We have long been conditioned to the phrase that if you need to get in shape, lose weight, or get advice from your doctor it will sound like this: “I suggest diet and exercise”. It may not sound so inspiring, it sounds somewhat like a chore to me…
Two ways to look at it and two different approaches:
One is restrictive while the other is more motivational and performance driven. Think about it like this… if you set forth on a new “diet and exercise” program, your thought process will usually begin like this..
- I need to cut out this, cut back on that and eat only those.
- I can’t be around this, and I need to stay away from that.
- I will have to exercise for this long every day.
- I have to lift weights and do cardio X days per week.
Now let’s look at the approach of “train hard and nourish”. You probably will approach the mission with this kind of thinking…
- I need to find food that will best nourish and support my performance, make me feel good, and help me burn fat.
- I am going to look for this, I am going to surround myself with an environment that will inspire me.
- I will train with intensity and variety that will make me feel good, show me the best results and keep me motivated.
- I will train all energy systems (anaerobic and aerobic), I will explore my body’s capability and aim to improve overall performance (strength, power, mobility and endurance) since it will relate to a better lifestyle.
Aesthetic vs Functional driven.
One of the major differences of the diet and exercise approach vs. the train and nourish approach is that the first is aesthetic driven and the second is functional driven.
When aiming for aesthetic first you are more likely to find yourself doing it all for the six pack or “great ass”. This is all fine and motivating until you have set yourself up for something unsustainable or unattainable. Just think of starving yourself for six weeks while doing monotonous cardio and taking fat burners. It sounds like living on the edge of insanity while anxious and drained — all in the quest of that six pack.
By letting function drive you it is more than likely that you will be seeking training methods that will improve on the performance that will translate to your favorite sports or activities. I like to call this a “Train for Life” approach.
Conditioned thought of “Diet” vs “Nourishment”
Diet – Through life many of us have been conditioned to attach the idea of “diet” as restrictive, depleted, demotivating and somewhat rewardless. Humans naturally seek out reward somewhere in the process of making a change. If the reward is losing weight and/or looking better than it can be motivating and rewarding (if you get there). The question is, what if you never get there? I mean, what if you go through a period of time of restriction and depletion and your do not arrive at results you anticipated, chanced are that you will probably begin to think, “I am not enjoying this”, “this is not living”, or “I was happier before dieting”. Most likely you will then ditch the whole dieting thing altogether.
Nourishment – A completely different approach would be to seek out flavorful foods that give me more energy, more mental clarity, perform better and lose unwanted (bad weight) all at the same time. With this approach you can begin to look at food and eating much different. Grass fed butter is ok and gives me energy? I can nuts and fruit and because I will get digestive enzymes and healthy anti-inflammatory benefits? Awesome! Let me find what I can eat that will allow me train like a beast later.
Let’s Exercise vs Let’s Train – The idea of exercising is often understood as getting off the couch and moving. Yes – of course its better than staying on the couch and playing Xbox, but it dose not always guarantee that you are hitting the intensity necessary to elevate your level of fitness. I personally don’t find the term exercise very motivating. If you where to say, “let’s go get some exercise”, I’m not very fired up from that. Now, if you where to say “let’s get out and train” I really want to get after it with intension to rise to my ultimate potential. I am fired up and thinking of all the possibilities that may translate to other areas of my life.
Feel good first – One of the most important messages that I try to extend to instructors and clients is get addicted to feeling good from training. If you are training all in the quest of getting that 31″ waist or the perfect arms and six-pack you may fall short of your goal. Falling short of your goal may derail you from your journey. We have become very conditioned from all the marketing an infomercials that say “you can get a six-pack in 90 days simply following this routine”. Yes, these images do sell us on the ideal of looking good and feeling good after. True, you will feel better when you look better… how about feeling good first and getting hooked on it. If you are hooked on training because you feel so good and looking good becomes the byproduct of all that training you have just set yourself up for a fit feeling good lifestyle. I’m sold on that! Sometimes we can just change our phycology on our own and not wait for the marketing geniuses to brainwash us.