T Nation

Low Carbs and Frequent Cardio

I do a lot of non weight training related cardio in my programme i.e. mountain biking, running etc- I do this 4 days a week. However, I am also interested in dropping bodyfat down to around 8%. I read a Chris Shughart post about maintaining around 100g of carbs a day. Will this be enough carbs for me to progress cardiovascularly without compromising performance? And in this kind of situation do the majority of your daily calories come from protein and fats?

Apologies if I sound uninformed but I am just beginning to take nutrition more seriously.If all the info I need, i.e. info that can help me specifically, can be found on the site by a little digging then let me know - I’m not one for expecting everything to be done for them.

Well, it would depend on your protein/fat intake, as well as your DEE/BMR and how they match up to your food consumption. Calorie in vs. Calories out is what fatt loss really comes down to. However, healthy fat loss and muscle retention introduce a higher need for scrutinization of those “calories in”.

Depends on you. you will have to figure that one out on your own.

i did the Anabolic Diet and was still training for a 10k. Around the 7k mark, I could start feeling my energy diminishing. Usually by friday, I was toast.

My carb intake was around 30g. All veggies.

Find out what you can handle and let us know.

No idea what eightohfive is saying.

essentially… ya, you could survive on 100g a day, but your protein and fats are going to need to be boosted to compensate. for 3 months I fought Muay Thai 4 days a week, and biked to work (8 miles round trip) 5 days a week, whilst strength training 3 days a week on under 100g carbs a day… Got super lean, however, sacrificed a significant amount of muscle.

Hi little buddy,

Any reason why you want to get to 8%?

I do alot of cardio aswell, and there is no way I could survive on 100 grams of carbs a day. I really do beleive perfromance will be effected. Although I guess that depends on what you are performing and what your goals are?


I would say that a good approach would be to eat to FUEL whatever it is you’re doing. I think taking care of nutrition prior and during those times of intense activities will be key to fueling performance which will in turn lead to greater shift in body composition.

Its easier to think it terms of nutrients and not calories as well, the body doesn’t recognize calories anyhow, its just a measure of heat. So, again, take care of nutrition during your training, don’t get caught up in numbers, eat to fuel performance, and guage how you eat off of that. If performance drops, try adding some things in, if its going well, you know your on the right track. I would highly recommend Surge Workout Fuel also for the type of work you are doing, very good product for that type of work.

I suppose writing out what I do/intend to do would be beneficial to the advice.
Monday- 4 mile unstructured interval/fartlek run.
Tuesday- Hill sprints
Wednesday- Boxing: usual stuff, bag/pad work, shadowboxing.
Thursday- Deadlift, Benchpress and assistance.
Saturday- 6-8 mile steady run or mountain bike
Sunday- Overhead Press, Squat and assistance.

My goals are to get fitter for the Royal Marines as well as maintain the strength I have. The 8% bodyfat goal is just something I’d like to be able to achieve although cutting carbs with that much volume of training may not be the best of moves. I’m a firm believer that it’s hard as hell to overtrain but the food intake obviously has to match your needs. Am I just trying to do too many things at once?

IMO…that much work on that few carbs is going to cost lean mass over time.