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Paleo, Mass Gain and Martial Arts

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 15, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I am 179cm (5 feet 9 inches) and 83kg (182 pounds) and have successfully used Paleo to lean up (going from 86 to 80 in less than a month). Now I am looking to bulk up. I am following a Strong Lifts 5x5 with 2-3 heavy weight sessions per week with a Push day (Squats, Bench Press, Push Press) and a Pull day (Squats, Barbell Rows, Dead Lift) using a Power Cage in the home gym (god they rock!). Sometimes I have time to add weighted dips and weight pull ups.

I am anticipating that I am going to have issues when it comes to training incorporating my martial arts training (Goju Ryu Karate). I train around 2 times per week and occasionally 3 and also assist in other classes with kids etc (I hand out heaps of pushups). If I train heavy on a Monday morning and then attend a class on the Monday evening (usual warmup consists of pushups to failure (up to 100) and sit ups to failure (up to 100) and the class oscillates between Hight Intensity as we train techniques and Low Intensity as we listen to the Sensei.

Will this reverse the possible gains I am going to make by lifting heavy? Can I eat my way out of this situation? Should I move my lift days away from my training days? Does 1 rep to failure of pushups destroy the gains made by benchpress to failure etc?

My schedule is as follows:

Monday morning (weights) Monday evening (karate)

Tuesday morning (walk) Tuesday evening (karate) (alternate sometimes between Mon and Tues)

Wednesday morning (weights) Wednesday evening (rest)

Thursday morn (sleep in) Thursday evening (karate)

Friday morning (weights) Friday evening (rest)

Saturday morning (HIIT) then rest

Sunday (rest)

I am aiming for a 500 calorie surplus each day. I am not looking at doing any intermittent fasting yet.

Any advice any of you might have would be awesome? Just want to make sure I know what hurdles I may have to jump before I begin the race.

0ea747d651c21d4028eafd3e12e302f5

on October 15, 2012
at 12:04 PM

Hi David McC. Thanks for this. I saw a few other posts referring to Doug McGuff Body by Science so I will def take a look at this. I am also glad you brought up the extra HIIT day. I was thinking along the same lines of dropping this or at least taking on smart activities (it used to be a 7km run which I have already pulled out of due to getting injured). As for being at my peak... denial denial denial, haha. Ohwell, we can't be awesome forever. You are right though, as especially in the martial arts, the reason why the older guys can take on the young fit ones is because they are wiser.

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1 Answers

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Ef777978cfeb8fbdd18d75c4f6c4cb23

on October 15, 2012
at 10:41 AM

I would make 3 comments:

1) I think you should look at the work of Doug McGuff (book: Body by Science) http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/ and Skyler Tanner http://skylertanner.com/ to understand how you could reduce your strength training to less than 30 minutes per week and still put on muscle to your genetic potential.

2) To aid recovery I would drop the HIIT until you've reached your strength targets. Karate is HIIT enough to get that sort of training already.

3) At 27 you are at your peak of performance now already. If you don't start to build in more recovery to your schedule, something will break and force you to rest for an extended period of time sooner or later. The performance of professional athletes in explosive sports steadily deteriorates from 27-36 and beyond by which time most are retired. The ones twho push that limit tend to adapt to their physical limitations, by a) looking after themselves, b) playing more cleverly, c) being very lucky genetically.

0ea747d651c21d4028eafd3e12e302f5

on October 15, 2012
at 12:04 PM

Hi David McC. Thanks for this. I saw a few other posts referring to Doug McGuff Body by Science so I will def take a look at this. I am also glad you brought up the extra HIIT day. I was thinking along the same lines of dropping this or at least taking on smart activities (it used to be a 7km run which I have already pulled out of due to getting injured). As for being at my peak... denial denial denial, haha. Ohwell, we can't be awesome forever. You are right though, as especially in the martial arts, the reason why the older guys can take on the young fit ones is because they are wiser.

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