If It's Not Your Nutrition Or Training, What Else Could Be Preventing Your Results?

I've had a client for a while now (let's call him Pete). He trains hard and is highly motivated to get results.

Back in February, Pete became even more motivated about the nutritional component of his program. We worked together to come up with a plan that fit in well with his training - and he crushed it.

8 weeks went by and his results were staggering:

-Diastolic Blood Pressure down from 86 to 73
-Dropped his body fat percentage by 4.5%
-Lost 11.1lbs fat
-Gained 21.1lbs lean mass
-Resting heart rate decreased 5 points
-Energy was up
-Sleep was improved
-Stress was managed well

Now let’s fast forward to the end of April. Pete began a new training program. At the end of the 8th week it was time for a re-evaluation. The results backtracked, even though his training and nutrition remained focused:

-Diastolic Blood Pressure went back up
-Gained almost 2% body fat back
-Gained 3.5 lbs of fat
-Lost 10 lbs of muscle

Needless to say, Pete wasn't happy. So, he and I talked. As we spoke in depth, it was clear to me that the training and nutrition were pretty much on point. They didn't seem to be the issue. So, I dug further.

I asked Pete if anything in his life had changed. And guess what? Around the time he began his new training program, Pete started a new job. This new job brought a much greater stress level, which he didn't have back in February.

Everyone deals with stress differently. In Pete's case, the added stress seemed to be having a major impact on his body's chemistry. So, we made some changes to his training program (yes, the amount of stress in your life can impact the type of training that's best for you), added some tweaks to his nutrition program (specifically to help combat stress levels and inflammation,) and added some additional stress management modalities.

Time will tell in Pete’s case how the changes will work. But, we do know that reducing the stresses of life (work, lack of sleep, exercise, etc.) is a major step in the pathway to positive results and overall better health.


- Jaime Rothermich RD, CSSD, LD, CSCS