I have previously written a post about working out while you are sick and my stance is basically that if you are really sick then you should rest, if you are just using it as an excuse, then go to the gym! But I am 11 days away from my first ever competition and I am feeling oh so terrible. I don’t know if I’m actually sick or if my body has just had enough of the crazy workout regime and not enough food. I think it might be a bit of both: i.e. I am getting sick because my body does not have enough resources to fight off the infections I am exposed to… the joys of working in an office.
Mostly what I am feeling is extreme fatigue and nausea, particularly during cardio which is not fun. I would normally take nausea as a sign that I am too sick to work out. Things like sore throat, sinus issues and head colds don’t stop me, but stomach or lung issues I usually rest.
Yesterday I managed to do 1 hour on the stair mill feeling nauseous the whole time and planning to eat a good meal after and hope that helped. It did… a little. But I still wasn’t feeling great. I planned to workout after work as well (legs and some more cardio) but at 5 I decided that my body could use the rest more than the workout. I went home. On the bus about 100 feet from my door I had the sinking realization that I had forgotten my keys in the gym when I went in the tanning bed! Karma you sneaky devil! If I had gone to the gym after work I would have needed my keys to get into the gym, but nooooo I skipped it, so now I was stuck. I ended up having to scale the garage at the back of my building and crawl in through a window that had an AC unit in it (which has since been removed and the window is locked if anyone has thievery on their mind). But seriously, the universe has a way of telling you what it wants you to do, I swear, I have even talked about that before here. So I am taking the hint universe! No slacking!
This morning I woke up bright (it was actually dark) and early to work out with the uber-intense Max Shona who is training me a couple times leading up to the show at the Yonge & Eglinton Goodlife. He likes working with “athletes” because he can push them a lot harder, and oh boy does he push.
This morning he had me do 8 rounds of this workout:
Full body plyo workout
20 kettlebell swings with a 16 kg kettlebell
15 full burpees (i.e. actually jumping of the floor, not just standing up)
15 “knee-to-chin” crunches (balance on your butt and bring your upper body and knees up at the same time then extend.
That is a total of 160 kettlebell swings, 120 burpees and 120 knee/chins.
After every round I would just stop after the last extension and lay there panting until I could get up, take a few swigs on water and set up for the next round. I only broke 3 times during the burpees (broke the set into 10 then 5) and the rest of the sets were all straight, with some breathing time between the kb swings and the burpees.
As far as nutrition goes, I have been noticing my body is craving carbs…. like, a lot. So I have upped my carb intake to between 80-120 grams every day and feel much better. I try to time most of my carbs around workouts to use them most efficiently and to supply the much needed fuel to my muscles when I am asking so much of them.
In general, for muscular gains and well being you should consume some carbs before and after a workout and the type of carb (simple or complex) depends on the type of exercise… steady and long – opt for complex carbs like sweet potato; short and intense – opt for simple carbs (not straight sugar, think fruit). The ratio I like to follow is how ever many carbs you will need for your workout (30 grams is usually more than enough for the average woman and 40-50 grams for men) consume 2/3rds of the carbs before the workout to give your body energy (so 20 grams for women and 30 grams for men) and the rest after the workout to aid recovery.
Fat loss (note that I don’t say weight loss because that is NEVER the goal) is a little different and I usually stick to carbs and protein before only if I am really going to go hard and nothing if it’s a slower workout and straight protein with potentially some healthy fat after the workout. This morning I knew I would need the carbs so I whipped up a wicked protein shake that did the trick.
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- ½ c. Frozen raspberries
- 1 c. Pure coconut water (like coco samba)
Directions: Blend and drink while running around getting ready for the gym!
Nutritional Info: Cals – 215 Carbs – 20 g Fats – 3 g Protein – 27 g (my protein powder is higher protein than most, so adjust if yours is different)
Then after the workout I had 1 oz of almonds and some more protein to refuel. This afternoon’s workout (yes today is a 2-a-day) I will have an apple before followed my protein sludge when I get home or just straight to dinner if I make it quick.
FYI there has been a baked goods cart coming desk to desk in my office for the last 2 days, it is pure torture. Stop the madness! I had few nibbles of a cookie and it tasted divine, I cannot wait to indulge a bit after the competition, but no gluten (or very little) because stomach aches are not fun!