There seems to be this ongoing debate over the virtues of prescribing meal plans versus assigning macronutrient numbers to follow. My first prep coach had me on a meal plan, after all, and I lost a good number of inches. And that’s the point, isn’t it?
Many of you have been asking me if I make meal plans – and my answer is always no. Besides the fact that it’s outside my scope of practice and therefore beyond what I am legally allowed to do, I have a particular distaste for them.
Read on to find out why.
As fitness enthusiasts, we can easily get carried away with our primary goals. These are things like muscle gain, strength increases, fat loss, and—let’s be serious—having a legit answer to questions that start with the word “howmuchya?” These are a good thing, for the most part. However, they can also lead to becoming unintentionally enamored with the “cool” exercises and elite strength benchmarks.
You know what I’m talking about: the muscle-ups, weighted dips, and conventional deadlifts with plates on plates on plates. There’s something about them that just looks and sounds so badass. Close your eyes and you can see yourself ripping hundreds of pounds off the floor while everyone nearby peeks sheepishly at your strength feat. You’ll gingerly kiss your biceps as you strut across the gym floor, because you’ll have earned the right to do so.
But wait. Have you asked yourself if you’re really ready? Think about the following: Have you mastered the basic movement patterns? Is your hip extension explosive enough? Do you have any injuries or mobility limitations which restrict the proper execution of an exercise? Do you have the baseline strength to do it properly? Does it cause you to feel what can only be described as bad pain?
You know how it goes with traveling.
You’re living out of a suitcase. Your water intake is at an all-time low. You haven’t pooped in three days. Your quality of sleep is far from optimal, and all you really want is to lie in your own bed with your own covers with your head resting on your own damn pillow.
Simply looking at your itinerary makes you moan. A flight departure time that leaves you wondering if you should bother sleeping tonight at all or stay up and catch the early taxi to the airport. An excruciatingly long layover. Then the commute to your hotel.
I know how tempting it can be to throw fitness into the backseat during times like these because the thought of going out of your way to pack your food and scope out a half-decent gym is more than your weary self can handle right now.
You know what sounds nice? Being lean 365 days a year, travel or not. But you know what apparently sounds nicer right at this very moment? Vegging on the bed in your hotel gym catching up on the latest episode of So You Think You Can Dance.
Been there, done that a hundred times over.