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Help needed judging what intensity enough to require pre/post work out meal


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Hello -  


Working through proper fueling for my exercise patterns and rereading the book and this forum.   Trying to determine what level of intensity/duration of exercise  really merits the extra pre/post workout meals.  I would love comments on my reasoning below, especially on the biking.


Thanks in advance for any help! 


Circuit workouts with trainer-  YES!! 

55 minutes long-   5-10 min of all out effort interspersed with 20-30 min of additional strenuous/moderate work and  20 min of low intensity active recovery and rest.     Full body motions, body weight, free weight exercises,etc.   Usually at 5:00pm,  which is at least 4 hours after M2.   I dont wear a heart rate monitor, so I have no clue how much is above 75% max heart rate, but no way I could talk at all during the all out and not much during the strenuous.


Elliptical Routine-  YES!!

35 min total - 5 min warm up/cool down, 5 rounds of  2 min Zone 3, sprint into Zone 4 (currently I can only do 20 sec of active sprinting in Zone 4)  2 + minutes of active recovery Zone 2.   I wear a HR monitor and by design my HR is  above 75% in the sprint.  Fits the classic definition of high intensity from the book. Rereading that section makes me wonder if i should actually decrease the # of rounds to 3X so that the HIIT is 10-15 min.   It also makes me wonder if  "maybe that's our next book"   is just a tease or if there is something on the horizon??


Biking - No?

50-60 min total-   10 miles, last ride averaged 11mph.   Relatively flat, so mostly moderate exertion,  but ~4 long slow grades that have me in the lowest gear and I consider very strenuous exertion for about 1-2 min each (I used to have to stop and walk but made it all the way past few times)  I am going to wear my HR monitor today to check. 


Walking- NO

30-90 min -  walking and talking with a friend, with no pauses in conversation so obviously not high intensity!!



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The tricky thing is that this is going to be different for everyone. Some might find they need a little extra food on days they take a leisurely walk, some might never consider that and be just fine without it. Personally, this aspect of the program has taken the most time for me to figure out--like a couple years now and I'm still tweaking my intake around workouts. I think part of this is that as my level of fitness changes, my workouts change, and my food requirements also change. My advice would be to make a good guess about what you need (like you did above), try it for a few weeks and then reassess.

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