Fitness Plan + Nutrition Plan
Strength training is no longer exclusively for body builders with the goal to bulk up. Studies are proving the significance of strength training for every person with the goal to achieve health and fitness. If you include weight loss, bone density and even longevity on your fitness checklist, effective strength training may be for you.
Achieving benefits from this type of resistance workout requires a healthy nutrition plan including PRE and POST workout meals designed to provide your body with what it needs to not only perform but to recover adequately.
Your nutrition plan should be customized according to the intensity and duration of your training and your specific needs (based on age, sex, weight, fitness level). Planning adequate fuel for your pre and post workouts can make the difference between a positive or negative result. Without properly fueling your body to respond to its needs, you may experience loss of muscle mass, fatique, injury, and a longer recovery process.
Carbs are key for fueling your muscles and powering your workouts. This nutrient maintains blood glucose levels during workouts and also replaces muscle glycogen. A reasonable guideline to use is to plan 2.7 to 4.5 grams of carbs per one pound of body weight. Your individual need varies based on intensity and length of workouts as well as your size and sex.
Examples: High quality carbohydrates such as low-fat milk, yogurt, fruits, veggies, whole-grain breads
We typically can get sufficient protein thru our diets using a scale of 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.
Examples: Skinless, baked chicken, grilled salmon, lentils, tofu, peanut butter, quinoa, low-fat milk, eggs
Heart-healthy fats balance out the nutritional needs of our bodies when undergoing an intensive exercise session. Factor is 25 to 35% of total energy intake.
Examples: Salmon, halibut, avocados, almonds, pistachios
Hydration is so important. You’ll see a decrease in performance if you allow yourself to become dehydrated. You must have adequate fluid intake pre, during and post workout to achieve optimal performance.
Weigh yourself before your training session and again after. It’s recommended that you drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for every pound you’ve lost in your workout. Ensuring you have sufficient hydration helps you to make strides in increasing strength and muscle mass.
FUEL UP FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS
Fueling up is important to achieving a successful strength training session. A small meal containing the proper nutrients can not only boost energy to support the workout, but it also primes the body for a faster recovery following the workout.
2 to 3 hours prior have a meal containing the following nutrients
- High carbs to supply blood glucose
- Low fat and fiber to avoid gastrointestinal distress
- High protein and fat to balance out a complete meal
30 minutes prior have a small snack that includes
- Simple protein and carbs for optimal digestion and absorption of glucose and amino acids
The importance of fueling up prior to an intense training session is key in maximizing your overall results. However, remember it’s just as important in the 30 minutes following training to refuel your body with proper nutrition in order to recover and replace what you burned up (fluids, electrolytes, energy).
30 minutes post workout
- Carbohydrates – Replace carbs using the guideline of 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of body weight.
- Protein – Team up a small amount of protein with the carbs to get amino acids that help reduce inflammation and help to build and repair muscle tissue. Carb-to-protein ratio is 3:1 for an intense workout, and if consumed within 30 minutes post workout, your body can almost double the insulin response. That means you have additional glycogen for your next strength training session.
2 to 4 hours thereafter
- Consume proper carbs every 2 hours for the next 4 to 6 hours to replace glycogen that training used up
THE BOTTOM LINE
Nutrition is key with all types of fitness training. The proper diet can make or break the results you get from your workout performance and from your body’s recovery process. Put serious thought into making a complete meal plan designed to support your type of training program. Always remember, the proper FUEL IS A CRUCIAL PART OF YOUR FITNESS PLAN!