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Training, Cardio & Nutrition - Which Is the Most Important? The Answer May Surprise You

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

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How many times have you asked or have been asked the following question: Which is the most important aspect of bodybuilding - the training, cardio, or nutritional aspect? The answer is... it depends. Sure, that's a cop-out reply, but it is the most truthful way to answer a question that is impossible to answer in a general term.

What are you starting with? What are your goals? Do you have the self-discipline to follow even one of them regularly, making this a lifestyle rather than a chore?

If you put a gun to one's head and demand an answer, the only choice would be nutrition. Why, you may ask? Because even if you work out like an animal in the gym and perform a good amount of cardio, you will never reach your goals if your diet is bad. Can you hit the weights and eat well to have a nice physique? Of course. How about strictly cardio and clean meals? You will get ripped, but perhaps not have the size you may want. But if you stuff your face with junk food, much of the sweating in the gym will go for naught.

Perhaps you are the exception to the rule and have an amazingly fast metabolism. You can eat a high amount of calories and not the good ones, yet still, look as if you don't even use salad dressing. If that's the case, then you are one lucky individual who hit the genetic lottery. But even the best of them eventually have age catch up and things slow down. And for the vast majority of us, eating crap will result in us looking like it.

Time is always an issue and you have to prioritize things depending on those factors we mentioned earlier. If you're a big person and overweight, your goal should be to get in shape. With diet being a given top priority, you should focus on cardio until you get yourself at a 'fighting weight' to then tackle the barbells and dumbbells. If you're a person with a thin build, you want to train more than do cardio. You also want to up your caloric intake, but keep them clean or else it will all be for naught. If you're somewhere in the middle, then it's a good plan to weight train, do a moderate amount of cardio, and keep your kitchen promises.

If you have one of those days when you have to cut your workout short, it's best to do fewer sets and a shorter session of cardio instead of skipping it altogether; you're still boring calories and fat, albeit a little less, but still putting in that full body session. Or try a different cardio machine and make it a day where you test something different out to see if it should be part of your rotation. The same holds for the weight training part, as well. Instead of doing the same exercises on the same bench and/or machine, try out that new piece of equipment that looks ridiculous, but may end up giving you quite a pump since you have never hit that muscle from that particular angle. Use those short days/abridged workouts to your advantage instead of a disadvantage.

Since all three aspects are equally important, then you can focus on the full trio and get it all done properly.
 
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