What to eat when training

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Bairdlax, May 18, 2009.

  1. Bairdlax

    Bairdlax Member

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    I recently started training again after my knee injury (Torn meniscus requireing surgery: luckily its non-disqualifying as long as its fully healed). Things are looking good for I-Day. As long as i keep improving I should get clearance from my Doctor the first week of June to attend the Academy this year. But anyways.

    I am mostly doing push ups, sit ups, pull ups, and some free weights. I will start aerobic training this week, biking and running, etc.

    After realizing how I feel like **** when working out on cheese burgers, ice cream, and candy; I think its time for a change. I really shouldnt have downed that quarter gal of "Take the cake" ice cream before working out tonight... I have a terrible diet. I eat atleast 3 McDoubles a week and well, you get the picture.

    I've been thinking about going high veggi, lean meat, and cutting out all the chips I eat. And I like iced tea, so Ill probubly drink a lot of that cause I hate working out and just drinking water.

    I could use your help. Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  2. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    I'm a fan of whole grain harvest power bars; they taste like granola bars and have tons of protein. Also, smoothies make good post-workout snacks.
     
  3. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Wow man, your diet is pretty bad haha. I never liked fast food, so it's not a problem for me. At our school, us trackies are known for being big eaters. We could pretty much devour anything and then lose the calories out in the track during practice. So you cant still eat a lot, and be in good shape. What is really good for you (or us right now) is pasta, proteins, and vegetables.

    Proteins can come from meats, eggs, protein shakes, milk, etc. Just don't eat them before a work out. For example, what a friend and I are doing to work out (me for the academy, him for fun) is we're getting up in the morning before going to school, and (at least me) eat like have a loaf of bread with peanut butter on it, and drinking some water. Then we head to the gym to lift weights, and after about 45-50 minutes of lifting, we hit the treadmill. By the time we hit the treadmill the piece of bread is way past our esophagus and we wont be seeing it again that morning. After that, with just water and a small piece of bread in our stomach, we go back to our houses and have like 10oz of protein shake with some small breakfast.

    If you're gonna try this, you might want to eat a large meal of like pasta for dinner, so you have that energy to spend in the morning. In track we have pasta parties before a meet for the same reason. Oh and if you're running, and for some reason you wan to eat something right before, make sure it doesn't have protein-they cause cramps. If anything, eat a banana way before you're gonna run (about 2 hours before) so it prevents any ab cramps. (the potassium is what helps this)

    I hope this helped.
     
  4. MChansard

    MChansard Member

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    you could just follow my philosophy of "as long as you workout and eat a healthy diet otherwise, you can eat as much ice cream as you want." just keep one of your "really unhealthy" staples and just don't eat it at inopportune times.

    eating a decent sized, balanced breakfast is the best place to start because it sets the mood for the rest of your day (as of right now.) the rest is up to you- just realize that scientists developed the food guide pyramid for a reason. don't forget to take into account when/what type of workout you will be doing so you can get the right amount of "fuel" beforehand. and always always always protein after strength training and some amount of a sports drink (gatorade or poweraid) after endurance. and water after both, all the time, no matter what. soda no, tea pretty decent, water best :biggrin:

    and for any of us who eat constantly, around the clock, the "six meals a day" type thing... should we start trying to get ourselves used to the three meals a day plan experienced during bct and beyond?
     
  5. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    Well my diet for cutting body fat and keeping as much lean mass as possible (relatively hard when doing cardio) is eating about 6 meals per day consisting of 40 g of protein each meal. I eat carbs during the beginning half of the day (no more after 12) and usually during the morning is when I eat my carbs. My carbs during the morning consists of simple carbs (high glycemic like white rice) because in the morning glycogen levels are low. When I get to school I eat toasted wheat bread for further energy throughout the day. During the day I eat 3 more meals including lunch. When I get home I eat another meal (no carbs). I do cardio, and after cardio eat dinner.

    My meals usually consist of low fat chicken and meat. In between meals I drink 20 g whey protein to continue synthesizing protein for my body. The morning is usually when I eat the worst, high fat and carb meal.

    What I recommend for shredding fat and keeping muscle mass is intaking less carbs and really watching your fat and carb intake. Make sure you're eating carbs at the right time (beginning or early mid of the day). It's common sense, if you eat carbs early in the day, you burn those carbs while you're active at school or working out. If you intake them later during the day where you are less active, they are more likely to be stored as fat so make sure you watch what and when you're eating. There's always a time for everything. Other than you're, just make sure you're doing a lot of exercise. If you are bulking (gain muscle mass), then that's another diet.
     
  6. Eighth Lock

    Eighth Lock Member

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    Anyone have thoughts about weight gain while keeping a good body composition? (currently a few pounds under the Air Force minimum)

    Right now I'm doing cardio + lifting workouts 3-4 times a week, and usually doing some running (not at a workout pace) for my recovery days. Hopefully that'll encourage my body to mainly make muscle but not fat with the extra calories.

    Besides the simple eat fruits, veggies, a lot of protein (largely from lean meats), and avoid added sugar/bad fats, does anyone have any good suggestions of how to gain muscle, while limiting any gain in fat?
     
