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Pulse Feast with MMA Training

Im 19 years old and i am an intermediate weight lifter and training to become an mma fighter. i lift anywhere from 1-2 hours a day and train mma anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. (2 hours mma training on average) i don’t seem to get the results Im looking for in the gym and was thinking about trying the pulse feast.

Im not sure if Im going to lose my muscle doing this because of the intense cardio i do during training or if Im going to maintain it and just lose fat. i am around 170 right now and i don’t want to get any bigger (fight at 155) so it would be hard to cut weight over 15 pounds but i have a good amount of fat i can loose. any suggestions or comments would be appreciated thanks.

Bench - 210
squat - 250
military press - 110
deadlift - 310

[quote]rparish wrote:
i lift anywhere from 1-2 hours a day and train mma anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. (2 hours mma training on average) i don’t seem to get the results Im looking for in the gym and was thinking about trying the pulse feast. [/quote]
More training details would be helpful.

What exactly does your week look like, day by day? The exercises, sets, and reps for your lifting would help too.

In any case, pulse feasting might work, depending on how well you know your body. If you can train at 100% intensity on a mostly-empty stomach, then give it a shot for at least a few weeks. I know that when I was doing hard sparring or grappling, I felt and performed better with a meal or two in me.

Also, to clarify, what exactly does “i don’t seem to get the results Im looking for in the gym” mean? In the last 4 or 8 weeks, how has your bodyweight and strength changed?

If you lose muscle, it’s most likely due to poor diet or improper training, or both. The right nutrition plan and the right training, even with intense MMA practice, can definitely preserve muscle and drop fat.

Your profile says you’re 10% bodyfat. I wouldn’t call that “a good amount of fat” to lose. Can you post a recent pic?

[quote]Bench - 210
squat - 250
military press - 110
deadlift - 310 [/quote]
You bench almost as much as you squat. Why?

Do you clean? What’s your best barbell row?

Fighters probably aren’t going to be able to squat much. They need to maintain a certain level of cardio and be able to move around on the balls of their feet, kick quickly, and be flexible enough to kick to the head and wrap their legs around someone’s body when grappling.

I don’t have much advice, but 5/3/1 seems to work really well with MMA. Might want to look into doing that. You may be training too much to make strength gains. With 5/3/1 you can lift twice a week and hit the 4 main lifts and have enough energy for MMA stuff.

I’m still trying out different things with my diet. So I don’t really have diet advice to offer.

I’ve actually been thinking about this a bit. You might want to look into intermittent fasting (lean gains) and Carb back loading.

I’m not sure you can do lean gains with as much as you train but there is some good info in there. I’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks now to lose weight. But I don’t train as much as you do. I do Muay Thai and usually only do 1 or 2 hours a day 4-5 days a week. For the past week though I’ve been trying out carb back loading’s post workout protocol which is to eat a bunch of carbs post workout. This appears to be working pretty well for me and I’ve lost weight this week also while still doing it. My energy levels feel pretty good too.

Fact is you’re going to have to do a lot of reading and learning about nutrition and try a bunch of different things out to find what works best for you. But here’s an idea:

I’m guessing when you do 4 hours a day, you do 2 in the morning and 2 a night? If I did that I’d try carb back loading twice a day (200-400 grams of carbs) to restore my energy levels immediately after training and then eat low carb the rest of the day and see how that works.

But keep in mind I’m not an expert on this stuff. Also bodybuilding sites are pretty good for nutrtional info because they usually keep up on the latest info, in my experience that is.

When you say you are training to become MMA fighter you mean your are training to fight a few amateur fights or training to be a pro and make a living out of this? You seem to spend a shitload of time in the weightroom when you say you train 2-4 hours of MMA a day.

My personal experiences with MT and pulsefeasting never were a great success, I could imagine it working well when lifting but I would just feel kind of foggy and out of energy with no explosiveness left after 1st hour of training. Of course different people react differently to this kind of stuff, but at this age and with the level of activity you are doing, I don’t see how just eating clean won’t get you where you want to be, with 4 hours of training you should be able to go around 4000kcal for mainteance only. Thats 4 fairly large meals and I don’t see how your body won’t be able to make the most of them if you spread them out, depending on what times of the day you train.

