Serge Nubret was a bodybuilder that competed with Arnold Schwarzenegger during the sport’s golden era, the 70s. He remained physically impressive throughout his whole life. In the world of bodybuilding he was noted for always going his own way. He didn’t subscribe to other people’s methods or workout programs. In the gym he went for extremely high volume, seldom aiming for anything less than 12 reps per set. He liked to spend several hours a day at the gym.
He was also known for having somewhat eccentric eating habits. Simplifying a bit, you could say he ate like a lion. He liked to go many hours without food. This was long before the current trend of intermittent fasting. He didn’t do this because he had read it somewhere – he did it because his body told him to. He was all about instincts. I have written earlier about how advanced gym training will allow you to get to know your own body and your own mind in a way that few other things will. Serge Nubret was a clear and strong example of this. He ate when and what he felt he needed, refusing to adhere to any kind of dogmatic dieting rules. He was all about being present and feeling his way towards his goals. Sometimes he ate only once in 24 hours. When this happened he ate big. Really big. Like a lion. He would eat several pounds of food in one sitting, after which he could, once more, go without any kind of meal whatsoever for another 24 hours.
This article is not a recommendation to do the same in terms of Nubret’s extreme workout routine and diet (even though I ‘m not advising against them either, I truly believe there are certain merits to his approach). What I’m recommending is to try to develop his kind of ability to listen to one’s own body and mind, feeling one’s own personal needs. Nubret never counted grams of protein or carbs. He didn’t let the clock tell him when to eat. He lived, minute by minute, hour by hour, always staying in touch with himself – in the present.
There is a great lesson in this, that all gym goers with advanced goals can benefit a lot from. Knowledge is of course a good thing. It can be both great fun and of great use to stay in touch with the recommendations and tips that come from different sources - just don’t let these tips rule you to the extent that you ignore your own natural instinct for what you want and need at a particular time and place.
In the gym, find out what particular exercises suits you and your body best, regardless of what other people are doing. Let them inspire you, but not lead you.
And do the same in the kitchen, making sure to find out what kind of meals and eating habits results in the best results for you.