Bodybuilding begins in the kitchen. Everybody has heard that one. But when it comes right down to it, is it fact or one of those well-worn bodybuilding myths?
So, which is it really? Its emphasis on amino acids for muscle growth or exercise, with a focus on decks, reps, and technique, is nutrition. This is an interesting question that deserves an answer. This article is an attempt at separating fact from fiction.
There’s No Separation
The first thing to remember about determining whether diet or exercise is most important is that the two cannot be separated. These two work synergistically, regardless of an athlete’s goals. It doesn’t matter whether the goal is athletic conditioning, losing fat, or gaining muscle. What is important is the stage of a person’s training.
Getting the right nutrition, not exercise, should be the center of a beginner’s focus. For this reason, improving a bad diet can cause quantum leaps in a muscle-building program.
For example, anyone who wants to cut calories by only eating two meals a day is making a big mistake. Instead, if they eat five or six smaller meals a day, they will rapidly transform their physique.
Intermediate and Advanced
At both the intermediate and advanced stages of training, the concentration should be on training. At this stage, what many people don’t do is make their training scientific, which is the key to development. Nutrition needs to keep its rightful place, but it is the training that must be dominant.
At the intermediate and advanced stages, the intensity of a training program must be kicked up. This includes not only the types of exercises being performed but also sets and reps. When exercises become more efficient, crucial training variation and progression will lead to improvements since the body will adapt very quickly.
Most experts agree that most people are ready to adapt to a new routine in their exercise regimens within 1 to 2 weeks. Therefore, most elite bodybuilders are continually adapting their routines to as many as 300 different exercise routines.
An Answer to the Question
The question, “Diet or exercise: which is more important for gaining muscle?” is probably as old as bodybuilding itself, and one that has been argued ever since.
The truth is that both are important, but at different stages of a bodybuilder’s development. For the beginner, nutrition must take precedence, while training becomes more critical at more advanced stages.
Make no mistake about it, nutrition is always important. Still, the further improvements a person makes is dependent on their ability to keep up good nutrition regimens while adapting their training program.
Fortunately, this is not as daunting a task as most people might think since establishing a good program of healthy eating is a sound foundation of a good exercise program. The best advice is to slowly take a program, master the nutritional aspect of a plan, then, after a good dietary routine has been firmly established, start with exercise, and progressively evolve the intensity of workouts.