Pre Workout Nutrition and Cheat Days

It’s Monday which is my workout for back and traps, and I’m coming off from a weekend of eating a lotta food I shouldn’t have been eating! We all need a break from the strict nutrition plan. And to be honest, unless you’re competing you have to reason to deprive yourself all the time of the foods you enjoy; just don’t over do it, right? Anyway, this post isn’t about the burrito, chips and salsa, and the Jason-sized bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup I had yesterday. This post is about pre workout nutrition but not the pre workout nutrition you may be thinking of. I want to talk about what you eat the day prior to your workouts, and how that can impact your workouts the following day.

I didn’t feel 100% this morning as far as strength goes. I think a lot of may be due to be not getting enough quality nutrients yesterday, and more importantly not getting enough quality protein. So today you’re learning from my mistake (free lesson here). Now for me I believe the rules are a bit different because I train in the early mornings (I’m in the gym around 4:45AM). If you train at night or in the evenings this post may not pertain to you as much; however, there’s still some relevance here.

In short, food is fuel. What you put into your body is going to affect your energy levels and how your body performs. That being said, what you eat will have a direct impact on your strength, your intensity level, and how long you can last in the gym. So if you eat like crap the day before your workout (or the day of if you train in the evenings or at night) then you can expect to perform like crap and you may find yourself lifting girly weights.

‘So where do cheat days fall in and where’s the balance if I don’t compete?’ Most of you know I don’t compete in bodybuilding or any type of sport but if you know me well, you know I train hard. My rule is I usually stick to a fairly solid and strict nutrition plan during the week and on the weekends I grant myself some freedom. My other half and I love to eat out and to try different restaurants. That’s one of our weekend hobbies. But there are some guidelines we all need to set in place. One is even on your ‘relaxed diet’ days you still need to provide your muscles with adequate protein. I still drink my protein shakes on the weekends, in the morning and at night, just like I do during the week. And I also usually don’t go crazy with ‘bad foods’ either. But like most of us weight lifters, I love a good hamburger (as you can see above!) and I love pizza! The key is I don’t eat pizza for every meal that entire day, and I don’t have it two days in a row or anything crazy like that. I’ll still get quality nutrients in that day despite whatever ‘cheat meal’ I might have. This is especially true on Sundays (I don’t train on Sundays but I’m gearing up for my Monday morning workout session). I may have a not-so-healthy meal on Sunday but I try to make sure I get plenty of protein in that day, with the exception of yesterday’s folly. And sometimes those extra calories will work to your benefit for the next day’s workout as far as strength and energy goes. My problem yesterday was on top of the bad foods I didn’t get enough protein, and despite the bad meals, I don’t think I got enough overall calories for that day. You really have to apply the popular phrase ‘everything in moderation’ here. Today’s Monday and it’s back to eating chicken, eggs, lean beef, fish, rice and such…I can’t wait until next weekend!

Train with Passion,

Jason Stallworth

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