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[KETO] Just How Important are Carbohydrates for Athletes...Really?

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Just now, villagefarang said:

I am not trying to be mean spirited.  I am trying to understand why you repeat the same arguments and use the same terms over and over and over and over again.  I have read all of these topics and posts and they seem very repetitive to me and you seem to get very upset and very dismissive when someone doesn't adhere to your agenda.

With all due respect, you’re wrong.  I have no “agenda” except promoting the idea of optimal metabolic health.  Keto is only one aspect of it that works for me.  I have never implied it is right for every one; only that the underlying science is sound.

 

You consider my topic titles to be click bait?  Well, I guess you could say they are if you mean they are meant to get the attention of people who have an interest in that topic (either pro or con).

 

Those people can either agree or disagree with my point of view.  I welcome both viewpoints because it often leads to intelligent debate and those with open-minds can learn from that kind of debate...if it is science-based.

 

I often have hotly contested debate with one particular member of this forum, @robblok.  We each have different viewpoints on many topics but we both back up what we believe with science-based facts, not outmoded dogma, misinformation and half-truths, and we both have acknowledged learning new things from each other.  

 

So, what’s wrong with that?  Who cares how many pages get used up in the thread?  It’s just open-minded discourse.  Why do you have a problem with that?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, stephenterry said:

i'll respond in full once I've had the opportunity to digest the posts. As has been said many times, it depends on the individual because we all have different DNAs, plus the fact that there is no exact overall nutritional science - merely numerous health studies that may or may not contradict previous conclusions. 

The nearest we can get is 'observational' studies, blind correlation studies, and in a few extreme instances a causal link that may or may not be attributed solely to the health benefit or unhealthy benefit outcome.  I am currently reading two nutritional books full of scientific analysis and study results that contradict each other! Go and work that one out.

 

The old saying that 'one man's meat is another's poison' is so relevant when discussing nutrition.

 

BTW, if you are looking for a way to improve your 'exercise performance', a study on sipping natural beetroot juice a couple of hours before running, weightlifting or whatever sports indicated that performance notably increased - bettering steroids! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The controversial nature of nutrition and how our bodies react to what we put in them is what makes the topic so fascinating to me.  Contrary to what @villagefarang implies, I am not an advocate of any particular nutritional strategy.  

 

What I really believe in is “fingerprint medicine”, meaning that every person is unique in how they react to food.  I don’t believe in any particular nutritional strategy whether it be Keto, Vegan, Paleo, or whatever.  I absolutely don’t believe in any sort of weight-loss diets...none at all! 

 

I have a troubled health history.  There was a time when I was obese, pre-diabetic, and hypertensive.  My doctor prescribed medications but offered no advice on lifestyle or nutritional modification.  Many accept this and find themselves on potentially dangerous medications like Statins for life, and all the while just getting sicker and sicker.  I chose different!

 

I explored nutritional modification as a way to solve my problems.  It was simple and the health improvements occurred quickly...as in a matter if weeks (as far as blood pressure and metabolic markers for diabetes was concerned).  What did it take?  Just cutting out processed sugars!  That was it!!!  It couldn't have been easier. 

 

Why didn't my doctor advocate that...instead of prescription drugs?  Why did he not treat the underlying cause (poor nutrition) instead of treating only the symptoms (high blood pressure & pre-diabetes)?

 

So, that’s where my interest in optimizing my metabolic health started.  I explored Vegan first, didn’t like all aspects of that so I looked at Paleo, didn’t like all aspects of that either, then combined both so that I was now “Pagan” 🙂 .  I got more active, started cycling with a passion and lost a lot of excess body fat, but still felt  at odds with my nutrition, and that’s when I started exploring ketogenic diets and fasting.

 

Keep in mind, I had no need to lose weight at this point.  My real interest in Keto/fasting was to improve my cycling performance.  That is, to make my body better able to access stored body fat as fuel, and thus less reliant in stored glucose.

 

Of course the body naturally will tap into stored fat when necessary, but can actually be trained to do it more readily, and that’s referred to as “keto adaptation”.

 

THAT is what I advocate...Keto adaptation, not ketogenic diets!  There’s a huge difference!  Being keto adapted simply means that the metabolic pathways of BOTH fat metabolism and carbohydrates metabolism are equally optimized.  If they are, a person never has to face the prospect of being on a weight loss diet!  Their bodies will just naturally maintain ideal body fat percentages!

