T Nation

EyeDentist, How Do You Train?


Hi kjm, thanks for the kind words. As for your questions:

Are we talking first thing in the morning, or after you’ve been up a few hours?

Well, BBers get stronger as they get bigger (just as PLers get bigger as they get stronger). So if you train the way I outlined in the thread, you will get stronger. Admittedly, the training approach I’ve laid out is far from the most efficient way to get stronger (which is of course to train like a PLer).

Anyway, if I wanted to adjust my priorities from 100% hypertrophy to, say, 50/50 hypertrophy and strength, I think I would take a Lane Norton PHAT-type approach–train like a PLer 2-3 days a week, take a day off, train like a BBer 2-3 days, take a day off…lather, rinse, repeat.

I’ve never noticed this to be a problem for me (perhaps because I would rarely go longer than 36 hours or so without significant carbs). What I have noticed is that running a caloric deficit for too long definitely interferes with sleep–carbs or no carbs.

My sleep is not what it used to be–but then, I’m an old man, so the same can be said about many aspects of my life.


Regarding those spreadsheet numbers: Is the number in the fourth column your TOTAL calorie intake for the day, or is that net intake after subtracting for exercise or something?



Thanks for the response.

I’m usually at the gym about 2 hours after waking up. I have my normal breakfast of eggs and oat bran right after waking. I eat this every morning, regardless of whether I’m going to the gym. On gym days I add in a peanut butter sandwich on the way to the gym.

PHAT looks like quite a bit more volume than I’m use to, which may not be a bad thing. I’ve been spinning my wheels for a while… increasing the volume may be what I need.

You make an obvious point, which I didn’t consider. When I’ve cut carbs in the past, it has been part of a overall caloric reduction. It could have been the overall caloric deficit and not the lack of carbs.


Firstly, how ya been, Serge? Long time no see (or have our cyber-paths not crossed of late)?

As for your question, I am embarrassed to say the column represents total calories consumed–no adjustment for exercise.

Gotcha. OK, in that circumstance, I would have coffee-and-PB upon awakening. About twenty minutes prior to going to the gym, I would have a bolus of hydrolyzed protein + cyclic dextrins. I would consume my remaining carbs for the day during the 2-4 hour post-workout window. I would then turn the carb-spigot off, and consume protein (making sure to hit ~1 mg/lb BW) and healthy fats for the remainder of the day.


Thanks for the quick answer.

Doing great, thanks for asking. You’re right, long time no see. I’ve been lurking for the last few years for a number of reasons, but I still keep an eye on a few logs and threads.

Those numbers look pretty low at first-glance, but obviously they are working for you and the current state of your metabolism. I applaud your ability to execute those low days, you seem to have done a great job of habituating to those intake patterns.

I am firmly entrenched in the zone right now, which usually means I can lock down enough variables to generate useful learnings. I’ll be firing up my thread again, so drop in if you’d like. You’ve got a few years on me, but otherwise I think you’ll see many parallels. I’m at about 192 right now, but that’s just where the similarities begin.


Actually, part of the reason I posted the data was that I think that, when coupled with the very high-volume LISS I was performing, those numbers were too low. Although my BW dropped rapidly, I don’t think my body comp was all that better. (Witness the very large BW increase after a refeed day, 5/20). Further, I think the very low cals contributed to the metabolic slowdown I’m currently struggling with, and trying to remedy. IMO, the takeaway message is ‘don’t do what I did.’


Yes, I gathered I might not want to do what you did after reading about the number of hours you were spending on the bike. Wow. Glad to see you are trying to remedy the slowdown. I will be following to see what I might learn from your adjustments.


Thanks for advice. I’m going to give it a try, but I do have one concern. I generally find I feel weak or light-headed halfway through my workout if I don’t “carb up” beforehand. Maybe eating more carbs during the couple hours following the previous day’s workout will help with this.


The bolus of branched cyclic dextrins pre-workout should take care of that.


This might not go with your nutritional goals but I’ve found that eating Starbursts during my workout eliminates the weak/queasy feeling. A buddy of mine who is more experienced and wiser told me to try it. He added that it was low blood sugar causing my nausea.

I only noticed it when doing my tougher workouts like legs and Olympic movements. Now I keep Starbursts in my training bag and eat them as needed–when I start to feel weak or tired (during a long session).


Thanks for the tip. I ordered some highly branched cyclic dextrins per EyeDentist’s recommendation. I’ll give that a shot first and then try the Starbursts if I have to. It’s not a nutritional concern for me. If I wanted to clean up my diet, there’s much lower hanging fruit I’d go after first :beer: :beer: :beer:

You mention low blood sugar, which I figured was the culprit based on my own research. I also sometimes wake up hungry in the middle of the night. I’ll feel wide awake and will struggle to fall back asleep unless I eat something. Simple carbs work best. Usually I’ll eat half a banana. From what I’ve read, waking up like this is also a consequence of low blood sugar. Can’t help but wonder if I have a bigger glucose/insulin related issue. I’m not overweight, so I don’t think I’m diabetic. Plus my blood work has never shown any issues. Perhaps I need to reread EyeDentist’s post about insulin management.


