Eating and Training for Health, Body Composition and Performance

Filed under: Nutrition, Training

I am currently in the midst of the Precision Nutrition Certification program and I am greatly enjoying it. I figured since I am already in school this probably the best time to truly enhance my education overall. While me taking this certification program might surprise some people, it shouldn’t. No matter how much you may know, there is always more to learn.

Once you think you have all the answers is when you will have failed as an educator. John Berardi and his Precision Nutrition team have worked with thousands of people directly with their Lean Eating Coaching Program, which is far more people than I can work with myself. Think of all of the experience and information they have gleaned from those situations. Does anybody think we all can’t learn something from that?

If I pick up just a few tips and ideas to further improve my services and the results of my clients, why in the world wouldn’t I sign up for such a program? I am always looking for ways to improve my services and the results of my clients. Anyway, that was a slightly off-topic rant. Back to the point of what I have been enjoying in the program thus far.

One piece of advice that really jumped out at me was that Good Nutrition Achieves Health, Body Composition, and Performance Goals. While this is something that I try to hammer home to people myself, and something that I discuss quite a bit in my Show and Go Nutrition Guide, I like the way they worded their discussion on the topic.

People often eat and train with mainly their aesthetics and body composition in mind. They want to look good naked, and often need to lose quite a bit of fat, so they tend to do excessive amounts of cardio and high-rep/poorly executed weight training in conjunction with highly restrictive crash diets. These strategies can certainly work, and their can be a time and a place for rapid fat loss, in the long run these strategies will negatively impact your health and well-being (and often lead to binging and aggressive regaining of lost weight).

Instead, people should look to create a long-term nutrition and training lifestyle based on the intersection of these three goals:

  1. Improving body composition
  2. Improving health
  3. Improving performance

picture courtesy of The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, pg 15

The same rule applies for long-term training goals. A lot of trainees, guys and girls alike, exercise with only their body composition in mind. Maybe they aren’t crash dieting or anything, but they train in a manner that is not conducive to improving their performance or long-term health. Without any focus on soft-tissue quality (ie – foam rolling), proper warmups, correct exercise selections or balanced training programs, they will run into problems in the long term.

Unfortunately these problems take a long time to unveil themselves, so often people will justify their current methods because it does not hurt at this moment in time. Newsflash for you Walter Cronkite, most injuries are of a chronic and degenerative nature that could have been prevented, not an acute instant-in-time occurrence. While training in the appropriate manner may not be as sexy, and it is certainly will not be what you read in bodybuilding magazines, it will allow you to train forever, and actually make you more resistant to injuries, not prone to them. While I know that most of us are not training for the Olympics, myself included, training to improve your performance can range from high-level athletics to simply improving your energy levels and ability to play with your kids.

When the focus is on a blend of performance, health and body composition the aforementioned issues do not arise. While this method may not produce results as rapidly as a single focus on any of the one areas, they lead to a balanced and healthy long-term approach that will reduce inflammation, blood lipids, diabetes risk, cancer risk, and body fat percentage as well increase lean mass, movement and tissue quality, strength, athleticism, and other health markers (good cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, etc). Sounds like a plan to me!

To wrap this up, focus your training and your nutrition on improving your health, body composition and performance and you get the best of it all. You get to look good naked, improve your quality of life and perform at your peak!

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Posted on January 12th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre


  1. The Home of BSP Training & Nutrition » Blog Archive » The Muscle Shifting Doctrine Says:

    [...] exercise execution and more. In a nutshell they incorporate all of the things I talked about in Eating and Training for Health, Body Composition and Performance. While individual programs and products may emphasize one of these components more than others, it [...]

  2. Mitch Says:

    Very good article – I like your holistic viewpoints.

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