The Long Haul
I was re-watching an interview Michael Blevins did for one of Henry Cavill’s fan sites. The great thing about Blevins (and his mentor Mark Twight) is that there’s always something new to take away from what he says, whether written on the Internet or given in an interview. This time my attention was drawn to how he answered the question of Henry’s diet.
In case you’re too lazy to watch the video – and you shouldn’t be, because it’s worth the time – Blevins focused on sustainability and longevity over minutiae like macro- and micronutrient counting, exclusion of sweets and sugar, and other details that people tend to obsess over. If allowing a client to have a beer every night kept the guy within his targeted calories, Blevins had zero problems handing him the bottle.
This is an approach that is hardly unique to Blevins, and one that isn’t limited to diet. Most sane trainers will happily tell their clients where to find a good pizza for a cheat meal, or that they can take a day or two off to relax. Deprivation is not a long-term plan, and being too strict eventually causes rebellion.
Sticking to a fitness program is, after all, a long-term investment. Any good investment will have latitude for dips and peaks so long as the general direction is maintained and the value is ultimately increased. If trying to adhere perfectly to the program and diet causes one to crash and burn, the goal will be missed and the mission failed.
Obviously this approach varies from client to client and even from week to week. For instance, during a leaning or cutting phase, a diet becomes absolute in its restrictions simply because there is a deadline to be met. Say goodbye to beer, sweets, and fat, because no one is going to take Superman or the Spartans seriously if they don’t have six-packs. Similarly, no one tells athletes cutting for a match that they’re making a mistake because the goal is to be amazing for a few minutes, not years. There’s time for laxity later.
But again, the general goal of fitness is long-term health and functionality. Whether you can ever bench double your bodyweight is not as important as whether twenty years from now, your shoulders aren’t so messed up that you can’t bench any more.
As a caveat, though: this isn’t an excuse to fuck around. You get a cheat day, not a cheat week. You can take a day off, not a month (barring injury, of course). The objective is to stay the course. Slipping off is almost as bad as being thrown off.
20x 4-way JJ
3×10 Jump Squat
1 round per 3min for 60min (i.e. 20 rounds)
2x Salmon Ladder Rungs (i.e. climb 2 rungs on the Salmon Ladder)
- This is a very informal workout conducted out on a cool day. The actual scheme is 2 rungs every new song, which works out to roughly every 3 minutes. It makes the rest periods feel longer and less intense. Obviously my forearms were left nearly non-functional for the next two days.