There are prep Coaches out there who do not seem to understand the first thing about the biology of weight control. This is unfortunate as many trainees will adhere to whatever is put in front of them out of a strange sense of loyalty, because someone looks the part, or even fear of not achieving optimal results. I will say for the record it is not difficult to starve someone in to contest shape, and make up for catabolism with anabolics and/or other pharmaceuticals. They may win a show, but they will certainly lose long term. The "win a battle, lose the war" analogy comes to mind.
The rituals of endless cardio are a waste of time, but to the extreme dieter it mentally and emotionally keeps them away from free time which would be otherwise occupied with food temptations, and also takes them further in to an apathetic state. This makes it easier to avoid acting on food compulsions at least till contest stresses are over, then the real damage begins
So what is the proper way? I won't lie, if I paid someone to train me or help me get into contest shape, I would do as they say, since that is what I'm paying them for. I would look at their track record and think they know what they are talking about/doing. How is it possible to get sub 10% BF without endless cardio, low calorie or extreme dieting? I certainly don't know, my weight goes all over the place, I have no idea how to do it. I have tried and failed, I always wind up not feeling good or energetic, or weak. It's not from lack of research, not from lack of effort. I used to be 300lbs, I stumbled my way to 190ish, but I never really looked great at that weight or felt great. I can honestly say if I set out to look like you, I could not accomplish it.
There is definitely more than one way to lose fat, if it were as simple as one perfect way then there would be a lot more people accomplishing their goals. There are good coaches out there for sure, myself, Shelby Starnes, Scott Abel, John Meadows. But unfortunately there are some so called "gurus" that go to extremes but I'm not here to say who just to warn people to be cautious when hiring a coach. See who they have worked with besides the genetic elite and get feedback from clients. I always let prospective clients talk to current and past clients if they would like to get a better feel.
Originally Posted by big ragu
A good coach will also tell you if its in the cards for you to sustain sub 10% BF based on your metabolic profile after they have worked with you for a bit. Everyone is different on what's sustainable long term and that's the key "sustainable". If you have to go to extremes to get there and do hours upon hours of cardio than its just not in your cards. There is nothing wrong with that. Be the best version of yourself you can.
Its also about coaching someone to have balance with it all and not let it consume you. A lot of times when I coach clients on the mental and emotional aspect of it then the physical falls into place. SO it is definitely an individual thing on what is attainable and sustainable long term.
I hear what you're saying. There's a chick at my gym who does personal training and has gotten a few people in contest shape. The thing I never could understand was how she does it so fast! I mean she was training one girl, who in about 6 weeks time she went from chubby to bikini contest ready. It was amazing, except I personally thought she didn't look good. No real muscle, just extremely thin. But still to get that lean in such a short amount of time I thought was really amazing. Then I was told that the poor girl was so calorie deprived a couple days before her show that she could barely function. Same thing with a guy I seen her training for his first contest. He got super lean fast, but damn he did not look good.
I don't think I'm built to have a very low BF%. If I am I certainly can't figure out how to do it safely. I'm 6'4, and at 190lbs I was probably still 12%. I assume you walk around everyday looking like you do in your avatar. How do you feel on a daily basis? How is your strength, energy, etc? I wonder how an average person like myself could ever obtain your lever of fitness and be able to maintain it while still living an average life. For me, my days are wicked busy. I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night. I work 10 hours a day 5-6 days a week. I have a girlfriend, step daughter, baby on the way, and a dog. I'm an avid drag racer so my weekends are spent racing. I also build cars and bikes, get tattooed, etc. I currently make it to the gym 4 days a week, and if I get an hour in there it's a lot. Is it even remotely possible for a person like myself to be able to be in incredible shape, or is it really just about being the best me I can be, given my lifestyle?
When it comes to BF % its relative to the person and personally I hate going by numbers. Everyone looks different at the same BF % depending on where their fat is distributed. Some can look great at 12% some just look soft. Just go by the mirror. My Avatar is about 3 weeks from my last contest, so I definitley don't walk around that shredded and I did not feel great either, but that is part of contest prep, I wasn't suffering by any means just typical low energy, hunger, etc... But I kinow that is sustainable and I don't expect it to be as it was for a contest. Depending on my current goals I vary a little on how lean I am. Right now I am pretty lean and I can sustain this level pretty easily because I'm on the Cycle diet. I have attached a current pic and a pic of what I typically walk around like in off season. There's about a 12-15 lb difference.
Lifestyle is a huge factor when it comes to this, but at the same time its all about about having a training program and diet designed to fit your lifestyle and not the other way around as many try to make themselves fit a program. You also have to be able to do what you enjoy in life and if its truly being pretty lean then its not as big of a deal but if you need to balance many thing going on in your life it gets confusing and hard.
This is why I think proper coaching is important with many. That way they can relax more and not stress where its not needed. Its hard for me to say exactly what is attainable for you without having worked with you and know how your body works and what type of metabolic profile you have.