Don’t Major in the Minors

by Michael Plank

There are a billion health and fitness tips out there.

  • Eat protein 30 minutes before you work out
  • Eat protein 30 minutes after you work out
  • Fuel with BCAAs during your work out
  • Strength train before you do conditioning
  • Stretch after your workout
  • Get 10,000 steps a day
  • 8 hours of sleep is garbage, sleep for 9 hours
  • Use free weights instead of machines
  • Use dumbbells instead of barbells
  • And on. And on. And on. And on.

And so at some point all these tips get overwhelming and you have to ask: how much of a difference do these things make? Does it even matter if I drink my protein or eat my protein, if I do isolated movements or compound movements, if I time my protein properly?

Yes. It matters. BUT…

Agonizing about when you should eat your protein with respect to your workout window is a little bit like agonizing about whether you’ll run faster with compression socks or athletic socks.

There’s an answer to that question. But it’s not that important. Because first, you should make sure you have the conditioning to do some running. Then you should make sure you have good mechanics. Then you should make sure you’re consistent. Then you should start to build some volume. Then maybe switch your shoes. Then, when you’ve got a year of running under your belt, and you’re trying to go from a 6:03 mile to a 5:59 mile, let’s talk about compression socks.

If you want lasting results: 1) eat real food, make sure there are lots of veggies and lean proteins; 2) drink lots of water; 3) move your body every day, sometimes that movement should make you sweat; 4) get a lot of quality sleep; 5) do things that make you happy.

Build habits around making those things a part of your life. Once they are, and you’ve achieved a ton of great results, and you’re trying to go from 99% of your goal achievement to 100%, let’s talk about the little things.

Until then, the basics are what’s up.