How intensely can you work out on a keto diet?

If you want to work out on a keto diet, it’s absolutely possible. However, the way you work out on a keto diet will be different from the way you do so on a traditional diet.

Before diving into the exercises and workouts you can do on a keto diet, let’s understand the difference between a keto diet and a traditional diet.

What is a Keto Diet?

A Keto diet is high-fat, low-carb. Ideally, 70% of your diet will be fats, 20% will be protein, and the rest will be carbs. Sometimes, carbs can be lower as well.


In fact, the only carbs you’ll consume are the ones that come with the fats and protein you consume. You’ll not be consuming carbs separately. Meanwhile, a traditional diet will have a significant amount of carbs along with fats and protein.

The reason some individuals opt to follow the keto diet is because it pushes their body to burn stored fat to generate energy. That’s because you’re cutting out carbs, which is usually the body’s energy source. As carbs are absent, the body resorts to burning fat for fuel.

That can accelerate fat loss over time, but usually, it’s advised that no one follows this diet for too long.


Additionally, your strength and energy levels could dip too if you follow the keto diet for a prolonged period.

Working Out On a Keto Diet

If you couldn’t work out on a keto diet, no one will ever follow or recommend it. Hence, in short, yes, you can work out on a keto diet. The question is – how intensely can you work out on a keto diet?

During the initial days, you’ll be able to work out at the same intensity as you can when following a traditional diet. You’ll be able to focus on volume, heavy weights, intense resistance training, and so on. However, as the days pass and your body adjusts to the keto diet, you may notice a change in energy levels if not strength.

If you’re low on energy, you won’t be able to lift extremely heavily even if you possess the strength to do so. At this point, you’ll have to focus on intensity over volume.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you’re working out on a keto diet, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to completely give up resistance training. You can adjust your workout intensity as per your energy levels, which may experience spikes or dips on some days.

A great way to work out on a keto diet is to find a balance between voluminous and low-intensity workouts. For example, if you’re doing chest, you can start with heavy barbell bench press, move to moderate weight incline press but increase the reps, and finally focus on high-reps light weight cable flyes. That way, as your strength and energy levels deplete, you can shift from volume to intensity to trigger muscle hypertrophy.

Not only can that help boost muscle strength and endurance, but it can also help with burning calories.

Bottom Line

You can definitely work out on a keto diet, but you have to be careful about the intensity during workouts.

If you try to push yourself too hard during the days you’re low on energy, you could end up with injuries, which otherwise could have been avoided. It’s all about finding the right balance and knowing what type of workout to do on any given day.


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