Muay thai / Martial arts / intense cardio on Paleo questions (for skinny guy)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 05, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Hi guys,

On my 4th day of Paleo, and have received a ton of help from this site already! I recently asked how I can stack fats to increase my daily calorie count for weight gain

I'm a super skinny guy, at ~120lbs. I'm going to increase my calories for sure, but one problem is that I do muay thai about 3 times a week. This is very intense cardio (albeit with lots of "explosive" movement) that lasts for about 2 to 2.5 hours.

I will certainly switch to weight lifting for full-on mass gain (as I did in college).

HOWEVER, at this point I'm more interested in just adapting to paleo and maintaining weight, and perhaps improve my performance and gain a bit. I've read a few scary accounts about skinny guys losing 10-15 more lbs as they start paleo.

So the main question is: if I can keep a calorie surplus, how will muay thai (my favorite hobby) or other kinds of intense, anaerobic activities affect my body while on paleo? (and specifically my weight?)

Other advice for this situation is more than welcome!



on August 07, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Kyle, no dairy for at least a few weeks just to try it out. I do use butter though. Also will eat white rice if I have trouble finding a good source of carbs lunch-time.



on August 06, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Are you going strict paleo or lacto-paleo?

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3 Answers



on August 05, 2012
at 01:32 PM

I'm a super-skinny girl also trying to gain weight (my goal is actually 120 haha) while doing weight training and BJJ, and my advice would be:

Match your carbs to your workouts. If you're doing super intense exercise and want to improve your performance, you will need to eat some carbs. Sweet potatoes are the carb darling of the Paleosphere, but I also eat regular potatoes, all sorts of other starchy tubers that I get from an ethnic Hispanic market, and occasionally white rice.

Make sure you're also getting enough sleep, rest, recovery etc. so you're not stressing your body beyond what it can handle. Exercise works because it's a good stress: when you respond to it, you get stronger. But for this to work, you have to keep up your ability to recover. Otherwise you're just tearing yourself down.

I also like to take a fish oil supplement because it helps a lot with muscle soreness, but ymmv on that one.


on August 06, 2012
at 09:19 PM

You should be fine going paleo while doing basically anything. Look at LeCorre and the MOVNAT crowd. That is lots of activity (of all sorts) and he is STRICT paleo. Just keep your calories in the green (surplus) and provide plenty of stimulation (workouts) and you'll start to gain mass.

I'd just eat more meat, maybe some cheese, and plenty of veggies. If you want to add muscle, the protein end of things will be important.


on August 06, 2012
at 09:04 PM

It's all about your fats, have some sweet potato before and after yeah but make sure your fat levels are high, you want your body using this rather than muscle. I wouldn't touch regular potatoes as the starches just bloat you out.

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