Question: "I'm new to training and the M&F Ultimate Starters Guide says to take in a lot of carbs to power training. Won't this just make me fatter?"
Answer: Because of the prevalence of low-carb diets out there, many people are now afraid of carbs – they naturally equate carbs with higher levels of bodyfat. But that’s simply not the case, particularly for beginners.
As the Ultimate Starter’s Guide said, carbs are an essential part of your training as they provide the energy you need to train and recover, so trying to cut them out or reduce them is likely to result in a drop in training intensity and a quick slip into an overtrained state.
You can keep body fat levels down by performing short low intensity cardio after weight training. The cardio only needs to around 20 minutes long performed 2-3 times per week after training at a heart rate of 130-140 beats per minute. In other words, the intensity should be to the point where you can hold a conversation but not easily. It’s important that you perform some cardio to keep fat oxidation (burning) pathways open without going overboard with it as this too much cardio will also impede muscle gain.
Along the same lines, inadequate amount of carbohydrates results in the lack of adaptation to high intensity training. This equates to lack of strength increase or muscle gain from the training you are undertaking.
Remember, carbs are your body’s preferred fuel source. You want to be able to train with vigor to elicit the response you’re looking for. The nutrition plan in the Ultimate Starter’s Guide maps it all out for you.
Kelechi Opara is a lifetime natural athlete with over 15 years experience in the fitness field. He's the creator of the iPhone/Android app Nutritionist, the revolutionary app that's transforming lives around the world. He's also an Optimum Nutrition athlete where he helps in the formulation of their supplements. In addition, he's an internationally published cover model and a former United States Marine.