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Plateauing in Training - Is it my Diet?

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  • 13-07-2010 9:46am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭


    Hi guys, I'm about 5 weeks into preseason training with my AIL rugby team. Right now it's all strength and conditioning work, so weights and running three times a week. The workouts are excellent and I found I was making really good gains early on in the programme but I'm starting to struggle now, particularly in the sprint work and find that I'm completely gassed at the end of it, finishing in the middle of the pack when running when normally I'd be in the first 4 or 5.
    I know the training is good and very well structured, the coach has S+C experience with Leinster, but I'm starting to think it might be my diet that's holding me back. A sample day would be as follows:

    Breakfast: Shredded Wheat w/ supermilk and glass of Orange Juice
    Mid Morning Snack: Couple of Low Fat Fruit yogurts
    Lunch: Either a sandwich with brown bread, turkey, cheese and veg or some lean protein with brown rice/ wholegrain pasta and a homemade tomato sauce (just tomatoes, garlic and onions)
    Afternoon Snack: Brown bread toast with some cottage cheese
    Dinner: Can vary greatly depending on how late I work and how much time I have before training, last night was in a big rush so had scrambled eggs on toast w/ salsa. Other nights it might be a stir fry w/chicken or turkey and plenty of veg and small amount of rice or if working very late might just have a second sandwich with plenty of meat and veg in it before training.
    After training I'd have a chocolate milk or protein shake - again depends on how busy I am prior to training.

    I'm 6'3", 97kg, in terms of strength I'm able to keep up with any of the prescribed weights and reps the coach sets out and have relatively low body fat (17% I think at last check)

    Any glaring gaps in the diet or tips for me? Or am I just over training?

    Thanks
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭Colm_OReilly


    Diet looks pretty poor dude. Very little protein in the early morning and a lot of carbs in there.

    Get more fats and protein in and you should progress. How's your sleep?


  • Registered Users Posts: 175 ✭✭rjp123


    if your coach has the s+c experience perhaps he could help you with identifying if you are overtraining. In any case, as Colm says it sounds like your diet needs a review.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 another10


    Some people take a week off when they Plateau and generally comeback stronger. In your case I doubt you could take a week off in pre season but maybe a new routine could help as sometimes the body gets too used to the same thing and the gains decrease. If your coach is as good as you say then he should be able to help you out.

    Your diet does seem to have too many carbs without many Proteins and fats as another poster mentioned but it doesn't look like it would be your sole problem.

    Btw what position are you playing? Backrow?


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    I used to have poached eggs or scrambled eggs in the morning but fell out of the habit. I try to get a lot of protein into my meals, for example i'd 250g of beef in my lunch today with maybe only 125g on rice.

    My sleep's not great to be honest. I aim for 8 hours a night but it's often quite broken up, might wake two/three times a night, never for long but annoying all the same. I take ZMA which is supposed to promote a more restful sleep but it doesn't seem to be having that effect on me.

    Might mention it to the S+C coach alright and see what he thinks, can't afford to fall behind at this level.

    Cheers lads


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 15 another10


    Also some people try having pre wokout supplements. I wouldn't recommend it tbh but I usaully have a tea or coffee before hand with a few bananas and I find it really gives me plenty of energy.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    I play Second Row/Blindside, and that's the group I'm training with. Not sure about taking a break from training but I'll chat to the coach at our next session and see what he says.

    I tried pre workout supplements like NO Xplode before when I played in the States and I wasn't mad about them but maybe a caffeine hit would be a good idea.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    JonnyF wrote: »
    I used to have poached eggs or scrambled eggs in the morning but fell out of the habit. I try to get a lot of protein into my meals, for example i'd 250g of beef in my lunch today with maybe only 125g on rice.

    My sleep's not great to be honest. I aim for 8 hours a night but it's often quite broken up, might wake two/three times a night, never for long but annoying all the same. I take ZMA which is supposed to promote a more restful sleep but it doesn't seem to be having that effect on me.

    Might mention it to the S+C coach alright and see what he thinks, can't afford to fall behind at this level.

    Cheers lads

    I'm having broken sleep myself the last while, its a ****. If zma isn't working you could try melatonin, I've never used it before though so can't comment on its effectiveness.
    Also fats aid recovery so you should look at adding a bit more into your diet, from meat, eggs, and oils, while protein helps to rebuild muscle so you should try to get some in every meal.


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    what's the best way to get more fats into my diet? I cook with olive oil but that's about it, i try to use lean protein but that's a taste thing more than anything


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭kevpants


    It's not your diet anyway. I'll eat my hat if anyone can break through a plateau by changing what they eat.

    Ask your coach. If he's so great he should notice you struggling. Like you said you've gone from top opf the class to also ran. If he didn't notice then he aint so great!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    JonnyF wrote: »
    what's the best way to get more fats into my diet? I cook with olive oil but that's about it, i try to use lean protein but that's a taste thing more than anything

    eggs, red meat, oils, like I said earlier.