I’d blame not progressing in the weightroom on the ammount of training you do and possibly insufficient rest and nutrition, I doubt pulse feast will fix any of those. In my opinion you are trying to solve this problem with the wrong tool, but feel free to try by yourself if you wish to, I’d be very interested to hear of your experiences with it.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]rparish wrote:
i lift anywhere from 1-2 hours a day and train mma anywhere from 1-4 hours a day. (2 hours mma training on average) i don’t seem to get the results Im looking for in the gym and was thinking about trying the pulse feast. [/quote]
More training details would be helpful.

What exactly does your week look like, day by day? The exercises, sets, and reps for your lifting would help too.
Chris i am currently training jiu jitsu followed my a stand up class right after usually from 5-7 at night. Tuesdays and Thursdays a train the same thing but in the morning at 11-1 then at night from 5-7. I lift around 3 in the afternoon and am currently doing a 5 day split. i lift shoulders, back, arms, legs and chest each on a different day not in a particular order. Ive been lifting 4 sets with 6-8 reps per set. i do around 6 exercises per body part.

In any case, pulse feasting might work, depending on how well you know your body. If you can train at 100% intensity on a mostly-empty stomach, then give it a shot for at least a few weeks. I know that when I was doing hard sparring or grappling, I felt and performed better with a meal or two in me.

Also, to clarify, what exactly does “i don’t seem to get the results Im looking for in the gym” mean? In the last 4 or 8 weeks, how has your bodyweight and strength changed?
Over the last few weeks my lifts have all been the same and i havnt seen amy improvement in anything. in order for my lifts to increase i have to lift very heavy and eat alot. Im an currently consuming around 4,000 calories a day with 5 or 6 meals to maintain a weight at 170. i wouldnt mind losing 5 pounds if it was all fat. I am really trying to find a way to keep my body fat low and keep my muscle. i had my body fat taken with calibers so its probably not very accurate.

If you lose muscle, it’s most likely due to poor diet or improper training, or both. The right nutrition plan and the right training, even with intense MMA practice, can definitely preserve muscle and drop fat.

Your profile says you’re 10% bodyfat. I wouldn’t call that “a good amount of fat” to lose. Can you post a recent pic?

squat - 250
military press - 110
deadlift - 310 [/quote]
You bench almost as much as you squat. Why?

Do you clean? What’s your best barbell row?[/quote]
Im not sure why my bench is almost as much as my squat i really have been focusing on my squat and not on my bench. i just cant seem to get anything better without putting on a lots of extra weight. I have just started cleaning and trying to add some olympic lifts but it is going to take a while for me get get proper form. [quote]Bench - 210

another pic

one last one

[quote]Fistiecuffs wrote:
When you say you are training to become MMA fighter you mean your are training to fight a few amateur fights or training to be a pro and make a living out of this? You seem to spend a shitload of time in the weightroom when you say you train 2-4 hours of MMA a day.

I am currently amateur but i am looking to become pro in a few years. I usually train 2 hours a day one monday, wednesday, and friday. tuesday and thursday i am doing 2 a days one in the morning and one at night both two hours. On saturdays its stand up for an hour and a half then an hour break then jiu jitsi for a hour and a half. Im lifting from 1 to 2 hours its usually a little over an hour with some stretching in there.

My personal experiences with MT and pulsefeasting never were a great success, I could imagine it working well when lifting but I would just feel kind of foggy and out of energy with no explosiveness left after 1st hour of training. Of course different people react differently to this kind of stuff, but at this age and with the level of activity you are doing, I don’t see how just eating clean won’t get you where you want to be, with 4 hours of training you should be able to go around 4000kcal for mainteance only. Thats 4 fairly large meals and I don’t see how your body won’t be able to make the most of them if you spread them out, depending on what times of the day you train.

i currently eat around 4000kcal a day but i feel very tired and dont have very much energy when im not doing anything. Im usually lifting around 3 in the afternoon. i have been eating very clean but i just am not getting the results i feel i should get.

