T Nation

Performance and Physique

The combination of being lean and strong are often idea for performance. An elite athlete’s body is a machine with one function: be better than every body you’re up against. There is no bulking, there is no cutting. There is only faster and stronger.

Let’s look at a football player as an example. A few years ago I was asked to design a program for a wide receiver. I soon found out (considering I’m not a football fan) that these guys are incredibly explosive and fast. They often carry a substantial amount of muscle (relative to the average individual) and very little fat. Fat is just extra weight that they need to carry down the field.

The next thing I discovered when working with these athletes was just how fantastic their physiques were. Sure they were far from body-builders but they had very strong lean athletic builds.

My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?

A majority of my training has been geared toward increasing performance for the past 5-6 years. My goals have been to get faster, become more explosive, increase my vertical, improve quickness, etc. to get better at soccer and just trying to become a freak athlete. For upper body, I train mostly for strength as I think in pretty much every sport upper body strength and stability help a ton with body control and physically dominating people. For lower body, I train for a combo of strength, explosiveness, and flexibility. Each of these three are important for becoming a better athlete in my opinion.

My diet is pretty decent (focusing on a ton of calories and as much protein as possible---- esepcially around the workout window) , but nowhere near as strict as what a bodybuilder would eat. I think that the combination of heavy weight training and consistently playing a sport (football, bball, soccer, hockey, etc.) IN AN EXPLOSIVE MANNER will lead to a high level of physical development. Now obviously this is going to be a different build than what bodybuilder trains for, but a lot of people prefer the athletic look.

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage.

My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing.

I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff.

I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200.

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage. My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing. I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff. I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200. [/quote]
Morning fellow Texan.

Where do you live if you dont mind letting us know.

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage. My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing. I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff. I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200. [/quote]
Morning fellow Texan.

Where do you live if you dont mind letting us know.[/quote]

Kingwood. NE side of the concrete jungle, otherwise known as Houston.

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]Derek542 wrote:

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage. My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing. I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff. I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200. [/quote]
Morning fellow Texan.

Where do you live if you dont mind letting us know.[/quote]

Kingwood. NE side of the concrete jungle, otherwise known as Houston. [/quote]

Interesting, Im on the South side Friendswood, one of my job sites is in Spring.

Got a friend who does MMA so just had to make sure you were not him :slight_smile:

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage.

My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing.

I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff.

I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200. [/quote]

Cool stuff. Did you find you were able to increase strength and performance while reducing weight/fat?

[quote]setto222 wrote:

[quote]MWP wrote:

[quote]setto222 wrote:
My question is this: Does anybody around here train for performance and have found that their physiques match their machine-esk work capacity and abilities? Is there anybody around here that throws all that calories in vs calories out stuff to the wind and just eats so that every time they step foot on the field or in the gym they are faster and stronger than the time before?[/quote]

I used to powerlift and my goals were generally be as strong as I could be at a certain target weight which generally was about 220. I am 5’11". I normally eat pretty clean anyway and tried to eat 6 meals a day getting in about 1 gram of protein per pound of bw. I never really counted calories, just tried to make sure that I got my protein and my carbs were clean and not from garbage.

My cardio was pretty simple, I ran 3 miles about 3 times a week and did a boxing circuit of about 8 rounds a couple of times a week. Doing all that usually kept me in check at 220 without looking like a huge fat ass. If I wanted to bulk up and get stronger (like in the Winter months) and not care so much about carrying a little more gut, I could cut back on cardio and usually get up to 230 pretty easily.

That all changed when I got into BJJ and then MMA training about 7 years ago. I found that my gas just wasn’t there for sustained rolling or doing extended stand-up with what I was currently doing.

I also started competing and if you weigh anything over 200, you were lumped into the heavyweight class which sometimes would go to unlimited weight and I had no desire to compete against guys that had me by up to 50 pounds. So, I decided to re-structure my lifting to do weight training that helped more for explosive strength that would benefit me more on the mat and incorporated a ton more cardio that was more specific to MMA type training when I wasn’t actually doing real MMA stuff.

I also made the decision to keep my weight at a constant 210. Staying at 210 gives me pretty good strength and I have found that I can generally cut that easily prior to a weigh-in where I have to get below 200. [/quote]

Cool stuff. Did you find you were able to increase strength and performance while reducing weight/fat?[/quote]

My strength is relative to my body weight for me. I don’t lose a lot carrying 10 or so less pounds but I can tell there is a difference. My main lifts are still bench work, squats, and deads so those are the only exercises that I can gauge my strength on. As for performance, it took me a while to get my gas up doing high intensity burst type exercises but once I got down to my target weight, it became easier.

Pro athletes = gifted genetics for performance, which in turn becomes a prototype body.

[quote]giograves wrote:
Pro athletes = gifted genetics for performance, which in turn becomes a prototype body. [/quote]

Very true, however I have also seen this in amateur players. Well…not amateur but they weren’t necessarily professionals either. When I worked with hockey players in the 17-21 range I saw this as well. Same with a good amount of varsity athletes at my University (and let’s face it, at MY university these guys weren’t exactly elite…)

I wonder if this is truly the G-Flux phenomenon in effect?

When I got really strong and started benching 135 my 40 yard time dropped to 5 sec. and the girls stopped talking to me because I was too big