T Nation

Is This as Bad as I Think?


Okay, I'm prepping for my first figure competition, and after much thought, I decided to change coaches (I previously used another online coach for general fat loss). I just signed-up with Tad the Diet Coach and he sent me my plan last night.

In all fairness, please allow me to give you the full background. Tad has been in the industry for 20 years, is a natural bodybuilder himself, and routinely gets his figure women down to 8.5-9.5% body fat. My former coach has never competed, and I've only seen photos/testimonials of female figure competitors in the 11% range. Tad also says that he likes competitors to "come in fast and maintain."

I was shocked and upset when I received my program, and I hope I'm totally overreacting.

First of all, he completed my program without knowing my body fat percentage or seeing photos of me. I just gave him my height and weight. Now, I'm 6 months out from my competition, so maybe it doesn't matter at this point.

He have me a ONE DAY DIET. WTF? I've never competed, so I don't know much about competition diets, but I just can't see how this can be a good idea.

He also has me scheduled for 60 minutes of fasted low-intensity cardio 7. Days. Per. Week. Now, again, he likes competitors to "come in fast," so maybe this is why.

I sent him an email late last night asking a few questions, but he usually doesn't respond until midnight or so my time. But before I continue freaking out, I wanted to get the opinion of others.

P.S. This is my first time starting a thread here, so forgive me if I've posted in the wrong forum.


He must be pretty damn good if he can pull it off without seeing you in person.


Get in touch with Shelby Starnes at Troponin Nutrition. You won't regret it for contest prep (or general fat loss for that matter).


I understand your freaking out about the 'only 1 day diet', but not all competitors and coaches make use of carb/cal cycling (personally, I think it's the best way to avoid excessive metabolic slowdown, but what do I know? -lol). What does make me raise an eyebrow is that he has no info on your particulars whatsoever. What your current physique looks like, or even what your current diet and training programs look like. I couldn't imagine working with someone who didn't do my "write everything down for a week" requirement (I try to build the initial diet around foods that are already familiar, and then make small steps as we go). Definitely wait and see what his response is to your questions, but also keep in mind that there are a lot of coaches out there that do the whole 'cookie-cutter' diet thing, and pretty much bank on the fact that they've competed themselves to get clients.

If you're unhappy, then pick someone else who has gotten success for someone you know who can vouch for the process.



Yeah, I thought it was weird for him to build a plan based on my height and weight alone. I did give him samples of my current diet, and my training/cardio routine. But still...he doesn't have my body fat%, measurements, pictures. And in reading interviews of his, he specifically talked about how some coaches do cookie-cutter diets, so I thought I was safe there!

The thought of having potentially wasted $350 really upsets me. Ugh!


If you do that in the morning, you will be flipping starving all day, just so you know.

I do 30 mins a morning, 7 days a week.


Honestly, I'm slightly hypoglycemic (which I explained in my evaluation), so I don't even know if I can do the full 60 minutes.


I'd try and get a refund and pick someone else.
Also you could do a hell of a lot worse than just starting a log here or on figure athlete and asking someone like Thib some questions once in a while.


Pretty much any of the coaches on here are awesome...so I would definitely invest in their thoughts. REFUND time! Theres no way in hell I'd give any client any routine without significant particulars about them....and I'm nobody compared to these top level guys. Time for a reassesment.


Unfortunately, no refunds are allowed. I've read all of the articles on Figure Athlete (most several times through) and many of the articles here. I just think I'd be asking for trouble designing my own plan for my first competition. I very easily get analysis paralysis, and I really need the accountability on my diet. Honestly, I don't trust myself.


I am a HUGE advocate for cycling. And I know he gives some of his clients carb cycling plans. But even aside from cycling, it seems really weird to have the same things in the same quantities every day. I think I need to keep in mind that this is a contest diet, not a general health/fat loss diet, and therefore will be different. A lot different.

He does have my past training and diet info, just not any stats aside from height/weight. He told me to be sure and send my pics by the time we meet via phone next week, but I'm still bothered by it.

I don't know. Maybe I've just caught a bad case of the crazies and am overanalyzing things.


It does no good to hire someone if you are gonna second-guess everything. If you think you should be carb cycling, lifting heavy, and doing HIIT, then you really should design your own program. Look at Stu's thread on the BB forum for an example of someone who did his own homework and did his own prep and did it right.

Otherwise...there are lots of different ways to prep for a contest. I saw BBers in the early 90's prepping with TONS of SS cardio and low-fat diets of egg whites, tuna, chicken breast, and rice.

And to be fair to your coach, no one NEEDS to carb cycle the first week of dieting. I can rock a huge deficit for 3 weeks, losing maximal fat during that time without complicating it with carb cycling. The only things that matter at the beginning are protein and calorie deficit. But even with starvation-level calorie deficits, nothing bad happens the first few weeks.

I have dieted down to be quite lean, but not contest-level lean. And I've kept records with skinfolds and FitDay and spreadsheets, and all types of diets worked for fat loss. Low-carb, low-fat, Zone-ish, carb cycling, you name it. The only way I'd lose muscle was when doing high-volume circuit training on low carbs. Even then, it was probably just from glycogen depletion, but I didn't realize that at the time and panicked, thinking I was losing muscle.

Going from "quite lean" to "contest lean" is a different story, I realize that. However, you're a long way away from NEEDING a carb cycling diet. A one-day diet will work just as well as anything else at this point.


Thank you for saying all of that, Andersons. I needed every single word. I'm not necessarily thinking I need carb cycling (though I've been doing it for the last year). It just seems weird to have a one-day-diet.