T Nation

Training or Nutrition?


Wondering what y'all think... Which is more important for progress. Training or Nutrition?

I remember in the "old" days of MM2K you could read Charles Poliquin quote specific mass gains that you should expect on his programs with absolutely no reference to nutrition. Even now it seems that many coaches who write articles focus on either one or the other. Similarly, supplement promotions in the past often quoted muscle gains or fat loss with no reference to nutrition.

I think the most valuable and progressive coaches are experts in both, or at least focus on one and let a partner coach focus on the other. John Berardi is a good example, and so is Paul Chek. What say you?


Kind of a silly question when talking about building a first class physique..like asking whats more important your right leg or your left leg?


I say training. At the end of the day eating doesn't produce physical qualites - it doesn't make you faster or stronger or muscular without the stimulus that is training. It's work. If you only eat more with no activity other than to get you through the day you'd be in much worse shape than a person who trains but only consumes 2000kcal.





while both are important, if I had to put the emphasis on one over the other I'd say it's more important what your body is "made" of rather than what it's asked to do.


Training. Nothing will happen without training.


on the other extreme you think your going anywhere with terrible nutrition? i don't. they are obviously both huge but i feel that nutrition is the key. i'd rather miss a workout than a meal.


This is just wrong in so many ways!!

To answer the poster, it first of all depends on your goal. Obviously you will not gain massive strength or muscle with diet alone. But you can make yourself healthier and lower bodyfat with a quality nutrition plan.

"Eating doesn't produce physical qualities"???????????????? Where do you get the enrgy to breath and walk and sleep and shit if not from nutrition?

Who said anything about eating MORE. Do you realize that 70-90% of your daily caloric needs are used by the body just to survive?! That leaves only 10-20% used in activity like training. How important does that make nutrition?!

If you are training and only consuming 2000cals. you are eating yourself. And your body craves protein and muscle and loves to store fat. How's that working for ya?

They are synergistic for sure, but each takes a different role with regards to goals.

My opinion.


Nutrition to a point. If someone is eating enough, they are not going to grow no matter what they do.

However, newbies will get bigger and stronger doing just about anything in the gym, so long as they eat enough.


indeed like love handles or some blocked arteries.

Not true, a lot of people have made zero progress since they started.



the skinniest man on the planet would get gigantinourmous on Ronnie's stack.


Lol. That's probably because eating is easy!

I think it depends on your level. For a beginner, it's much more important to get the training session. With hard training, even those on a fairly ordinary diet will see improvement.

It's only later, when we realise what great progress we could have made from the start do we then slap ourselves on the foreheads in regret.

Think about 2 guys. Both have a great diet. Neither train.

Neither would have any level of development as they need to train for anything to happen.

Therefore, training is more important.


Nutrition, hands down. You can execute the perfect training program and it won't do jack for you without proper or even decent nutrition.


It must be misinformation week.

The whole world generally knows that a newbie trainee should very easily be able to gain muscle, lose fat and even do that on whatever diet they were regularly eating... for a short while.

Now, there might be some special cases out there, but please, don't be pulling strange special cases out of your ass and claiming it is normality.

Nutrition is pretty extremely important, in that you don't eat, you die. If you never lift again, you might be small, but you'll live (if you are eating).

Now, if you want to tie it, the question, to making gains, you need training stimulus and appropriate food in appropriate quantities. Except for untrained newbies, one or the other won't work.

It's not an or issue. Worrying about it in this way is apparently going to do nothing but have wild claims waved around.

Good bye.

[edit: as for the original poster, I expect the coaches simply assume the reader knows enough to eat appropriately when doing the programs in question.]


We're not talking about life support, we're talking about the extra calories for building muscle. You don't get shit from the extra calories if you don't have physical activity - training. If you don't stimulate your body it will never have a need to transform, as illustrated in my example.

Very simple. As stated before an individual eating 2000 calories a day and weight training will be stronger, faster and more muscular then if the same person would eat 3000 calories and not train. That's why we have an obesity epidemic - people eating in exess and not doing shit.

You need both, they are inseparable. But if you had to choose one over the other exercise would win over extra calories. Because if you're alive and have enough energy to work out you'll always be better then your twin brother who eats a truckload but doesn't train.


no its not its mostly how you eat. Ever heard of you are what you eat? To me nutrition is the most important thing. When I seperate food into P+C, P+F or eat only vegetables for carbs then I can gain muscle with insignificant amount of fat even when my training is only 60% pefect.

Drugs are overrated, and a proper diet plan, food combination and rest can have a bigger impact then drugs IMO.


I made a typo in that quote. It should say "If someone is not eating enough, they are not going to grow no matter what they do".

Given that, I still don't see how your post makes any sense.

A lot of people have made zero progress because they don't eat enough. Generally, a newbie, because they are untrained, will respond to ANY physical labour, if they eat enough.


A big strong man once said this "I have a bottle of test sitting back in my office but I've yet to see it bench 300 pounds." or something like that

I'm a natural. But I do believe bodybuilders a genetic freaks who for some reason all decided to start juicing. I think that if they all go off drugs, every single one of them, they'd still be pro bodybuilders just not as big.


Louie still saying that? maybe, i guess because people somehow think that it applies to humans and testosterone supplementation.

they'd get a lot smaller because they'd be lacking the enormous amounts of muscle building catalysts that are only accessible exogenously.


you give yourself away so easily.