Train low compete high.....
Train low and compete high. No, this is not some kind of mood or drugs related reference, this is a method that has been used by athletes since the dawn of time. There is a reason that elite athletes have great body composition and fitness levels. It is the simple mastering of periodizing food around their training for the best response.
For many of you out there, the want to be leaner and fitter is definitely one of the goals on life's list. However, no matter how hard you try, this always seems to elude you. What I'd like to try and explain to you is a method that has been used by athletes (often without them realising) and is a time proven strategy for getting into great shape
The first thing you need to understand is that the food you eat is not equal in its effects. Your meals are made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Each of these macronutrients has a range of specific jobs, and, each one has a different metabolic effect and energy value. Mostly, fat loss technically should be achieved by a reduction in consumed calories, however, we know that dieting is not that straight forward. If we understand the basic function of each macronutrient, we can manipulate them to help us achieve the desired effect.
The underlying physiological changes that lead a person to be fitter and leaner is the body's ability to burn fat effectively. The harder or more intensely your body can work and still burn fat as its main fuel source, the fitter you are. The better you are at doing this, the leaner you can get. So, how do I do this, I hear you ask?...
When you have low blood sugar and low muscle sugar your body will turn to fats and proteins to create its energy. If we eat enough protein, your body will avoid breaking down muscle tissue. That's the first step. We then need to be in a low blood sugar state to promote fat burning. Exercise uses energy. The type of exercise you do will decide if you use predominately sugar or fat as your fuel source. Low to moderate intensity exercise will mainly use fats. Intense exercise mainly uses sugars.
What I'm getting at, is that, if you do low to moderate intensity exercise in a low blood sugar state, you will pretty much only use body fat to fuel this type of movement. Your body will also adapt to training in a low sugar state and will make you better at using fat as a fuel on the whole. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your last meal of the day doesn't contain starchy carbohydrates like potatoes and pasta. Instead, your evening meal, at say 8pm, is just meat or fish and vegetables. you then go to bed not carb loaded. While sleeping, your body is fasting for eight hours. You wake with low blood sugar. If you consume a high protein breakfast, like eggs, and then perform your exercise, you are doing this in a low blood sugar state, yet the protein will protect you from burning up valuable muscle tissue. This will not only burn more body fat but it will teach you to burn more fat throughout the day. You can then have your more carb rich meals later, which prepares you for compete high.
Compete high refers to ether a competition or intense training. If you were a competitive cyclist you'd do your fasted low to moderate cycle first thing in the morning. This is your fat as fuel training. You'd then do your sprint work, resistance training or race later in the day. If it's a race day you would fully carb load the day before and during the race and afterwards. Carbohydrate in this instance is all about performance. Likewise, if you were to do weight training that day you'd want carbs before the workout, maybe during, and definitely afterwards. This promotes an anabolic muscle growth environment, which, supports your lifting performance, workout duration, workout intensity, recovery, and repair. By adding lean muscle mass, you increase your fat burning potential and change your composition to look more aesthetic.
Adding lean mass and reducing fat mass is essentially what we all need to look our best.
The tactic of train low and compete high is a great method of improving fitness and body composition. It requires control of your food intake and consistency with your training. If you have these skills, then it is extremely simple and effective.
An example train low compete high day
Breakfast: protein and fats - eggs
Train: low/moderate intensity cv or weights circuit
Post workout: protein and carbs - whey & apple
Lunch - protein, carbs, fat - jacket potato with tuna mayo and vegetables
Mid-afternoon: protein and carbs fat - chicken & salad whole-wheat pitta, almonds
Train - weights, sprints or interval training
Post workout - protein and carbs - whey and banana
Evening meal - protein fat - salmon and mixed or green veg
If you have any questions regarding diet, nutrition, fat loss or training you can contact me on Ali@FatAlsGym.co.uk