 

i know that might seem fantastical but I’ve found it to be true.  I’m Keto-adapted and since becoming that way I’ve never felt the need to be on a weight loss diet.  There are only two elements of maintaining Keto-adaptation I need to be concerned with.  I have to avoid processed foods with added sugars like high fructose corn syrup, keep my daily carb intake of good carbs relatively low, and water-fast (72 hours) once a month or every other month.

 

Water fasting is integral for keto-adaptation IMO (unless you want to always be on a ketogenic diet, which I do not).  For me at least, a three day water fast once a month or even every other month seems to keep me keto-adapted through the rest of the month as long as I am careful about keeping my carbs relatively low (but not necessarily ketogenic).  Why this seems to work, I'm not really sure, but it does...for me. 

 

Otherwise, I adhere to no particular diet throughout the rest of the month.  I don’t gain body fat even though I eat pretty much how I want, I don’t count calories.  And I guess most important of all, my periodic blood tests always show optimal metabolic markers.

 

Being free from processed foods means my body can clearly communicate with me.  Insulin / leptin balance is not thrown off from processed foods so hunger & satiety signals are very clear.  I eat when my body tells me to, not my mind.  My body dictates what kind of foods I eat now instead of my mind!  And because my fat/carb metabolic pathways are working the way nature intended, my body fat remains optimal without the need to be on any sort of weight-loss diets...ever !

 

Now, if somebody wants to call me an advocate for that kind of lifestyle, well then, yes I am!

 

Edited by WaveHunter

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Interesting. I accept for the ordinary person working out, it probably doesn't make an iota of difference in consuming calories up to three hours before a workout. If it suits the individual to consume coffee and cake, it also probably wouldn't make an iota of difference. Stomach cramp at worst?

 

I would suggest, post workout, it could be  - note, could be - sensible to spike insulin to top up glycogen levels with  - say - a portion of fruit which is best consumed on an empty stomach - or so I've been led to believe. 

 

What holds my interest most of all, is what blood and urine tests - and maybe others as well - I need to undertake to tell me the state of play my body is in - on a periodic basis. Optimal metabolic markers, you mentioned. What are these and how do I - not the doctor - work out that optimum level?

 

This could give me guidance on how to better manage my nutrition on a 'scientific' basis that suits me. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, stephenterry said:

Interesting. I accept for the ordinary person working out, it probably doesn't make an iota of difference in consuming calories up to three hours before a workout. If it suits the individual to consume coffee and cake, it also probably wouldn't make an iota of difference. Stomach cramp at worst?

 

I would suggest, post workout, it could be  - note, could be - sensible to spike insulin to top up glycogen levels with  - say - a portion of fruit which is best consumed on an empty stomach - or so I've been led to believe. 

 

What holds my interest most of all, is what blood and urine tests - and maybe others as well - I need to undertake to tell me the state of play my body is in - on a periodic basis. Optimal metabolic markers, you mentioned. What are these and how do I - not the doctor - work out that optimum level?

 

This could give me guidance on how to better manage my nutrition on a 'scientific' basis that suits me.  

Regarding blood tests in relation to metabolic health, I like to keep tabs on these in particular (in no order of importance, and this list is not inclusive):

  • BUN (kidney function)
  • Blood sugar (FBS) (diabetes marker)
  • HbA1C (diabetes marker)
  • Lipid Profile
  •    -Total Cholesterol
  •    -Triglyceride
  •    -HDL-Cholesterol
  •    -LDL-Cholesterol
  • CBC (comprehensive blood counts panel)
  • IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor) 80-175 is safe range IMO; Personally I shoot for 150 ng/dL)
  • Vitamin D3 50-70 ng/dL
  • Vitamin B12:  Above 600ng/dL (particularly important if you are Vegan)

Regarding "optimal" values / ranges, you have to do your own research on this because it's pretty controversial and you need to make informed decisions based on your own body and your own interpretation of your research.  For instance, the current laboratory reference range for cholesterol is 100-199 mg/dL.  However, there is a lot of controversy about how "bad" cholesterol really is, and so many feel the optimal range should really be 180-200 (myself included).  HDL is another one.  Standard lab range is 40-59.  A lot of people think the low end is too low (myself included) and optimal should be greater than 55mg/dL

 

I will say that current laboratory reference ranges are based on a cross-section of the population, and this would include people with less than ideal metabolic health which means that the recommended lab test ranges are going to be skewed because of this and thus not indicative of what is really optimal.  In most cases they'll be relatively close but in some cases, such as cholesterol and HDL, less so.

