#21 – Looking Good, Feeling Good, Pt 3: Training for Looks AND Performance

In the final installment of the Looking Good, Feeling Good miniseries, Coach D lays his case for training as the lynchpin of fitness, looks, and health. As we’ve made the case for many times, barbell training is the most efficient and complete method of training for achieving muscle mass, losing fat, and improving physical performance. In fact barbell training is, for general fitness purposes, a complete training modality in and of itself and can be improved upon for years. While no one modality is the “magic bullet” for perfect fitness, barbell training is the closest thing to it.

However, for those with more specific performance demands, or those who wish to have a more athletic physique beyond generally fit, conditioning will be necessary. Darin recommends high intensity interval training, or HIIT, to improve mobility, power, speed, coordination, and work capacity (which can allow for more strength gains as well). The key here is high intensity performed in short bouts, with a rest cycle.

Long, slow distance, or LISS, conditioning can also be used, and may be the better choice for the sport-specific athlete. This is lower intensity work typically done for longer bouts, such as a long row, cycling, or jogging. LISS can incorporate both conditioning and sport training in one session. However, LISS alone is not going to promote good body composition; in other words, you’re not going to jog or cycle your way into a good looking body. You need a balance of strength training to avoid losing too much muscle mass.

Perhaps most importantly, he stresses that no amount of exercise can offset a poor diet! As stated in the previous episodes, lean mass burns more calories at rest than bodyfat, so you must support growth and maintenance of lean mass with a high protein, moderate carb / moderate fat diet.


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