April 3, 2014 posted by

The Power Of (Not) Eating

The Power Of (Not) Eating

Today’s post is on losing weight while training power. Gravity athletes (climbers, cyclists, dancers, etc) are obsessed with their strength to weight ratio. I won’t go into specifics why you can’t out train gravity, because all you have to do is look at the people who excel is such sports. They are small, and it’s not random coincidence. Big muscles add force against gravity, and they can’t be strong enough to win. Unless inertia’s at play, such as sprinting and powerlifting,  you must be light. The Power of Eating is the name of a route on a cliff we developed. It’s both ironic and literal, because the main thing serious climbers think about is trying to not eat and when they’ll be able to binge (generally after completing a project). The route was put up in the wake of an epic binge.

how obsessed? go to 5:22 (though the rest of the vid is good, too)

Enough reminiscing, let’s get to the point. When you power train (discussed last post), your volume of training low and your intensity is so high that you don’t get pumped. The resulting combination means that you burn far fewer calories than at probably any other period when you train. Intuitively this does not seem like the best time to lose weight. I, ever the maverick, consider it the best time. Allow me to explain.

My general (endurance-based) training leaves me constantly knackered. Yes, I burn a ton of calories but the result is that I’m often hungry. I find it pretty hard to deny myself food, especially true when I’ve had a long day and know another’s on the horizon. It makes sense to eat, because the last thing you want to do when you’re trying for peak performance is under eat.

During power training you can under eat. You still need nutrients, no doubt, but the less I eat the more I focus on nutrients per calorie. Power training, quite simply, does not leave you hungry. In fact, I’m fairly restless during a power block (so much that sleep can be an issue) but, also, oddly broken down due to different exercise protocols than normal. So not only am I not ravenous, I’m craving super healthy calories. I find this a perfect storm for weight loss; much easier than when I’m training for hours on end and craving pizza and beer.

Another interesting note is that your body is selective in how it puts nutrients to work. Always in survival mode, your body uses the nutrients it has in order of importance. High stress situations always come first. This means that you’re virtually insured that your body will use its nutrients to recover from your training, first, and that any atrophy that occurs from under eating happens somewhere else. Your body will start with fat stores, which are easily converted to energy. In extreme states it will turn to muscle. I’ve used this strategy to re-shape my body, but that’s a topic of its own.

I’ve started my power block with a cleanse, of sorts, which I’ll report on later assuming it’s successful. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. I’ve done it before, many times though, admittedly, I was more psyched on dieting when I was younger. Is this what happens when we age; we lose our psyche which results in loss of physicality? Listening to friends bitch and moan, as well as the rebel in my own head, the more I think losing fitness as we age could be as much mental as physical.But that’s another subject, too, so I bid you farewell with a video of The Power of Eating, while I contemplate how to flavor my cotton ball for dinner.


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