 

If you google "optimal reference ranges" "blood tests", you'll find a lot of varying opinions.  Again, just want to stress that you shouldn't believe everything you read.  Make sure whoever you end up believing is a credible source, and you hear the same advice from more than one such source. 

 

FYI, here in Thailand you needn't even go through a doctor to get blood tests.  Private blood testing labs abound, most are safe and reliable, and all are very cheap and fast, compared with hospital testing labs which generally will charge up to five times as much and make you wait several days to get results!

 

 

 

Edited by WaveHunter

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3 hours ago, WaveHunter said:

Regarding blood tests in relation to metabolic health, I like to keep tabs on these in particular (in no order of importance, and this list is not inclusive):

  • BUN (kidney function)
  • Blood sugar (FBS) (diabetes marker)
  • HbA1C (diabetes marker)
  • Lipid Profile
  •    -Total Cholesterol
  •    -Triglyceride
  •    -HDL-Cholesterol
  •    -LDL-Cholesterol
  • CBC (comprehensive blood counts panel)
  • IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor) 80-175 is safe range IMO; Personally I shoot for 150 ng/dL)
  • Vitamin D3 50-70 ng/dL
  • Vitamin B12:  Above 600ng/dL (particularly important if you are Vegan)

Regarding "optimal" values / ranges, you have to do your own research on this because it's pretty controversial and you need to make informed decisions based on your own body and your own interpretation of your research.  For instance, the current laboratory reference range for cholesterol is 100-199 mg/dL.  However, there is a lot of controversy about how "bad" cholesterol really is, and so many feel the optimal range should really be 180-200 (myself included).  HDL is another one.  Standard lab range is 40-59.  A lot of people think the low end is too low (myself included) and optimal should be greater than 55mg/dL

 

I will say that current laboratory reference ranges are based on a cross-section of the population, and this would include people with less than ideal metabolic health which means that the recommended lab test ranges are going to be skewed because of this and thus not indicative of what is really optimal.  In most cases they'll be relatively close but in some cases, such as cholesterol and HDL, less so.

 

If you google "optimal reference ranges" "blood tests", you'll find a lot of varying opinions.  Again, just want to stress that you shouldn't believe everything you read.  Make sure whoever you end up believing is a credible source, and you hear the same advice from more than one such source. 

 

FYI, here in Thailand you needn't even go through a doctor to get blood tests.  Private blood testing labs abound, most are safe and reliable, and all are very cheap and fast, compared with hospital testing labs which generally will charge up to five times as much and make you wait several days to get results!

 

 

 

I would also look to add (for males) testosterone total & free. Ferritin - particularly if you are coming off a very poor diet & for females.. 

Additionally a simple variable heart rate and blood pressure test is also a good bio-marker (in the overall scheme) 

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21 hours ago, stephenterry said:

Interesting. I accept for the ordinary person working out, it probably doesn't make an iota of difference in consuming calories up to three hours before a workout. If it suits the individual to consume coffee and cake, it also probably wouldn't make an iota of difference. Stomach cramp at worst?

 

I would suggest, post workout, it could be  - note, could be - sensible to spike insulin to top up glycogen levels with  - say - a portion of fruit which is best consumed on an empty stomach - or so I've been led to believe. 

 

What holds my interest most of all, is what blood and urine tests - and maybe others as well - I need to undertake to tell me the state of play my body is in - on a periodic basis. Optimal metabolic markers, you mentioned. What are these and how do I - not the doctor - work out that optimum level?

 

This could give me guidance on how to better manage my nutrition on a 'scientific' basis that suits me. 

 

I am what some might consider a bodybuilder (small one) but what i read is that pre workout is far more important a meal 2 before a workout should be enough. What is in that meal is up to you. Personally i need quite a bit of time between my meal and a workout as i workout heavy and i might throw up otherwise.

 

I don't think it makes that much of a difference what you do afterwards (currently that is the thinking of many bodybuilders). I think its far more important what you eat on a whole and how you workout then meal timings. 

