Gym Plans Explained: Carbohydrate Loading / Cycling

  • Gym terminology debunked

I appreciate that getting fit can be an alien concept and that there are lots of terms maybe unheard of.

If you read my recent blogs you’ll know that I hate gym myths that are perpetuated.

Carbohydrate loading / cycling and cutting.

Carbohydrate loading is associated with runners and long distance endurance events where the goal is stamina. The idea is to store as much energy as possible in the days prior in preparation for the event: rightly or wrongly.

Carbohydrate cycling is based around the principle of high and lows of carbohydrate intake. Spikes in intake generally when training is intense and lulls when resting (and / or in conjunction with goal preparation).

Nutrition is a subject that many people struggle to get to grasp with. There are so many ideas and concepts that used / abused that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

In short, my ideology at RYPT is to keep it simple. At the beginning, there is no need to worry about bulking / cutting.

Nail down a simple plan from the start that has the foundations of understanding what / why you are doing. If you know the reason behind it, then you are well on the path to success. Blindly doing what you think is right may work but is not guaranteed success over the longer run.

(See the RYPT website for blogs which you can filter by nutrition as a topic).

To begin with, know what your nutritional categories are, how many calories you need to MAINTAIN your present weight and what your weaknesses are.

^ These three aspects will make you more self-aware and put you on the path to success.

If you have absolutely no idea about 1–2 of these then I would definitely recommend making yourself familiar with the myfitnesspal app (which is free). Using preset boundaries, it will configure what your ideal target is and even better, it will give you your target to hit the weight you want to be at. Well worth the time!

Once you have mastered the basics, you can begin to look into things like carbohydrate cycling. If you have peaks and troughs of training then adjusting your calorific intake could be an option (disclaimer: based on a calculation and never dipping more than 20% either way). This would be suitable if you struggle for energy when training intensely and / or gain unhealthy weight when not training.

I would recommend contacting myself first for a quick, free nutritional evaluation.

Carbohydrate Loading for events is worth looking into but only if you can manage it within healthy perimeters. I wouldn’t advise going crazy the week before races with pasta and carbohydrates! It should be manageable and involve a sustained increase (rather than sporadic).

I used to do this before marathons with a wholemeal based plan and maybe overdid the calorific consumption on the morning of the race.

It is an element of training (particularly as you are resting the week before) which will improve your glycogen levels (in short, carbohydrates which are stored in the body).

RYPT is all about moderation, so spiking your carbohydrate level can seem inconsistent advice but if you are going to run 26 miles or more, then you will need the extra energy. It should be part of a predefined plan (which RYPT can help you with). See the free 24 part RYPT running guide for the training side of things and claim your nutritional evaluation too.

Key learnings…

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RYPT is about sustainability, moderation and enjoyment through health and wellbeing coaching. Personalised Online Fitness coaching. RYPT will get YOU results!

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Ross Yeoman

Ross Yeoman

RYPT is about sustainability, moderation and enjoyment through health and wellbeing coaching. Personalised Online Fitness coaching. RYPT will get YOU results!

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