As years went by in the gym I always followed a strict diet, and by strict I don't just mean food choices but eating times also. I listened to all of the hype and made myself eat every 2-3 hours like it was the frikken gospel. What a waste, and how miserable it was! In terms of taking up space and weighing 250 lbs, sure it worked and yes I was strong. But when my shirt came off it just wasn’t as impressive as it should have been.
I picked up a lot of body fat by doing this and it made me sluggish. For the hour I was in the gym I was fine, but throughout day to day functioning I wasn’t worth shit! The problem I have with diets is that they should be viewed as guidelines to follow, not ounce per ounce and hour to hour specific. How do you know your body needs 4,000 calories on Tuesday? How do you know your body needs exactly 1 gallon of water every day?
To worry about this sort of thing day in and day out is flat out retarded. I see nothing wrong with falling short of 1 gallon of water a couple days here and there, or only getting 3-4 meals/day on some days instead of 6 meals/day. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If you're not hungry then don't eat, plain and simple. The training and bodies need for calories go hand in hand. When the demand is there, the hunger will be there also.
Another point I’d like to make here, people talk about how they get so moody from not eating. While I can understand this and have been there myself, I have to be honest and say that much of that was from an obsessive compulsiveness to eat every 2-3 hours, and not hitting that mark was failing to me. You see, much of the time I wasn’t mad because I was hungry, I was mad because all that mattered was eating at that specific time no matter what I was doing. What a fucked up way to live your life right?
Instinctive Eating And Intermittent Fasting
Fast forward to about 16 years into my training and to this present day… I train on an empty stomach 90% of the time, and sometimes my first meal of the day is around noon. I’m still 225 lbs and I’m lean, REALLY LEAN. I walk around in about a 4-6 week out (4-6 weeks away from a competition) condition year round. And it’s not hard. It’s actually easier to be honest.
Some days I eat 5 times, some days I eat only 3, other days maybe its 7 meals. Who knows and WTF does it matter if it’s getting results? Some days are 150 grams of protein, other days are 250 grams, I go entirely based on what my body is telling me that day. Bodybuilders are stubborn, they do not like to change things and they damn sure don't want to listen to someone smaller than them for advice. I urge you to have a more open mind when it comes to that.
I know of many 150 lb guys who could put you through a workout that would destroy you, and get you good results! I believe that you can take something away from just about every training style there is. CrossFit is not my cup of tea, but I can still learn some training principles from it to help me with bodybuilding.
#1 – Always be able to use your own body weight no matter how big/heavy you get. Make sure you're able to do dips, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups.
#2 – Timing for intensity. While I don't advocate doing things in a way your form gets too loose such as CrossFit, try to decrease your rest periods in order to hike up the intensity of the entire workout!
#3 – Try new things! Much of the time CrossFitters change it up and throw in something new. Don't be afraid to try something you don't think will work at first glance!
I could take something from almost any training style and learn from it, be it strongman, bodybuilding, CrossFit, sprinting, cycling, swimming, yoga (which yes I do and it’s incredible for helping bodybuilders!) or anything else. But too many times you meet someone who is so dedicated to one training style they refuse to have an open mind to ANYTHING ELSE.
Yes, I’m a huge fan of HIT, and most of my routines are HIT, but there is always a way to throw in other styles of training and modify them into an HIT workout. HIT is nothing more than intensity to me, intensity at a level you could not possible exceed more than a couple sets with while training most of your body.
I’m getting off on a rant here, but day to day adjustments fall anywhere from your training, to nutrition, to modifying your gym time and/or diet around work and time constraints. Let YOU control your diet and training. Don't let it control you! Have an open mind and don't be afraid to try eating and training instinctively. It may just take your physique to another level and allow you to have a life at the same time!