How We Fell In Love With Numbers.
Nothing encompasses millennials quite like our love of technology. We humbly brag to an older generation about our knowledge of the latest devices, we proudly use our logic to win arguments and we would rather do our own research rather than rely on old wives tales. We are forever searching for the most effective way of doing things. This mind-set has trickled its way into all corners of society including the fitness industry. In an older time old school bodybuilding dinosaurs would preach clean eating and training to failure every day in the gym with very little reasoning as to why it worked only that it worked for them.
The dirty little secret of course is that most things tend to work well when you are "genetically gifted" and, yes, that is a euphemism. However, over the last number of years the landscape appears to be changing for the better. Gone, it seems, are the days where bioscience ruled gym worldwide. Thanks to fitness personalities such as Doctor Layne Norton and Omar Isuf among others a new era is upon us, a more enlightened era, the era of powerbuilding and flexible dieting. Powerbuilding training as its name suggests is a hybrid between strength training particularly powerlifting and bodybuilding or what it has come to be known as in this social media generation "aesthetics". Its core belief is that strength and athletic performance should trump the goal of the perfect physique while not forgetting the fact that you have to look good to be listened to, in other words no one will take advice from someone who can't see his penis when he looks down.
Training is primarily based on percentages of your one rep max on a given exercise for a certain number of reps and sets, when a lift is successfully completed with a given weight it is progressed the next day either by adding weight, sets or reps. There is little guess work involved as the progression is based on numbers as oppose to "feel". For the fastest progression you do no more or no less than what you have programmed and it is this logic and efficiency that we as millennials gravitate towards.
To sum up, powerbuilding is training primarily for athletic performance and leaving the diet take care of the appearance and as luck would have it there is also a modern approach to that aspect. Flexible dieting or I.I.F.Y.M (if it fits your macros) has been around for many years but only in niche markets such as professional athletes and Olympians. It is only due to technology becoming such large part of daily life that we are now exposed to it. In this case, in the form of food tracking apps on smart phones such as my fitness pal.There are many reasons millennials have gravitated towards flexible dieting as oppose to old school clean eating.
Number one: IT JUST MAKES SENSE. We love the fact that it is based on numbers and that it is something that we can quantify and explain. We love the fact that there is freedom of choice involved and that we can use our own logic to make those choices.
Number two: Flexible dieting is not a diet - it's a nutritional concept. On its most basic level you have a daily calorie target to hit and as long as those specific numbers are achieved, then food selection is left up to your personal preference. For optimal results, however, the calories are broken down into the three macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat). The beauty of flexible dieting is that you are not tied to any certain foods. You plan your days eating based on what you need for optimal results and from there make the best possible decision for you based on factors such as taste, cost and time.
Number three: Flexible dieting is based on math and science, not preconceived notions of "good foods" and "bad foods".
Once you hit the numbers you will lose/gain the weight. Given this information it is no surprise that flexible dieting is becoming more and more popular with the majority of people in the modern day fitness industry and beyond. We are living in the genesis of these approaches to health and fitness and although we are told by an older generation that they won't last because they require too much effort and consistency I for one am all in on the process and have faith that the majority of millennials will continue to be due to the trifecta of KNOWLEDGE, LOGIC and TECHNOLOGY.
Onwards and Upwards.