"Fitness is a journey – not a destination."
- Stew Smith (U.S. Navy SEAL)
Nutrition For
The 5 Psychological
Phases of Fitness
by Stew Smith CSCS
(former Navy SEAL)

An eye-opening obesity
Fitness 101
The Four Pillars of Fitness
23 MARCH 2008 -  Andy Williams
Nutrition –  Exercise – Recovery – Consistency
All four aspects of the following are required for any successful Fitness Program. A lack in any one of these areas can literally make or
break your efforts! Make sure to incorporate all of the elements of NERC listed below into a well designed program. These are at a
minimum, a foundation to follow for the general population and a MUST for any serious Athlete wishing to excel within their sport.


Nutrition is one of the four pillars of an effective fitness program; the others are exercise, recovery, and consistency.  While a lack in any
one of these areas can literally make or break your efforts, many SEALs and other competitive athletes say that their diets contribute at
least 50% to their success.  What, how much, and when to eat can be very confusing, due in some part to the fact that everyone’s body
responds differently to training, diet, and supplements.  

Here are just some general rules to go by:
Eat smaller meals throughout the day.  SEALs and competitive athletes alike need to provide their bodies with enough fuel to train and
perform at top levels.  With the exception of missions, SEALs usually plan to eat 4 to 5 meals a day.  This practice optimizes effort by
maintaining a constant blood sugar level, avoiding the energy roller coaster.

Plan your meals and mealtimes using the 1, 2, 3 rule.  The 1, 2, 3 rule refers to the ratios between fat, protein, and carbohydrates.  This
helps you determine “what” you eat.  “When” you eat is another important factor.  Protein right after Physical Training (PT), for example,
optimizes the effectiveness of the training because it is the building material for hungry muscles. ...

Eating a large amount of carbohydrates right before bed, on the other hand, is counterproductive and can result in unwanted fat.  
Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source.  The majority of them should come from foods that contain complex carbohydrates; e.
g., bread, crackers, cereal, beans, peas, starchy vegetables, and other whole grain or enriched grain products. Fruits are also loaded
with carbohydrates. During training, consume more than four servings of these food groups daily.

Water intake is vital. STAY HYDRATED! You should consume up to four quarts of water daily. Drink water BEFORE you feel thirsty.
Substances such as alcohol and caffeine increase your body's need for water. Consumed in excess, these substances will harm your
body and hinder your performance.

Because every individual has unique needs based on genetics, lifestyle, activity level, goals, etc., proper nutrition is a long-term project
and lifestyle change.   Some things that you try will work and others will not.  There aren’t any of the quick-fix solutions that much of the
current fitness industry thrives on, but if you combine a sensible nutrition plan with regular exercise you will see positive results from
your training.

For any Fitness Program to be successful, , in whatever your pursuits may be, and especially so for those individuals wishing to lose
unsightly body fat, “to get lean” (the shredded look) manage your weight, “tone up” or gain muscle, including both
Resistance Training
Cardio-Training is a must! Even more so if you wish for your gains and progress to be made stays with you for the long haul.

Do not neglect to include the following into the exercise aspect of your Fitness Program:

Resistance Training
(choose at least one of the methods below)

  • Calisthenics - Navy SEAL PT (Physical Training)  (exercises using bodyweight as resistance)
  • Strength Training/Weight Training with weights
  • Strength Training/Weight Training with Machines (not typically recommended due to restriction of natural movements)
  • CrossFit™ Methodology/System (what is CrossFit?)   

(choose at least one of the methods below)

Continuously training with any of the below type exercises for a pre-determined time & at a pre-determined heart rate range suitable
specifically to your health, fitness goals, abilities. Keep in mind, if your primary interest is fat loss, as a general rule, keep the intensity
level moderate, to a point your not "huffing & puffing" or else you will not lose fat, instead your body will start using sugars in your blood
for energy. For a more detailed source of information on types of exercise for
specifically losing fat, while maintaining muscle mass,
please see my article titled "
Exercising for Fat Loss".

  • Walking
  • Swimming (water aerobics or lap swim)
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • CrossFit™ Methodology/System (What is CrossFit?)
Exercise Playing Cards
Selecting and
Effectively Using

A Running Shoe
(click here)

Rest and sleep are where ALL growth and repairs occur!

When following any type of training program, one of the most important aspects of that program is the planned rest and recovery
necessary to achieve maximum gains. Unfortunately, this is often the portion of programs that is most overlooked by people and
especially so in athletes. Everybody can see and feel the benefits of training hard in the weight room or on the field and/or track, but the
benefits of proper rest and recovery are slightly less tangible. Proper recovery should allow the body to repair muscle and connective
tissue broken down during training as well as restore energy stores that have been depleted. In addition, adequate recovery will permit
full restoration and increase energy producing enzymes in muscles. The result is a bigger, stronger, and more fit persona and athlete.

General Rule for rest is to get 7 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep a night. For athletes who train twice a day, and you should for
maximum training effect, a 30-60 minute nap after your first training session, is invaluable.

I do not know how to get anymore direct as this. Recovery is a vital element in ANY fitness program! Getting the appropiate amount of
rest and sleep is paramount in the athletes regimen. Keep in mind, your Training may be Optimal, your Nutrition plan may be
perfected, but the combination of them both will not be enough to counteract the negative damage that you cause when you do not
allow your body to repair itself which it ONLY does during sleep! A lack of rest or sleep can lead to a number of health problems, here
are some of those listed below:

  • Overtraining- (if you fall into this category, cease all training activities for one week, merely getting more sleep each night will
    not resolve overtraining syndrome)
  • Sleep deprivation- (leading to poor performance, mentally and physcially)
  • Neuroendocrin system exhaustion (altering hormone levels)
  • Injuries- (prone to an increase and severity of injuries)
  • Decreased Immune function- (leading so sickness and inability to fight off sicknesses, slower healing time for injuries and

All of the above attributes are negative factors  and are bad for both the "weekend warriors" and daily exercisers looking for optimal
fitness as well as the seasoned athlete looking for optimal performance.
Upcoming articles:    

1)   How to Recognize Overtraining (Using the key factors and measurements below)

  • Waking Heart rate:      
  • Waking Bodyweight:      
  • Insomnia:      
  • Immunity:

2)   Curing The Overtraining Syndrome

    Be Consistent with your program.

Whatever your dreams, fitness goals, current challenges or athletic pursuits may be, follow what your program design calls for, as best
as possibly can. Make all efforts to not stray, and when you do stumble and perhaps fall down, Never give up! Stay focused, mentally
clear and sound, and always allot 1-2 rest days each week. This should prevent any "burn out" or boredom and possible loss of
interests or decreased motivation in your specific program. If you have had continuous degression of drive, lack of motivation and
losing interests alltogether with your program or sport, and you suspect overtraining, go ahead and take a complete week off of training
and relax. Continue to stay on your routine meal plan/regimen of course decreasing your caloric intake since your not as active that
week, and let your batteries recharge.
"If you have no time for exercise, you'd better reserve a lot of time for disease"

- DR. Michael Colgan
Copyright 2011 Precision Fitness Systems ~ All rights reserved.