T Nation

Complex/Walking Nutrition


#1

Hey Guys,

I have been doing complexes 2 days a week followed by 20 minutes of inclined walking. I do them properly, as in I'm ready to die after I finish and have to lay in a pool of my own sweat for at least 5 full minutes until I can slowly drag myself to the treadmill. As complexes are supposed to be, they are the hardest god damn training regiment I have ever done. But my question is, should I still eat high carb on these days? I have been doing basic rest day low carb on these days but I feel like I am pushing myself WAY harder on these days than my lifting days. Thoughts?

Goal is to add a few solid lbs of muscle mass on my chest (yes specifically) while keeping abs. I tend to do a high carb high calorie day on traditional bodybuilding days and low carb low calorie on "rest days". I'm 201 lbs probably 12-15% lean. I love to eat just curious if I should stay low carb on these days.


#2

Lol, so you’re wanting to, specifically, add mass to your chest, and you’re doing complexes? And you’re training only 2 days a week but are over 200lbs and lean?

Interesting.


#3

No that’s just those days. I train 3 days standard bodybuilding including squats deads and train chest all three days with very high carb and calorie days. I believe it’s one of Clay Hyghts programs. But I also do complexes instead of sprints between lifting sessions because well it’s harder.


#4

If you feel fine, then yeah stay low carb on those days.
If anything up your (good)fats to your your preworkout meal if want to raise cals/boost training


#5

Terry

I’d ask what your para - workout protocol is for the complexes?

If your having sufficient carbs during the session, then you could go low carbs the rest of the day. Alternatively, you could go low fat, higher carb post complexes depending on the volume of the session and how you handle carbs in general. If the total cals for the day are the same and below total daily expenditure then in the grande scheme of things (in my experience) it won’t make much difference. Anecdotal experience has led me to summarize that one doesn’t need to go below 60-80g of carbs per day to lose fat optimally (unless a total rest day). I’ve found that lack of carbs can negatively effect workout productivity in terms of how many total cals are burnt in a session due to fatigue and metabolic impairment.

Hope that makes sense, at least a little bit?

Good luck


#6

[quote]terryleahyjr wrote:
low carb low calorie on “rest days”.[/quote]
Just to be clear, by “rest days” you mean the days you’re training for probably 45 minutes or so first doing high intensity weight training (complexes) and then 20 minutes of cardio.

My thoughts are that you’re severely underestimating the intensity of these cardio sessions and neglecting their impact on overall recovery, especially if you’re trying to focus on building a specific bodypart in your main workouts.

Couple options to consider: First, like Moog said, make sure you’re having some carbs around your workouts, at least before and during. Most coaches will agree that peri-workout nutrition is the last place they remove carbs/calories, even when dieting.

Or, if you want a better carb cycling approach, stick to the basic high, medium, and low days, but really understand what those days are. If you’re prioritizing chest, then those should be the high days. The “rest” days when you’re doing complexes and cardio are “medium”, and actual rest days (with zero training) would be low.

Lastly, if the cardio is just for “damage control” while prioritizing the chest, then just the treadmill work, on top of a properly setup carb cycle, should be fine. You could even tack on a few 15-20 minute walks right after the regular weight training days if you wanted. The complexes would/should be if you needed to kick the fat loss up a notch.

How long have you been doing this type training? How much weight have you gained in that time period and/or how, specifically and measurably, has your physique changed (gained X pounds, added Y inches)?


#7

So firstly Chris, I have four types of day.

Lifting Days - I try and hit about 4000 calories with high carbs. I take BCAAs Creatine Purple Wrath and a high carb post drink.

Complex Day - I eat some carbs around 2:00 and hit it around 3:30. I take some purple wrath for pre workout which doesn’t have calories and is more like a stimulant. No other supps. This is probably a mistake since these are VERY intense, and scare the shit out of me.

Fasting Day - I practice fasting once per week. BCAAs, coffee, green tea, water.

Rest Day - I don’t eat any carbs on this day. Nuts, meats, chicken, salad, Italian dressing

My goal is to drop fat, but I also want to add quality lean mass to my chest. So just to look better naked. I try and eat big on my workout days, and low on the non workout days. I have been doing this for two or three weeks and I noticed a big difference in fat levels instituting the complexes. But they are crazy hard.

If you were looking at this cold, what would be your recommendation for complex days, in which I walk out of the gym DRENCHED. Waaaaay more intense than my heavy lifting days. Just because it’s harder does that justify tons of carbs?


#8

[quote]terryleahyjr wrote:
Lifting Days - I try and hit about 4000 calories with high carbs. I take BCAAs Creatine Purple Wrath and a high carb post drink.[/quote]
Post-workout drinks are a step behind peri-workout nutrition: https://www.t-nation.com/supplements/post-workout-nutrition-is-dead

Based on this, it’s possible that these workouts seem so hard because you’re eating carbs (only carbs??), waiting 90 minutes (which is enough time for your insulin levels to spike and begin crashing), and then training on a practically empty stomach. A smarter approach to overall workout nutrition, nevermind specifically carb intake, might solve the whole thing.

These are competing goals to work towards simultaneously. Choose one or the other - the one that, in a perfect world, you’d want to happen overnight - and then focus 100% on just that for the next 6-8 weeks.

The basic carb cycling premise is that your highest carb days should be when you have your hardest workouts (those with the most volume and/or intensity). So if those happen to be the complex days, then yes, they should end up being higher carb than the other weight training days. But “tons of carbs” is probably stretching the limits.


#9

[quote]terryleahyjr wrote:
So firstly Chris, I have four types of day.

these are VERY intense, and scare the shit out of me.

Waaaaay more intense than my heavy lifting days. [/quote]

As an aside if the complex sessions are really that brutal and your looking to put on muscle i’d consider subbing them out for something less harsh every third workout like HIIT on the stationary bike(still fast/pushing it)