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If you work out you're probably in one of two camps. Either your main objective is physical and aesthetic results, or you're chiefly concerned about your health. In my almost 30
years of being involved in bodybuilding, I've rarely met bodybuilders who put their health first. That isn't to say that some don't consider health as a part of their programs,
but it's always a secondary goal to being ripped, huge and competitive.
Size and condition aren't historically associated with organic or health-food diets. Most of what dietitians recommend to their clients would not really work to get someone ripped in the practical, real world That's the problem with nutritional dogma out there in the mainstream. It doesn't address both practical and scientific concerns, only scientific concerns, or suppositions about health and well-being.
What if a bodybuilder could work within the guidelines of what is healthful in a dietary sense and still be hard, ripped and massive? Well, after some research and talk with a lot of nutritionist's I happen to think it's possible and actually the best thing a bodybuilder could do - at least between chemical cycles.
I am a longtime proponent of consistency with diet. That's where a good physique starts, and that's where you can think of the relationship between health and appearance. Without consistency - eating good food regularly - you're not going to achieve your goals, period! Eating well on a regular basis and feeding your body with what it needs to go beyond survival or maintenance will sup-ply what you need for performance and the possibility of good aesthetics. That's why consistency is the first step.
I've always cooked my food ahead of time and been regimented in how I eat. I work long hours and can't neglect my body while I make money at my job. This procedure has become a habit for me now, I can't conceive of a day when I wouldn't pack my meals and think about what I'm going to eat at least a day ahead of time. I sometimes cook for the week with potatoes, protein and such, or at least cook a few days' food at a time.
But this, too, is just the beginning. What if a bodybuilder could benefit from a diet that goes beyond consistency and calories? What if he could achieve his bodybuilding goals and also detoxify his body from all the chemicals and years of stress and metabolic ups and downs? Would he benefit health-wise and still look like a million bucks? Could he actually look better in the long run?
I have spent a few months researching this theory. Having tried it out myself and with a few select clients, I have become convinced -and so have they - that I am on the right track. If you think health and well-being can't intersect with bodybuilding success in achieving a hard physique that is chiseled and in good shape, think again!
Before I spring this concept on you, I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I'm not going soft on my ideas. I am still an old-school, hardcore bodybuilder who trains his clients strictly and advocates a Spartan diet for bodybuilding success. However, I think you can follow the same kind of rigorous plan more healthfully, eating relatively the same food with a few changes. It may look the same on the plate, but it will make a vast difference in both internal health and external result.
Bodybuilders who eat poorly in the off-season wreak havoc not only with their off-season condition, but also with their entire system. And this conclusion doesn't take into account liver and kidney stress from chemicals, which is also affected by poor eating habits.
To explain the seriousness of eating habits and how they impact both internal and external results, I thought of an analogy that might help people understand they are creating a monster by being inconsistent with their diets and eating crap day after day whenever they are not dieting. The enemy isn't the fat. It's what they create metabolically and the roadblocks they set up for themselves during the next diet cycle. Bodybuilders create a time bomb with all they do, poor off-season eating being the capper to everything negative.
The analogy goes like this: Suppose I turned on the gas to one of my burners before going out for the day to train clients. When I came home, would I then light a match upon entering my house? If I did, I'd create an explosion and probably not get out alive. I know, this scenario sounds extreme, but such a time bomb is exactly what bodybuilders create when they combine indiscriminate and abusive anabolic cycles, poor dietary habits, and supplemental/meal-replacement roulette. Most of them don't know what they are creating, and the crisis goes unnoticed until they get sick or fail to achieve aesthetic results.
Can diet really make that big a change, even if bodybuilders continue to use anabolics and place their bodies under severe stress? I think so. Detoxing the body is the key to beginning to change the outcome of a bodybuilding lifestyle.
Most people in the world of bodybuilding cringe at the word detox for more than one reason. First, they look at detox as a word that implies judgment of what they do. It doesn't really. In fact, detoxification is a natural process that occurs in the body every day. Without it we wouldn't survive. When you add more chemicals to the mix, disrupt natural cycles and rhythms, and generally throw the body off kilter, you block some of its ability to know how to detoxify all its systems. The normal detox systems that include urination, bowel movements, sweating, filtration by the liver, kidneys and lymph nodes, are altered and tend to begin storing toxins that the body cannot process. It becomes overwhelmed, and either poor condition or illness shows up on the outside.
You can't just change your eating habits or start buying organic fruits, vegetables and chemical-free meats, and have detoxification work. You need to help yourself with various supplements to repair the damage done first, clean the system out second, and then start with a clean slate. If you skip those critical first steps, you'll rob yourself of total detox and results. Moreover, you'll harm your health.
Detoxing is a multi step process. It's getting rid of toxins, and it's ridding the body of parasites. Yes, that's a horrid subject to consider, but many of us have parasites that we don't even know we have, from the chemical warfare we stage on our bodies to the kinds of food we eat and conditions we develop as a result. Many types of undesirable, unhealthy parasites can feed on our body and grow at the gut level. They rob us of nutrition from the food we eat and hinder our body's systems from doing their jobs. They also poison us with toxic waste. If you let these unwanted guests stay alive, you'll be a big loser.
Use of steroids and steroidal substances may cause a lot of yeast and fungi to grow in the body. This condition alone can cause fatigue, bloat, viruses, and many other unwanted symptoms. Candida isn't just a type of yeast that women get. It can grow systemically in both men and women and can be a serious obstacle to getting ripped and looking your best. One indication that you may suffer from Candida albicans (yeast proliferation) is that you are not getting as lean as you once did in spite of being just as regimented or dedicated as before. When tanning, you may get the common skin fungus called "tinea versicolor," which causes spotting white and flaking. This is also a common side effect of Candida and being infested with yeast and fungus.
Parasites usually survive without detection and can affect up to 50 percent of the population without their knowing it, so detoxing with a parasite cleansing kit can be a good start to detoxing the body. Since you can pick up parasites from pets, international travel, food, water and even air, to name just a few sources, you shouldn't skip this step.