Nuts & Bolts Part 4 Ultra-basics: Goal Setting

Nuts & Bolts Part 4 Ultra-basics: Goal Setting

Performance Nutrition

Nutrition is a minefield of explosive opinions and opposing theories. Our approach puts the science back into nutrition. We take the subjective out of dieting and relate to you a collective consensus, the nutritional modes and methods used by professional athletes, elite spec ops, MMA fighters and competitive bodybuilders to accelerate workout recovery and accelerate muscle growth. We use nutrition (in conjunction with intense exercise) to favorably manipulate body composition.

The Psychology of Power Nutrition

Nutrition is tainted by commercialism. The common practice is to reverse engineer a rationale that justifies the use of a product. The first order of business is to strip away commercialism. Power Nutrition is a nutritional philosophy that stresses disciplined yet humane eating. We approach the subject using common sense. The most sophisticated diet is worthless if you cannot adhere to it. The continual trend in orthodox nutrition is to (essentially) tell the dieter to eat perfectly. This is diet strategy in a vacuum: how easy it is to tell someone to eat nothing but flavor-less, bland food forever. Without a serious psychological element included in any serious discussion of nutrition, our dietary efforts are doomed.

Every act of willpower is finite. If diet modification becomes an exercise in willpower, we will revert to what we were the instant willpower, a finite mental propellant, exhausts itself. Enthusiasm for the dietary process is what we seek. Dietary enthusiasm occurs when we love the diet foods we eat and the dieter sees actual results – tangible, measurable, quantifiable results. Results from nutrition can be defined as a dramatic decrease in body fat and/or a dramatic increase in lean muscle mass. Become leaner and more muscular and automatically attain a significant improvement in performance. Willpower is finite mental propellant; enthusiasm is infinite and self-regenerating, akin to mental solar power.

Our approach to nutrition starts by identifying preferential, favored, flavorful "power foods." Everyone has certain favored foods that also happen to be nutrient-dense, power foods and totally acceptable. We identify these power foods and increase their consumption at the expense of detrimental foods. Empty calories are replaced with power-packed calories. Our approach is called "gourmet dieting." Is a diet a diet if a person looks forward with eager anticipation to eating their next "diet" meal? The diet battle ceases to be a battle when flavor is put back into diet foods.

Once we have a fix on food selection, we need consider nutritional tactics. We need to establish realistic nutritional goals, and then place these realistic nutritional goals into a timeframe. We establish weekly mini-goals and systematically and sequentially attain the weekly goal. If small, realistically attainable weekly goals are achieved in a consistent and ongoing basis, at the end of the predetermined timeframe we achieve the larger goal.

  • Power nutrition enables the dieter to reduce body fat in a systematic and methodical fashion.
  • Power nutrition enables the dieter to use the anabolic properties of regular food to accelerate workout recovery and build lean muscle.
  • Power nutrition has underlying principles; custom diets are continually created, based on what seasonally appropriate foods are fresh and available.
  • Power nutrition introduces the dieter to concept of gourmet dieting, wherein the foods eaten, regardless of taste preference, are flavorful and delicious.

Periodized Nutrition

Once the food selections are squared away and power nutrition goals are grasped, food volume, daily meal timing and meal frequency need to be taken into account. Are nutritional supplements to be woven into the overarching nutritional template? We also take into account likes and dislikes and make allowances for individual taste preferences. We want to be able to create individualized, customized diet plans. Diets, like exercises, need periodic rotation.

The only nutritional strategy that works is one that can be adhered to. The key to adherence is constructing a dietary game plan with foods that taste delicious; then and only then does dieting cease to be dieting and adherence becomes effortless. Optimally, ideally, we fuel ourselves with nutrient-dense, potent, locally sourced, seasonally appropriate proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables. The optimal restorative food/fuels are rich, dense, flavorful, potent and organic.

Nutrition and Diet discussion items

  • Meal frequency
  • Meal content
  • Food volume
  • Micronutrient balance
  • Taste preferences
  • How to introduce flavor into dieting
  • Jettisoning refined, industrial "foods"
  • Nutrient-dense power food
  • Simplistic food preparation
  • Detoxing, fasting and intermittent fasting
  • The systematic rotation of diets
  • The professional bodybuilding template

The Great Nutritional Divide: avoid jamming square pegs in round holes

Generally speaking, humans fall into one of two taste-preference categories: fat-centric or carb-centric. Decades of empirical diet experience cause us to recognize the generalized fact that half the population, forced to choose, would prefer carb foods. The other half of the population, forced to choose, would pick fat foods.

Everyone agrees on the value of potent proteins, fresh fruits and farm-fresh vegetables. Eat plentiful, but we need eat true and exclusive to our type. To favourably alter body composition, the fat-centric eater needs avoid starchy carbs and the carb-centric eater need limit saturated fat intake. When the eater consumes an overabundance of fat and carbs the result is dietary disaster.


We make elite nutrition and diet strategies understandable, relatable and applicable for immediate use by active duty professionals. We strip away the confusion and commercialism that surrounds diet and nutrition and focus on what is important and what is ineffectual and superfluous. We strip away all commercialism.

We have decades of experience with hardcore diet strategies, the type used by high-level competitive athletes, ourselves included. Our strategies are a result of our direct experience and our collective experience. We have extensive exposure to bodybuilding nutrition. When it comes to favorably altering body composition, the bodybuilding methodology is sophisticated and effective. We expropriate the best of their template for our own use. We also have extensive experience with intermittent fasting. Each approach is primarily about food timing. We share both approaches in depth and at length.

About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.