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dave hill 09-19-2005 06:15 PM

I am going to start a super physical army course in about a week. I would equate it with a major 2 week long enduro challenge. I want to be physically peaked for it and feel that I am good to go physically, but want to have the fuel to go the distance. I have heard pros and cons to fat and carb loading and I was thinking of doing a bit of both.... Any advice? Thanks

Nikki Young 09-20-2005 12:12 AM

Crossfit recomends the Zone Diet for athletes to help getting/staying in peak physical state.

The only times i have heard of carb loading are in cases where an athlete is going to take part in an event where a lot of energy is required, in which case they load up on high carb foods (pasta) the night before and/or a few hours before the event.

But you might be leading more towards the 'carb loading/Carb cyclying' phase some body builders go through a few weeks leading up to a contest, this is when they will carb deplete (eat little to no carbs) for a couple of days and then eat lots of carbs for a day, then back to carb depleting. I knew a body builder who carb depleted for a week! She was basically living of tuna/salad and protien shake, then prior to her contest she would eat lots of carbs so her muscles would look more defined/tender. IMO most of the time this has little to no effect, but carb depleting like that for a week will result in muscle loss as well as some fat loss, but because of the rapid change of no carbs, most of the weight lots would be in muscle mass.

I haven't heard much about fat loading, but ultimatly if your wanting a nutrition plan for endurance work i would have a look at the Zone diet crossfit recomends for all athletes.

Nikki Young 09-20-2005 12:26 AM

Ahh sorry, i just realised i didn't answer your question ...

Tom Gilbert 09-20-2005 06:25 AM

Calories and water

Two full weeks of endurance work ... you're body will burn anything you put into it (and then some), at that point the focus should be how much, not what type

It doesn't need to be a dedicated "loading." Just as keeping chewing away as the days go on. A week is still well more than enough time to taper and fuel up

Jeremy Bloniasz 09-20-2005 07:12 AM

I want to kind of piggy back on Dave's question as I'll be in a similar situation next month. Mine is only for a weekend Friday to Sunday, but I'm anticipating no food and very little, if any, sleep. The advise given was eat a high carb meal no later than 3 hours before reporting for the weekend. I'm trying to eat zone-ish will this be suffice or should I do something extra to have the fuel for the weekend. It will be a very physically demanding weekend. Thanks


Chris Goodrich 09-20-2005 04:30 PM

I agree with Tom, focus on eating every calorie you can get your hands on immediately before and during the course and don't worry too much about wether it comes from fat or carbs. "Carbo loading" helps short term endurance, not multi-day events. Your body can only store so much glycogen (from carbohydrates) in the muscles, and any extra you put in your body gets burned immediately or converted to stored fat. You might get 30-90 minutes of endurance work out of your glycogen stores before depleting them, depending on intensity and fitness. You can generally sustain higher intensity endurance work burning glycogen than you can burning fat, which is why marathoners carbo-load prior to a race and eat the carb gels during, so they can stay in the carb-burning zone as long as possible. This won't help much for a two week school. After you burn the carbs you loaded up on you're either burning new food you put in your body or fat (and/or muscle). If you're fairly low in body fat it might be worth trying to pack on a couple extra pounds prior to the course. I usually find myself running at least some calorie deficit in the field, and its good to have a "built in" reserve. Mark Twight has an interesting article about endurance training and fat burning at Good luck,

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