Whether you’re 17 years old and just getting into lifting, the average person trying to get and stay in shape, or a tier one competitive bodybuilder/powerlifter, certain principles are consistent and hold true when it comes to enhancing your performance and optimizing the progress you set out to achieve. Simply put, there must be a method to the madness. We all talk of consistency and hard work, motivation and what inspires us, however, as much of an impact as these things have in theory, there is a practical aspect that will affect your ultimate efficiency and optimality.
We all know the all too familiar cliche of the guy in your local gym with the string top– he is there day in and day out, yet hasn’t made any improvements in the last two years you’ve seen him training at your gym. Why is that? He trains hard, he’s there every day, and he even asks you for advice about supplements and diet – great guy, but not your prime example of what it takes to make the most out of the effort you put into this whole thing. You see, often times people make the mistake of thinking that going “beast mode” all the time and eating senseless amounts of food only to overcompensate for it by doing equally senseless amounts of cardio in order to be “shredded” year round, is the right way to go about it. And sadly, most get caught up in this downward spiral, sacrificing any progress and, unfortunately, regress.
So what’s the right way to do it then, you may ask. In a nutshell, there are three factors that, when prioritized, will undoubtedly improve your performance and yield better progress.
First and foremost, digestion is something people neglect until they feel something is off… and you can tell if something is off, believe me. Metabolizing and ingesting nutrients efficiently correlates directly to how your body recovers from training and the way in which it will repair damaged tissue to continue building. We all know macronutrients, the kinds of protein to eat, essential fats, low and high glycemic carbs. However, few add in the necessary aids to support the body in facilitating this and sustain it consistently. Probiotics and digestive enzymes play a major role but so do things like magnesium and food partitioners that have emerged as of lately.
Digesting all the food you eat to grow and perform at an optimal level is good and all, yet maintaining insulin sensitivity is upmost important. This is where nutrient timing and portion control come in effect. The better you manipulate your glycogen levels pre-, intra- and post-workout, the better the pump and more optimal the results. Carbs are a good and necessary source of fuel when it comes to making gains, most over do them and some under do, in either case halting the body from functioning efficiently. Eating muffins pre-workout ISN’T for everyone, just because you saw the muffin pump protocol on the ‘gram. Things like ALA and cinnamon are great in stabilizing sensitivity. Better yet, new insulin mimicking supplements can aid us safely even more in naturally channeling carbohydrates to the muscles in more efficient ways.
Last, but not least, sleep! Allow your body to recover. If you don’t feel motivated to go train even after taking two scoops of pre-workout, it’s probably a safe bet that your body is telling you to take a day off from working out. Typically the nervous system can sustain anywhere between 3-4 days max in a row of intense weight training before it needs a day to recover and be ready to assist the beast in you to go at it again!
Until next time… eat, digest, train, sleep & repeat! As the saying goes, civilize the mind and make savage the body.
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