Every day athlete Vs Elite athlete

According to market research, the everyday athlete is the main user / consumer of supplements. Most customers that walk into a sports supplement store are the every day athlete.Elite athletes are less common, they are also less likely to walk into a store to purchase a supplement or seek advice.

Most studies are conducted on the everyday athlete as that is the target market for most supplement manufacturers / sellers.

It is important to understand the difference between these 2 groups in regards to

  • Expectations of results vs actual results
  • Scientific studies and trials
  • Goals and priorities
  • Holistic approach – Supplemental, dietary and training strategy
  • Motivating factors

Everyday athletes

  • Train to be healthy and because they know they should do it
  • Goals are usually health promotion and disease prevention
    • Muscle gain, fat loss, performance / endurance (cardiovascular fitness), strength improvements
    • Consistent strategy to cover all bases on a daily basis
    • Because everyday athletes do not usually go through extreme committed campaigns for specifically targeting muscle gain or fat loss or strength or performance, they do a little bit of each, they do not see the same results as an elite athlete that creates holistic approaches and campaigns for specific body composition changes i.e. bulking phase, cutting phase..
    • Supplement requirements
    • Nutritional cofactors (natural not synthetic vitamins)
    • Anti-inflammatory – turmeric, omega 3, 6, 7, 9, 11 essential fatty acids, CLA, CLnA
    • Antioxidant – natural vitamins (natural and not synethetic vitamins A and E in particular) and polyphenols – green tea, schisandra, fruit and vege, cacao
    • Acidity buffers – beta alanine (warn them of the tingles), magnesium and potassium citrate, schisandra, astaxanthin
    • Enhance oxygenation – coq10, shilajit, citrulline malate, nitrates (beetroot, cherry) (no oral arginine)
    • Protein – total daily protein to hit macronutrient requirements to make it possible to recover and repair. In Everyday athletes the timing and one off doses of protein is not crucial. As long as they are getting adequate over the day then they will have similar rates of muscle growth / recovery.
    • Electrolytes – magnesium and potassium in particular are handy as acidity buffers and muscle relaxants to prevent cramps, tensions, DOMS etc.
    • Acetyl-carnitine timing not essential just need to top up pool to prevent plateau
    • Post workout after resistance training – magnesium potassium citrate, glutamine a/2 teaspoon, creatine ½ teaspoon, BCAA ½ teaspoon, protein (rice, whey, pea, hemp etc.) 10g but not needed but usually nice tasting base to spike up with the other stuff.
    • Preworkout
      • Fasted cardio (fat loss and CVD fitness priority) – nothing / water or oil based supplement like AMPV, caffeine, Subcut / transdermal fat mobiliser onto stubborn spots to help them change.
      • Resistance exercise (muscle maintenance / promotion) – electrolytes, water, fuel, citrulline malate, beetroot (nitrates), nootropic mood / motivation

Elite athletes

Not sure if the right word here. But I am referring to people that will focus their efforts and resources to achieve specific goals. E.g. a body builder will create campaigns for muscle growth (will bulk up with lots of muscle and get extra fat as well) and then switch to fat burning campaign (to lose the fat and will sacrifice a bit of muscle at the same time).

When focused like this elite athlete can get exaggerated results compared to the everyday athelete.

An elite athlete will work with extra knowledge, coaches, PTs etc. to help them create a strategy specifically to achieve a particular goal or body composition change with

      • Diet
      • Exercise
      • Supplementation
      • +/- pharmaceuticals and Hormone replacement therapy

If the everyday consumer is expecting to achieve similar results as an elite athlete then they will be disappointed due to unrealistic expectations. If this elite athlete is the coach or the salesman and they make claims that lead to unrealistic expectations in the customer than they can’t be surprised, defensive, aggressive with the customer that did not get the same effects.

So when we discuss studies on everyday athletes using elite athlete protocols and they do not get the same results as an elite athlete we should also not be surprised, defensive or angry.

When trials are done on elite athletes, training and eating and behaving like elite athletes the results are significant. Furthermore what an athlete may find statistically significant may be very different to what a scientist or what an everyday athlete finds statistically significant. A 5-10% improvement for an athlete is very significant but in the eyes of a scientist or someone very far from their genetic potential this may not be noticeable.

Elite athlete protocols will be specific for their goals. 

Muscle gain

  • Preworkout
    • When training we are in a catabolic state, we will break down things to make fuel.
    • Abundance of fuel stimulates growth and prevents muscle catabolism.
    • Preworkout fuels – BCAA, EAA, Protein etc. will have a sparing effect on muscle as they can be used to fuel the exercise. They are basically ketogenic or glucogenic while training in a catabolic phase and will have protein synthesis effects when in anabolic phase post workout and during recovery
    • Electrolytes
    • Cofactors – natural vitamin and mineral
    • Citrulline malate – more reps, more power, less pain. Can use up to 10grams but has very powerful vasodilation so be aware of changes to heart rate or stroke volume to compensate, especially if you have lower blood pressure. # grams is usually enough
    • Beta alanine – 3 grams daily
    • Stimulants are fine but control the catabolic cortisol – CLA, CLnA, magnesium, HMB, schisandra
    • Post workout reload – glutamine 10g, BCAA 10g, Creatine 10-20g, magnesium potassium citrate, 20-40g protein (Whey, rice, pea, hemp etc.), carbs, taurine,

Next podcast and article will be protocols for performance and strength