All of this weight training has been a fascinating experience. Besides just feeling better and being more confident in myself, learning about anatomy, physiology, and even a little chemistry has really caught my academic intrigue. It’s empowering to have that knowledge – it gives you a sense of ownership over what you’re doing. You’re able to construct your own programs, your own diet. You’re not as worried about going out with friends and finding something “healthy” to eat. It really opens things up and makes everything easier (well… maybe not the workout – that’s still kicks my ass!).
It’s tough at first, though. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. I really put a lot of trust in to the “professionals” to design a program that worked, to be accurate about their nutrition. I’m lucky that I found Steve Cook’s Big Man On Campus program through Bodybuilding.com. Steve Cook clearly explained in each video what the nutrition was all about (the importance of Carbs, Protein, and even fat – yes, fat is important), what all of the exercises were doing and how to do them, and even what all of the recommended supplements were doing. I think that this is a great beginners program if you’re interested in one.
But after you get started, it may be in your interest to double check what you’re being told. There’s this verse in the Bible that has always stuck with me. Acts 17:11 – “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Basically, Paul and Silas go to speak to a bunch of different groups of people about Jesus, and all of them believed everything they were told, no questions asked – all except the Bereans. They took was Paul taught and did their own research to make sure it was correct. And because of them, they were said to have “more noble character.”
After starting this new program from Cory Gregory of MusclePharm, I decided to double check the numbers for my diet. The recommended split for macronutrients was 50% Protein, 40% Fat, and 10% Carbs (an interesting split, to be sure – part of the reason I’m trying the program). So I compared that to the example meal plan that was given on the site. I was extremely surprised that the numbers were no where close to that – more like 39%, 42%, 19%. So this morning, I modified what I’ve been eating to include more protein, less carbs, and leveled out the fats.
I guess my point is this – it’s great to have some guidance, especially when you’re starting out, but if you’re serious about this, just like anything else, you need to learn about what you’re doing. Musicians learn more about technique and theory. Programmers learn new languages and more efficient ways to code. For weight lifters, runners, and others serious about fitness, it’s important to learn all you can about what you’re doing so that you can do it better, more effectively, and with less danger for injury!
This really is a lifestyle choice. This isn’t just something you do – it’s someone you are!