Out of Gas

Rio ProAttended a group class at Rio Pro today and during the live training was completely gassed!  During my matches, I would do well and slowly advance my positioning and eventually catch someone in a submission, but then be completely gassed afterwards.  My legs were just tired, and after we fist bumped to restart, I found myself unable to resist their attacks.  When stuck in bottom of side control I just didn’t have it in me to bump up to create space and recover guard.  I was just out of gas and my legs wouldn’t do what I wanted them to.  I would eventually stop defending and then get tapped out.

There are a few factors I can attribute this to:

  1. Fatigue and under-recovery – After 3 straight days of Crossfit, I didn’t really have much rest time.
  2. Poor sleep – I’ve had 6 straight days of poor sleep.  I usually need around 7:30 hours of sleep to feel optimal, and for some reason this week I’ve had a hard time sleeping and have only averaged around 6:30 hours.
  3. Insufficient sodium – It’s been well documented that being in nutritional ketosis causes the body to lose salt which can impact performance.  Given the intensity of the BJJ I probably should have taken in more salt before the class.
  4. Bonking from hypoglycemia – Since BJJ is such a glycolytic activity (both aerobic and anaerobic), it probably requires energy at a faster rate than can be generated from ketone production (which is primarily aerobic).  I refer again to Robb Wolf’s article, where he specifically mentions BJJ and how a very low carb diet will inhibit performance.
  5. Poor breakfast timing – Out of habit, the first thing I did today was make my morning bullet-proof hot-cocoa.  It consists of 2 tbsp grassfed butter, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 cup almond milk, and 1/4 small carton of a protein shake, with some unsweetened cocoa powder.  It’s pretty dense and contains over 500 calories and 50 gm of fat.  Unfortunately, when I finished drinking this I only had 15 minutes until I had to get to class… So during the entire class I was regurgitating all this fat and then had stomach cramps….

Since I can’t recall ever feeling THIS bad after a training session I’m going to assume that it was a combination of all of the above.

In the near future I’m going to try an n=1 experiment where I try out Superstarch.  Peter Attia made a very in depth video talking about it, and it piqued enough of my curiosity to try it out.  Hopefully this will address me bonking from hypoglycemia.

To address my sodium problem, I went out and bought some vegetable bouillon cubes that I can drop in a bottle of water to drink before a training session.  This was recommended in both books by Volek and Phinney.

Next time.. no more bullet proof hot cocoa before rolling.  I think it’s better to fast than to have something that heavy before training.

I’ll also do my best with sleep and having more rest days… but with how hectic and irregular my schedule is, I have to get my BJJ training in and Crossfit whenever I can.  I’m not at the point where I can do both in one day yet… but if I get there, that’ll give me more opportunity for rest days.


4 Responses to Out of Gas

  1. jj says:

    First I was going to roll in and just say my usual “Sometimes you’re going to have a shit training session. It happens. And sticking through those totally shit days is what makes you better.” And then you got going on about your overtraining and your sleep and that you were trying to train on a liquid breakfast. You should know that you seriously need sleep and recovery to train at a high level. Ramp up the volume by adding crossfit to an already active lifestyle and you’ve GOT to prioritize rest and recovery until your body is better.

    But also, I find with hard training (and my husband will back me up about his martial arts classes) that a liquid meal is really tough to train on if you haven’t had a few hours to digest. It’s just distracting in your stomach and I’ve hurled before. I’m better off with a handful of nuts or a spoonful of coconut cream or almond butter if I don’t have time for anything more and then just sip fluids through training. More liquid is a recipe for disaster.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Ya, I’ve definitely had sessions where I’m just off… and can’t get things together and am fatigued… but I’ve never had one where I’ve felt THIS badly. I’m definitely going to focus on recovery now – scheduling permitted of course.

      But yes.. no more liquids before training.. especially FAT liquids.

  2. […] wasn’t very dramatic.  My thyroid and cholesterol numbers took major hits AND I was running out of gas when doing BJJ.  Now that I know all this, I can say that in my situation, strict ketosis isn’t optimal for […]

  3. Eduardo says:

    I feel like a) and b) are a little difeerfnt. When you share with someone you roll with it is like confiding in them. If you let your whole school in it is open for discussion. Also, it may be difeerfnt for me since I’m newer, but I don’t roll with everyone. Of course if you’ve been at your school a long time it is very likely you know everyone, they know you, etc. So for a newcomer a & b are VERY difeerfnt, but for someone who has made a home there they are likely the same.

Leave a Reply

Disclosures: Please note that some of the links provided are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these products.  If they're books, I've read them cover to cover, and if they're products or supplements, I've used and/or continue to use them, and I am not shy about giving my honest opinion of them, positive or negative.  The small commissions I make help me out a tiny bit, and if you've found my site helpful then feel free to purchase these products through the links I've provided.  If not, that's fine too, no pressure, I'll still continue to write!  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites

Medical-Legal Disclaimer:

This site is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this site and linkages to other sites, bjjcaveman.com provides general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. BJJ Caveman and bjjcaveman.com are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this site.

Privacy Policy

See the bjjcaveman.com privacy policy here.