 

For instance they say that people who consume cassein protein before bed get more muscle and burn fat. I do that at times but I think all these effects are not that big. They for instance say 20% more muscle as without it.. but maybe without the muscle growth is 1 percent then with casein it would be 1,2% .. the 20 percent sounded like a lot but if the starting amount is low the 20% is not going to do much.

 

I have come to the comclusion that its just working out hard consistently with compound exercises and a good general diet (be it keto if you like.. its sub optimal for muscle but i doubt it would matter hugely for the average person). I have only had to carb load a few times but that was after having moved 19.000 kg of weights in a session. Far more then what the average lifter does. I have since then cut down on it as it was to hard on my body. 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, robblok said:

I am what some might consider a bodybuilder (small one) but what i read is that pre workout is far more important a meal 2 before a workout should be enough. What is in that meal is up to you. Personally i need quite a bit of time between my meal and a workout as i workout heavy and i might throw up otherwise.

 

I don't think it makes that much of a difference what you do afterwards (currently that is the thinking of many bodybuilders). I think its far more important what you eat on a whole and how you workout then meal timings. 

 

For instance they say that people who consume cassein protein before bed get more muscle and burn fat. I do that at times but I think all these effects are not that big. They for instance say 20% more muscle as without it.. but maybe without the muscle growth is 1 percent then with casein it would be 1,2% .. the 20 percent sounded like a lot but if the starting amount is low the 20% is not going to do much.

 

I have come to the comclusion that its just working out hard consistently with compound exercises and a good general diet (be it keto if you like.. its sub optimal for muscle but i doubt it would matter hugely for the average person). I have only had to carb load a few times but that was after having moved 19.000 kg of weights in a session. Far more then what the average lifter does. I have since then cut down on it as it was to hard on my body. 

It seems like a really controversial topic to me, and of course it depends on your goals.  Some say pre-workout carbs before don't matter, some say they do.  Some actually advocate working out fasted (1st thing in morning before breakfast) if the goal is to promote fat loss. 

 

Personally, I prefer not to eat anything right before a resistance training workout.  I've experimented eating pre-workout, and not eating pre-workout.  Frankly I notice no difference in energy levels.  Then again, I don't lift intensely heavy weights since my goals are really muscular tone & core stability, not strength/bulking. 

 

In cardio (road cycling) I definitely avoid pre-ride eating because it actually seems to make me feel sluggish and sort of bloated, but I'll have carbs with me on the ride (like bananas) for when I start feeling depleted.  That's just me.  I know plenty of cyclists who carb-load before a ride and swear by that.  I think it all depends on the individual. 

 

Now post-workout nutrition is quite another matter, especially when it comes to protein.  There's no question in my mind that protein intake within an hour of resistance training has important and proven benefits.  I heard this preached in gyms for years, and it's one of those "bro science truisms" that's actually been scientifically proven to be factual! 

 

Also, I believe that the most strategic time to have carbs (in terms of metabolic health) is after a workout (whether it's aerobic or strength), when you've depleted some glycogen and the carbs and the body will be primed to using those carbs to replenish depleted glycogen, and thus less likely to be stored as body fat.  Just my feeling since I've never really looked for science-based proof of this.  It just "seems" right to me.

Edited by WaveHunter

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4 minutes ago, WaveHunter said:

It seems like a really controversial topic to me, and of course it depends on your goals.  Some say pre-workout carbs before don't matter, some say they do.  Some actually advocate working out fasted (1st thing in morning before breakfast) if the goal is to promote fat loss. 

 

Personally, I prefer not to eat anything right before a resistance training workout.  I've experimented eating pre-workout, and not eating pre-workout.  Frankly I notice no difference in energy levels.  Then again, I don't lift intensely heavy weights since my goals are really muscular tone & core stability, not strength/bulking. 

 

In cardio (road cycling) I definitely avoid pre-ride eating because it actually seems to make me feel sluggish and sort of bloated, but I'll have carbs with me on the ride (like bananas) for when I start feeling depleted.  That's just me.  I know plenty of cyclists who carb-load before a ride and swear by that.  I think it all depends on the individual. 

