Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workout Fail

In most people, nutritional ketosis causes a reduction in appetite, sometimes quite profound. It's relatively common for people to eat only once or maybe twice a day. However, in that shortened eating window, for best performance, you really need to eat your daily requirements of protein and fat. If you are in nutritional ketosis, you probably believe the adage that there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate, which is why I don't include carbohydrate in what you must eat everyday. Some people seem to be able to manage to eat a few thousand calories in one meal, but I just can't do that. Consequently, I sometimes find myself having gone a few days in a row without eating enough protein/fat/calories. Generally, I don't suffer any ill-effects. I have consistent energy and feel clear headed. 

Michael cruising the roof

This morning, Doug and I cycled down to the gym and I started my Stronglifts workout. After failing on the past three work-outs to get 5 sets of 5 reps of a 40 kg bench press, I was slated to deload to 37.5 kg. I did a few warm-up sets and then loaded up the bar with what I calculated at the time to be 30 kg, and started a few more warm-up reps. But, the bar felt wickedly heavy. Thinking I didn't want to tire myself out on the warm up reps, I quickly stacked on enough extra weight to add to what I thought was 37.5 kg, but was in fact 47.5 kg. Amazingly, I managed to squeak out a couple of sets of 3 reps. 

The benches felt frighteningly hard at what I presumed was 10 kg under my normal bench press. I thought that I must somehow not have recovered very well, possibly due to a calorie/protein deficit – “finally” I hear you say, “a link to the first paragraph” - so I cut short my workout, did a bit of rowing and about 50 kettlebell swings and called it quits. I'll admit to feeling a bit frustrated as I hadn't felt fatigued or over-trained and was anticipating a reasonable showing at the gym. It was only after I got home, after riding about town in the rain – again – that I realised I had miscalculated my weights and was, in fact, lifting reasonably well. I didn't even have carbohydrate induced brain fog on which to blame my poor mathematical skills.

Yesterday afternoon, the rain stopped long enough for us to ride down to the Esplanade to boulder. It happened to be Tuesday afternoon, which is the evening that Top Knot Climbing runs the bouldering program at the wall for Cairns City Council. Michael, the only other person I consistently (ever) meet at the bouldering wall had been encouraging me to come out on Tuesday evenings and join the group. But, churlish as it may seem, I prefer to boulder alone as I go for a workout not a chit-chat session and I find that when you get a group of people together, unless they are all super-motivated – which is surprisingly rare - a fair bit of time is spent talking, not climbing. 

It was fun however, to meet new people and work some different routes. I managed to climb the roof again using a different sequence of moves and find myself feeling a lot stronger than I did when we first arrived in Cairns. Too bad we can't take both the gym and the bouldering wall on the road with us when we leave Cairns as both activities certainly improve your strength/body composition/flexibility. By the time we finally reach the premier climbing areas of southern Australia next fall, we'll likely be completely de-trained.

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