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Be better than average - why you need more than the basics

I often speak about the importance of keeping things simple.

Which is true.

Mastering the basics will undoubtedly improve both performance and the way you look.

However, there’s also a lot of coaches who too often sit on the fence with their advice.

You may seen the shift over the last few years from the bodybuilding bioscience mantra of taking things to the extreme, to the new evidence-based crowd who often take the cynical approach of nothing really works and “just stick to the basics”.

Sometimes, you need more that the basics.

A blanket approach of eating plenty of veg and drinking more water doesn't cut it.

Like Sir David Brailsford attests to.

Over the last decade the term marginal gains has been popularised by Sir David Brailsford, the UK and Team Sky cycling director, who was accredited for the surge in British cycling success.

His marginal gains philosophy was to look at all aspects of cycling that could be attributed to better performance and identify ways of making small improvements. The idea is that just a 1% adjustment in numerous areas will lead to a larger overall gain. These could include advancements in bikes, clothing, nutrition, psychology and recovery.

Results don’t lie. The UK has become one of, if not the powerhouse of world track cycling and Team Sky/Ineos have recorded seven out of the last eight Tour De’ France victories. A remarkable feat considering the obscurity of British cycling in previous years.

This idea of marginal gains can be applied to any area performance. Similar to the habit based approach we use at Box, identify factors that may contribute to success and systematically looking for ways to make adjustments where you can. This could be getting a better mattress to help with sleep, a water bottle with a fruit infuser to help you drink more, a set of measuring cups to help gauge your portion sizes or a planner to help with your preparation. These are a just a few of many examples that could help you with your own marginal gains.

Sticking to the basics will get you in decent shape.

But the more specific your goal, the more specific your nutrition has to be.

Are you thinking about:

  • Meal timing/protein spacing

  • Carb quantities before competitions

  • Supplementation strategies

  • Hydration strategies

  • Nitrates before exercise

  • Antioxidants for recovery

  • Sleep strategies

It’s these finer details that can add up and ultimately lead greater results.

Perform better. Look better. Feel better.

The beauty of the Box Nutrition programme is that is follows a roadmap that takes you from understanding the basics, right through to these more advanced nutrition strategies.


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