 

Now post-workout nutrition is quite another matter, especially when it comes to protein.  There's no question in my mind that protein intake within an hour of resistance training has important and proven benefits.  I heard this preached in gyms for years, and it's one of those "bro science truisms" that's actually been scientifically proven to be factual! 

 

Also, I believe that the most strategic time to have carbs (in terms of metabolic health) is after a workout (whether it's aerobic or strength), when you've depleted some glycogen and the carbs and the body will be primed to using those carbs to replenish depleted glycogen, and thus less likely to be stored as body fat.  Just my feeling since I've never really looked for science-based proof of this.  It just "seems" right to me.

Post workout is actually seen as less important. Do remember it takes time for proteins to be digested and to be available. So if you eat after your workout it takes some time for the proteins to be available. If you eat pre workout they are available during your workout.

 

Anyway I think the grand scheme of things it does not matter much and one should eat the way they feel good. I like to eat 2 hours before my training any shorter then that and i feel bad. Its not that i see it as important to eat before for energy levels but more that i eat 3 times a day so it means i will always have to wait some time to be less full. Usually eat 9.00 12:00 and 17:00 and nothing more after that (ok sometimes casein in the evening).

 

Your right that after a workout or ride carbs can be more beneficial as they will go into glycogen reserves and not fat and the anabolic response of insulin is good. Anyway I am not going to say that i know it best. I think in real life just do what feels best but I doubt in the end it will result in kilos of more muscle.. i think differences are minor. Just my opinion.

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, robblok said:

Post workout is actually seen as less important. Do remember it takes time for proteins to be digested and to be available. So if you eat after your workout it takes some time for the proteins to be available. If you eat pre workout they are available during your workout.

 

Anyway I think the grand scheme of things it does not matter much and one should eat the way they feel good. I like to eat 2 hours before my training any shorter then that and i feel bad. Its not that i see it as important to eat before for energy levels but more that i eat 3 times a day so it means i will always have to wait some time to be less full. Usually eat 9.00 12:00 and 17:00 and nothing more after that (ok sometimes casein in the evening).

 

Your right that after a workout or ride carbs can be more beneficial as they will go into glycogen reserves and not fat and the anabolic response of insulin is good. Anyway I am not going to say that i know it best. I think in real life just do what feels best but I doubt in the end it will result in kilos of more muscle.. i think differences are minor. Just my opinion.

When I said pre-workout, I meant right before a workout.  But I think what you meant after reading this post from you, you didn't mean right before the workout, but several hours before.  That's a different story and I'd fully agree with that.

 

Based on what I think you're saying in this last post, I think I eat the same as you do, more or less with regard to protein intake and timing.  I have a satisfying lunch around Noon time which is my first meal of the day, consisting of at least 40 grams of protein (which is about 4 hours before my resistance workout.  I time my resistance training for 4pm on alternate days, so I can have dinner as a post-workout meal around 5:30pm (within an hour or so of my workout) which includes around 80 grams of protein, for a daily total of 120 grams. 

 

I know for sure that the lunch protein is fully assimilated, and based on studies I've seen, I'm convinced that even the 80 grams of protein at dinner are also fully assimilated over 12 hours.

 

With lean body mass of 54kg, that's 2.2 grams per LBM kg, which my research shows should be sufficient for muscle gain from resistance training.  I seem to be making gains from this.  I've been eating this way for the last couple months and feel pretty good.

 

What do you think.  Do you see any red flags with this logic?

Edited by WaveHunter

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6 minutes ago, WaveHunter said:

When I said pre-workout, I meant right before a workout.  But I think what you meant after reading this post from you, you didn't is not right before the workout, but several hours before.  That's a different story.

 

So, based on what I think you're saying in this post, I think I eat the same as you do, more or less with regard to protein intake and timing.  I have a satisfying lunch around Noon time which is my first meal of the day, consisting of at least 40 grams of protein (which is about 4 hours before my resistance workout.  I time my resistance training for 4pm on alternate days, so I can have dinner as a post-workout meal around 5:30pm (within an hour or so of my workout) which includes around 80 grams of protein, for a daily total of 120 grams. 

 

I know for sure that the lunch protein is fully assimilated, and based on studies I've seen, I'm convinced that even the 80 grams of protein at dinner are also fully assimilated over 12 hours.

 

With lean body mass of 54kg, that's 22 grams per LBM kg, which my research shows should be sufficient for muscle gain from resistance training.  I seem to be making gains from this.  I've been eating this way for the last couple months and feel pretty good.

