When asked of a diet plan for an individual concerned with both mass development and improving maximal speed and agility it is quite clear we are entering a veritable minefield where balancing complex training demands with nutritional support is critical for success. That said, the solution is a great deal simpler than most suspect and may be addressed via these basic steps with the following assumptions:
Assumption 1: No athlete will achieve their potential without managing a proper diet.
Assumption 2: Per observation from a recent series of consults with very prominent teams, not one diet possessed sufficient high quality protein, fats or cruciferous vegetables. With great emphasis upon ‘high quality’, each diet was lacking. Don’t make the same mistake and allow your efforts to be wasted by errors at the dinner table.
Assumption 3: As it relates to agility training, understanding psychomotor and cognitive processes, it is best to approach this aspect of conditioning with understanding peak performance occurs at approximately 4pm or mid the waking day. Please note this will vary due to environmental habits that must be considered with circadian rhythms and influences of melatonin and cortisol secretion.
Assumption 4: Said individual is in a highly demanding training session given the multiplicity of their goals and respects the importance of recovery measures. This will be of enormous consequence when we consider energy expenditure and caloric requirements.
Assumption 5: The final conditions assume the individual has a physical history in training, hence there is no learning curve to be considered with and general levels of fat and body composition are at satisfactory levels and to remain relatively constant.
Condition 1: Each individual will respond slightly differently to diet hence respect your personal traits and responses.
The first consideration is understanding work level and required calories, to which each individual must access intensity level and duration of training daily, further influence by general conditioning. Quite naturally said amounts will need to be massaged to suit personal characteristics and near the end of this article I have made very general assumptions to suit our example. As an aside, there are many online calculators that compute net calories expended based upon level of daily exercise, height and weight.
Following an understanding of caloric requirements, I make use of the basic assumption of a male consuming 2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight with a personal preference of the higher side. In this manner a male weighing 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) will consume between 181 and 200 grams of protein daily, equating to calorie count of 724 to 800.
From this point and make use caloric requirements required as per daily and weekly calculation based upon training duration and intensity levels, the component of calories via protein is subtracted to give the amount to be distributed between high quality fats and proteins. This is now a simple process of distributing fats and carbohydrates per personal response rate.
Assuming the individual, recall weighs 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms), is involved in highly intense training (i.e. 3 hours daily), six times per week, a standard daily caloric consuming is approximately (please remember this is approximate) of upwards of 5,000 to 5,500 calories per day divided between five plus meals.
Calories = 5,500 (please remember this is an average amount daily and will appropriately fluctuate within a weekly and monthly schedule).
Protein = 2,220
Remaining Calories 3,330
General Calorie Distribution (in this instance, 40% protein, 30% carbohydrate and 30% fats)
Carbohydrate = 1,615 calories (approximately 15% from fibre, note 1 gram carbohydrate equals 4 calories), 404 grams
Fat 1,615 calories (note 1 gram fat equals 9 calories), 179 grams
Quite naturally said distribution will vary with many preferring an equal one-third distribution between protein, fats and carbohydrates.
As an additional point, should the individual have scheduled training days with less caloric requirements carbohydrates will drop measurably, typically in the range of 10 to 25 per cent off normal amounts, albeit some will reduce said amounts more.
Food is fuel and in this situation, where an athlete is involved in such intense training one can see there is significant emphasis upon food supply and ‘reason one’ why teams dedicated upon success invest heavily in food services and a culinary staff for players. Quite naturally a dedicated culinary staff is only for the elite level but all athletes can make use of the following healthy caloric dense items in their diet.
Nutrient Dense food choices to include in all shopping lists
- - Eggs (a reminder, 1 large egg provides 74 calories, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat, hence why traditionalists consumer upwards of 36 eggs daily)
- - Avocados 325 calories and 30 grams of fat per standard size
- - Almond Butter (natural) - included in each morning breakfast of oatmeal, porridge or millet with four tablespoons providing 400 calories, 36 grams of glorious high quality fat and 8 grams of protein
- - Fish (cold water, i.e. salmon, herring)
- - Olive Oil, Coconut Oil (fyi, add the latter ambitiously to morning black coffee)
- - Dark Chocolate 90 to 92% (i.e. 100 grams of 90% chocolate, 55 grams fat, 10 grams protein, 14 carbohydrates)
- - Nuts (almonds, brazil nuts and macadamia)
- - Pasta (high quality, preferably made at home)
With this now clear, an athlete with a focal point of their training seven hours after rising will have consumed two solid meals, as well as high quality snacks as they so deem fit. This is merely an issue of compliance and quite easy once the habit is established. This now said it is time to implement the next stage whereby proper supplementation facilitates the process of recovery and development, to which I encourage the following:
- -Upon rising and prior to breakfast perform a morning exercise routine to assist dynamic mobility and relative strength. At the start of said session, consume a morning tonic of hot water with freshly squeezed lemon and ‘raw honey’ from local sources. Furthermore, consume one recommended serving of AminoLIFT and Modern BCAA+.
- -Breakfast: As previously noted and within numerous articles this should include ample eggs, typically five or more, porridge or oatmeal with a dollop of coconut oil and four tablespoons of natural almond or peanut butter, cruciferous vegetables (kale), fruit (i.e. melon, blueberries, raspberries), green tea as well as black coffee (with coconut oil) and water.
- Meal 2: Approximately in the fourth hour of the day. Follow guidelines of diet and ensure ample high quality protein, fats and carbohydrates.
- Snack 1: Approximately two hours prior to the start of the focal workout of the training day. This should include high quality fats, i.e. nuts, an avocado, and easily facilitated via a ModernPROTEIN shake. As will all shakes, following blending I add a healthy oil (i.e. flax seed, hemp) option. Please choose per your taste and availability in your region.
- 90 minutes before major training of the day: Review hydration and ensure urine is clear. Drink considerable water and don’t make a common mistake that can lead to injury.
- One hour prior training; Repeat suggested serving of AminoLIFT and Modern BCAA+. If required, add nutritious snacks such nuts and berries.
- Start of training: ensure water with Modern BCAA+ is available and consumed through the duration of training.
Following said training session, engage in recovery measures starting with static stretching, then contrast showers before a brief ice bath. This is a crucial component of athletic development and as much as it is avoided, those destined to achieve their goals know real athletes do not leave recovery to chance.
- Post Workout Meal: immediately following recovery measures and in accordance to caloric requirements.
Balance of days meals: continue as per plan, without compromise or sacrificing your goals.
Don’t cheat yourself with a poor quality diet.
For further dietary guidelines, choose Simplicity.
Diet, the foundation of athletic development yet astonishingly the most overlooked. Simply, those not prepared to manage a proper diet will not be prepared to manage the demands of training. This is despite the fact that diet management is truly not complex, thus take control of your future and choose a instil dietary habits that support your goals.
Prepared by John Davies
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.