The Ketogenic Diet and Bodybuilding

The ketogenic diet allows your body to break its stored fat. It is one of the main methods used in bodybuilding to build muscle mass while decreasing body fat. Most bodybuilders on the ketogenic diet set their daily calorie intake to 20% over their usual calorie level. This is not a set figure and can be adjusted on an individual basis. It is simply a guideline to get you started in the right direction.

To get the additional calories needed on the ketogenic diet, you will need to eat chicken, steak, fish, sausage, whole eggs, bacon, and protein shakes. You want to consume 1.5g of fat for every gram of protein. Aim to eat upwards of 5 meals a day. Your muscles need the additional meals to grow. After all, a major part of bodybuilding includes supplying your muscles with nutrients.

While you're on the ketogenic diet, it is recommended that you load up on carbohydrates for about a 3 day cycle. On the third day, consume 1000 calories worth of carbs at least two hours before your workout for that day. You can pick between two options of car-loading. You can either 1) eat anything that you want or 2) start with high glycemic carbs and then switch to low glycemic carbs. If you decide to eat anything that you want during this phase, then you should stick to low-fat carbs. The whole purpose behind the carb-loading is to increase the glycogen in your muscles which will allow you to end an intestinal workout.

For example, let's say you begin carb-loading on Friday. By Sunday, your muscles will have a substantial amount of glycogen in them. This will be the day that you workout. It is best to only work out half of your body at this time with weights. Schedule your next workout on Wednesday and be sure to eat 1000 calories worth of carbs before you begin exercising. By Wednesday, your glycogen will be low and the pre-workout carb load will help you to workout intensely. This time you will perform exercises targeting the other half of your body with weights.

The next workout should be scheduled for Friday before you begin the 3 day cycle of loading up on carbohydrates. This workout should be a full body workout with 1-2 sets per exercise completed until failure. Make barbell rows, bench press, military press, barbell / dumbbell curls, tricep pushdowns, close bench, squats, lunges, deadlifts, and reverse curls to core of your workout. The purpose of this workout is to completely deplete your glycogen stores in the body. However, keep cardio to a minimum. Ten minute warm-ups before each workout is fine, but do not go overboard.


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