Q&A - January 2018

Competition DOMS, Strongman Gym Lifts, IBS, and Keto Diets

I get a lot of questions about similar topics all the time, so I find that if a number of people are asking the same sorts of questions, it’ll be helpful to the larger audience to group answers to some of the most common questions in a Q&A. 

This month we’re tackling competition DOMS, gym movements for competition strength, IBS, and the ever-so-popular keto diet. 

 

Dealing with DOMS

What should I do to recover from my competition DOMS? 

Competitions that push you to new limits are always going to wreck you. I’ve found over the years that simulating the competition events in the weeks leading up to the competition as specifically as possible will leave you less "roont" after the competition. 

Running through the entire competition during training or splitting the competition events up onto separate days but performing each at close to full intensity will prepare your body and help with limiting some of the soreness in the days following the competition. 

You’ll likely find it hard to eat for a while after the competition due to the come-down from the elevated competition adrenaline. Having a light protein shake and snack after the competition will get your body a little bit of nourishment and protein to help start the recovery. Once you do feel like eating more, be sure to have plenty of protein and carbs to once again optimize your body’s anabolic state. 

A few hours after the competition is over (usually by the time you leave this will have elapsed from packing up your gear and chatting with fellow competitors, plus travel back home) you can start cold or contrast showers to help mitigate the inflammation and promote blood flow. 

Stretching, massage or foam rolling, and cold or contrast showers will help to relax the extreme muscle soreness and improve your recovery. 

 

Globo Gym Strongman

What gym movements best carry over to strongman competitions?

As part of the content that will be included in an upcoming book and training manual that I’ve been working on, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. 

While there are many great ways to build specific strength for strongman competitions in the gym, just like with powerlifting there are core principles to training that will best carry over to a wide range of competition movements. 

This can be broken down into four main categories and then further into the groupings of all the styles of events.

The four principle movement categories are an overhead press, deadlift, squat, and non-stationary movements. 

Overhead press - log press is ideal if your gym has a log. Otherwise, you can work on any other neutral grip pressing like with a Swiss bar, trap bar, or two dumbbells. If using these less-specific bars, be sure to also train lots of Olympic bar pressing to keep that leg drive going strong. 

Deadlift - Something is always going to be picked up off the ground in a competition. Getting stronger at any kind of deadlift will always help.

Squats - Leg strength in abundance is important. Front squats carry over better to a wider range of movements and if you’re hitting deadlifts hard, your lower back can use the occasional break from squats, so don’t neglect the front squat. 

Get Moving - Any way you can manage it, do something to get from point A to point B in the gym and not just work on moving weights vertically. This could be farmer’s walk, a chain yoke, a sled or prowler, or an agility ladder. 

 

Very Irritable Bowels

How can I go about dealing with bloating and IBS symptoms?

First off, I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet. For serious or prolonged digestive ailments seek medical attention from your doctor or an RD. 

With bloating, diarrhoea, stomach pain, or other IBS symptoms, I would suggest that you take a good look at what you’re eating and how you’re eating around the time that symptoms flare up. 

Something or multiple things that you are eating may be causing your digestive problems. This may be a food you are allergic to or intolerant to, or with IBS, it may be affected by Fermentable Oligo, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols (FODMAPs), which are short-chain carbohydrates found in a white variety of fruits and vegetables. 

The other thing that can cause pervasive problems with your digestive system are eating while too rushed or stress in your life and around the times that you eat. 

About 10 months ago I started to develop some extreme digestive issues that resulted in me losing 20 pounds within about a month. I really didn’t want to lose those 20 pounds, so this was not ideal. I thought that I had developed a lactose intolerance and so avoided dairy to no avail as it didn’t improve my situation. I felt like it might have something to do with a stressful work situation and being too rushed while eating at work, so I tried to be a little more cognizant about my meals at work, which still didn’t remedy the situation. 

It took about 7 months of testing different options for me to finally decide to try to cut out two of my dietary staples and see what happened: garlic and onions. These two delicious and nutritious scoundrels were making the biggest differences in my digestive system and upon removing them, especially in raw form, from my diet, I was able to see a dramatic change in my issues with extreme bloating and start to feel better and regain weight. 

While there may be different tests to help diagnose your digestive ailments, it may not be affordable or practical for everyone to undergo testing to help clear up the situation. Most often when working with an RD, you’re likely going to have to follow an elimination diet to sort out your problems, so be prepared for what can sometimes be a long and frustrating process.

 

Bacon, bacon, bacon

Everyone else is jumping on board; should I be following the Keto diet?

Try it, but don’t think that it’s going to be the magic solution you’ve been looking forward to. 

Keto, just like all other diets, works primarily by reducing your calorie intake. For many carb addicted or carb sensitive folks it works great because it basically means you’re consuming zero carbs and so after an initial bit of struggle, your hunger signals will be under much better control than when you’re spiking your blood sugar with bagels and pasta and rice at every meal. 

Know that it’s not an easy diet to adhere to though, and there is a subset of the population that will negatively impact their blood lipids in following a high-fat ketogenic diet. 

If you’re planning on following a ketogenic diet not only for a weight loss solution but also for other purported benefits, try it out, but once you’ve been following it for a while and know that it could work for you long-term, it’s a good idea to get some blood tests done every couple of months to track whether your lipid profiles are improving or being negatively impacted by the diet. If your health could potentially be negatively impacted by following the diet long-term you’ll have to consider whether it’s the best style of nutrition for you. 

Got any more burning questions? Leave a comment below, or sign up for my newsletter to get access to answers to even more of your questions.