Eat As Hard As You Train

Eat as hard as you train. That’s what I tell my students. Don’t leave your diet to chance. Put as much effort into planning your meal strategy as you do your workout schedule. This advice however, is by far more difficult to apply than the workout itself, and based on observation and confession, is where the great majority of athletes fail.

So why is eating as hard as you train so difficult? Is it because we’re incapable of such behavior? No. We fail because we underestimate the importance of whole food nutrition. We fail because we allow our minds to be molded by television and manipulated by conventional thinking. We fail because we allow ourselves to be used by corporations that manufacture and control the vast majority of our food.

To be successful as a health conscious functional athlete, we must overcome the monotony of training, eating and sleeping at the same time, in the same way DAY AFTER DAY! The body loves routine, and the mind functions best in a healthy strong brain and body. But the mind seeks variety and pleasure, and it’s the mind, especially the emotional pleasure-seeking mind, that gets us into trouble.

“Do you believe in a cheat day Cory?”

Sure, provided you don’t mind if your husband or wife cheats on you once a week. If are disagreeable with such an arrangement, then whatever reason you give is the same that I will give to you. Cheating is cheating. If we cannot be trusted with a little, we cannot be trusted with a lot. If you’re diet is truly correct there’s no need or desire to cheat.

Showing up is half the battle and beginning is half done. True that. But after we finish our work in the gym, the fun has just begun. This is where it gets tricky for most and becomes a nightmare for others. What do I eat? When should I eat? What supplements should I take?

The answers to these questions are derived through the same inductive process that teaches us how to lift correctly, stretch on a mat or run, swim and cycle with ideal form and precision. Through desire principles are actualized but seldom overnight or without failure.

Our world is reinforced with two kinds of knowledge, “a priori” or what comes before, and “a posteriori” meaning what comes later. a priori knowledge is awareness of something independent of experience. a posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience or empirical evidence. Both are needful and useful.

As stated so eloquently by Charles Peirce in How to Make Our Ideas Clear (1878), “To find the meaning of an idea we must examine the consequences to which it leads in action, otherwise dispute about it may be without end and will surely be without fruit”.

Google everything you can about weight-training, its history and theoretical application, but until you've actually lifted some iron and solved the riddle of steel for yourself, you’ll never know how good it feels or understand why people in their right mind do it. Knowledge gained from afar is only as real as our imagination, and you cannot hold imagination in your hand.

Thought is the driving force behind decisive action. First we need to read a book, watch a video or listen to an audio tutorial. After validation the next step is personal application. It’s the outcome (effect) that we’re chiefly concerned with; however, it is connecting causality to outcome that separates us potentially from the herd. To ignore causality is to mimic the action of the migrating wildebeest.

If you train hard it’s because you want to. Knowing why is half the battle. No autonomic force yet identified in man urges us as a collective to run, swim and lift weights without resistance (pun intended). In fact less than 5% of first world domesticated humans show up consistently and do the physical work and training required to sustain wellness, in spite of knowing that such effort is highly beneficial.

If you eat as hard as you train you’re putting the same energy into thinking about diet and food as you are about your performance. Elite athletes are always thinking about how to do what they do better. They think about skill training, they read articles on exercise technique, and they pay coaches and trainers to push them ever harder. But when you sit down for chow, is there someone there to set you straight?

Do you have a diet coach pushing you at the table to eat leaner and cleaner? Is your diet as good as your last workout?

Do you eat as hard as you train?

Eating as hard as you train is comparable to squeezing out sets and reps in the gym until it hurts. No growth hormone is released in the absence of elevated lactic acid. If you turn from the burn you’ll never learn. If you fold in spite of being told you’ll be left in the cold to grow old.

Eating as hard as you train means you eat as hard as you run or sprint. Intelligent athletes seek to make training more and more difficult because they know that overcoming difficulty is directly related to progress. The same is true with food. All human progress is gained only through suffering and hardship. If you eat “soft” and for pleasure only, you’ll get physically soft, but go down hard long before your time.

Eating soft is comparable to training in the gym while talking to someone on your cell. Put the damn thing down! Eating soft is like doing push-ups on your knees, squatting half-way down with a barbell, or sitting on a bench between sets and gazing at the wall. Snap out of it!

Here’s a fast and hard rule. If it goes in soft it comes out hard.

Eating hard means you eat like a scientist committed to reason. Every morsel of food you put in your mouth is fuel for the machine, and you’re engine only takes high-octane fuel. Yes it can run on garbage if you compromise, but in the equation of life garbage in equals garbage out. Don’t think you can fool Mother Nature like you can fool most men. Biology is foolproof. You can lie about your diet, but you can’t hide the effects of your diet from reality.

Aristotle said that to achieve self-mastery we must find joy in the suffrage of necessity. That means we must love doing what needs to be done, and if freedom from disease and outstanding athletic performance is your primary objective, then you have to think of eating whole, fresh clean food as a necessity. Like exercise. The incentive to exercise comes from the conceptualization of its necessity.

To conceptualize means to form a concept out of observations and experience. The body won’t motivate you to get to the gym on its own. It’s designed to conserve energy like a sloth or a slug. Left to its own it will always choose the pathway of least resistance. Fortunately for us the tail doesn't wag the dog, meaning the body doesn't control the mind. The mind is the true Master, the body serves the mind.

Lift your arm up in front of you. What makes it go up? Did it raise itself up independent of your mind? No. And what if you lose your arm? Will you also lose part of your mind? Absolutely not! So where is your mind? Don’t blame what you eat on anything but your own mind.

The primary role of food is first and foremost to sustain the body with the nourishment it needs for cellular, glandular, muscular and nervous system function. This is best accomplished by consuming micronutrient dense fuel in its natural whole state and supplementing with a wide variety of high-quality natural health products. Shake’n’Take baby!

Taste and culinary satisfaction, although an important feature of nutrition, is secondary to the necessity of biological supply and demand. It is illogical to compromise sound nutrition for taste alone, yet this is the rule for the great majority, not the exception. Alas, logic seldom convinces anyone of anything, so my final appeal must be made to your emotions.

They say that everyone wants something and everyone is afraid of something. So what do you want? And what are you afraid of? Looking too good? Feeling too good? I think not. Perhaps you really don’t want what you say you want or maybe you simply don’t know.

The price of freedom is high Barbarian. Are you ready to pay the price? Are you ready to get down and get dirty? Eat as hard as you train, and for those who struggle with the training, the training itself is only an effect. It is your mind that is mustered.

Related Article: Cheating On Your Diet

As always...Stay well and Live Free