Fit For Life: Train and Eat! Not - Exercise and Diet

Saturday, August 26, 2017


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I have a philosophy with fitness and nutrition, and that philosophy is to keep things simple, efficient, and to the point. Eat quality food, drink lots of clean water, get lots of rest, and train according to your goals. Let me elaborate a little on this so you are clear about what I mean.

Your Workout.

Let’s talk about the workout part first. Most people think that you need to smash yourself into the ground and be in pain for days after a workout, for it to be effective. Some work out every day, and never rest, even when they are too sore to sit on the toilet. If general health and fitness is your goal, this isn’t only unnecessary, but dangerous, and could cause injury, lack of results, and even worse, regressions due to muscle breakdown due to lack of recovery.

If you are training for some sort of physically competitive sport, you will need to train a bit harder and longer to withstand the punishment your body will take on the field, in the ring, on the court, or whatever arena you will be in. When you need to perform at a higher level, you also need to train at a higher level, but you also need structure and common sense to be successful, and get optimum results.

I had a great conversation with the lead trainer for the New England Revolution pro soccer team today, and he basically confirmed a lot of my beliefs and philosophy by explaining how he structures his team’s strength and conditioning program.

Your Nutrition.

First, we discussed nutrition, and he explained how he recommends a Paleo style, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, whole nutrition program for his team. He doesn’t subscribe to the sports drinks, and pasta loading nutrition plan some athletes fall victim to. We talked about how food and nutrition have an effect on performance and recovery, and that without the right formula, his team wouldn’t be as successful.

The nutrition part applies to all people regardless of what your goals are, but the number of calories need to be adjusted for each individual’s activity level. Whether you are an athlete or not, I will always preach that you need to eat quality foods to function at your highest potential, and have all your bodily systems working efficiently. So, with that being said, everyone should eat the same except competitive athletes need to change the amounts or adjust their macro ratios depending on performance or recovery.

When we talked about the training regimen for his team, I was surprised at the length of their season, and the requirements needed to keep these guys functioning at full capacity. As any sport, the better you are the longer your season, so when a soccer team goes deep into the playoffs, their off season could be less than a couple of months. Not a long time to lick your wounds, so precision training and recovery is needed.

As with any sport, working out needs to be cycled according to their season’s schedule. He informed me that during their pre-season, they participate in a lot of heavy lifting or strength training, incorporating heavy lifts like the deadlift, sled pushes, and farmers walks or some sort of heavy carry. They perform this type of training 3x per week and include cardiovascular conditioning for a couple of days, then a day or two for recovery. When the season rolls in, the strength training gets scaled back and the intensity of the workouts gets cycled, so their bodies are ready for optimum performance on game day. They incorporate recovery techniques such as massage, foam rolling, acupuncture, and stretching on the days immediately following a game, then add the intensity for a couple of days, then scale back a couple of days before the game. Contrary to many people’s belief that athletes train harder during the actual season. All the heavy stuff gets done before the season starts. Then its maintenance and recovery from there on.

Kind of like my/your program. I suggest you work hard and eat flawlessly to reach your goal, then maintaining it gets easier.

In conclusion, regardless of whether you are an athlete or not, you still need to incorporate sensible training techniques and sound nutrition into your regimen. You also need to take the proper precautions not to get injured, or experience prolonged soreness. The human body breaks down and you need the time for rest and recovery to make it stronger. When we design our workouts at Providence Fit Body Bootcamp, every day is different. Some days you lift heavier than others, and some days you will get your heart rate up higher. Some days are more leg dominant, some are more upper body dominate, but the whole body works every time you come in. We do this because some people come every day, and it is counter-productive to beat down a sore or tired body with the same moves daily.

Whether you are training to be a pro athlete, or to keep up with your grandkids you need to train sensibly and according to your needs. Some things stay the same such as the quality of your food, and the quality of your movements. This will get everybody optimal results. Another thing that is universal is rest and recovery. We all need it to be able to give 100% when we do train. The only variables that need to change is the volume, and number of calories.

So there you have it folks. We all have an athlete in us, but we all need to adjust our dosages of exercise and nutrition to get the desired outcome. If you overdo it, you will end up on the sidelines. When you have the right formula, you will accelerate to higher levels, and the sky is the limit to what you can accomplish.

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Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one


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