I see a lot of talk in various forum about different nutritional and training protocols, also about which supplements to take and when. Admittedly I discuss these thing and have tried a lot of different approaches out. However I already have my basics in place and this is where you need to focus first and foremost. Think of it like building a house, you need a good solid foundation before you start building.
There is absolutely no point worrying about this plan or that until you have your basic nutrition sorted, that means eating clean natural healthy foods and also being able to very occasionally fall off the wagon and jump straight back on. A basic knowledge of your macro nutrients and calorie consumption is about all you need to worry about, and I don’t mean hitting set numbers to the single % point, I just mean knowing what your eating and exactly what it constitutes. Only once you have at least a solid 6 months of this basic nutrition should you even think about tweaking it otherwise how will you know what effect these changes and tweaks are having. There is absolutely no point jumping on the latest big new thing if your not already standing on good foundations. Carb Backloading, intermittent fasting to name but two are fantastic tools, once you have a good understanding of your own body and how different foods etc will effect it, and how you respond to various situations. Also a point to note is that if you want to follow these protocols then I advise you research them yourself, either buy the book written by the guy/gal that designed the diet or check out their other resources, otherwise you are just getting someone else’s interpretation of it and not the whole picture. If you were going to buy a work of art you’d want the original and not something painted by some guy who only saw the original once.
If you read almost any fitness magazine you will be told that you absolutely NEED this supplement or that nutritional aid, something to build up and something else to slim down, the truth of it is these magazines are generally owned by supplement companies so beware what you read. That’s not to say they are not full of useful information but take what you want from them and skip all of the adverts full of they ‘could’, ‘may’, ‘possibly’ products. Chances are if they had that much of an effect they’d be banned already.
Supplements should do just what they say and supplement your already sound nutrition. If you want to take supplements then speak to some guys who have been there and done it (not pro’s or the guy in the supplement shop who are both paid to sell product) but folk in the gym who are experienced, of there are some really knowledgable guys on Facebook etc who will happily point you in the right direction, admittedly there are some idiots on there as well. Please feel free to ask me via our Facebook page, and if i cant help you, I can point you in the direction of a man/woman who can.
The same goes here, especially when it comes to lifting, there is no point jumping from one program to the next thinking you’ll get better result because quite simply you won’t. Again the news stands are a lot to blame here, with their ‘abs in 6 weeks’ type promises. It’s just not possible for the vast majority of us. If your starting out lifting the either get an experienced coach/trainer to design you a good start up program or try ‘starting strength‘ or ‘5×5‘ or my current program ‘Wendler 5/3/1′ something designed for a beginner to get you used to the movement patterns and give you some basic strength. Much like running, you wouldn’t expect to go out and be able to run a marathon in 4 weeks so this is the same, you need to put the miles in so to speak and build up that solid foundation of good form and strength. Only after a solid 6-12 months on these type program’s should you start worrying about tweaking stuff.
You can’t decorate a house before you’ve built it, and you can’t build it without those foundations (at least not if you want it to stay up)