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Happy Monday, Dear Readers.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

On Saturday morning, I met with a personal trainer. Even though I have a training schedule for my muay thai kickboxing, I thought it would be helpful to have a plan for my weight-lifting and running. I’ve learned a lot about exercise over the years, but I’m certainly not a professional. I don’t think it ever hurts to have a team of experts in your corner.

Helene is very well-regarded in my dojo. She is the wife of one of our fighters, and has trained there herself. Even better, she’s seen the green prajioud test in action, so she knows what will be required of me (and my poor body!). When I mentioned to my kru that I was meeting with her, he was all for it, and praised both her knowledge and her results. So there isn’t going to be a problem with conflicting ideologies.

When I met with Helene, we also discussed nutrition. She has offered to put together a 12-week plan for me that would effectively fuel my body for the workouts I’m going to be doing. During our first meeting, she gave me some tips that I found quite helpful. I learned….

  • Not to drink Diet Pepsi or other caffeinated drink within four hours of a muay thai workout, as it will sap my power (I had no idea!)
  • To flavor my water with lime & mint or cucumber
  • That grains can actually hinder athletic performance

It sounded great, and I really enjoyed meeting Helene and talking with her about fitness and nutrition. We could have talked for hours if I hadn’t had to rush to boxing class. Here is my issue: as some of you already know from reading my Wednesday “Climbing Out of the Big, Black Hole” series, most of my income is going to pay off my debt this year, and high-quality personal training is very expensive. I may only be able to afford the nutrition plan OR the exercise plan, not both.

Having this kind of expert advice is, as Helene says, “stacking the deck in my favor”, but if I only can choose one option, which do you think is the wisest choice–exercise OR nutrition? If it was up to you, which would you pick and why?

Thanks for your input!

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  1. Chris

    Between the two, I’d go with nutrition for two reasons.

    First, Kelly teaches the physical skills but not nutritional ones. If Kelly and your trainer are both preparing you physically, but no one is helping you out nutritionally, you may be overloading your training at one end, at the expense of the other.

    Second, I think you’ll see more benefit from the nutritional information. There’s only so much exercise a person’s body can handle while still taking the necessary time to recover. If Kelly is working you to the bone (as he no doubt will be), how much time and energy are you realistically going to have for a separate training regimen? I suspect that Kelly’s physical training will be designed to work your body as much as possible, and that too much additional training might wind up doing more harm than good.

    Either way, great idea to get some more people in your corner! That kind of spirit is why you’re going to kick this test’s ass all up and down the gym.

  2. Lisa

    I agree with Chris…Nutrition – for the same reasons outlined…:0)

  3. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments, Chris & Lisa. I really appreciate your feedback.

    I should add that Helene is also very conscious of the dangers of overtraining, and wouldn’t be adding more to my regimen than I could handle. As she put it, “sometimes it’s just a matter of adding nine more minutes to your routine, but they will be the hardest nine minutes of your life”.

  4. Story Teller

    Just heard from the Kru–Kelly votes for working on conditioning and explosiveness with Helene. He says we can figure out the diet on our own. Interesting….

  5. Sandra

    I have a personal trainer myself and I would go with the training part. It has been my experience that most, although not all, nutrition needs work themselves out with training, as your body will stop wanting that Dr Pepper for example and will start to crave more of the lean proteins and simple sugars needed to fuel it through your training sessions. That is my thought 🙂

  6. ceebee

    I learned from a personal trainer just how important nutrition is. I would always work out intensely (running, weights, kickboxing), but when it came to what I ate, I would eat healthy, but did not pay too much attention to timing, amounts, etc. and weight loss was slow. When I was on a strict diet and workout routine, I lost weight much faster. However, one you have this diet figured out, you can really figure it out yourself.
    The other important thing I learned was that I was doing too much of the same exercise (kickboxing), so my body was adapting too well to the exercise, so that my body didn’t have to work as hard, which meant burning less fat! So, the advice was to mix up the types of cardio workouts.
    I’m not sure if that’s advice one way or the other, but that’s my personal training experience 🙂

  7. Elspeth Cross

    Am I late to the party? I’d go with nutrition. Once you have the knowledge you can get used to the food and where to find it at the best prices. The money may free itself up for additional exercise/training later.

  8. Story Teller

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your comments! I really appreciate all of your feedback and experience. I have decided to go with the training option for now, based on the recommendations of my coach, my fellow fighters, and the personal trainer herself. But, as Elspeth suggested, I’d love to be able to pay for the nutritional plan later on. We’ll see how it goes.


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