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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 05-17-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
Will Feber
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Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

For the past 3 months I've been trying to lean out. Made good progress, down from 89kg to 83kg. Initially everything felt good, but for the past 2 or 3 weeks, I've been feeling a bit beat up. Warming up feels fine, but then in the work set with every rep it feels more and more exhausting. Mostly with squatting and deadlifting. 3 weeks ago squatting 7 reps with 140kg was totally possible, today 5 reps with 140kg felt really exhausting, couldn't do more.

I'm not cutting calories too hard. About 600 calories deficit per day 6 days a week. One day a week, I do a refeed with a surplus of 500 calories and more carbs. My diet is mostly paleo with some dairy and potatoes. At least 200g protein, 125g carbs, 60g fat. Right now I'm probably around 19% bf, so I'm assuming it's not an issue of losing lots of muscle mass, rather of under-recovering. I also haven't been sleeping too well, I get 8 hours a night, but wake up here and there. Then again, I also had issues with that sometime when everything was going well.

My program right now looks like:

Monday
3 sets of 5 reps bench or press
2 sets of 5 reps front squat. 2nd set 90% of first one
3 sets max pull ups or max dips
5 sets max hanging leg raises or weighted sit ups
Practicing cleans with only bar for 15 mins

Wednesday
3 sets of 5 reps bench or press
1 sets of 5 reps deadlift
3 sets max pull ups or max dips
5 sets max hanging leg raises or weighted sit ups
Practicing jump rope for 10 mins

Friday
3 sets of 5 reps bench or press
2 sets of 5 reps squat. 2nd set 90% of first one
3 sets max pull ups or max dips
5 sets max hanging leg raises or weighted sit ups

Otherwise, my stats: 34 years, male. 5RMs (as of 3 weeks ago) Squat 150kg, Bench 82.5kg, Deadlift 190kg, Press 57.5kg.

What would you change to fix the issue? Reduce workouts to only bench, press, squat and deadlift, no assistance work? Take a week off? Last time I've done that was when I was sick for a week 2 months ago. Before that I took a week off around new years.

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
Cam Peavy
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

That is a very small amount of calories to eat per day.. what size are you?
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:28 PM   #3
Will Feber
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

I'm 182, 6 feet tall. The calories is a surplus. 2600 would be maintenance, tested it out for two weeks and was maintaining weight with that. 2000 calories 6 days a week. One day I'm a lot more active, maintenance is around 3200 calories, so I eat around 3700 calories.

It might not seem like a lot of calories. But I'm never feeling hungry. I'm also not losing weight too fast. Roughly around one pound per week... and no, I'm not the kind of guy who eats like a bird. I've gained tons of weight while doing TM before starting to lean out 3 months ago.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:00 PM   #4
Luke Sirakos
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

Try downing a small protein shake and some dextrose pre workout. I was feeling really drained during my heavier workouts while in a similar deficit and that makes a world of difference. I have mine about 30 min prior to workout, one scoop of protein (24g) and 20g of dextrose.
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Old 05-18-2014, 03:46 AM   #5
Will Feber
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

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Originally Posted by Luke Sirakos View Post
Try downing a small protein shake and some dextrose pre workout. I was feeling really drained during my heavier workouts while in a similar deficit and that makes a world of difference. I have mine about 30 min prior to workout, one scoop of protein (24g) and 20g of dextrose.
Good advice. But been doing that since I started the diet.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:01 AM   #6
Kevin Keast
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

It sounds like it might be time for an extended refeed of a couple of weeks. 12 weeks is a reaching the outer limits of time to be in a deficit, even with 1/week refeeds.

Also 6'2 182 and you want to lean out? Maybe that is why your strength numbers are stalling. It looks like you are doing a program similar to Starting Strength. You need to eat more, not less if you want to progress on that type of program. If you are afraid of gaining fat, try a 300 calorie surplus every single day. You'll be eating more on training days and less on rest days, but always in a surplus. Adjust your total cals up as your weight goes up. If you plateau, try bumping to a 400 calorie surplus.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
Will Feber
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

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Originally Posted by Kevin Keast View Post
It sounds like it might be time for an extended refeed of a couple of weeks. 12 weeks is a reaching the outer limits of time to be in a deficit, even with 1/week refeeds.

Also 6'2 182 and you want to lean out? Maybe that is why your strength numbers are stalling. It looks like you are doing a program similar to Starting Strength.
That's just the program I'm doing since being focusing on leaning out. Basically it's one of the programs in the GSLP book with only 2 squat stets instead of 3, to reduce the volume a bit.. and some accessory work at the end.

Before that I did TM for quite a while, made good strength and weight gains. Don't worry, when I focus on gaining strength, I surely don't eat like a bird

I'm 6 feet, 182.. yes, not a lot of weight. But at 19%, just way too much body fat. Need to get it down, so when I'm gaining weight again it's not going into obese territory.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:10 PM   #8
Chris Mason
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

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Originally Posted by Will Feber View Post
I'm 182, 6 feet tall. The calories is a surplus. 2600 would be maintenance, tested it out for two weeks and was maintaining weight with that. 2000 calories 6 days a week. One day I'm a lot more active, maintenance is around 3200 calories, so I eat around 3700 calories.

It might not seem like a lot of calories. But I'm never feeling hungry. I'm also not losing weight too fast. Roughly around one pound per week... and no, I'm not the kind of guy who eats like a bird. I've gained tons of weight while doing TM before starting to lean out 3 months ago.
Your testing theory is not valid. The body can adapt, especially in the short term, to variations in caloric intake, so the fact you temporarily reduced your intake and did not gain or lose weight doesn't mean much.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:46 PM   #9
Jason Falcon
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

I can share my experience based on my most recent cut. I was about 228 at end of February and am at 210 as of today, and following my box's 5/3/1 style programming, with metcons after each workout.

What I've found to be the difference maker is the timing of when I eat my carbs. I'm tracking my macros, currently aiming for 200g protein, 160g carbs, and 80g fat per day (puts me right near 2100 calories total). I've gone to the gym for an evening workout several times having only consumed 60 or so grams of carbs, and I bonked hard during those workouts. I try to make sure I'm going into the workout with at least 100g of carbs in my system so I have the energy to sustain me through the workout.

Again, that's based on my experience and I'm sure will differ person to person.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:54 PM   #10
Will Feber
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Re: Starting to feel beat up while leaning out. What to change?

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Your testing theory is not valid. The body can adapt, especially in the short term, to variations in caloric intake, so the fact you temporarily reduced your intake and did not gain or lose weight doesn't mean much.
True, it might not proof how many maintenance calories I need. But at a deficit of 500 calories per day, I've pretty much linearly lost 1 pound consistently for 10 weeks. Yes, that is also not completely precise. But good enough to show that I haven't had a insanely huge caloric deficit.
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