The percentage factor

20.1 ^ere is a lot of hokum about nutrition being 50% or as much as 80% of bodybuilding success. Would you rather train very hard, including going through the near agony to get the final few reps of an intensive set of squats or deadlifts, or sit down in comfort and eat a nutritious meal of food that you enjoy? Which of these two is really most responsible for weight-training success.

20.2 Even though nutrition is not 80% or even 50% of weight-training success, do not become casual about its role. Good nutrition is vital! Some trainees have their training in good order but persistently short-change themselves with their nutrition. It is a total package that delivers gains for hard gainers. You need to be methodical and conscientious about all the components that contribute to weight-training success.

20.3 If you cannot be bothered to keep tabs on your total caloric intake, your training will suffer. If, for example, you need to average 3,100 calories a day to gain muscle (assuming you are training and resting adequately) but do not get them, do not blame your training when you start to lose size and strength.

20.4 Nutrition matters a heck of a lot if you are on a poor diet while training well. You can give your all to squats, deadlifts and a few other great exercises, but if you are not adequately consuming the building materials your body needs, you can forget about adding iron to the bar every week or two, and making good gains. Some easy gainers progress well despite following an appalling diet; but for hard gainers a good diet is critical. If you are living on a deficient diet but training and resting well, your lack of progress will be totally due to poor nutrition.

20.5 I always assume, but perhaps I should not, that anyone who trains very hard on an abbreviated basics-first program also has the desire and conscientiousness needed to eat a basics-first and sound diet, in sufficient quantities and on a consistent basis.

20.6 Getting enough calories and nutrients can be a problem for some people due to day-to-day circumstances, in which case you need to depend on liquid feeds to plug the nutritional gaps. But this is a darn sight easier to fix than it is to drive yourself to get the final couple of reps in a tough set when your body is screaming that it has had enough.

20.7 ^e contribution of nutrition to bodybuilding and lifting success is not the same as the contribution of nutrition to your visual appearance. Once you have some muscle on your frame, the most visually striking feature of a physique, except for hugely developed bodies, is the amount of bodyfat covering the musculature. And as far as controlling the amount of bodyfat is concerned, nutrition is the most influential factor. From this point of view, the "80% nutrition" opinion does have validity.

20.8 ^e contribution of nutrition to bodybuilding and lifting success is not the same as the contribution nutrition makes to your state of health. You can have an unhealthful diet that is adequate for getting bigger and stronger, and for altering body composition in a desirable way. On the other hand you can have a healthful diet that is not compatible with intensive, serious training. What you need is a healthful diet that is compatible with serious bodybuilding and strength training.

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