The overall focus of this block is to build muscle and improve metabolic markers including: insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome (heart disease, stroke, diabetes 2), resting metabolic rate, lipid profiles, and sarcopenia. That’s not to say we aren’t building muscle year-round, because at Paragon we are almost always doing some form of hypertrophic training in each block. The intensity of this block will range from RPE 7 all the way up to 10 in some cases. We will be lifting heavier than work capacity but lighter than our strength phase. Reps will range from around 6-12 and we will want to be within 3-4 reps of failure on each set depending on the week. Expect to perform each lift with slower eccentric tempos, pauses, and new cable variations for accessory movements. During this block, it’s critical we get both enough calories and protein so we can meet the intensity required of these workouts and still recover.
The photo below is from Precision Nutrition. A general rule of thumb is to get 1-2 portions of protein, carbs, fats, and veggies at each meal. However, this greatly depends on the individual!
Wondering how to fuel around your workouts? Here are some ideas:
- Working out first thing in the morning.
When working out without food in your body first thing in the morning, we recommended to at least drink a protein shake or glass of milk before your workout. A good rule of thumb would be to get a serving of protein (ex: protein shake) before your workout, then eat a balanced meal within 1-2 hours (1-2 palm sized servings of protein, 1-2 cupped handfuls of carbs, 1 fist of veggies, 1 thumb of fat) after your workout.
- Training after you’ve already eaten during the day, and 2-3 Hours Before a Workout
A good rule of thumb when eating a few hours from a workout is to eat a well-balanced, mixed macronutrient meal. This would be 1-2 palm sized servings of protein, 1-2 cupped handfuls of carbs, 1-2 fist of veggies and 1-2 thumbs of fat depending on your needs.
- 1 Hour or Less Before a Workout
When eating close to a workout you may want to opt for lower fats, fast digesting carbs, and quality protein. We love to make smoothies and shakes, simply because we find it easier to digest!
If you’re not a smoothie fan, no biggie. Just opt for something you know you digest well! Lower fiber options usually work well for most people. You don’t want an upset stomach before having to train.
For some people, higher fats before a workout can cause GI distress (aka triggering upset stomach and bowel movements). If this is you, limit your fats pre workout. No one wants GI issues while trying to do box jumps!!
Your carbohydrate needs will go up during a work capacity block! If you have found yourself craving carbs during this block, your body is telling you something. Don’t be afraid to add extra to each of your meals! You can also add in some carbs throughout the day as snacks. Here are our go-to carb sources:
- Rice Cakes
Focus on well-balanced meals and listen to your body. If you’re looking for more specific guidance, reach out to us. We offer nutrition coaching throughout the year and we would be happy to send you details.