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I just began fasting today to get myself into keto faster, only going to have 800-1000 calories of mostly fat (80%+) for the next 2-3 days. My question is should i stop working out? The easy answer in my head is no because I have worked out on little to no food in the past (not on purpose) and been just fine. While i wont really be building any muscle and probably wont lift as much, just seeing what the recommendation is from others for this scenario. This is my first time trying keto and my lifting is powerlifting, today would be deadlift day, tomorrow is accessory/light cardio day, then rest day.

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    Keep lifting, but don't expect to hit the same numbers. – Eric Jan 15 '16 at 16:04
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    Thanks, thats what i am expecting, already feeling a bit of a drag in energy , really started the keto with dinner last night so its been about 18 hours since any carbs for me. – Steven McDermott Jan 15 '16 at 16:05
  • I remember it being like 3 days of total holy-crap feeling. What's been cool though is I stuck with it for a couple of months, and ever since I can rotate between no-carbs/low-carbs/high-carbs and not have the blood sugar problems like I did in the past. Popping into keto now just sort of happens, no more horrible few days required. – Eric Jan 15 '16 at 16:08
  • Thats what i have been reading as the general experience, its sort of a muscle memory for getting into keto. – Steven McDermott Jan 15 '16 at 16:09
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    Be aware though, that the adaptation to keto can last up to several weeks in some people. – Alex L Jan 15 '16 at 20:24
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If anything, I'd definitely avoid cardio in your case. Here's a study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7380688) where people, who exercised after their glycogen reserves were already wiped out, burned away 13.7 grams of proteins per hour of exercise (that was measured through sweat alone), which is an equivalent of a little below 70 grams of muscle mass.

Your training performance will also drop once your glycogen reserves are depleted (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6865776).

As far as muscle preservation (or even hypertrophy) is concerned, strength training shouldn't be as much of a problem IF you keep your protein intake high enough and don't interrupt ketosis with carbs. But studies on nitrogen balance while strength training in ketosis (especially with powerlifting) aren't exactly plentiful...at least not to my knowledge.

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I think you could better just keep on lifting. As said above you won't hit the same numbers, but there is always a technical flaw you could try to work on.

You could also use the time you are now not lifting to learn new movements. I can't tell how experienced you are but you could try other types of squats as example:

  • goblet squat
  • front squat
  • box squats
  • goodmornings
  • etc.

Hope I helped you and keep growing stronger!

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  • Thanks! I do all of those except box (anderson) squats, just havent done them in a while, will have to throw those in. Good idea to work on the technique more than the size of the lift. +1 for sure. – Steven McDermott Jan 19 '16 at 16:08
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Participants in fitness competitions do keep a low calorie diet for a few weeks while they continue to do their usual workouts.

Keep in mind that they calculate the daily amount of calories very accurately, and get supervision from nutrition experts or personal trainers.

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