When "Light for the Trail" is TOO Light.
This phrasing is thrown around a ton in the world of outdoor adventure. Coupled with "I want to be light on the trail" as one of the top 5 reasons people reach out to me make it a topic worth addressing.
I once was lighter than I am now...and weaker...injured more often...and less fun to be with.
What's not told in the story of being getting lean is the complexities that come with it.
There's value in being light(er), no doubt about that. I wouldn't have moved well through the mountains at the 270lbs I was 13 years ago. But, there's also value in finding strong and light vs just light.
Here's four things that DRAMATICALLY improved by putting on 15lbs.
Poor Energy- I wasn't able to complete a full workout...or at the VERY least not at the speed/intensity I needed to complete it at to see improved endurance.
Poor Strength- Most outdoor adventures require carrying supplies to live outside for a few days on end. The weight for that can stack up quick- and requires a solid base to carry safely. This was significantly compromsied weighing 15lbs below where I'm currently at.
Poor Recovery- I was constantly nursing aches, pains, and injuries that simply didn't have the nutrition or rest to heal.
Less Flexibility- This often lead to unsatisfying meals, more hunger and little ability be a part of social settings where there was food.
When I made the deliberate decision to add 15lbs (muscle AND fat), nearly all four of these improved almost immediately.
There does come a point where being above a certain weight may cause a hike or long distance pursuit in the mountains to be unenjoyable. But, there is an opposite end to that spectrum. Striking a balance between the two can be a challenging task, but one worth the endeavor.
Questions about how I put on the 15lbs, deciding if you're at an ideal spot for the trail, or other general nutrition questions? I'd be happy to help!