10 Nutrition & Training Tips
One of the more common questions many of our top athletes receive is: How do you find time to train and eat properly with such a busy schedule?
This is where we would normally insert a cliche along the lines of: “The answer is simple – planning, failure to plan is planning to fail!” etc. When in truth, it’s not that simple – if it were, everyone would be doing it.
The fact is that hectic schedules are the norm these days and sometimes our priorities have to shift based on pressures from work and/or family. All of that being said, it’s still important to stay on top of your workout and diet plan so that you can push through adversity, in whatever shape it comes, and come out on the other side stronger and even more confident in your ability to succeed when life throws you a curve ball.
The following 10 tips were compiled based on “getting back to basics” principles (which we some times forget after years and years of tweaking our diet and workout plans), as well as taking advantage of some modern tools and technology which we didn’t have 5 or 6 years ago. Here we go!
#1 – Track Your Diet
This is number one for a reason; so many people have trouble trimming fat and adding (or maintaining) muscle because they have no idea where their macronutrient profile ACTUALLY is. You may think you’re getting in the calories you need, but you may be wrong. There are some great free apps out there, like MyFitnessPal, which allow you to quickly and easily figure out what you’re consuming in a day. If you haven’t done it, do yourself a favor and give it a try for at least a week.
#2 – Egg Whites For The Win!
Few nutritional “breakthroughs” have been made in recent years, but the fact that we can now buy cartons of egg whites is a fantastic luxury. Make sure you always have these on hand, they’re perfect to mix with 1 whole egg and a few veggies to make a high protein meal in less than 5 minutes.
#3 – Breakfast at Work
This is more of a preventative measure, but still worth listing none the less. Skipping breakfast these days is way too easy, and comes at a cost. “I don’t have time” or “I didn’t have anything to eat” are the most common culprits. So, what you do is get yourself a delicious, slow digesting protein powder (if you haven’t tried HEXAPRO Cookies & Cream you’re missing out on a truly delightful treat) and keep it at work – under your desk, in a file cabinet, whatever. On those days that you can’t make breakfast simply grab a shaker, add some water and ice, and once you get to work mix your shake up to get a good 25g – 50g of protein to keep you satiated until you can get away and get some whole food in you.
#4 – Cook In Bulk
This one is just common sense and probably doesn’t need to be reiterated, but if you’re new to the lifestyle, it’s an important one. Pick a day. Go shopping. Come home. Cook a lot of food. Package it. Eat worry free all week. That is all.
#5 – Stay Hydrated & Get Your Vitamins
Travel with a BPA free water bottle – always. Keep constantly refilling it and stay hydrated for enhanced recovery and to keep your body working at an optimal level. Also, aside from ensuring that you purchase a decent multi, some OMEGA 3’s, and whatever else you want, consider using a weekly pill organizer to keep yourself on track. You’ll save time, and you won’t miss a day.
10 Nutrition & Training Tips
#6 – Have a Game Plan & Stick To It
Always go into the gym knowing what body parts, exercises, reps and sets that you plan on doing. Always have a game plan, and remember, the gym is not a great place to socialize – maintain your focus and get results. Save the chit-chat for another time and place. You should be able to get in and out in 45 minutes.
#7 – HIIT It!
If you’re really squeezed for time getting in 20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio will get your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and will continue to have fat burning potential for several hours after completing it.
#8 – Reduce Rest
Don’t waste your time with extended rest periods between reps. Usually 45 seconds to 1 minute of rest between sets is sufficient.
#9 – Multitask
On those days when you want to squeeze in 30 minutes of steady state cardio, consider firing up your iPad/iPhone and taking care of some email or other tasks which you would normally reserve for home or work. It may be difficult to concentrate at first, but your mind will soon adapt. And if you’re lucky, your gym may even have WiFi!
#10 – Always Use Intensity Techniques
Using supersets, german volume training, 21’s, pyramid sets, and 100 rep sets are all great ways to increase intensity as well as reduce the overall time it takes to perform a complete workout. Remember, a workout without intensity is a workout wasted. If you’re going to spend the time (and have no doubt – you are “spending” it), you might as well make the most of it.