Eat large, Get Large, Lift Large, and leave a big f***ing casket! Nutrition for the strength game is a very misunderstood and disappointing subject for many as there are many stereotypes alluding to the general population’s logic as opposed to the true concept of the subject at hand. Getting big does not always mean eating “all of the things” while being big does not always mean the individual is much stronger pound for pound compared to lighter athletes. Being a strong person requires optimal recovery and optimal caloric intake.
Expenditure is key for a strong person’s initial caloric intake. Heavy training sessions, lots of explosive movement drills and conditioning can result in a massive expenditure during a given training day anywhere from 2500 to 3000 calories or more including pre workout meals, intra workout nutrition, post workout meals, etc. A professional level athlete may utilize more than just 1 session a day and require optimal fuel for each one resulting in what most would consider epic feeding and what us strong folk consider just part of the program to stay in the game.
Staying fueled isn’t the only necessity but providing the appropriate intake for recovery is as well. A strong person is not going to expend an average of 4000 calories and consume that exact amount unless they have little desire to progress or recover. They would turn into a walking ball of hurt and perform like a dead battery. Appropriate intake of quality food up to and over that of an athlete’s expenditure provides the building blocks for growth and healing.
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Now unfortunately for everyone, including myself, this intake should still remain optimal and clean. Unless you’re in your “off season” and care very little of your outward appearance, this should not include excessive amounts of ice cream or other fluffy treats unless you want to turn into a knotted up inflamed mess. Nutrients, calories and carb quality all play a special roll so it’s important to keep it consistent and healthy. Consider performance as the measuring point, eating epic pancake sundaes and ice cream sandwiches solely because they fit into your intake would be like putting 89 octane fuel into a race car… if it runs, eventually it’s going to run like s***.
Performance is key to any athlete, most of the time leading to physique being a matter of leanness and quality mass outside of the more popular aesthetic physique often confused as athletically sound. Appropriate recovery practice, quality of nutrition and hydration can make or break the machine so don’t get stuck in the hype. Stay tactical and slay the competition.
Rob’s Top 5 Takeaways
- Recovery is directly related to optimized intake in relation to one's daily expenditure and energy needs.
- Tactical approach takes president over aesthetic, always, with the goal being the strongest possible at the most efficient body weight.
- Timing plays a large roll in optimizing the appropriate amount of calories for each part of an athlete's day.
- Training for performance means using quality nutrient dense foods to optimize all aspects of an athlete's bodily functions.
- Intake is typically directly related to the athlete's goal set and present training period.
Written by Rob Saeva of No Coast Strength and Conditioning
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