Thursday, May 30, 2013

NUTRITIONAL BASICS FOR BODYBUILDING SERIES. Part One: Realising the importance of nutrition. By Vic Goyaram


Part One: 
Realising the importance of nutrition
Researched and composed by Vic Goyaram

I wanted to write about macro nutrient basics for bodybuilding but my intuition told me to start this series with a more fundamental issue: the realisation of the importance of nutritionWhen it comes to building muscle, resistance training tears down the muscle and nutrition is one of the essentials to repair the muscle and allow it to get bigger and stronger. If you don't feed the body properly then you aren't going forward. 

"Do you eat as hardcore as you train?"
More often than not you will see people who train very hard but fail to work as hard when it comes to their nutrition. Chances are that many of us fall in such a category too.  Please take some time and reflect on these questions:
  • Do you step out of the house everyday with your meals packed for the day?
  • What's in your lunch bag today? Have you even packed lunch?
  • You have planned a hardcore arm workout today but will your eating be as hardcore?
  • You just ingested that pre-workout. What will you have post-workout?
The reality is that most people over-train and eat inappropriately.  Building muscle requires great efforts both in the gym and in the kitchen/ meal table as proper nutrition will account for your bodybuilding success or lack thereof. Always think of the bicycle analogy: The two wheels of a bicycle represent training and nutrition. If one of the  wheels is faulty or inadequate, the bicycle will be dysfunctional. Likewise, training and nutrition are intimately related. I know too many people who train really hard but fail to progress. Most of the time it is simply because their nutrition is inadequate. It is not because they lack hormones in the body or lack genetics. 
Meals packed for the day to fuel growth!
(I wished this could be my kitchen top)
"But it is damn expensive to eat properly"
For sure, food is getting really expensive and there is little we can do about it. Some have limited incomes, others are in debt or are still studying and have no income. While some of you reading this have no problem with money, many others do struggle. I understand them because I did face difficulties too when I was studying. 

Instead, what you must do is focus on the things that you can do rather than focus on the things that you can't do

Again, when I was a student I loved to drink those protein shakes but couldn't afford to even use what I was selling. The R250 (at that time) jar of protein was out of bounds but the R60 I had in the pocket could buy me nearly 2 trays of 30 eggs that always go on special at Pick and Pay. That's 60 eggs. 60 x 6g protein per egg (average)=360g. That's more than half the amount of protein in the jar for a mere quarter of the price. 

Do whatever is possible to bring in the cash for food. If this means working harder to earn more money, studying harder to get a job that earns well, working part time to get some income, applying for a higher paying job or going to study to improve qualifications for a better job, then do it. Do not sit in your comfort zone. Do not sit on your ass and complain that others can while you can't. 

Don't give excuses. 

"Food for fuel, not comfort"
When you go shopping for food with limited cash, you may be tempted to buy a lot of unnecessary stuff. That's the way shops work, enticing you to buy more things. We can't blame them, it is their business. But as a bodybuilder, buy the type of food that will help your physique. Buy something if it is really necessary for your goals. When stepping into that shop, tell yourself that you're going to buy only what will bring you closer to your goals and get the hell out of there. I personally buy mostly mixed vegetables, oats, eggs and chicken breasts whenever I go grocery shopping. I am never going to buy custard powder or a packet of biscuits even though I sometimes want it. 

My shopping: chicken for two days, oats and mixed vegetables for 1 week
Do whatever you can: my three solid meals for the day.
Oats and bananas and chicken breasts.
"Bodybuilding is 70, 80, 80.5, 90.75, 95%...of nutrition"
Bodybuilding has never been 80% Nutrition and 20% training. It does mean that if you slack in your training but eat properly you will only be 20% short of your desired progress. Likewise, it doesn't mean that if you train hard and slack in your nutrition you will make only 20% of your desired progress. Your progress may be 0% or you may even regress. This percentage thing must be interpreted carefully because what it simply serves the purpose of highlighting the importance of nutrition in your bodybuilding progress. 

Don't have time to eat?
If you are serious about building muscle then you must find time to eat. Even if you are at work and your boss is constantly on your back you must find the time to eat. If you still cannot smuggle a tupperware rice and chicken in your office desk there are a lot of convenient options like shakes which take 2 minutes to prepare and 30 seconds to drink.
Do what you have to do
The bottom line
  • Nutrition is a key ingredient
  • Do not overlook the importance of feeding your body properly
  • Focus on the things you can do, rather than on the things you cannot

Future articles in this series will deal on more specific topics of nutrition. 
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My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and now based in Cape Town, South Africa where I am busy with my postgraduate studies in molecular biology of exercise. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka, looks at the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years (and counting) of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2013), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I am grateful to each and everyone at the UCT Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine. "Knowledge without sharing is worth nothing"
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1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I'd buy lentils, soya nutri nuggets instead of chicken. Its time to put my faith in oats rather than whole wheat bread. :)