With regards to training, there are 3 main points of emphasis. The overarching fourth, REST, only makes the optimization of the other 3 that much better. That being said, this blog is written with rest being the constant. Now then, the variables are Nutrition (N), Resistance Training (RT), and Cardio (C). The following list is all the combinations of the three (good and bad) and their likely outcomes.
N+ / RT+ / C+, Most Likely Outcome: The Trifecta!! You have all the pieces of the puzzle working in harmony to deliver optimal results! Your lifts are driving personal records. Your cardio is working for you so that you’re able to drive capacity. Your nutrition is facilitating recovery, hormone regulation, metabolism and muscle sustainability.
N+ / RT- / C-, Most Likely Outcome: You’re eating clean, but you’re not training, or at least training well for that matter. You’re body isn’t processing nutrients as efficiently as it could. You’re not putting yourself in a position to drive performance, as you haven’t conditioned yourself for imposed stresses.
N+ / RT+ / C-, Most Likely Outcome: You eat well, lifts are going up, body mass may be increasing. However, your ultimate capacity is diminished due to the fact that while you can training local muscular endurance in the weight room, that doesn’t necessarily build cardiovascular capacity. This missing link means there is a lack of efficient blood flow to working tissues to buffer the acidity attributed to resistance training.
N+ / RT- / C+, Most Likely Outcome: Great food, and getting in the miles on the track, the pool, or the bike. Chances are you’re not building or sustaining mass through this regimen. Cardiovascular capacity is going up, endurance is a priority, but more than likely, you’re not as strong as you could be.
N- / RT+ / C+, Most Likely Outcome: You lift. You run, bike, or swim. Then you eat like shit, or don’t eat as much as you should to sustain or drive performance. Recovery can be a challenge. Hormone regulation can take a hit. PR’s are a rarity and optimal performance is nowhere in sight. Motivation can diminish quickly when your body isn’t doing what you want it to do. How much you eat is important. WHAT you eat is essential to progress. You’re trying to out-train horrible nutrition.
N- / RT+ / C-, Most Likely Outcome: All you do is lift. You eat like crap, or not enough. What is cardio? You’re either adding mass, but still not reaching your full potential, or wasting away because you’re not feeding your muscles. You’re looking full, but not your really puffy. Pull the house off the foundation, but can’t walk down the block without huffing and puffing.
N- / RT- / C+, Most Likely Outcome: Cardio bunny!! The malnourished triathlete. You’re putting the miles and that is all. Recovery is a struggle over time due to depletion. Muscles are starving, and your capacity at intensity is not even close to what it could be.
N- / RT- / C-, Most Likely Outcome: Unfortunately this is where over 50% of America lives. Your excuses (work, life, family, things you can’t control) stop you from even starting. Ego is the culprit. This is the dead zone. You are putting yourself in many of the “at risk” categories. Heart Attack, Diabetes, Cancer even. If you find yourself in this category, quality of life suffers. Should you be fortunate enough to fill your day with tasks, think about all the situations you shy away from, or are extremely reluctant to do. This is not a blog with the intent to body shame, or hate on those that do not enjoy physical activity, or do not want to give up hotdogs and ice cream. However, you lack the ability to be a full participant in your own life, and explore everything that life truly has to offer because of a lifestyle that is completely within your control, that’s when change needs to happen. There’s no progress here.