  7. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    Well by doing cardio, you are really burning a lot of muscle. If you are doing intense cardio (heart rate is maybe above 160) then you are burning much more muscle than doing cardio when your heart rate is about 120-140 range. So it depends on your body, if you have a high metabolism I suggest you keep your cardio low (unless you are trying to train for endurance).

    Other than that I would suggest what I said above. Watch what you eat and what time you eat. Other than that I think you are all covered. About 250-300 g protein per day is good.
     
  8. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Woah, you do not burn muscle when you do cardio. Unless of course you have absolutely no fat to burn, which I doubt anyone has because it is really really unhealthy. A healthy person has, around, 12-20% fat. Anything less and you gotta start eating a little more fat.

    When you do cardio, your body burns the quickest energy that it can- sugars (not candy sugars). These good sugars are found in breads, pasta, etc. When your body finishes these sugars, it goes on to lipids. Lipids do not make you gain muscle weight, but they are necessary when you are trying to work your cardio. Now I'm not saying that you should carry lots of fat in your heart because this would defeat the purpose of a cardio workout, I'm saying your muscles should get their proper dose so that you can burn it off when you run, bike, etc.

    Now if you're trying to gain muscle weight, it is true that you might want to cut your cardio workout down OR eat lots of protein and good fats. You want a really well-balanced meal and lots of it. This is why the academy offers 4,000+ calories a day to Basic Cadets. Because they are using up a lot of energy while running + everything else (they don't want them to have a deficiency of good fats, sugars, and protein), but they also want them to gain muscle weight. If less calories were given than taken away during a workout, then the person will start burning off that muscle while running which is a major no no.

    My biggest advice is this- work out in the morning (lift, try to gain weight) then drink protein shakes (20g+) and a good breakfast. Then in the afternoon go out and run before dinner. Then fill yourself with a balanced meal after your shower or whatever. Then repeat this for a while. One thing you dont want to do, if you're thinking of doing, is work out your legs in the morning and then go running at night. This too is a no no. You won't be giving your legs enough time to recover. You might want to give this day up for taking it easy, and just continue the next day with different muscle targets. Remember to give your muscles AT LEAST 24 hours of rest. For example, working out your biceps everyday will give you much less desirable results than if you worked on them every other day or every other 2 days if you have pain that lasts. To avoid injury and quick recovery, I suggest you stretch your muscles before and after a workout. This allows for your muscles to not only stretch and become flexible, but also to be able to intake the proteins you take in for recovery.

    I hope I explained myself? point out any mistakes if anyone can recognize any fallacies. Any other questions, Ask me. I've taken nutrition and weight lifting in high school, anatomy and training, played lacrosse, soccer, and track. I've had a lot of experience in a gym. Unfortunately all the sports I played require lots and lots of running so most of the energy I took in was used out on the field, so it has been awfully hard keeping muscle mass.
     
  9. PDub

    PDub Prospective

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    Eighth Lock, lots of protein and when weightlifting, try fewer reps of heavier weights than more reps of lighter weights. This will help you bulk up with muscle.
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    That's the norm for females. Males is lower than that.
    Bruce Lee had a VERY low body fat, didn't mean he was unhealthy though.

    Well, its hard for the body to distinguish where the sucrose/fructose came from; candy bar or peach or power bar? They will be burned before the starches in the carbohydrates you mentioned above, but the body will grab at fructose and glucose all the same. Hence why gatorade has both in it.

    The body is always burned all three fuels when you work out, but of course it prefers the easiest over the others. However, you are burning proteins the entire time, and they are being burned a lot at the same time as fat, but, of course, not at quite the high rate. The body does have to release the fat stores from adipose tissue and transport it which takes time and energy which is why you are burning a bit more protein too.

    While I'm nitpicking on your biology, I concur with your work-out advice 100%.
     
  11. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Rough on the facts, thanks for clearing it up.

    Haha yeah, he was superhuman. Although very healthy, I don't recommend it for anyone going to basic. We sort of need that fat everyone says to get rid of. By the end of the summer we probably wont have it from all the activity.


    That's what I meant- quick sugars in candy are burned off quickest, but they're not really good for you in the long run if you plan on working out for a while since your body uses them up rather quickly. And if left with little to back that loss of energy up, you'll "crash" midway.
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Haha, our class got fat over basic. More people gained than lost weight! :)
     
  13. MChansard

    MChansard Member

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    would it be a good idea though to alternate high weight/low rep and low weight/high rep every week to get muscle strength and endurance? or what the book says is just fine for bct preparation:smile:
     
  14. jarvin

    jarvin Member

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    Hey Bombtrack, thanks for correcting me. Anyways sorry if I came off ignorant. It's just I've talked to many people in the gym (primarily bodybuilders) and they discourage doing any cardio that put your heart rate above 140-150. Usually 120-140 is what they recommend when cutting down. Anyways I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm just putting out a statement (correct me if I'm wrong) based on personal experience and others. I noticed ever since I've been doing more intense cardio (5 miles a day, getting ready for PFA) my strength decreased dramatically even though I have kept my calories relatively the same. I have noticed I've torched some fat but I can't just ignore that I lost muscle mass as well.
     