I’d blame not progressing in the weightroom on the ammount of training you do and possibly insufficient rest and nutrition, I doubt pulse feast will fix any of those. In my opinion you are trying to solve this problem with the wrong tool, but feel free to try by yourself if you wish to, I’d be very interested to hear of your experiences with it.[/quote]

Do you have any suggestions then

[quote]Grimlorn wrote:
I’ve actually been thinking about this a bit. You might want to look into intermittent fasting (lean gains) and Carb back loading.

I’m not sure you can do lean gains with as much as you train but there is some good info in there. I’ve been doing it for about 2 weeks now to lose weight. But I don’t train as much as you do. I do Muay Thai and usually only do 1 or 2 hours a day 4-5 days a week. For the past week though I’ve been trying out carb back loading’s post workout protocol which is to eat a bunch of carbs post workout. This appears to be working pretty well for me and I’ve lost weight this week also while still doing it. My energy levels feel pretty good too.

Fact is you’re going to have to do a lot of reading and learning about nutrition and try a bunch of different things out to find what works best for you. But here’s an idea:

I’m guessing when you do 4 hours a day, you do 2 in the morning and 2 a night? If I did that I’d try carb back loading twice a day (200-400 grams of carbs) to restore my energy levels immediately after training and then eat low carb the rest of the day and see how that works.

But keep in mind I’m not an expert on this stuff. Also bodybuilding sites are pretty good for nutrtional info because they usually keep up on the latest info, in my experience that is.[/quote]

So when and what are you eating when you are not working out. i can see the carb loading but do u just eat very light for the rest of the day or what?

IM fasting is starving yourself for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours.

You usually eat the last 8 hours of your day. Go to sleep for 8 hours wake up and fast for 8 hours then eat. Google leangains. Go to their website and click on the leangains guide. Apparently I can’t link to it.

Carb back loading is where you skip breakfast, eat protein and fat at lunch, low to no carbs. Eat like this until you workout. Workout then eat a ton of carbs and some protein post workout. I just had an idea to try carb back loading twice a day since you were working out 2 hours twice a day.

But I have no idea whether that would work or not. You’re going to have to learn a lot about nutrition and then try a bunch of different stuff to see how it works for you because there isn’t a lot of info out there on how to eat while doing MMA as far as I know. I’m assuming you’re already eating clean and not eating a ton of junk.

If you’re doing a 5 day split on weightlifting, I’d wager that’s what is holding you back on your lifts. You’re lifting too much and not getting enough rest.

I’m actually surprised you can do 2 hours in the morning lift in the afternoon and do 2 hours at night. That’s crazy to me. I couldn’t do that and recover.

You should post your diet and let us know how much protein you’re getting and what you’re eating every day.

Also, I want to reiterate you should look into 5/3/1. It doesn’t look like you’re doing a good weightlifting regiment. It sounds like you’re doing one you made up. I’m not sure why you’re doing 4 sets of 6-8 reps. You want to train strength. You’re not a bodybuilder. You should be doing sets of 5 or less reps. There’s also probably no reason to do 6 different exercises on one body part.

just to give you a little info on 5/3/1 so you’re interested. It’s a routine where you do military, deadlift, bench, squat as your main lifts. You then do a couple of exercises for assistance work.

You also change up the rep scheme. First week you do 3x5, second week 3x3, third week you do 5,3,1.

ex: lift 2 days a week

You would do military, deadlift on day 1, then 1 to 2 arm exercises for assistance and 1 or 2 leg exercises for assistance. Day 2 you would do bench, squat, then same assistance work. The program is pretty flexible and you can pick a lot of different exercises for your assistance work. It also gives great results.

Its pretty normal to feel you have no energy and beat up at times when you are training almost 20 hours a week, I can tell you that in my case pulse feast would only make things worse for me in that regard. You might be different, the only way to find out is to try it for yourself, but with that much training I’d try to do everything I can maximizing my recovery with nutrition as long as you can keep the weight down.

For a guy your size, your lifts are already enough for pretty much any martial arts, of course being stronger and faster never hurts but I’m having hard time figuring how you could put more effort in to lifting without sacrificing recovery.

If I were you I’d look in to 5/3/1 as Grimlorn pointed out, keep the assistance work to minimum. Eat clean and time most of the carbs around your workouts and you should be good to go, starving yourself while doing that much training only sounds like a quick way to get out of energy real fast. If in doubt about what and when should you eat, read everything Berardi has written on this site and you should have a pretty good understanding of the kind of foods you should be choosing.

