Drink at least half your bodyweight (lbs) in oz of pure water. Eat organic produce and free range/pastured (healthy) animals.
Determine your biochemical/systemic individuality. This includes food sensitivities and macro breakdowns. But don’t obsess over this.
Don’t eat junk. No refined foods. Become a “whole-foodist” (not the store)
Consume 1 of the following EVERY day: 1 large or XL salad, 1 large or XL bowl of a non-starchy vegetable stew, a large raw fresh vegetable juice with little to no fruit added. Include protein and fat with this meal.
Do not use sweeteners. Stevia and REAL raw honey are the only exceptions. Do not use honey if you are trying to drop bodyfat, and do not heat the honey beyond 110 degrees or so… because then it no longer is raw.
Include cultured vegetables or fermented and/or raw dairy or coconut kefir in your diet at least 3x per week if it works for you.
Take a high quality, multi-strain probiotic consistently with 5-30g of glutamine before bed.
Eat 3 meals and 1 post workout meal for every training session. Don’t snack unless you are trying to gain weight. Give yourself time between meals to DIGEST it.
Supplement with high quality broad spectrum digestive enzymes with large meals. Traditional foods are good, don’t get wrapped up in dogma. What works for someone may not work for you. Test.
As a general guideline: Morning: Fast for the first few hours of the day, green tea or a small amount of high quality coffee is ok. Do not drink crappy low quality coffee (yes, starbucks is crappy).
Caffeine is an incredibly addictive drug and should be treated as such. Once every 2 months, take a week or two off of all stimulants. If you can’t, you may have a dependency. You may include grassfed butter or MCT/Coconut oil in your coffee.
Breakfast: Protein, live greens, and good fat only.
Lunch: Protein, non-starchy vegetables ad libitum and fat. This is a perfect time for your salad.
Dinner: Protein, non-starchy veggies and starchy veggies. If you are going to eat carbs, do it here. Clean sources only. Do not use this as an excuse to be a glutton. White rice, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are all good.
If you are trying to drop bodyfat, keep your dinner to non-starchy carbs only, and every 3rd to 7th day, have a 3 hour window in the evening to eat as many natural carbohydrates as you want. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes to digest anything you’ve eaten before going to sleep.
Take a high quality omega 3 supplement.
The below guidelines do not take into account the nature of the training. More cellularly demanding stuff will require higher CHO and Lower PRO, more CNS based stuff will require higher PRO and lower CHO. These recommendations may be higher than you’re used to.
Calories DO matter. Eat enough, even more than enough. As a foundation use this formula.
If you are a competitive athlete, lean (<10%), and training hard: Consume .4 to 1g of CHO per # of LBM post workout, along with .2 to .3g of PRO per # of LBM and 5g of Leucine. Then eat an evening meal that contains about the same amount of CHO/PRO and Leucine, but from natural carb sources. Depending on your insulin sensitivity, you may need to increase or lower this amount or lower the frequency of including starchy carbs in your evening meal.
If you are a competitive athlete, (<15%), and training hard: Consume .2 to .3g of CHO per # of LBM post workout, along with .2 to .3g of PRO per # of LBM and 5g of Leucine. Then eat an evening meal that contains about the same amount of CHO/PRO and Leucine, but from natural carb sources.
If you have more than 1 training session, take in .3 to .65g of CHO per # of LBM for each session and .15g of PRO per # of LBM.
If you are IN competition and have another workout or two coming up, consume .8mg caffeine per KILO of body mass along with your 1st post workout meal.
If you are trying to lose bodyfat, and training hard: first, limit cortisol producing efforts to 1 or 2x per week. Do fasted AM sustained (easy) effort work 2-4x per week between 20 and 60 min. Strength train 3-4 x per week in the evening. Then have .2 to .3g of PRO per # of LBM ONLY post workout, and every 3rd to 7th day eat .4 to 1g of CHO per # of LBM along with .2 to .3g of PRO per # of LBM and 5g of Leucine Post workout and then again in the evening meal.
Move in some way daily, it doesn’t need to be strenuous all the time, but occasionally it should be very hard – hard enough where you question why the hell you started.
Lift weights using compound movements and good form, consistently. Make yourself stronger. Lift 3x per week and start simply: focus on increasing the weights by small increments every session. Start light and preferably train in the afternoon.
Focus on perfecting your movement. Include difficult things that make you feel awkward, almost incompetent. Work weaknesses incessantly. Develop a physical practice and view the training you decide to participate in as a practice that you continuously refine and make better.
Work on mobility, muscle balancing, or SMR daily.
Sleep before 10pm.
Get at least 8 hours of sleep in a pitch black room and chew your food well.
Learn to take 20 minute power naps.
Develop healthy rituals ie. morning preparation, mid day break, evening gratitude, and before bed wind downs.
Meditate and practice gratitude. Make an effort to laugh as much as possible.
Keep it simple, and focus on the foundation.
I prefer to avoid Preworkout stimulants. If you can’t workout without a stimulant, you need to get more rest. BCAAs is a good option.
Postworkout, generally carbs and protein in various amounts. Include HMB or Leucine and creatine.
AM: Fishoil, D3
PM: Fishoil, ZMA and/or NTR, glutamine, probiotics, vit c
You can train as hard as you want, but if you don’t recover it’s all useless. Sleep is PRIORITY. 9-10 hours. You can make excuses, and you MAY need less than that, but I still recommend that much. Optimize your sleep, and get a lot. It’s that simple. Figure out what works for you to get deep restorative sleep. Black your room out. Sleep is affected by caffeine, figure out when (time of day) you can consume it… and don’t drink it past a certain time.
Meditation and Naps. If you can swing it, a 20 min mid day nap will do wonders for recovery. Meditation can also work very well for lowering mental stress associated with high amounts of training. It can also be used before bed to clear the mind and help bring on deep restful sleep.
Eating properly falls into this category too. If you are undernourished, you will not recover well.
Mobility falls into this category. Flexibility too. Do them, or suffer the consequences.
Cold water. Helps for muscle recovery, doesn’t need to be ice… ~55degrees for 10 minutes will do the trick.
Rest days and Regeneration days.
You should rest, how much is up to you. But at least 1 day/week. Regeneration days are very important and can accelerate recovery. Think very easy, low effort work for 30-40 minutes. Mix it up, but keep it light, this increases blood flow and helps the aerobic system recuperate…which translates to a bunch of good stuff. You need to stay aware of yourself. YOU need to determine when to take rest days. Don’t think you’re a pussy if you take a day off… you likely need the rest if you’re considering it. If your volume has been steadily increasing over years, your need for complete rest MAY be less… but for 99% of people reading this, err on the side of rest.
If you view everything in your life as stressful, you won’t progress as fast. Meditation can help with this. Excessive cortisol production and deranged cortisol/melatonin/gh rhythms will mess you up. Work on developing a routine, and maintaining perspective on life. If your training is stressing you out, and you’re obsessively brooding over being beat on a workout… just relax. It’s exercise. It should add to your life. If you’re competitive and being beaten, you have work to do… simple as that. Don’t stress it, do what you can to solve the problem and work on the self-awareness/ego piece.
Read “Meditations” by Marcus Aerelius