T Nation

Eating to Maintain Strength and Fitness



I have been eating a low carb diet with a cheat day but recently I have started some major strength training as far as my history for training goes. This coincides with 2x weekly rugby union training sessions which are a mixture of cardio, sprint and power exercises for about 45 mins. and another 45 mins of tactical training which include many stop/start sprints and jogs as we move around the field.

I have been reading the articles on this site and the forum pages that suggest 1:1 or 1:2 protein to carb loading especially after training in the post work out phase. Also we have been instructed the carb loading 2-3 hrs before a game will keep our energy levels consistent throughout a 90 minute game.

My first concerns are eating according to strength training and these 2 x training sessions (plus Saturday match) and how the best ratio of macronutrients will benefit me.

Second is the timing of carb loading for sport?

Do I load before a big game and eat carbs post-workout?

Finally can I ask if cheat days are of any use now I have put carbs back into my eating habits because other than having a treat maybe once a week I donĂ¢??t think I need it.

Thanks in advance and sorry if this question is a repeat of many others.


Stats as required:

5' 8"
20% BF approx
Nightshift worker and I tend to strength train early morning after a full shift at work but rugby training is before I go to work and about 2 hrs after I wake up.

My strength training is follows with session 1 and 2 alternating every 48-72 hrs:-

All exercises 5reps x 5sets (except dead lifts at 5x1)

session 1
182lbs squat
165lbs Chest press
138lbs back row

Session 2
187lbs squat
100lbs overhead press
264lbs dead lift (this is only 1x5)

All weights are being increased where possible at 5lbs (2.5kg) per session, weights shown are last weeks


Anyone with a comment?


yes.. it is a repeat, i would suggest rifling through the numerous articles on this sort of material...

if youre as active as it appears, id shoot for 3000-3500 cals a day, w/ ~250 grams of protein, low fat, high carb kind've plan.
With strength training, carbs are important before and after, try and get in complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. during the day, more "simple" carbs breads, potatoes, etc. pre workout/game. not sure on a number for carbs, maybe somewhere around 2 hundred, fewer on days you arent training as hard.. if your goal has anything to do with fat loss, this will change. Pre-workout, eat ~1hr before, post- within an hour.

obviously carbs before games are important as well, but i was always afraid of overeating and feeling bloated. I dont think "loading up" would be the best idea, but eating sensibly, balance between carbs and protein. a 2:1 ratio would be a decent start. consider getting onto a BCAA supplement to preserve muscle.

If you want specific numbers, like i said, there are NUMEROUS articles on nutrition on this website as well as others, such as Joe DeFranco's and Charles Poliquin.

I'm far from an expert but... Lots of protein, limit fat, and carbs centralized around training/games. 250g Protein, <70g fat, ~200g carbs? Pay attention to your body. if you feel "tore up" the next day after game/training, boost carbs/protein, with high carbs, i'd stay away from fats for the most part.

**not sure about your workout plan either.. has some gaps