    Kev, you saying if you eat more you don't expect to see gains or changes in your training? That you won't feel more fatigued if you aren't eating as many carbs or recover slower with enough protein and fats in your diet?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭kevpants



    Kev, you saying if you eat more you don't expect to see gains or changes in your training? That you won't feel more fatigued if you aren't eating as many carbs or recover slower with enough protein and fats in your diet?

    He is eating. He's getting carbs & protein. He's not running ultra-marathons here.

    The recreational athlete or trainee doesn't need to over analyze their diet IMO.

    It's usually something else.

    As you know brian I fall well onto the side of thinking all this nutritional emphasis is crap. Eat enough, you'll be grand!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    He's not at the same level as the average recreational athlete though, he's playing in the AIL, that's a bit more intense than what most recreationalists will experience.
    Yeah he's getting some carbs and protein, great, anyone who eats will manage that much. But is he actually eating enough, in order to be grand? I don't think so tbh. I'm not talking about weighing his food down to the gram, but a proper protein source in each meal and some added fats or fatty foods for recovery isn't going to work against him and can certainly help improve his training and recovery.


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    Thanks for all the helps lads Brian could you give me a few examples of meals that would fit the bill for good source of protein and fats? Do you mean omelets and eating more fish or something else?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    JonnyF wrote: »
    Thanks for all the helps lads Brian could you give me a few examples of meals that would fit the bill for good source of protein and fats? Do you mean omelets and eating more fish or something else?

    Yeah pretty much, kev's right about not overthinking it, a few eggs for breakfast (I usually have 4 if I'm having eggs), fish every now and again, red meat for dinner a couple of times a week, lasagna, whatever you like yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭Inspector Coptoor


    you could start putting peanut butter on oatcakes as a snack instead of the bread.
    that way you;re getting protein, healthy fats and good, low GI carbs

    start snacking on cashew nuts, brazil nuts and almonds.
    high in healthy fats and have about 21g of protein per 100g.


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    thanks for that but should have mentioned i'm allergic to nuts so it puts a serious dent in my options for good healthy snacks. can eat peanuts but not hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds etc.
    i'll give the peanut butter a lash


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭Inspector Coptoor


    JonnyF wrote: »
    thanks for that but should have mentioned i'm allergic to nuts so it puts a serious dent in my options for good healthy snacks. can eat peanuts but not hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds etc.
    i'll give the peanut butter a lash

    well then go mad on peanuts and peanut butter.
    not salted or roasted peanuts though.
    full of crap.

    do you take whey protein?
    you could up the protein intake by adding a shake or two per day and dont be afraid to add stuff to the shake like olive oil, udos oil etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,829 ✭✭✭TommyKnocker


    Hi Johnny F.

    Holland & Barrett sell Meridian peanut Butter, no added sugar or salt and it nice.


    M


  • Registered Users Posts: 175 ✭✭rjp123


    johhny F i wouldn't kill yourself overanalysing all this in trying to pinpoint the problem (your sleep, your weights, your diet). maybe you simply are overtraining and need a rest or few days off/scaled back. its a long season so i would worry more about how you are going to maintain a consistent level of strength and fitness AND SKILL for the whole season. Yes preseason will set a platform for this but too often people go hell for leather preseason and never maintain this throughout the season. In fact, i'd bet money that everyone is down for fitness tests (150 shuttles, fat folds, 1RM tests, 3k time trial run) for preseason. Ill give you a hundred quid if you are tested again during the season. Once off testing in July - fairly pointless if you ask me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,154 ✭✭✭Flex


    JonnyF wrote: »
    Hi guys, I'm about 5 weeks into preseason training with my AIL rugby team. Right now it's all strength and conditioning work, so weights and running three times a week. The workouts are excellent and I found I was making really good gains early on in the programme but I'm starting to struggle now, particularly in the sprint work and find that I'm completely gassed at the end of it, finishing in the middle of the pack when running when normally I'd be in the first 4 or 5.
    I know the training is good and very well structured, the coach has S+C experience with Leinster, but I'm starting to think it might be my diet that's holding me back. A sample day would be as follows:

    Breakfast: Shredded Wheat w/ supermilk and glass of Orange Juice
    Mid Morning Snack: Couple of Low Fat Fruit yogurts
    Lunch: Either a sandwich with brown bread, turkey, cheese and veg or some lean protein with brown rice/ wholegrain pasta and a homemade tomato sauce (just tomatoes, garlic and onions)
    Afternoon Snack: Brown bread toast with some cottage cheese
    Dinner: Can vary greatly depending on how late I work and how much time I have before training, last night was in a big rush so had scrambled eggs on toast w/ salsa. Other nights it might be a stir fry w/chicken or turkey and plenty of veg and small amount of rice or if working very late might just have a second sandwich with plenty of meat and veg in it before training.
    After training I'd have a chocolate milk or protein shake - again depends on how busy I am prior to training.

    I'm 6'3", 97kg, in terms of strength I'm able to keep up with any of the prescribed weights and reps the coach sets out and have relatively low body fat (17% I think at last check)

    Any glaring gaps in the diet or tips for me? Or am I just over training?

