Jack City Fitness




The Perfect Diet: Part One

Diet is always a sketchy subject to write about. There are so many options and methods to accomplish goals, and it gets extremely confusing when there are so many experts saying so many conflicting things. Every diet seems to be the best kind and you HAVE to follow it exactly if you want to expect the premium results. This particular post has been in the making for some time now. There is a lot to say on the subject of dieting and nutrition; of what I am going to share in this article, I can only say that these ideas and principles have been taken from a great deal of time studying and my own experiences as well as the experiences and counsel from my fellow colleagues. And now into the meat and potatoes… (no pun intended?)

We can all agree that the vast majority of our results regarding body composition are directly related to the kinds and quantities of food that we are taking in on a daily basis. In simple terms, poor eating habits results in an unhealthy body. The real struggle is finding out how to eat clean. What does “eating clean” even mean? Anyone can read the never ending articles concerning Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean, Atkins, South Beach, etc. There are quite a few diets out there that make a lot of sense, and others that seem like (because they are) complete gimmicks. Because of all the information and science proving and disproving each and every one of these diet plans, the entire goal of dieting seems to be lost. Too often people are more focused on the process and step by step of dieting than they are about the whole purpose of changing their eating habits in the first place.

 

Dieting and training share a common goal: make the body a more efficient machine to accomplish certain tasks. Why does anyone want to be healthier? Because they want to do more with their lives. Though the scale of that performance may be greater or smaller depending on the individual, in hindsight it is all about performance and results. I would suggest a similar approach to diet as I do for training. Drive yourself off of results; following a perfect diet only goes so far, but eating focused on the results and performance of your body changes the aspect and the ease of such drastic changes in the pursuit for health and strength.

 

Having read a great deal and talking with high caliber athletes of different disciplines, also including my own eating habits, I have comprised a fair amount of similarities that seem to be universal and effective for achieving goals in body composition and performance goals. First, Calories are key, and macronutients (proteins, fats, and carbs) follow a close second. You must measure calories to provide your body the right amount of fuel. If you are looking to gain mass, you have to eat more calories than you consume. It is the opposite if you are trying to lose weight. Your body must consume more calories than you provide it with foods. The kinds of foods that you eat do make a difference, but not enough to stress over as long as you are getting your calorie count and proper macronutrient intake. When all is said and done, the body is extremely efficient at breaking down foods and absorbing the nutrients for use, and the kinds of foods you eat affect the speed, rate and cost of this absorption.

 

One thing can hold consistent though; unprocessed foods do provide more nutrient dense sources. The way you eat can help shape the way you perform in your activities, but the best way to determine the best diet is by establishing definitive goals and learning about the types of fuel that will best support the ability to perform at the highest level you wish to attain. Stick with unprocessed foods, search out high grade supplements if needed, and make sure you’re getting enough water and pre-post workout protein.

 

The perfect diet is a diet that allows for optimal performance. There are many ways to accomplish this, and the results of your eating habits are directly related to what you and your activity level needs on a personal basis. Where can you start to formulate a diet? What foods are better for certain activities?

 

This article is far from done. Part 2 will delve into actual eating habits and what makes them successful. Until Part 2, eat to perform!

 

Every Day… A Little Stronger

 

Written By Sam Winston, Strength and Performance Coach




Training and Performance

Our bodies are incredible machines capable of incredible feats of strength. We see it across a variety of sports and activities, where people accomplish different shows of athleticism in extremely different ways including; Endurance, Speed, Explosive, Stability, Strength, and a variety of others. These people are able to accomplish these things because of the way they prepare their bodies to perform. An incredible amount of focus towards their desired goals helps them do what is necessary to achieve optimal performance. They take out the fluff, they constantly study and refine the movements and strengths needed to enable their bodies, often times ignoring beneficial exercises with the knowledge that they are not needed to improve THEIR performance.

Performance is a characteristic of human abilities defined in a vast spectrum of ways. The human body can perform at high levels in so many ways. One thing that I constantly drill my clients is focus on their goal. Someone can train all they want, they can do different series of exercises and workout multiple times a week, but if you don’t train towards a specific performance goal, the body cannot change or adapt to enable your performance for that goal. The goal is everything.

Not all Exercises are Created Equal

Someone training for the 100m dash requires a particularly high level of activation of fast twitch muscle fibers, quick nueromuscluar communication and optimal foot position to produce high ground reaction forces, A swimmer requires high mobility in the shoulders and hips with little impact on the joints and a need for body control and buoyancy. Stating that these two athletes can perform the same kind of training and experience the same improvements in performance.

The body is made of a series of joints and hinges controlled by the muscles and the way these muscles are activated through exercise is how they respond when recruited for the activity. There are an infinite number of combinations of exercise variables not limited to sets, repetitions, light weight, heavy weight, slow cadence, fast cadence… etc. It is important to utilize the proper combinations of variables that will prepare the body for the goal activity. Much like a race car, a 1/4 mile Muscle Car is built very distinctly to a NASCAR race car, and if either were placed in anything other than their specialty, performance would suffer. The same can be said for humans and sports.

-High repetitions and lower weights is designed to increase resistance to muscle fatigue and increase higher efficiency of the energy systems.

-Low repetitions and Higher weights is a system that will increase maximal strength output and develop fast twitch muscle fibers.

-Isolated exercises tend to focus on development of musculature at specific points focusing on muscle specific adaptations.

-Compound joint exercises recruit larger amounts of muscle fibers and create greater central nervous system (CNS) adaptations.

-High Intensity Interval Training utilizes a higher average heart rate and diminished rest to test the ventilatory threshold and use fat stores as energy after depleting the blood glucose improving the cardio engine of the body

There are many more ways and variables that need to be taken into consideration, some specific exercises have no place for an athlete, some programming schemes are full of unnecessary movements that will not compliment the desired activity. With the help of a coach, these things can all be planned properly.

Training and performance are directly related to one another, improvements and increases are determined by the efficiency and specificity of the training towards the goal. If you want to run a marathon you shouldn’t train like a powerlifter. Keep focused on the goal and train for it. Stay the course.

Every Day… A Little Stronger