The short answer is diet, and today, we’ll show you why.
But before we get to that, a quick heads up: there’s a big caveat to the whole thing, so be sure to read the post until the end.
And with that said, we move on to the first reason why nutrition is more important:
Reason #1: You Need Quality Fuel for Your Workouts
If you want to get more out of each training session, you’ll need to provide your body with the fuel it needs to perform at 100%. Otherwise, you’ll end up always training with subpar effort—and that’s if you can even muster up enough energy to go to the gym in the first place.
You see, your body needs nutrients just to perform its basic functions. Imagine how much more fuel you’ll need to perform physically demanding tasks and then recover from them.
Now, if you want to know just how much of an impact what you eat has on the quality of your workouts, try eating nothing but junk food a couple of days before hitting the gym. Once you’re done, wait maybe a week and come back for another session after eating just clean, nutrient-rich foods for several days. Compare your performance between the two sessions.
SPOILER ALERT: We’re 100% sure you’ll crush the second workout.
Reason #2: You Need Calories to Build Muscle
You can keep working your butt off in the gym, but if you don’t give your body enough of the macronutrients it needs to bounce back bigger and stronger, you won’t make any gains. In fact, you’ll even end up smaller and weaker than you were before you started.
And, even if you can somehow recover from your workouts with insufficient food, it would still be for nothing because you won’t have the energy to work hard enough in the gym to trigger any positive adaptations in your body in the first place.
Reason #3: You Eat More Frequently Than You Train
If you’re like most people, you probably eat around four meals per day. That’s 120 meals every 30 days. Obviously, there’s no way you can train as many times per month. In most cases, you’ll probably just do anywhere between two and four sessions a week. That’s only eight to 16 sessions every 30 days.
Which one do you think would have a bigger impact on your progress? The thing you do a couple of times a month or the one you do several times a day?
Reason #4: It’s Easier to Manipulate Your Caloric Intake Than Your Training
On a completely related note, because you’re eating 120 meals on average per month, all you have to do is make super small tweaks per meal to either lose fat or build muscle.
Think about it. If you just reduce the size of each meal by 50 calories, you’ll be able to create a massive 6,000-calorie deficit per month without even noticing it. Bump each meal up by 50 and you’ll be eating 6,000 calories more without having to stuff your face until you’re just about ready to throw up.
Now, compare that with your training. If you’re already working your butt off in the gym now, how much more effort do you think you can squeeze out of yourself? Definitely not 6,000 calories worth, right?
And if you add more training days, all you’ll ready end up doing is compromising your body’s ability to recover and come back bigger and stronger from your workouts.
Reason #5: You Can’t Work Out When You’re Sick
The last reason your diet is more important than your training is that the quality of food you eat has a massive impact on your overall health.
If you’re always sick because you never give your body the nutrients it needs to function at 100%, then there’s no way you can hit the gym consistently enough to make any real progress.
The Caveat: You Still Need to Work Out
Don’t get us wrong. We’re definitely not saying you should go all-in on your diet and not exercise at all. While nutrition is clearly more important than working out, there are certain benefits that you can only get from the latter.
Below are some examples:
Benefit #1: More Strength and Endurance
You can eat as much nutritious food as you want, but if you don’t actually train to build strength, muscle, and endurance, you won’t see any difference. You’ll probably just end up putting on more fat.
The key, then, is to use the nutrition you get from food as fuel to lift heavier weights and train harder in the gym.
Benefit #2: Better Mobility
Obviously, improved mobility is one more thing eating healthy cannot give you. It’s something that you have to go out and actually train to develop.
Benefit #3: Faster Metabolism
The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn even when you’re not doing anything. And since there’s no way you can force your body to build more muscle just by eating, this is clearly another benefit that you can only get from working out.
Benefit #4: Stronger Bones
As we age, our bones start to become more brittle. Aside from getting enough calcium and vitamin D in our diet, studies show that resistance training is also a great way to prevent this from happening.
Benefit #5: A More Athletic Physique
While eating right can definitely keep you from getting fat, it is only through exercise that you can build a fit body that immediately lets everyone you meet that you work out.
The Bottom Line: You Need Both!
At the end of the day, while nutrition is more important than working out when it comes to getting fitter, that doesn’t mean that you can do away with the latter completely. If you want to maximise your results, you need to get both on point.