support with fat burning.
Unfortunately I like to race/go fast on bikes, which normally means lots of anaerobiic work, high intensity. I can measure a power loss on this diet and not really sure what to do about it. How frequently could you “carb up” prior to a workout without screwing up the keto benefits?


Did this work?
I have lost a lot of power on the bike since cutting out carbs. When working anaerobically I don’t think your body can process ketones as quickly as glycogen, hence power loss. I’d be really interested in adding carbs prior to workouts if it didn’t screw up the benefits of ketosis the rest of the day!

(Scott) #20

I started in early July too. It took just shy of four months before I could my energy back for a good run. I was questioning up to that point if I could function without carbs. Now I don’t give it a second thought.