Feb 21, 2022

Making The Most Out Of Your General Training

Posted by Chad Skerritt

Posted by Chad Skerritt

The life of a regular person is busy. Running around here, there and everywhere trying to fit  everything in all the while keeping balance in your life. You exercise and train regularly in the hope  of improving fitness, strength, body composition, performance, or like me all 4! 

Making time for exercise is great and will for sure have positive effects on your health. But are you  really making the most of your training? Do you feel like you are doing everything right? Working  hard, pushing yourself but not seeing the results you want or deserve. 

This may come down to your nutrition. Maybe you don’t have the right fuel in the tank, you’re not  hydrated, you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re not consuming the right nutrients to recover,  build and progress. All these points are equally important when it comes to your training but in this  blog I’m going to concentrate on the latter. Nutrients for recovery, specifically protein.  

We’ve all heard that protein helps grow muscles. However, it does so much more than that and  growing muscle is a long difficult process where adequate protein is just one of the tools you need to  achieve it.  

Adequate protein intake will aid in improving your fitness, strength, performance, and yes, your body  composition too. Due to the high thermic effect and several other factors, a high protein intake tends to boost metabolism while scoring very high on the satiation index (keeping you fuller for longer). Two very important factors for those looking to achieve fat loss. 

So, what is adequate protein?  

The old recommended daily intake was 0.8g per kg of bodyweight. This is the minimum requirement  to avoid deficiency. Current evidence indicates intakes in the range of at least 1.2 to 1.6 g per kg of  bodyweight of high-quality protein is a more ideal target for achieving optimal health. 

Now that is for optimal health. If you’re a regular trainer then you should aim at least at the higher  end of the scale even up to 2g per kg bodyweight.  

By doing this you will support muscle protein synthesis (muscle building), increase lean body mass,  repair and strengthen damaged muscle from whatever your preferred training is, and for the real  geeks increase mitochondrial capacity via an increase in aerobic enzymes (improve endurance). 

Ok so knowing all this the biggest questions are when and how I should consume protein? It’s best  to spread your protein intake throughout the day. That means about 4-5 portions a day, aiming for  20g-30g (depending on your size/weight) of protein every 3-4 hours. By doing this, you’ll eat protein  before and after exercise without too much extra effort. 

I wouldn’t worry about running home to get your protein within a 30-minute anabolic window of  your training session but I would recommend consuming a good protein-rich meal within 2 hours afterward. Why? Because simply put, it will help supply your body with the building blocks for your  muscles’ recovery and growth. This will without doubt help make the most of your general training  sessions. On top of consuming protein post-training, don’t forget to start by rehydrating yourself and  consuming some carbs too. 

If you’re in a hurry, which most of us are and you want to get some protein in while on the go then  All Real protein bars have got you covered. With 20g of protein per bar, top-quality ingredients they  are my go-to on-the-go snack.

The long-term benefits of adequate protein intake are also limitless and should not be overlooked.  Inadequate protein compromises immune function, muscle retention and increases the risk of  sarcopenia and arthritis as we age.  

The bottom line is you certainly don’t have to be a professional athlete to use protein to maximise  your training results. However, it is for sure one factor that will greatly help every individual. 

If you’re one of those people who just can’t seem to achieve the results you want from your training,  then maybe have a look at your protein intake. If you are falling short of 1.6g per kg of body weight  per day you may have found an area you can improve on.  

Happy eating!! 

Ian Flynn 


Ian is a nutritionist and coach who believes in promoting smart evidence based nutrition to benefit each individual regardless of their goals. He advocates sustainable small changes for improving long term health, wellness and fitness outcomes.


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