View Full Version : Gassed 3/4 of the way through workout

Mike Ryan
08-01-2007, 05:27 AM
Hi All,

Not sure that this is where this belongs, but I will leave that up to Robb and company.

So, after 25 years of on and off Japanese jujitsu, aikido and judo training with the same instructor, I decided it was time for a change. I recently started studying Brazillian juijitsu and muay thai at a new school that opend in my area. I am really liking the workouts so far... they are so different from my previous training. They are easier and harder at the same time. Easier on the body because there are not as many throws and falls and harder because the pace requires much more endurance. The schedule has me working two hours on M&Th and one hour on T-W.

The problem is that with the heat and exercise (and if I am being honest, the extra weight I carry around), I get gassed before the end of the workout. I know some of it is because I am new to this and the heat really saps my strength, but I also think that part of it is needing a better pre workout meal.

Any suggestions on a good snack that I can eat prior to the workout that will stay down and give me a bit more energy to complete the classes (or anything else that might help)? For reference, I try to eat zone-type meals.



Mike ODonnell
08-01-2007, 08:05 AM
I'd stick with more protein and fat pre workout (give yourself an hour or so...grab some nuts for example..)...save the carbs for post workout. If you do carbs pre then you spike your blood sugar, increase insulin and will soon come down on the whole carb crash rollercoaster....recovery is key. Plus your overall calorie needs may have increased so you may need more food...again pwo is probably your best timing. If you up your fats and modify your metabolism to become more a fat burner than a carb burner then you may see increase in performance and duration.

Of course being cooler temps and losing extra lbs always helps too......

Robb Wolf
08-01-2007, 09:29 AM
Can you give us 2-3 days of normal eating? Also what is your height/weight and what have you traditionally done for S&C? Any Crossfit or similar conditioning.

BJJ and thai boxing training is VERY demanding and you may just need time to adapt. You may need to coast on some elements a little and slowly build intensity.

Mike Ryan
08-01-2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the quick replies. I am pretty good about the quality of the food I eat, but I am beginning to believe, as Mike suggested, that the quantity may be off. I am about 285 lbs and ~25% BF (by scale and girth measurements) and 5'11" tall. I also weigh and measure most of what I eat. A typical day would look like this:

3 eggs + 2 whites or 8 oz LF cottage cheese
64 g quaker old fashioned oatmeal with a pinch of salt and one packet of equal

5 oz chicken or steak
large salad or mixed veggies (~3 blocks worth)
~2 blocks of fruit (from the favorable list)
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing on the salad

5 blocks of chicken, steak or fish
~3 blocks of veggies
~2 blocks of fruit
usually saute veggies in olive oil

Sometimes a 2 block snack about an hour before bed. (I know that this should be more consistent)

Lots of water and a couple of coffees throughout the day

I am very consistent M-F while I am working. On the weekends, I am busy running the kids all over and often eat less although I still try to keep meals near zone quality (not counting the occasional pizza or beer. Ya still gotta live!:)).

If anything, I think I am not eating enough but I am afraid to add and gain weight, even if it is muscle mass. 285 lbs is too much to carry around. I have fought this war most of my adult life.

As for other activity, I have a pretty sedentary job but I coach little league so I often throw batting practice or am otherwise active during that time, usually 2-3x per week for a couple of hours. I have done CF workouts (scaled) off and on for years and have always been athletic. Despite my size, I move very well and have always been able to do things that people found surprising. For example...I used to coach gymnastics and could do several back handsprings in a row followed by a back tuck (at about 250 lbs).

I will admit that I have not worked out as hard or long as I do in BJJ and Thai boxing in as long as I can remember and I have started losing some weight. I am down about 8 lbs in the past three weeks. I think I just need to dial in the diet and exercise a the same time, which has always been the problem.



Robb Wolf
08-01-2007, 12:21 PM
Food looks solid, like you said perhaps even a little under eating but I think the main issue is jumping in with both feet on some VERY intense activity. Ease into it, give it some time...start a log if you like so we can chime in and provide help if possible. I suspect a few months down the road things will be much better and you will be no one i would want to tangle with!
Keep us posted.

Derek Simonds
08-01-2007, 06:02 PM
I am with Robb completely. Everything he said is spot on. I started BJJ in dec 06 and felt exactly like you do. It truly is a different metabolic pathway and being new and not having the same skills as others on the mat you end up relying on strength more often. I am sure you feel relaxed but as you get more experience it changes dramatically.

Yael and Ihave both posted about training for BJJ in the fighting forum and there was some great responses.

I have rolled with several big dudes lately and if you get your tech down it will be scary!

Mike Ryan
08-02-2007, 04:33 AM
Thanks guys.

It is good to know that from your experiences it will get easier. I also think that once we get some cooler temps, it will get easier also. It has been very hot and humid (at least for New England) lately and there is no AC.

Derek, I will check out the threads in the fighting forum, thanks.

It is funny... As I said, I have always been active, but there have only been a few times in my life that I have been able to get the exercise (duration and intensity) and the nutrition (right foods in the right amount) dialed in at the same tiem. WHen I did, I dropped a lot of fat very quickly, it was actually amazing. I feel that I am close now with the level of activity and I just need some small tweeks to the diet to get there again. My goal is ~245 and 10% BF by Thanksgiving (going to Aruba for a week then:) ). This time, I hope I can maintain the formula for the long haul. I will keep you all posted.

Thanks again,

Robb Wolf
08-03-2007, 10:38 AM
if you can get on a weighed measured 22 block Zone diet (if it does nto make you nuts) you will lean out like crazy. Just a thought.

Mike Ryan
08-06-2007, 05:32 AM

Thanks, I'll give 22 blocks a try for a few weeks. I have always hesitated to go up in intake even though all of the formulas for calculating total daily caloric needs say that I should. It just seems counter intuitive to the simple energy balance. Plus, over the years I have held my diet fairly constant for long periods and not seen significant changes in body comp, so you would think fewer calories would be better. I know that there are metabolic (and other) effects that complicate the energy balance, but it still scares the hell out of me; 22 blocks is a ton of food every day. I don't know if I will be able to afford to feed myself and my 11 year old son:).