 

What do you think.  Do you see any red flags with this logic?

I think your logic is sound and it works for you. And indeed I don't eat something right before training... i would throw up during training then. There must be at least a few hours in between for me.

 

I think once you got a good diet and exercise program the timing does not matter that much except with carbs better to eat them around your training if possible. 

 

But really how much all these differences are in real life.. I have no real clue. 

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, robblok said:

I think your logic is sound and it works for you. And indeed I don't eat something right before training... i would throw up during training then. There must be at least a few hours in between for me.

 

I think once you got a good diet and exercise program the timing does not matter that much except with carbs better to eat them around your training if possible. 

 

But really how much all these differences are in real life.. I have no real clue. 

LOL, that's what I meant about eating right before a strenuous bike ride or resistance training...serious nausea!  Been there, done that...Not a pretty sight!

 

I agree that timing is an individual thing...whatever feels right is the best way to do it.  Your body knows better than your analytical brain.

Edited by WaveHunter

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More or less what I thought. Replenishment of carbs around exercise would be sufficient for most people - with a 2-3 hour window before, and within one hour after. I'm pretty sure there's proven scientific evidence to support that health regime viewpoint.

 

On a tangent, and back to the actual workout:

 

I'm not into lifting weights, preferring HIIT workouts, which at the present consist of walking around the park (ten laps) for an hour four times a week. It (now) takes me under 6 minutes to walk (fast) one lap aerobically. Each lap is c.600 metres, so I'm covering around 6k per walk.  

 

After the first warm-up lap I'll walk as fast as I can for half a lap = 3 minutes, and recover during the second half by walking normally. I'll repeat this for 5 laps, so I'm carrying out a HIIT routine lasting 15 minutes, and a non-HIIT routine for 45 minutes.  It's strenuous enough for me.

 

All well and good, but I want to intensify my HIIT schedule by attending a local gym (costs 60 baht a session) for about an 30-45 minutes - probably by cutting my walk time to achieve that.

 

To 'build lean muscle from a fairly sloppy belly' as the main objective for an active old codger, what gym machines would you consider to be the most effective? 

 

  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, stephenterry said:

More or less what I thought. Replenishment of carbs around exercise would be sufficient for most people - with a 2-3 hour window before, and within one hour after. I'm pretty sure there's proven scientific evidence to support that health regime viewpoint.

 

On a tangent, and back to the actual workout:

 

I'm not into lifting weights, preferring HIIT workouts, which at the present consist of walking around the park (ten laps) for an hour four times a week. It (now) takes me under 6 minutes to walk (fast) one lap aerobically. Each lap is c.600 metres, so I'm covering around 6k per walk.  

 

After the first warm-up lap I'll walk as fast as I can for half a lap = 3 minutes, and recover during the second half by walking normally. I'll repeat this for 5 laps, so I'm carrying out a HIIT routine lasting 15 minutes, and a non-HIIT routine for 45 minutes.  It's strenuous enough for me.

 

All well and good, but I want to intensify my HIIT schedule by attending a local gym (costs 60 baht a session) for about an 30-45 minutes - probably by cutting my walk time to achieve that.

 

To 'build lean muscle from a fairly sloppy belly' as the main objective for an active old codger, what gym machines would you consider to be the most effective? 

 

  

High intensity is classified as getting your heart rate to 80%-95% of your max  and i'm not too sure that you could sustain these percentages for 3 mins perhaps not even obtain these numbers with a fast paced walk. To be fair it is a lot easier to do HIIT  in a gym on a treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bike etc whereby you can play around so to speak with different permutations.

 

You cannot build muscle from a sloppy belly as they are 2 separate things, abs and core exercises will slightly build muscle, diet and cardio exercise will enable you to lose calories thus lose fat but not necessary all from the belly area.

 

Anyway this is all rather complex and i'm sure other posters will be on to give you some more in depth advice. 

Edited by alfieconn
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3 hours ago, stephenterry said:

More or less what I thought. Replenishment of carbs around exercise would be sufficient for most people - with a 2-3 hour window before, and within one hour after. I'm pretty sure there's proven scientific evidence to support that health regime viewpoint.

