Monday, May 30, 2011

Response to Anon...

Anon--, I don't think there's any argument at all that being lighter will improve performance in many sports. I have never argued that weight is irrelevant for performance. Of course it's relevant, and I'm annoyed at myself for somehow not making that clear in my posts. So here goes, I'll make it clearer:

Consuming unsustainable and downright puritanical diets will not ultimately lead to better long-term performance. For the vast, vast majority of athletes (and the general public) simply training/exercising hard regularly and eating more simple food and less processed junk is the solution, just as it always has been. Some times the truth is really boring.

Focusing excessively (and if you regularly need to carry tupperware because you "can't find anything to eat and are over three years old that's excessive) is counter-productive at best, and downright damaging at worst., The diet game has a million new suckers a minute.

Let's look at the older athletes who have won or performed at top level over years or decades in contrast to this week's "Get real skinny and win!" book.

In general successful athletes focus on performance/winning, and then look at the pathways necessary to get to that point. Many amateur athletes look at the pathways more than they do at the goal. Do you want to be five percent BF for two months and place third in a local age division before blowing up or do you want to start at 12 percent, eat decently for a change, drop to 11 percent, place fourth in a local race, get stoked, train for another year, place 22nd nationally, notice you're now down to 8 percent because you're training like a fiend even though you eat the occasional banana split, and then win nationals the next year because you trained right (and holy shit, you did it at 7 percent, who knew!)? Or sit there worrying about whether or not to eat a piece of bread?

I see far too many athletes trying to control their performance by controlling their diet. Diet is simple to control short-term. So a bad race means a bad diet... No it doesn't, it most likely means the athlete didn't train well, or had a cold, or is distracted by a psychotic relationship or any of the other millions of things that can go wrong... But with the diet-based trainers it's always about the food, because they can control that (short term--long term they're gonna lose unless they're eating sustainably). Based on more than 25 years of competing in various sports where weight matters the diet-obsessed are not going to be the people on the podium in the long run. Nor are the 300 pound coach potatoes. Simple.

Diet is important, but performance is everything. Don't confuse the two, they are not interchangeable terms for god's sake! Read, understand, think, apply, train, adapt, understand, think some more, but do not become a victim of the diet is everything cult, it's a losing headspace.

Enough of this topic, my views are hopefully clear enough. There will always be a salesman with a new plan for getting skinny etc., learn to ignore them and focus on getting out the door as it's now time for me to do. Let's go get active, yeah!