Can I Lift Weights While Doing the Keto Diet?

Keto Diet and Lifting Weights
07 Aug

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

As I am about to attempt a keto diet for the next couple of weeks, I’m worried about lifting weights. Mostly because I have an issue with low blood sugar and tend to pass out when I push too hard. So, I figured I would do a bit of research this morning.

The last thing I want to do is lose consciousness while in the middle of a rep of a Swiss ball dumbbell fly.

So far, though, I’ve seen a few headlines about how the keto diet while lifting weights is one of the best methods for muscle sculpting. This is something that interests me because I have that calendar shoot in a couple of months.

What Can I Expect While Lifting Weights on the Keto Diet?

According to a small study conducted on a group of competitive walkers, keto had a high impact on burning fat at a much faster rate. That’s because the keto diet focuses on using fat stores for energy rather than carbohydrates.

On the other hand, those on keto said they had to push themselves harder. They were also less likely to finish regulated exercise routines. This tells me that using fat for energy will slim you down, but it doesn’t provide the same level of that energy as a more carb-rich diet.

Of course, this was also based on a very small group. It started with 30 walkers, three groups of 10 with different dietary foci. So, it’s not a massive selection of people.

As with any study of this nature, the more participants you have, the more accurate the information becomes.

What this means is that I might have to tone down the workouts some and pay close attention to when I start burning out. Since I put myself through a far more grueling routine than simply walking fast, I might have to stop exercises quite a bit early.

Will I Be Able to Build Muscle Mass

One of the things I would like to accomplish in the near future is building muscle mass. I don’t want to Hulk out, but it would be nice to define and develop a bit more before the photoshoot.

According to a study from back in 2002, low-carb diets resulted in an improvement of lean muscle mass. It also contributed to burning fat at a much faster pace. Of course, that’s obvious in the more recent study I mentioned above.

Overall, though, it doesn’t appear there are benefits to using keto versus a carb-rich diet to add muscle mass. Keto simply works better to burn fat while working out.

In one particular instance, keto was used alongside other diets of people who lifted weights. And the result was a significant reduction in body fat while not building new and greater muscle mass. This means the keto diet is probably not the best thing for bodybuilders.

But, I’m not a bodybuilder and have no interest in competing. I just want to look good on camera this time around.

From what I gather, there is no real difference between a carb-heavy intake and keto when it comes to muscle development. In fact, one study demonstrates how a higher protein intake works just as well as a high-carb intake in muscle protein synthesis, or MPS.

What does all this mean?

According to all of the data, it’s possible to build muscle mass while on the keto diet by lifting weights. You’ll burn fat at a much faster rate, though there is no advantage for building new muscle. You’ll still increase muscle mass, but at the same rate you would on any other diet.

You also may get tired at a much faster pace while on keto, so you’ll have to adjust your workouts accordingly.

The bottom line is that you can lift weights while on the keto diet to burn fat and build muscle. However, you may experience a reduced level of energy. This means you’ll slow down quicker if trying to maintain a longer regimen.

I’m not exactly sure how much of a reduction this will have on me, but that’s what this experiment is all about.

Yep, Here Comes the Next Case Study

Starting August 8th, I’ll conduct a new case study on myself. This will be the effects of the keto diet over a span of 21 days. Initially, I was only going to go for two weeks. But, it looks like the ball really starts going for keto after that.

And if the keto diet works well while lifting weights, I may just run the experiment throughout the duration of my 12-week fitness challenge.

In reality, anything to help me reach the physique I want in the next two months is ideal.

What Will the Case Study Entail?

I’m going to record as much data as I can regarding different aspects of the keto diet and how it affects me. This is coming from someone who sits at his desk for 16 hours per day.

Losing Fat Mass

Obviously, I want to drop the fat before the photoshoot. And according to some of the studies I mentioned above, the keto diet works exceptionally well to decrease visceral fat, the subcutaneous fat stored in your abdomen.

This is probably one of my biggest trouble areas.

To gauge losing fat, I’ll be recording body fat percentage as well as taking measurements of every part of my body. I’m also going to take daily pictures of myself to show a progressive difference.

Mostly because I have an idea for a video later on.

Building Muscle Mass

As I said, I don’t want to have a bodybuilder physique. But, it would be nice to have a bit more than what I have. This is where we find out how well the keto diet works while lifting weights.

I’ll use the workout plan I created recently, which cycles weight lifting and cardio throughout the week.

What I’m worried about at the moment is my energy levels during HIIT workouts, which is what most of my exercises focus on. Nonetheless, I’ll admit, I’ve never done keto before, so I really don’t know what the impact will be until I start.

For this, I’ll use the same pictures and measurements to gauge if I’m actually adding muscle. And, I would like to see what the Renpho bio scale says about skeletal muscle mass.

Energy Levels

I already have a basic idea of what I can do with my Net 600 calorie diet in terms of energy levels.

For example, I know I can push through 30 minutes of playing the Kinect with three pounds strapped to each hand. Well, that’s what I was doing on my diet back in 2018.

In this instance, while I want to still lift weights while on keto, I am curious about the longevity of those workouts.

So, Can You Still Lift Weights While On Keto?

To sum up, yes, the keto diet shouldn’t have much of an impact on lifting weights outside of getting tired at a faster rate. The overall benefit is being able to burn fat as energy to slim down while stimulating lean muscle development.

There is no real benefit to use keto in weight training aside from getting rid of fat. You’ll still develop muscle at roughly the same pace if you were on a carb-heavy diet.

Well, that’s according to the several research papers I read above.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll see just how much keto makes a difference when I start with the weights. And I have to say, I’m fairly excited about the process.

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