The role exercise can play when combined with low carb is amazing. Adding the two together in the right way is the key to getting the maximum results out of your diet and exercise program.
- Exercise is for making muscles stronger
- Being in ketosis while resistance training helps weight loss
- Allow 2-4 weeks for keto adaptation if you decide to workout in ketosis
- Ketosis allows for more consistent energy
- Resistance training is the most effect form of exercise
- Use heavy weights, move slow until failure
- Keep exercise short, but resistance very high
- Eat 1-2 hours after exercise for best results
The Truth about Exercise
I LOVE exercise. I’ve been on the functional/interval circuit training band wagon for a while now. It was time for me as a blog writer to do my duty and get the research going. I came across a few conflicts. One was the skill vs strength argument that sheds light on the “stabilizing muscles” theory. “Functional” training revolved around the idea of training in an explosive, multi-movement activity that builds balance, speed, power all within a natural range of motion to the body. This meant circuit training. Muscle ups, power cleans, clap push ups, etc. Fast and explosive was the name of the game!
Balance is a skill. When you learn to juggle, or walk a tight rope, you’re learning a skill, not making any muscular gains. Exercise is the same. Lifting a bar for the first time might cause your arms to shake. Two weeks later you can lift it very smooth and controlled. Is that because you got stronger? Not necessarily. Your brain just made neurological adaptation to what you’ve been practicing and adapted like it would with any skill.
Skills are very specific. If you learn to skateboard, it doesn’t mean you’ll be a good surfer. Walking a tight rope with precise balance doesn’t mean now you have mastered balance. Skills don’t translate over. They are very specific. Being able to balance on a balance ball and do barbell squats will make you better at doing barbell squats on a balance ball. It won’t make you a better surfer. Practicing surfing will. There is no substitute!
Speed is a skill as well. Training for speed means doing whatever you’re trying to do fast as much as you can as fast as you can. Eventually, your brain will adapt to the movements or motion. This means your body will use less energy and more finesse.
Building strength means stronger muscles. Muscle don’t “learn”. Your brain does that. The term “muscle memory” is a little misleading. What it really means is that your brain is adapting to the skill and signaling neurons in different ways. The neurons tell the rest of your body how to deal with the activity that you’re doing more efficiently.
Our muscles can only get stronger and bigger. How do they do that? Lift heavy weights very slow in a controlled manner. The formula is extreme resistance for a very short period of time. If you can do 3 sets of ten and fatigue your muscles on the last set at rep 10 or you can do one, slow set that fatigues your muscles in 6 reps, which would you do? Once your muscles reach absolute failure, the deed is done. So doing it in less time is a more efficient way to use time and build muscle.
Let’s use sun tanning as an example. If the sun is really really bright and hot, you will get tanned quicker because of the more intense stimulus. Same with exercise. The more intense the resistance, the faster you will get results. That also means a longer recovery time to allow your body to heal, just like a sun tan. If I want strength, I will go VERY intense slow and steady, especially on the negative motion (coming down). If I want speed, explosiveness, etc I will focus on what specifically I want them in and practice that over and over again. Separating skill conditioning and strength conditioning is very important.
Diet & Exercise
Combining a low carb, ketogenic diet with high intensity, slow burn resistance training is like Batman & Robin. They work remarkably well together. If you allow your body to adapt to ketosis before beginning a strength training program, you will get many benefits.
When you are in ketosis, you are tapping into a larger fuel reserve that will give you more consistent energy throughout your workout. Another benefit of ketosis is being able to exercise while fasting. That means go do your training without eating. The important thing here is to immediately eat some quality protein and fat after the gym to aid protein synthesis. The reason this is possible is because your body has free access to your fat stores and can use them effectively.
You must allow your body 2-4 weeks (sometimes more, sometimes less) to become keto-adapted before attempting to work out fasted. That way your body can make all the necessary adjustments to begin using fat as the primary fuel instead of glucose. This will aid in fat loss tremendously.
If you’re interested in a more indept look at the science of muscle building and exercise, check this article out on marks daily apple Why you Should Lift & Lower Heavy Things