Re flagging energy/feeling lightheaded and queasy mid-workout: Indeed, these feelings are consistent with low blood sugar; this is called exercise-induced hypoglycemia (EIH). I think @JMaier31’s suggestion is a good one, especially given that it works (for him). And so long as you’re not pounding pack after pack of Starbursts, the nutritional impact (ie, extra calories) won’t be significant. One small, possibly insignificant caveat: I would suggest double-checking the packaging and ensure that it’s made with sugar and not HFCS. If it’s not, I’d consider going with a different, sugar-based candy. (This is not because of the ‘sinister danger of HFCS’ so much as the fact that sugar will metabolize a little more efficiently.) Another option is to have a second bolus of HBCD + hydrolyzed protein midway through your workout. I usually don’t work out for a long enough period to justify this, but have done it in the past when my workout durations creeped into the 90-min range.

As an aside: One of the weird, as-yet-unexplained aspects of EIH is that its sufferers fall into two camps: Those who experience an objective (ie, measurable via fingerstick) drop in blood glucose, and those who experience (most of) the symptoms of EIH, but whose blood sugar (again, measured via fingerstick at the time of symptoms) is stone-cold normal. Some endocrinologists call this latter phenomenon pseudohypoglycemia, and despite the connotations of the prefix, it’s a very real thing. Interestingly, it seems to be vastly more common than EIH. (Important qualifier: I’m talking about non-diabetics here.) The only way to know for sure which variety you have is to actually check your glucose while your experiencing symptoms. (I’m not suggesting you do that, just pointing it out). It is my understanding that endocrinologists do not as yet have a good handle on the pathophysiology of pseudohypoglycema; ie, they don’t understand why individuals with clinically normal blood glucose levels will nonetheless report hypoglycemic symptoms.

Re overnight hunger: Consider a tablespoon of PB at bedtime. Same number of calories as a banana, but won’t break your carb-fast. Might keep you from waking up in the first place…


I typically only get into the Starbursts if I’m fasted (at least no or little carbs) or when I do my 2 hour sessions. I think the most I’ve eaten in a session is 6. That’s 120 calories. I haven’t checked to see if it’s sugar of HFCS. I used to go with Jolly Ranchers because it was suggested I keep hard candy on hand. I bite Jolly Ranchers and it was killing my teeth so I switched to Starbursts.

I’ve noticed that when I experience exercise-induced hypoglycemia (EIH) that it’s during harder sessions that also increase my blood pressure. It seems to only happen during high intensity squats or other exercises that can dramatically increase BP during a set. It’s almost like the blood pressure roller coaster plays a factor in the nauseous feeling.

Since adding the candy to my training bag (literally and figuratively) I haven’t had any problems. On my longer days that I really hit it hard I’ll eat three Starbursts about 60-80 minutes into my session. If I still feel like my energy levels are dropping then I’ll have another one. Once I finish my workout (usually with sprints or running intervals) I’ll have a couple more on the way out the door just to help with my post workout nutrition. Simple carbs and an insulin spike are what we’re after anyway, right?


In the peri-workout period, yes.



Once again, thanks for the insight. Safe to assume there’s nothing “wrong” with me… at least with regard to blood sugar dipping? I was concerned I had some underlying issue, but it sounds like EIH is common enough. And, that’s an interesting aside about measurable vs. non-measurable EIH. For my purposes, it seems the difference is more academic since the solution would be the same either way, right? HCBDs or simple carbs right before or during my workouts.

I generally do either PB or a handful of walnuts before bed. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t. Maybe I’m just not eat enough of it.


Well, as I am a physician myself, I have to give my standard answer to a question such as this, that being ‘see your doctor.’ (Any other answer could get me in serious medicolegal trouble.)

Yup. In order to maintain your carb-fast, I would suggest trying two tbsps of PB (or doubling your nut intake) before resorting to a banana. If after trying this, you find that nothing works except bananas, so be it.

(BTW, I assume you’re eating nothing but natty PB, the type you have to stir before consuming it.)


Understood! I’ll bring it up with the doc during my next checkup.

Yep, all natural. I haven’t touched the regular stuff in years.

Thanks again for the pointers. It’s a big help!



I’ve read the entire thread and want to say thanks for your diligence and consistency to responding to questions.

I would like to know your thoughts on two-a-days & diet. I was fascinated with the idea of consuming fats throughout the day and then loading your proteins and carbs in a specific window intra & post training on strength days.

Right now, I have the ability to train two-a-days and eat however I want without affecting my family…at least for the next three months. I’m training M-W, and Fri & Sat with Th and Su as rest days. I have access to kettlebells, sand bags, and a pullup bar.

I’m curious to see what you’d structure your diet and PT sessions.

I appreciate the help, thank you in advance.


Are you marooned on an island? Should we send help? :wink:

Seriously though…You’re not using much by way of equipment, and refer to training as “PT sessions.” So before I can answer, I have to ask: What are your goals vis a vis training?


Haha, no. I’m overseas for the next few months. Obviously I don’t have the ability to use any large amount of weight for big lifts like deadlifts, squats, etc…so I have been using sandbags, kettlebells, and body weight movements along with Time Under Tension to build what strength I can…and then doing sprints, circuits, and KB swing complexes in the afternoon to work on conditioning. My goal is to lean out and keep my conditioning up to the best of my ability…I’m at 205, 18% on a 5’10" frame (most of that in my legs).

I bulked up quite a bit before I deployed (my normal weight is around 190-195) and am looking to get back to that range before I return home.

What other information can I provide? I’m obviously willing to take any pointers/advice that you have.