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Why Your Workout Is More Important Than Your Nutrition

So today I got up and needed to jump straight into work- and I'll be out on location, on the clock till "O-late-hundred", so my opportunity to eat all the calories I want, from all the sources I want will be severely hampered.

What should I do? 

Exercise on my break, but not eat a good muscle-building meal afterward? Save my exercise session it till tonight after work when I can possibly 'recharge' with a home cooked meal? Buy RTD shakes [liquid meal replacement protein in a bottle] on the road? Eat fast food?!

As you can see, the options become less and less appealing, going from bad to worse with each step of the downward spiral. Yet most people will rationalize one of these approaches as being the only option for them, and consequently let their exercise efforts also go from bad to worse, then from worse to bottom-of-the-barrel, "I give up."

So here's the part where I take what I said yesterday, and flip it on it's ear, "Your workout is more important than your nutrition. Period."

First let me share with you what I've done to make the most of my day [so far] and then tell you why it worked:

Warm up:
7 minutes of top-rock, jump rope, and dynamic stretch [first time readers: I'm a dancin' machine. Don't try to tell me to stop the rock, because I don't know how]-  it's hot and humid in Central TX, which means my body took less time warming up to a safe workout state.


  1. Kettlebell snatch, 3x3 at a warm up weight, to ensure that my shoulders, upper back and hips all stay aligned correctly during the hip drive.
  2. Two hand kettlebell swing, 5x20 at a very challenging weight, with less than 60 seconds of rest between sets.

External and internal shoulder rotations with a 5 lb dumbbell [this is important for injury prevention]

Why was this the answer for today's hectic schedule?

First off, the kettlebell swings acted as cardio, which cut my workout time to only a few minutes longer than my warm up time, and really worked out my heart and lungs!

"I'm thinking far ahead of just the next 8 hours..."

Second, the way that kettlebell swings activate one's backside [the posterior kinetic chain] is the perfect primer for my Friday leg session, where I will be absolutely brutal with the weights, and also have the benefit of a regular eating schedule, so I'm thinking far ahead of just the next 8 hours.

Third, I stayed away from a strict bodybuilding protocol [3 sets X 8-12 reps], leaving a little in the tank, so to speak, so I'm not worried about burning myself out for tomorrow, regardless of what I eat today.

Finally, and this is key, I'll be pleased if I can get in a good recovery meal or two, but even if I don't: I'll know that I've stayed consistent with my exercise all week, which will stick in my mind and influence my nutrition choices far beyond today.

Now, can I be so sure that I'll always be able to defer my tough sessions for days when I'm not busy? Probably not. Will I always be able to cut calories a little, for the sake of keeping my hands off of junk food? Definitely not. [However, most trainers will agree that planning your meals out a day in advance is the best way to avoid having to eat junk.] But if for one day I can't get my hands on anything reasonably nutritious, will I skip my workout? No way! You better believe I will still workout. The mental and physiological change it will produce is going to far outweigh my body's temporary need for food.

What do you do to keep yourself eating enough of the right foods to be able to keep making progress with your goals? Chime in below!

Stay Strong, Friends.

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