“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” - Hippocrates

We all know that the correct amount of exercise and the right nutrition is an important part of your total fitness plan, so we want to teach you how to optimize your strength training on keto.

keto diet

Everyone has different goals, and it takes a personal diet and exercise program to create the body and lifestyle you want. You might have looked into the many benefits the ketogenic diet can bring you, one of which is rapid weight loss. But foods that are good for losing weight aren’t necessarily suitable for your workout goals.

To Keto or Not to Keto?

Keto is known for being great for weight loss, and excellent for giving you that boost of energy you need to get through a tough day. But cutting out carbs can make bursting through the tougher parts of your workout a lot harder on your body than it needs to be. 

How do you get the best of the keto diet, without impacting your workout? It’s simpler than you think. It involves sticking to a stricter schedule than regular keto, but if you’re used to strength training, we know you won’t shy away from self-discipline. Check out these tips to stick to a healthier, low-carb diet, while still getting the carbs you need to keep pushing yourself at the gym.

Nutritional Ketosis

The keto diet is short for ketosis, which is the state your body enters when you cut out carbs from your diet. Typically, the body burns glucose for energy. But when you’re on keto your body burns fat for energy. That means a lot of weight loss gains, and a surplus of energy to work your way through a tough day. But it doesn’t necessarily lead to the energy you need when lifting to failure.

keto diet

Keto For Health

A high fat, low carb diet can be beneficial in several ways. In the first place, it can aid with relief for several health issues. It’s been shown as an effective treatment for diabetes and can help to take the strain off your heart. It can keep your cholesterol levels focused on good cholesterol while cutting out the bad.

Being in ketosis typically gives you the energy you need for long-term stamina. That makes it great for sports like biking, and for your cardio training. The problem is that it has a more negative effect on workouts that need an explosive burst of energy, like strength training. How do you get around a low-carb diet when you’re looking to build up your weight training regime? The answer is more straightforward than you think.

How To Increase Your Strength During Ketosis

The easiest and most effective method is the targeted keto diet for building muscle. It involves a rigorous schedule of when and how you can bulk up on carbs. 

Targeted Keto

The truth is, any time you overload on carbs, you’re going to kick your body out of ketosis, and lose the benefits of burning fat over carbs. The trick, then, is to burn the carbs quickly so you can bounce your body straight back into the keto zone. A keto calculator can help with this. It’s a valuable tool, no matter what you’re looking to gain from your diet and exercise plan. Inserting all your sizes, age, and factoring in your health goals can help make sure that you’re getting the right amount of fats, proteins, and carbs to meet your goals.

For muscle-building goals during ketosis, you should calculate your macros exactly the same way you would for a regular keto diet, while also factoring in the extra calories you’ll get when you eat carbs and adjusting fat as needed.

keto food pyramid

The best time to eat carbs is about 30-60 minutes before a strength training workout. You should eat around 15-50g of carbs, and focus on the quick absorbing high GI carbs, like hard candies, sports drinks, and natural sugars like dried fruits and maple syrup. If you’re really pushing yourself, or you’re trying to power through a tougher workout, you might need more than 50g. To avoid the effects of the keto flu, try and break it up. Eat no more than 50g at a time, half an hour before your workout, then right before. If you have several training sessions a day, divide the carb loads between each of them. 

Cyclical Keto

If you’re looking to gain mass, or you’re not seeing the results you’re hoping for on targeted keto, you may want to try a cyclical keto diet. It involves scheduling two or three days off keto during the week. It can be tough to master, but it’s often the best and most effective way to make huge gains while sticking to keto.

Here’s how it works.

A day or two should be spent carbo-loading. You can take the opportunity to eat whatever you want, or take a more scientific approach, and ensure that 70% of your total caloric intake is carbohydrates, with 15% protein and 15% fats. This isn’t an excuse to load up on processed junk. Stick to healthy carbs. Next 24 hours should be 60% carbs, 25% proteins, and 15% fats. 

keto diet types explained

Re-enter Ketosis

To re-enter ketosis should take about three days. For the first day, you should be fasting completely after 6 pm.

Day two means you wake up and perform an intense strength training workout on an empty stomach. That will help burn any excess sugars out of your system. You should stick to a strict Keto diet at this point, less than 2% carbohydrate intake.

The third day, you’ll wake again to start your day with a medium intensity workout before breakfast. You can return to normal keto at 3-5% carb.

With these tips, you’ll be able to burst through the toughest workouts, while getting all the benefits of a healthy keto diet. 

Everyone’s got their own set of goals when they come into the gym. For some, it’s about weight loss, for others, maximizing your energy levels. For a strength trainer, bulking up on carbs makes it easier to work out effectively and get the muscle definition and power you need. A low-carb diet has a lot of health benefits, but if you’re not careful about your diet, you could compromise your workout, or even endanger your health. Follow these tips to keep on the low-carb diet without losing out on your training.


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