Z1/Z2 caloric burn

  • Creator
  • #36419

    I am relatively new to the training concepts in TftNA, but have committed to it for this year and am currently following the 24 week TP.

    I’ve been doing strict Z1/Z2 training for about a month now and have noticed that I’m gaining some weight. No substantial changes in diet, but a noticeable decrease in training intensity while dealing with some ADS during this base period.

    I assume I’m going to need to modify my diet to cut calories while doing base training. Is this normal and the experience of others? Should I incorporate a 1x weekly higher intensity session just to burn more calories during this phase or is that taboo at this point? Thanks in advance for any insights!

  • Participant
    Reed on #36422

    It might be helpful to share some more specifics / numbers. Generally speaking, as the volume of training increases the need to restrict calories goes away. For some athletes, making sure to get enough calories is the bigger problem. And for many people, the quality of the food probably matters most. If you’re eating mostly healthy, something like 30% fat / 30% protein / 40% carbohydrates (give or take 10% for any of those), focusing on improving aerobic capacity especially if you have a deficiency will be a big lever to pull.

    I have found the diet quality score in Racing Weight [0] to be useful. The simple act of tracking a few numbers during the day can be a powerful psychological tool to help nudge behavior.

    [0] https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/racing-weight-how-to-get-lean-for-peak-performance_matt-fitzgerald/264222/#isbn=1934030996&idiq=4694756

    Zuko on #36445

    Thanks for posting this, I’ve been experiencing the same thing! I’m in week 4 of the 24 week plan and have gained 5 pounds, and it’s not muscle as I measure my waist.

    Anonymous on #36458

    I agree with Reed. As volume increases, the need to restrict goes away.

    * How many hours per week are you training?
    * Are you fueling every workout and doing so with a “sports drink”? In general, you don’t need to fuel workouts that are Z1/2 and less than two hours.

    jdurfee on #36500

    Thx for the replies.

    I am currently exercising for 7.5 hours per week. That includes about 5.5+ hours on Z1/Z2 workouts, then just under 2 hours of strength training. Caloric intake is running on average 3,000 calories per day, with about one day a week at 3,500 – 3,700 (cheat day).

    Macronutrients are estimates based on a typical day, as I only really track protein anymore: protein is about 180 – 200g per day, giving me about a 24 – 27% protein, 50% carb, 23% fat mix. I could focus on getting protein up and carbs down a bit, but my experience shows that outside of a muscle building phase, calories in / out are my best indicator for weight loss.

    So I guess I’m back to wondering if I could add an extra Z1/Z2 workout in, even if it isn’t called for on the training plan? Or should I simply cut back a little on calories until the training volume increases later in the training cycle? I’m rocking the new plan and do not feel overly fatigued, and could easily add a 30 minute session at the end of each strength training session.

    Thx in advance for any suggestions. I find these forums very helpful and full of great advice!

    Anonymous on #36502

    I think you found the reason… those numbers all seem pretty high for ~7.5 hours per week.

    To compare, my weight bounces around 150#. I only get up to 3,000 calories a day when my average weekly volume is around 15 hours.

    Normally I don’t track calories; it works fine until all of a sudden it doesn’t. But I did for a few weeks when I was working with our nutritionist, Rebecca. With her help, I had a plan based on my age and activity level. I was eating about 3,000 per day during heavy training with a baseline diet of around 2,000. Also, I would periodize my nutrition; calories would fluctuate with the daily load.

    Rebecca has a bunch of helpful rules of thumb that worked better than counting calories.

    Anonymous on #36503

    Also, if you can increase aerobic volume with no negative consequences, do so. If you’re recovering, staying healthy, and not getting injured, fired, or divorced because of it, more aerobic work is always a good thing.

    Reed on #36534

    One thing to consider trying would be increasing the amount of fat in your diet. Sounds like you’re getting plenty of protein to handle strength training and general muscle repair. Fat will tend to help satiate hunger, and you might find that you eat fewer calories overall. If your diet was 30% protein, 20% carb, 50% fat rather than the numbers you listed, I think you’d experience a difference. Extra virgin olive oil, avocados, oily fish (salmon, sardines), full-fat yogurt… A mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fat from eating a nice fatty steak is probably not going to kill you. And if you’re getting sugar from sports drinks, processed foods, frappuccinos, etc., cut that source down a bit.

    jdurfee on #36544

    Thx folks. I’ll try both suggestions and report back on how it works over the next month.

    Anonymous on #36559

    I should backpedal a bit on my previous response. If you’re tall and muscular, then your calories load may make sense.

    I have a friend who is naturally built like a bodybuilder (even without lifting weights) and eats a lot just to stay even. When he’s really lean, he’s about 190…

    Anyway, if you’re built like that, then higher calories than what I described may be correct. The problem is that diet is so personal. It’s really worth getting something tailored just for you.

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