Train to Improve Performance Qualities; Eat Right to Improve Aesthetic and Cosmetic Qualities
Posted Mar 19 2009 4:17am
The biggest mistake made by those who want to lose weight is using exercise and training by itself to improve aesthetic and cosmetic qualities: body composition, body weight, etc. Make no mistake about it: exercise and training makes only a small contribution towards improving cosmetic and aesthetic qualities.
The primary objective and goal of training SHOULD be to improve performance related qualities: muscular strength, conditioning capacity, power, strength endurance, etc. Furthermore, training should be used to improve your joint health, achieve structural balance, and improve your movement patterns. The effectiveness of your training program, in my opinion, should be gauged based on improvements in these areas...NOT on how much weight or fat you are losing. Exercise and training can SUPPLEMENT your efforts to improve aesthetic and cosmetic qualities-it builds/maintains lean muscle and burns calories-but this is not the primary objective of training.
Conversely, the primary objective of your diet and nutrition plan should be to improve your body composition (through weight and fat loss) and overall health (giving your body all of the high quality nutrients it needs to function well and prevent health problems). Proper diet and nutrition can SUPPLEMENT your efforts to improve performance related qualities, but, again, this is not the primary objective of eating properly.
The interesting thing is, and I see this all the time, is that most people do not gauge the effectiveness and success of their training program based on whether or not their performance is improving...they gauge success in terms of how much weight and fat they are losing. Most could care less if they are getting stronger, are able to perform more work, or improving their overall joint health. They could be-and most likely are-achieving the goals and objectives of their training program, but they have "blinders" on and don't even realize it. This is a BIG problem and is why most people discontinue their exercise and training programs: "I'm not losing much weight so screw it".
Look, if I want to go from performing 12 pull-ups to 15 pull-ups, I'm going to place most of my attention and effort into my training strategy. Sure, I'm going to make sure I'm well fueled for my workouts, but, if I'm not achieving my pull-up goal, I'm certainly not going to look at my diet (unless it's absolutely atrocious )...I'm going to examine my training parameters. If my goal is to drop 10 lbs. of fat, and I'm not making any progress, I'm not going to look very hard at my exercise program (unless it is absolutelyatrocious...meaning I'm only getting 1-2 hours of activity each week). I'm going to look at the factors most responsible for helping me meet this goal: proper diet and nutrition.
I hope you see what I'm getting at. You need to make sure you have the right perspective, and understand the true objectives of training and nutrition respectively. Changing your perspective on these issues can drastically improve your results and help you meet your goals.