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Diet vs Exercise – The Truth from Nick Mitchell

Which is the most important to keep changing to achieve 12 week (36 sessions) results like these for a middle-aged PT client?

12 Week UP male body transformation

90% of you will have got it all wrong!

You think that nutrition is more complicated than training and are prone to obsess over every new diet book.

Some of you take it one step too far and fall into the trap of taking sides in the endless bol****s we read on the internet. I think (OK, I don’t think I know because I’ve been told directly) that some names, both large and small, deliberately attempt to polarise opinion because it will get them more hits / views / online personal training clients.

Others hang onto their nutritional philosophies like rabid dogs, whilst others flip flop so badly between competing ideas that their digestive systems never seem to recover.

The Complexities of Nutrition and Training

Allow me to tell you a little bit about the complexities of nutrition and training. This is not going to be a how-to guide, it is more a get your priorities straight sermon.

  1. Diet controls your body composition results. Most of you reading this care about fat loss and / or muscle building that means you must nail your diet strategy. Yes, this is the hardest thing to do. But it’s not hard because it is complicated, it is hard because it is difficult. 24/7 you make food choices and we all have the fridge calling our name when we are bored at home in the evening. Training, on the other hand, is so much more mentally straightforward.
  2. Diet is simple, not easy. Eat natural foods ‘from the land’. If most of you only ate that way then you’d make so much more hassle free progress than 90% plus people ever do.
  3. Yes, you can tweak your diet with carb cycling, calorie counting (the list is long but by no means endless) etc but really once you appreciate what eating ‘from the land’ is it doesn’t have to be that complicated at all and you can stick with the same healthy diet forever.
  4. Do you know what happens when you stick to the same training routine? Stagnation. No progress.
  5. The more experienced you are at a given type of training then the more you need to change that training to keep forcing a positive adaptation.
  6. A beginner can keep getting the right sort of adaptations from the same routine for many weeks and even months, but give yourself more than 18 months of proper weight training and we need to think about changing that routine (in some form) every 3 weeks or so. And the more advanced you get the more readily you adapt. It only ever gets more complicated.

Should you now all freak out and start obsessing over training even more than you do over your diet?


At heart it is all simple –  eat natural foods and bust your ass in the gym. But please people, if you are going to overcomplicate things and start arguments over who is right and who is a charlatan ‘who knows nothing’ because he offends your belief system, at least start to give training the priority it deserves.

Nick Mitchell, CEO and Founder of Ultimate Performance

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