How to Fuel for Increased Training Load

We are entering the green phase, and we are in for some new challenges!

We’ve all been training at home, doing our best to maintain fitness and promote our wellness to ensure we stay healthy through the current pandemic. As we step back into the gym and place ourselves into a “rebuild” phase, we will be lifting more weight, training longer, and have more recovery needs. During social distancing, our eating patterns may have changed. Moving forward, we must evaluate how they changed, if they should adjust for new training regimens, and how our bodies will respond to a new plan. 

Considering Volume: Weight, Repetitions, Duration

Working out at home means you were performing body-weight workouts, using dumbbells, bands, kettlebells, and maybe a lighter barbell. Some of us were lucky enough to have a full barbell set. Regardless, your training regimen was surely different than what you maintained prior to the at-home routine. Lifting heavier weights, training for longer, and perhaps doing hypertrophy and strength-building repetition schemes will tax your muscles and nervous system. These are factor to keep in mind as you make the transition. 

What Does This Mean for Caloric Intake?

It is almost certain that everyone will feel increased hunger heading back into the gym. The body will be stressed positively, forced to build muscle, and adapt to increased aerobic capacity. This requires energy, meaning your body will need more calories. Take caution though, to realize that this does not give anyone a free pass to eat 500 more calories each day. Rather, increasing calories around the workout windows will provide you with the additional energy to perform well and recover efficiently to get after it the next day. If you do set a goal to gain muscle, that will require a tailored increase in calories that your nutrition coach can guide you in creating. 

What Macronutrients Are Important?

All of them; and it depends. Fat, protein, and carbohydrates each play crucial roles in fueling your body, assisting in recovery, facilitating chemical functions, and building tissue. Carbohydrates will be needed and focused around your strength and high-intensity exercise windows, but still, make up each meal. Protein builds muscle and promotes recovery. Fat maintains your nervous system, keeps you full, and is slow-burning energy. THey key skill to practice is to build balanced meals of whole foods and plenty of vegetables. From there, work out the little details with your nutrition coach!

Recovery is Crucial 

More isn’t always better. There is a sweet spot, especially when it comes to training. Work with your CrossFit coaches and nutrition coach to create not only fueling and training plans but also strategies to recover. The right post-workout meal and mobility can take you far. Use rest days to allow your nervous system to heal and muscles to grow. The green phase post-COVID is a great opportunity to develop your body and mind. Let’s do this!