Everyone who trains wants to have consistently great workouts and wants to consistently make continual progress with their performance and physique.
The worst feeling in the world is training hard and feeling like you are going nowhere fast.
When you look in the mirror and you see no changes it stinks. When you are in the gym and your numbers are not improving at all you feel like you are wasting your time.
When your chances of building an impressive physique are lower than my 2014-2015 Philadelphia 76ers chances of making the playoffs, then you are in big trouble.
You probably want to know why you are stuck like a Front-Wheel Drive car in the snow. The key to you having consistently great workouts is your pre and post workout nutrition and the timing of these meals.
Many trainees show up to train with bad fuel in the tank. Even worse, some trainees show up with no fuel in the tank.
When you show up to train with garbage in your system, then your output will be less than stellar. When you show up with no fuel in your system, your performance will decline like an inactive, fat male with declining testosterone. This is not a good place to be.
Let’s visit the habits of two trainees.
Pierre Performance shows up each workout ready to go.
He has brown rice, lean ground turkey, and diced tomatoes about 1.5-2 hours before his workouts. The amount of food that he will eat changes based on his goals or the workout he is about to do as he is never unprepared to train.
Pierre is able to have consistently great workouts because he has the proper fuel in his body. His training sessions are very tough but he doesn’t run out of gas halfway through the session.
His nutrition habits have made him a machine primed for muscle growth. He knows that without that fuel, his progress with be minimal at best.
When Pierre gets home after his workout he either has a protein shake with simple carbs or he makes himself a meal of faster-digesting carbs and a lean source of protein. Either way, he replenishes his system and goes to bed to start the recovery process.
Meanwhile Conrad Casual shows up to train but he is nowhere even close to being ready to dance. His last meal was 5 hours ago.
His energy levels are low like the jeans these new age kids wear. To solve this issue he stops at the local convenience store on his way to the gym.
He grabs a high sugar energy bar and a Red Bull. His workout is over before it starts as he loses steam after his lame treadmill warm-up.
He is unable to sustain any energy because his blood sugar spiked and then came crashing down along with his hopes of building his dream body. He is left wondering where his “gains” went.
After his fake hustle workout, he attempts he refuels with either a Number #2 with a Diet Coke or absolutely nothing. He goes home, takes some bathroom selfies from advantageous angles, posts them on Instagram as #beastmode, and then proceeds to go to sleep around 2:30am even though he has to be up at 7:00am.
The quality and the timing of your pre and post-workout meals will have a great impact on your progress. When we look at peri-workout nutrition it is broken down into 3 parts:
1) Meal Timing
The timing of your pre-workout meal is critical to you making progress. By properly timing your meal you can ensure that you will have the fuel that is required for hard training sessions.
For most trainees, eating about 2 hours before their training session is the standard plan. This will give your food time to digest.
I am able to eat about 60-90 minutes before I train. My metabolic rate is faster than Usain Bolt and therefore I typically eat closer to my training session than the average trainee.
What is important is the amount of food is not overwhelming. You do not want to train on a full stomach. Walking into your training session slightly hungry is the way to start a training session.
When you properly time your pre-workout meal you will ensure that you do not run out of gas during the session.
2) Pre-Workout Meal
When you are training hard and training with a purpose, your workouts will require the proper energy. This will not apply if you are Conrad Casual who just lifts without purpose, passion, or a plan.
Weight lifting, sprinting, and any intense activity is fueled by glycogen. Glycogen is your bodies preferred energy source for short, intense bouts of activity and you are able to give your body glycogen by ingesting carbohydrates.
The carbohydrates that you want to eat pre-workout are of the slower digesting or complex variety. Oats, brown rice, yams, or quinoa all fit the bill.
If you only have jasmine rice or a red potato all hope is not lost. Consuming simple carbs will not hurt you, but you may find that your energy does last as long during the workout.
Consuming these carbs pre-workout with a source of lean protein like lean ground turkey or sockeye salmon is your best move to fuel your workouts. This will ensure that you have energy that can be sustained through a tough training session.
3) Post-Workout Meal
After a hard training session, your body will be primed for recovery. Muscle glycogen is low and needs to be replenished to help you recover.
The easiest way to do this is to have a protein shake and a source of simple carbohydrates. You can mix your protein powder with a carbohydrate powder or have a piece of fruit with your shake.
The other way that you can do this is to simply have a meal that has simple carbohydrates like jasmine rice or a red potato and a lean source of protein. Either way, you will have started the recovery process.
When you fuel up after your training session with the protein and the carbs, you are allowing your muscle to be repaired and recovered. In order to maximize your performance and physique gains, you must master your pre and post-workout nutrition.
When you get this skill down, nothing can stop in your quest for greatness with your performance and physique.
I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,
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