  15. Eighth Lock

    Eighth Lock Member

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    My experience from last year's cross country season also somewhat agrees with that. With all the running (fast, and for long distances), I didn't eat quite enough and didn't do any real upper body workouts, and my strength just disappeared...

    Anyway, I personally think its still a good idea to keep some intense cardio going (especially for things like the CFA mile). But make sure if you are going to start some running/cardio that you *increase* calories, instead of simply keep them constant. Trust me, you burn calories at a pretty fast rate while running (over 100 calories per mile for 140 lbs male - approximately 800/hr depending on your running speed).

    For weight lifting though, any thoughts on a pyramid-like structure for strength training workouts (starting high reps-low weight, going to low reps-high weight, and then back, for a total of 5 sets)?
     
  16. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Sorry I did NOT mean to be rude, I just jump in when there are misconceptions. I think I know what you meant to say though. When your heart rate is high, it means your heart is trying really hard to pump that blood- It doesn't necessarily mean that you're working hard. For example- if you're not fit, a jog of 100m could get your heart rate up to let's say 180. If you're really really fit, a 400m sprint could only give you a heart rate of 140. The difference in this is that you're actually using more muscle energy for the sprint, even if your heart rate is low. See a cardio workout is a workout that keeps your heart at a "challenging-but-not-overly-stressful" level. For example, you said you did 5 miles a day. Sure, those five miles burn calories, and they probably also tear muscle (which is why you take the protein so that you can repair+build the torn muscle), but your heart rate can be low, so it's not challenging your heart. It's hard for me to explain this:

    The person that jogged and got 180 would probably benefit in the long run if he kept his heart rate at a challenging level but not so high so that it works too hard. And eventually, by increasing his time, he can go down to sprinting 100m eventually without having a heart rate that high. This is a cardio workout.

    The person that sprinted the 400m would most likely benefit if he ran for a longer period of time keeping his heart rate at a challenging level but not too high either. This also is a cardio workout because, like the jogger, he is DEcreasing his heart rate, thus making his blood pump more efficient.

    A cardio workout benefits us in the sense that, at such altitude, with a bad heart, we wont have enough blood pumping through our veins and our heart would be working too hard trying to keep us moving. You want to have a challenging heart rate while working out (but make sure it's not too challenging or else it defeats its purpose) so that your heart stands a better chance during basic.

    Now, those body builders are probably telling you to keep your heart rate down so that you can do it for longer periods of time. For example, with a low heart rate, you can burn off the calories easy if you can go for a long time. With a challenging heart rate, your heart (which is a muscle) gets its workout, but you'll probably be beat pretty quickly. Body builders probably do not like spending their energy on a treadmill when they can spend it lifting, so this way they can lose weight while not really challenging the heart or the leg muscles.

    So after you run those five miles, you lose fat AND muscle? This is possible. You mentioned earlier that you have lots of protein and fat and carbs. This is good. After a workout, you want to not only get protein in your system, but also carbs. For example have a 20-30g shake with a loaf of bread with peanut butter on it (and if you want even a fruit) after a workout. It's been said that eating cereal right after working muscles can quicken muscle recovery, I've never really tried it. Anyway, the carbs help restore the torn muscles almost the way protein does (I'm not too sure how the biology plays into this, so I don't want to make up facts).

    Sorry if it's hard to understand. I learned the cardio thing from track. We called them thresholds, I hated them but knew they had to be done. I don't know how you can find out your heart rate accurately other than put your index and middle fingers next to your jugular, count to ten, then multiply the number of beats by 60(?). then that's your heart rate. Or you can go to a gym and go on the treadmill where you just put your palm on those things. or buy one yourself, they have watches with that (I'm actually thinking of buying one of those after basic..hmm..). I don't know, whatever floats your boat.
     
  17. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    what I do is high weight/low rep then down to medium weight/medium reps until I feel like I had enough. You do not want to completely max out on any machine too much because you'll increase your chances of injury. Plus the whole "no pain, no gain" thing is nothing but a fluke. Plus, you certainly do not want to tear anything before basic.
     
  18. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    The only way to make muscle is to tear your muscle. If you do low weight/high rep of anything, you're pretty much just burning off calories for the hell of it. I'd say the book is pretty good with it, but make it your own. Add new things so that you don't plateau.
     
  19. starvinmarvin_09

    starvinmarvin_09 USAFA Cadet

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    I'm not sure if anyone else would agree with me here or not, but just follow the food groups with consideration that you need all the vitamins and minerals to function. It really doesn't matter the source of the calories, just the nutrient intake.

    I personally am a fan of bacon. I think i'll cook some up tonight, put it in some pasta. Got the proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates all taken care of then!
     
  20. Bombtrack

    Bombtrack Member

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    Not too much of it, though- it's mostly saturated fat (bad). Although it sure sounds good! lol
     

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