There is a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for our power lifting meets, and a lot of that work happens outside of the gym. Our daily habits and choices absolutely affect our performance and so we all plan accordingly. We know that we have to be properly fueled, well rested, and mentally present in order for our bodies to handle the training.
Since food is one of the true loves of my life, I wanted to focus on telling you about our diet changes during a training cycle versus off-season. Although, there are some adjustments, there is not a huge difference between the way we eat during intense training and the way we eat when the competition is over. We all understand the importance of the quality of what you put in your body…if you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap and you’ll train like crap. We’re interested in taking care of ourselves and being able to train all the time, so these adjustments are made to accommodate the additional demands of the intensity of our current workouts. Eating well and taking care of ourselves year-round makes the adjustments needed to reach certain goals a heck of a lot easier than having extreme overhauls in our diet twice a year when we train for the meets. As a reminder, generally speaking the MissFits follow a Paleo (or Primal, which is bascially Paleo plus dairy) template for about 80-90% of our dietary intake. To learn more about specifics of Paleo, check out www.robbwolf.com, www.marksdailyapple.com and www.everydaypaleo.com.
So what are the changes?
- Volume: We’re eating a lot of the same foods, but in larger quantities. We’re expending more energy in our training and we simply need more food to support that.
- Carbohydrates: although I personally don’t respond well to carb restriction (I’m a grouchy troll and my training suffers), some of us stay on a low carbohydrate intake (approx. 30-50 grams/daily) in off-season; but with the demands of this type of training, carbohydrate intake increases (approx. 75-125 grams/daily). Number one Paleo favorite is sweet potatoes, followed by fruit. We also incorporate white rice, which isn’t Paleo but is tolerated well by most. We do tend to keep the majority of our carbohydrate intake to work out days in the evening following training. This by default follows a lot of the dogma of Jim’s good friend and colleague, Kiefer and his Carb Backloading protocol.
- The other 10-20%: In short, these are indulgences. I see this one as a balanced trade-off because these still probably make up the same amount of what we’re eating off season or during meet training, but what we choose to have tends to differ. Some indulgences, that negatively affect your ability to be 100% during training, such as booze, is cut way back yet others such as a good full-fat ice cream or a gluten-free brownie or cookie may make an appearance more often, especially since they can help to reach our needs of additional carbohydrates. Again, these are usually kept to training days and after our workouts.
- Water intake: although we are all mindful of adequate water intake daily, we make more of an effort to be diligent about it during these training cycles. There’s nothing worse than the cramps of dehydrated muscles keeping you up at night after a hard lifting session, so minimum of 2-3 liters/day is what we shoot for.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or comments about what you do for your training!