Bottom line, with that much training its really hard to make any drastic gains past the beginner stage, a “slow” and steady approach like 5/3/1 is what you should look for and when you start feeling too banged up, don’t be afraid to cut back some volume from lifting and do all you can to help your recovery, stretching, foamrolling, icing sore joints and muscles etc., your body will thank you later on.

How long have you been training like this? Much like Grimlorn, no way I could see myself pulling off something like this, right now I’m studying for entrance exams to university and that means I pretty much decide my own schedules so I’ve been training a lot as of late and around 14 hours a week seems to be the kind of volume that I’m having hard time recovering and after 2 weeks I need to cut it back quite a bit before wrecking anything.

Been making drastic leaps in my technique and power (harder punches and kicks, but weights haven’t really suffered one bit, though my PRs aren’t anything spectacular) with one lifting session after an hour of MT training at most, constantly getting compliments from my coach how I look sharper every time. Just goes to show how much attention you should be paying to your lifts in the end imo, as long as you are getting stronger and more effective at your sport without getting hurt due to stupid programming what you are doing probably works, never mind what is going on with your PRs.

[quote]Grimlorn wrote:
Fighters probably aren’t going to be able to squat much. They need to maintain a certain level of cardio and be able to move around on the balls of their feet, kick quickly, and be flexible enough to kick to the head and wrap their legs around someone’s body when grappling. [/quote]
I understand that, obviously, but I’m talking about the apparent press/squat discrepancy. A 1.5xBodyweight squat is solid, but having that kind of strength imbalance is a sign that something in the training (or worse, in the body) is imbalanced. Also, it’s not like squatting 315 will instantly make him slow, inflexible, and “muscle-bound” or something.

[quote]rparish wrote:
i am currently training jiu jitsu followed my a stand up class right after usually from 5-7 at night. Tuesdays and Thursdays a train the same thing but in the morning at 11-1 then at night from 5-7. I lift around 3 in the afternoon and am currently doing a 5 day split. i lift shoulders, back, arms, legs and chest each on a different day not in a particular order. Ive been lifting 4 sets with 6-8 reps per set. i do around 6 exercises per body part.[/quote]
6 exercises per bodypart? Please let that be a typo. You’re lifting like a bodybuilder, but you want to be an MMA fighter. Something needs to change. Definitely look into 5/3/1 for MMA (or 5/3/1 for Athletes, which was an article on the site a few days ago). Also, take a look at the Combat forum and see how the guys there prefer to train.

This is a huge warning sign that something needs to change immediately. Did you recently increase your training volume, or have you always done so much MMA and weight training together?

What did you eat yesterday?

You’re doing a lot of training, so you obviously need plenty of calories to recover. But with a better plan (training and nutrition), you can definitely drop some fat. Like I said, if you know your body well enough, consider the pulse fast or IF’ing. Or, swing it the other way and look into the G-Flux concept (training hard and properly while eating plenty and properly):

Yep, they’re notoriously inaccurate. And in any case, if your ultimate goal is to be a fighter, your bodyfat percentage doesn’t matter at all.

From the training plan you described, I don’t see a focus on the squat at all.

Not true if you have the right training plan, which you don’t.

“Proper form” for the clean is one that gets the bar from the ground (or from the waist) to the rack position without causing injury. I definitely believe that “good enough” technique is 100% fine for the majority of people, unless they plan on competing in the Olympic lifts. So it’s just a matter of treating the clean like any other exercise. Respect it, start light, and be consistent. You should be able to develop “good enough” technique after a bit more experience.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
I understand that, obviously, but I’m talking about the apparent press/squat discrepancy. A 1.5xBodyweight squat is solid, but having that kind of strength imbalance is a sign that something in the training (or worse, in the body) is imbalanced. Also, it’s not like squatting 315 will instantly make him slow, inflexible, and “muscle-bound” or something.
[/quote]I see. I have the same problem really, but it may be more do to my lower back injury as that has been holding me back a bit. I’ve been having trouble strengthening it.

From the few guys I know that squat though there does seem to be a discrepancy with not being able to squat as much. I figured it had something to do with the cardio or all the training they do with their legs preventing gains.