 

On a tangent, and back to the actual workout:

 

I'm not into lifting weights, preferring HIIT workouts, which at the present consist of walking around the park (ten laps) for an hour four times a week. It (now) takes me under 6 minutes to walk (fast) one lap aerobically. Each lap is c.600 metres, so I'm covering around 6k per walk.  

 

After the first warm-up lap I'll walk as fast as I can for half a lap = 3 minutes, and recover during the second half by walking normally. I'll repeat this for 5 laps, so I'm carrying out a HIIT routine lasting 15 minutes, and a non-HIIT routine for 45 minutes.  It's strenuous enough for me.

 

All well and good, but I want to intensify my HIIT schedule by attending a local gym (costs 60 baht a session) for about an 30-45 minutes - probably by cutting my walk time to achieve that.

 

To 'build lean muscle from a fairly sloppy belly' as the main objective for an active old codger, what gym machines would you consider to be the most effective? 

 

  

What you are describing is not HIIT... 3 minutes full out is total hell. HIIT is going full out like your being chased by a pack of wolves or something like that. What you describe is more interval training. Real HITT would be max 2 minutes (after you build up to that) less in the beginning even 30 seconds.  This is great of course but real demanding on the body. Interval is what you describe periods of going faster but not full out and then a slower period.

 

I would say don't use gym machines, let yourself get instructed in the bench-press, squat and if your body can do it deadlift (at light weights of course so you get the movements good).  Its now about weight. These exercises incorporate multi joints and loads of muscles and will give you most bang for your buck.

 

Machines in general are isolating muscles (not bad as an addition) but compound exercises are the core of training.

 

Your sloppy belly will only go away with diet but as your a newbie maybe it will go away from just training new trainees can gain muscle and burn fat at the same time. 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with @robblok mostly.  If you're older it might be wise, as a first step to get a cardio stress test but and if all is good with that i’d Hire a good personal trainer to help you put together a good workout program consisting of free weights (not machines) and a HIIT style cardio workout you can grow with.

 

Irregardless of age, free weights (barbells and dumb bells) are much better because they not only improve strength but improve smaller “stabilizer” muscles which are just as important as the primary ones.  Machines can’t really do this as effectively.

 

Specifically free weight exercises referred to as compound are best.  When you get right down to it, free weight workouts can be simple and relatively short.  There are 3 compound exercises that all by themself can give you a pretty decent overall body workout IMO; they are the bench press, deadlift, and squat.

 

 @robblok know far more than I do about weight lifting so I’d defer to him if he disagrees.

 

One suggestion I’d offer is to consider joining a CROSSFIT program. I know most people think of this being for people who are already fit super athletes, but that’s a fallacy.  People of all ages and fitness levels participate.  It is the optimal combination of resistance training and HIIT style training IMO!

 

You'd want to find a good CrossFit gym (they refer to them as “Boxes”).  A good one will be run by a highly certified CrossFit trainer who is capable of SAFELY and effectively training people of ALL skill/fitness levels and ages.  I’ve seen many people in the 70’s and 80’s age range participate.  Some even have disabilities (I.e.: back issues) that a good trainer knows how to work around.

 

As for sloppy belly, @robblok is right.  There’s a saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.  Exercise alone will strengthen, stabilize, and tone the body, but if you are carrying significant body fat, and want to also look fit, fixing your diet is the only way to really shed body fat.  Exercise will improve your metabolic health greatly, and thus make it easier for you to shed excess body fat, but in the final analysis, you’ll need to consider nutrition changes for it to happen.

 

Just one final comment.  There’s no reason people of any age can not be fit.  I know a lot of people resign themselves to seeing a “spare tire” around their belly as an inevitable part of getting older but that’s false.  Some think they’re too old to jog, or get on a bicycle and ride it long and hard.  They often underestimate what their body is really capable of.

 

The human body is a pretty amazing machine irregardless of your chronological age.  I’m not saying you’d want to go from being a couch potato to running a marathon in a day, but there are many marathon runners in their 80’s and even 90’s who decided to get fit very late in life.

 

Very few people actually have health issues that prevent them from working towards a high level of fitness if they really want it irregardless of age or starting fitness level.  So, I say, get tested to be sure you have a clean bill of health, and then just get down to making it happen.

 

All is just my personal opinion of course 🙂

 

Edited by WaveHunter
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