Mini-Study Results: Performance Impact of MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines Mixed

By Rob Shaul, Founder


Eight remote lab rats completed an assessed, 3.5 weeks multi-modal (strength, endurance, work capacity) training program while following MTI’s recently updated Nutritional Guidelines.

Their final re-assessment results were then compared to the results from 18 remote lab rats who completed the same 3.5 week training plan in September, 2020, but who did not follow MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines. The results between the two groups were then compared. We’d hoped to find a discernible performance difference the two groups that could be attributed to the Nutritional Guidelines.

However, the results were mixed.

The Nutritional Guidelines Group (April 2021) saw significantly greater improvement in max rep pull up and prone to sprint assessments.

The September 2020 group (no guidelines) saw significantly greater improvement in Front Squat 1RM results.

The two groups saw the exact same improvement in Push Press 1RM and the 3-Mile Run.

Results & Discussion

The multi-modal, 3.5 week, 5 day/week  training cycle, both groups completed began with strength, work capacity and endurance assessments. After the assessments, assessment-based progressions for all three fitness attributes were completed. Because these progressions were assessment-based, the plan automatically “scaled” to the incoming fitness of the individual athletes.

Below are the individual results from the April 2021 lab rats (Nutritional Guidelines Group).


Below is a result comparison between the September 2020 lab rats and the April 2021 lab rats (Nutritional Guidelines Group):

One obvious difference between the two groups is the number of actual lab rats. There was a much smaller sample size for the April 2021 group – and we say approximately 50% lab attrition. Because this group was smaller, outlier data points such as Todd’s 100% improvement in pull up max reps can easily skew the results.

Going in, I was unsure of the effect of the Nutritional Guidelines on the strength gains. Some athletes struggle with cutting out all sugar and most carbs initially, and I felt this could impact strength work for the first week or so.

On the other hand, all but one of the April 21 lab rats lost weight, and I felt this might lead to a greater improvement in pull ups and 3 mile run times. However, because of the smaller sample size, even though the April 21 group saw greater pull up improvement, we can’t confidently say it was a result of Nutrition-Plan caused weight loss. As well, there was no difference between the groups in terms of 3-mile run improvement.

Concerning the Nutritional Guidelines themselves, all the April 21 who answered when asked how they felt on the diet said they felt good, were surprised they didn’t experience lower energy or more cravings, and most reported they planned to continue the diet.

Next Steps?

We are currently conducting another Mini-Study of 50+ lab rats that all complete the same multi-modal training cycle (strength and endurance). Half of the lab rats complete the cycle on their normal diet, and the other half is completing it while following MTI’s Nutritional Guidelines.

We should have those Mini-Study results in approximately 4 weeks.


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