Tough Mudder fell upon the first day of my second week of Lean Gains. I actually wasn’t quite sure what to do. Since it was a rest day I technically should have been on LOW calories and since everything I’ve been reading says cardio should be done in a fasted state… I just wasn’t sure what to do. So I turned to reddit and asked.. http://redd.it/ycmls everyone’s advice was to not be stupid and do it in a well-fed state.
With a decision made! I started fantasizing about all the luscious breakfasts I’d be able to enjoy. With all the bajillions of options available I settled on Cap’n Crunch and Froot Loops. It’s been years since I’ve allowed myself to eat a sugar cereal but those were both favorites growing up so I made sure to really take advantage of the day. While I’m quite happy that I did, I left both boxes at my brother’s house (I’d crashed on his couch so I could catch a ride up to Mount St. Louis Moonstone in Barrie where Tough Mudder Toronto was being held).
As far as breakfast went, I had two bowls of each, and a protein shake, and a BCAA shake with Greens+ in it. We’re essentially talking about a metric F***ton of calories. I’d estimate that it was probably somewhere around 2000 calories… sweet delicious calories.
No worries though… I was planning on taking a 3 hour run over a ski hill that day.
If I were to do it again, I’d probably just have had four bowls of the Froot Loops. They are so much better than Cap’n Crunch, but it’d been so long since I’d had either that I’d forgotten. Let that be a lesson to you! Follow your nose!
Arriving at Tough Mudder
When we got to the course there was a pretty impressive festival atmosphere. People everywhere were in team costumes, there were exhibitors everywhere. Huge props to Cliff bars for making a real showing at the event rather than just throwing a logo on the shirt. (Mmmm… more nutritious samples pre-race!)
The electric fairies had to be my favorite costume by far!
but there were so many, I wish I’d taken more photos but my “super invulnerable” fuji XP camera is currently at the repair shop since it’s not quite as invulnerable as they say it is. (next time I pay more for the next one up AND buy the extended warranty program.
I would have loved to have brought a camera on the race with me.
I was awake an hour earlier than my alarm today. 5:30 in the morning (the 6:30 alarm normally gets a snooze-bash a couple of times, then after a quick browse of reddit I’m off on my day). Today there wasn’t a lot of edge on the hunger but I promised myself I’d go on and do LISS in a fasted state.
That meant getting up and out and on the road ASAP. What’s neat with LeanGain is that now that I’m not preparing breakfast in the mornings, I appear to have saved myself a good 30 to 45 minutes every day. (Well every day I don’t sleep in, but that’s another story, today was one of those)
I got up showered, took my vitamin stack (a multivitamin, a magnesium, a 5HT, some creatine and greens+ in a shaker) then went off to work. Once I was at work I realized that I was still an hour early so I poured a coffee and went for a stroll. A full additional hour’s stroll actually. It was quite nice.
The sun was melow the air fresh, not too hot and I just had this resounding sense of joy bouncing around in my head.
Happens from time to time I guess … but why today?
Fasting is used in numerous religious rituals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fasting#Religious_application) … perhaps there is some evidence to link the brain chemistry changes found in a fasted state and deep openness to spirituality. Perhaps the “focus state” described by some could be closely related to a propensity or susceptibility towards hypnotic states?
There might be something there? Hunh?
Anyways, as evidence of the deeply spiritual state I was in earlier, check what I found so deeply moving that I had to stop and take a picture of it.
The world laughs in flowers. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be fair, I still think it’s a lovely quote… but this morning it was just. so. profound.
Later on, the day carried on as normal. I ate the very low carb style that I’d grown used to while on keto (and it was delicious!) but one thing that I noticed was that i completely “bonked” at around 5:00pm.
Could it be the extremely early wake up hour? Or was it the return of that keto flu like I encountered last Sunday?
There was a comment on Reddit the other day that seemed to indicate that intermittent fasters seem to go into keto-state very quickly. In as little as a day in fact. (Though I’ve completely lost the thread now so I can’t tell you for sure what the truth is. Sorry, no source) Could it possibly be the case that one of the many mechanisims if Lean Gains (Intermittent Fasting) protocols is the extremely rapid induction of ketosis?
It’s moving in to 7:45 PM now… a little more than two hours since I “bonked”. I didn’t sleep but I did “lay down” for a while while seriously considering the perils of going to sleep at 5PM against the fact that I was so. bloody. sleepy. I’m starting to feel much better again.
The eating window closes in about 12 minutes… but if I skip my eight o’clock snack that means I actually started the fast at around 4:00. Let’s go with that one then.
