The Myths Of Weightlifting: PART 5 w/ Sam Shaw

by Yard Athletics – June 21st, 2019

Bad news! We got word through the grapevine that more of those pesky weightlifting myths were piling up in our absence… unacceptable!! There’s nothing worse than bad information, especially when it comes to health and fitness. We at Yard Athletics are very confident in the formula we use (fundamental movement patterns, done correctly and safely) and believe this will get you the results you want, every single time.

Today we hand the reigns over to Sam Shaw; mainstay of Yard Athletics since the early days, and guy who can lift double the weight of a man his size.

What’s todays myth all about? Diet. Let’s get right to it!

Q: Many people say “abs are made in the kitchen”. Is this true?

Sam Shaw: I would say it’s “partially” true. Studies have been carried out comparing the effect of dieting and exercising (or both) on overall weight and body composition that explain things pretty clearly:

  • Diet focus alone can achieve more weight loss than strictly exercising and eating whatever you want
  • Exercise in combination with diet leads to the most significant changes in body composition
  • The combination of resistance training and diet is more effective than endurance training or a combination of endurance and resistance training at altering body composition*

*this conclusion is not based on one simple study but rather over 60 clinical studies that all came to the same conclusion

Essentially what I’m saying is that focusing purely on diet or “the kitchen” can lead to significant weight loss with some body composition change. However, a more balanced approach to dietary restrictions and exercise training will lead to more change in the long run.

First, determine your body composition goals. If your goal is to lose fat and gain more definition, then you’re going to have to eat at a calorie deficit. If your goal is to increase lean body mass and lose fat, then your diet and exercise regimen may look different.

At the end of the day, the most effective exercise/diet plan is one that you will be able to sustain. Once you determine the right approach for yourself, you can make it a lifelong habit. BRING ON THAT SIX PACK

Q: How important is diet to fitness and overall health? What do you eat and what should I be eating?

Exercise and diet are pivotal to determining a persons overall health, and making them both part of your lifestyle can make a dramatic difference in how you look and feel. While I may be a little biased in that my interests/career relate to these fields, a regular dose of dieting and exercise has been proven to lead to a host of benefits including increased energy, happiness, health, and longevity of life.

There are so many avenues of nutrition and fitness that I could go down, but no one wants to read “20 pages by Shawzo”. Let me just list you the main benefits I think about when talking to people about these concepts:

  • Disease prevention (I mean… this alone should really be enough??)
  • Mood and energy
  • Sleep
  • Weight

What I eat and what you should be eating might be completely different. Like I mentioned earlier, dieting should be specific to the individual as you will need to find the type and quantity of food (calorie intake, macro/micro nutrient intake) that is most suitable to your goals and lifestyle.

For me personally, I don’t really mess around with household ‘diets’ or energy restrictions because it effects my mood and sleep in a way I don’t really enjoy. That being said, I’m not eating whatever I want at every minute of the day.

My weekday diet mainly consists of a 5:30am smoothie (500cal – fruit, protein, almond milk, unsaturated fats), followed by a post workout meal (Roughly 1000+cal – simple carb, protein, heavy veg) and then a late night dinner as I am usually home between 7 to 9pm (Roughly 1000+cal – complex carb, protein, heavy veg). Throughout the day I will sprinkle in snacks ( fruit, nuts, bars or anything relatively low calorie that gives me enough energy to maintain a smile on my face throughout a 14 hour day :). Weekends are a bit of a write-off depending on what events are scheduled, but I do my best to not go overboard!

I have based my diet on years of learning how my body is impacted by particular macro nutrients. For some reason I respond well to carbohydrates and seem to be resistant to weight gain. This may not be the same for whoever is reading this. There, my advice would be to explore different nutrients or ‘diets’, find out what works best for you and then begin implementing dietary restrictions on a small scale as opposed to large scale change.

Most importantly, try to enjoy what you eat! At the end of the day, drastic dietary change that you hate will not be sustainable!


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