    Thanks

    Jut a quick suggestion regards your diet. I see you have protein shakes? For breakfast I normally have ~150 grams of oatmeal and about 50 grams of whey protein blended up with a pint of water. Tastes great, fast and easy to make, and cheap.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,863 ✭✭✭kevpants


    This quickly turned into a thread on diet.

    I know the diagnosis of why his performance was suffering seems to have democratically been decided upon but I'm just going to throw in that to me this is more about your training programming and you won't get a quick answer here as to what's wrong in that respect.

    Diet tips are great but, as I said in Will's epic thread it's easy to give detailed advice on diet because it's easy. Pure theory.

    If your coach isn't able to change things and fix your issues you're kinda on your own unless you work with someone else yourself.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 28 We Were Promised Jetpacks


    Diet looks pretty poor dude. Very little protein in the early morning and a lot of carbs in there.

    Get more fats and protein in and you should progress. How's your sleep?

    So if he eats a few more eggs he'll turn this around?
    kevpants wrote: »
    It's not your diet anyway. I'll eat my hat if anyone can break through a plateau by changing what they eat.

    Refreshing to hear. 'Get more protein in' - I don't see how anyone is gonna see a noticeable difference just by eating more/less of something.

    Dude, I'd wager you're a bit knackered and if you're not sleeping well, especially so. If you're training hard then you should be sleeping like a baby. I reckon you're wrecked you need a few days off most likely.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    So if he eats a few more eggs he'll turn this around?



    Refreshing to hear. 'Get more protein in' - I don't see how anyone is gonna see a noticeable difference just by eating more/less of something.

    Dude, I'd wager you're a bit knackered and if you're not sleeping well, especially so. If you're training hard then you should be sleeping like a baby. I reckon you're wrecked you need a few days off most likely.

    What's going to fuel recovery other than food?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,818 ✭✭✭Inspector Coptoor


    What's going to fuel recovery other than food?

    Without sounding like a smart ass,
    rest.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,165 ✭✭✭✭brianthebard


    Without sounding like a smart ass,
    rest.

    And also without sounding like a smart ass, I said fuel. Being less smart ass, I agree with you, but I don't know how increasing one's protein/fat intake if there is room to improve (highlighted for emphasis for some readers) will not have a positive effect on recovery.


  • Registered Users Posts: 370 ✭✭JonnyF


    going for a couple of different tactics. first i told the coach i was burnt out and needed a couple of days off. second i've tried to revamp my food

    sample day yesterday

    Breakfast:2 scrambled eggs w/cottage cheese on 1 slice of wholewheat toast
    Mid Morning: 2 Low fat yogurts
    Lunch: Bowl of Turkey Chilli w/ brown rice
    Afternoon: 500ml Low Fat Milk
    Dinner: Tuna Steak, Spinach, Sweet Potato
    Evening Snack: Protein Shake made with half milk/half water

    If I get this going well and rest until training next monday hopefully i'll see the difference.
    Not training at all till then just some touch rugby tonight and saturday for a blow out


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,503 ✭✭✭hadepsx


    make sure to mix up ur exercise regime a bit more as your body adapts to the same exercises, try something new, might help


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 Hammer Time


    long time lurker here. Pretty much focus on the nutrition threads as it's what Im into. Generally the advice given to the average person looking to improve their physique/lose fat is really good but had to post in this case as it's serious athlete and I totally disagree with the advice given so far.

    Telling the man to eat more protein and fat during a preseaon is probably not the best advice. Protein intake seemed fine, it was evenly spaced over the day also. Maybe lacking in the times around the training session.
    The diet originally given didnt give any portion sizes, which makes it harder to gauge the amount eaten, but a sanwich for lunch for a 97 kg forward is not enough. But from what I could see carbohydrate and poor prep and post session recovery were the main nutritional issues.
    I cannot see from the diet given why anybody wuold recommend more protein and fat when carbohydrate is definitely the most important macronutrient for training of this type.

    Id go with more CHO at breakfast
    e.g. weetabix/porridge, skim milk, chopped fruit and juice or something like that.

    Lunch
    add a couple pieces a fruit or possibly make use of leftovers and have a substantial meal at this time.

    pre session
    normal dinner plus 400 - 600 ml fluid (preferably sports drink) then some fruit (ripe banana) before training.

    post session
    Aim to replace sweat losses with 1.5 L fluid (sports drink or recovery shake) per kg lost. Then something like beans on wholemeal toast when he gets in the door to replenish glycogens stores.

    If he's looking at supplementing then creatine might be a good bet as it promotes muscle glycogen storage or else caffeine as it reduces percieved exertion toward the end of a session.

    Lots of suitable recipe ideas here:
    http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/recipes

    Id also go with the idea that disturbed sleeping patterns is playing a part but obviously Ive focussed on the nutritional issues.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,577 ✭✭✭Colm_OReilly


    Jonny,

    Go full fat on the milk, and ditch the yoghurts in favour of fruit/nuts would be my recommendation.


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