Oh one last thing. Today’s weight was 181lbs with a 15.6% body fat. Moderately down in both weight and BF% that’s what we’re looking for.
Workout day tomorrow and Tough Mudder on Sunday! Should I do it fasted or no? I’m up in the air about that.
Nothing much to report on the eating front. The workout was good. The workout was HARD I pushed the bounds of my abilities again with new max weights and personal records. I think there may be a point quite soon where my “linear gains” stop and I’ll have to revisit the lifting program.
I’ve been doing Starting Strength for a few weeks now, but nothing so organized as writing my lifts down. It’s definitely harder by a lot.
For a point of reference by the way, here’s a progress photo
of me at the beginning of Starting Strength and another with just a week of Starting Strength’s “novice gains” personally, I think there’s a noticeable difference.
Anyways… on with today’s big exciting lesson about the possibility of some exercise on rest days. Apparently there’s one type of cardio exercise that benefits from fasted work and that is sprints!
“sprint exercise performed under fasting conditions is a leptin signaling mimetic in human skeletal muscle.”
What that means is that if you are fasted, your body sees 30 seconds of SPRINTING as kinda like EATING A MEAL. You’ll feel just as full after 30 seconds of hard sprints as you would if you had a bacon double cheeseburger with double extra helpings of lard. (Note, some of that may be exaggerated)
Another strategy for fasted sprints that might be worth trying is the Mercola’s “Peak 8″ program a 20 minute interval session. In his demo he explains the program is a 3 minute warm up a 30 second sprint and a 90 second rest. Apparently this process really encourages production of Growth Hormone for fat burning power. Don’t know how it will effect the muscle growth from workout days, but training with a nice dose of BCAA and some increased calories and carbs right after the workout should help.
part 2 – check out how rocked she gets by the end of it. Brilliant!
I really want to try this … but I also want to FTFP … what to do what to do? Maybe on a Saturday?
So this morning I had a tough time opening my eyes. Like a really really tough time. So sleepy. It was an hour and a half later than my usual “natural” wake up time and I was still struggling to get up.
What’s more, in addition to my uncharacteristic sluggishness everything felt a bit “tight”. It took a few more moments for the morning fog to clear at which point like waking from a wild night I had “flash backs” to the activities of yesterday. ”Ohhhh yeah… I set 3 PRs yesterday. I’m not tight all over so much as in my squat, deadlift and overhead press muscles.”
Apparently rest days are to help recover from days when you push yourself harder than you’ve pushed before.
Weigh in had me at moderately up in weight at 82.36 Kg and mildly down in bodyfat at 15.7%. That’s all within normal fluctuations.
One observation I’ve got so far is that I genuinely appreciate the metal clarity and ability to focus that I have during the fasted state. I feel really “sharp”.
The third day was pretty easy. Woke up early (usually awake around 6AM anyways) and since I didn’t have to make Breakfast I watched two of the episodes of Breaking Bad that I’d recorded. After that I got up and made my way in to the office. Had a “concentration task” to take on during the day and found my ability to focus was great. No rambling, no distraction, just easy smooth sailing.
Lunch came along in no time and as per the program I went and had my workout.
5 sets of 5of each of: Squats, Overhead Press and, Deadlifts. Since I’m trying to FTFP with starting strength I also wrote everything down and set three new Personal Records (PR) today. 92 Kg on the Squat, 50 Kg for the OHP and a deadlift of 105 Kg!
The single greatest piece of workout equipment you can own…
One thing I discovered is that as opposed to my typical 5×5 workouts, pushing to beat your previous max really cranks up the intensity. Wow! I’m not sure if someone’s already said that the single greatest piece of workout equipment is a pen and a notebook… but someone should have.
Immediately before the workout I did my 10 grams of BCAA (as per the program) and I had my first meal of the day by about 1:30PM it was massive and contained carbs. Chilli, and an Ice Cream for desert. Couple of hours later another ice cream. Yum!
Still have a whole lot of protein that I’ve got to fit in before 8pm but so far on the Leangains diet… workout days are AWESOME!
Also: there was no real problem with having a case of “the stupids” during the work day.
As an aside I also signed up for Fitocracy! (feel free to follow my referral link to sign up http://ftcy.me/EqgXY5 If 10 people sign up I get a free badge. Not really a high profit margin on that, but whatever.
Fitocracy is a really fun way to track your progress as if it were a role playing game. Every workout give you points and since it’s all social strangers help cheer you on. It’s like a facebook just for your workouts! Another nice thing is they have little sub-groups of people like “Toronto”, or “Singles” what better way to find people who are similarly interested in both working out and single and living in your area? Fitocracy!
(It was so addictive! seriously, check it out!)