Jeremy Minihan of Oklahoma City is a personal trainer and nutritionist who has immersed himself in the industry by attending countless coaching seminars, earning certifications, enrolling in nutrition and exercise physiology courses, studying human behavior and motivation, as well as the importance of leadership. He has transformed from simply a trainer to an expert physique coach, a leader, an innovator, and become a true artist of his trade.
Q: What do you like best about being a diet coach?
A: Helping athletes realize their maximum genetic potential was far better than they ever imagined.
Q: What cardio type would you recommend for fat loss and/or pre contest, High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) or Low Intensity Steady State (L.I.S.S.)?
A: There is no one size fits all here. It depends on a number of different factors, including the competitor’s division, current conditioning, injuries, age, body type and time of day the cardio session is being performed.
For example, if I have a bikini or figure competitor that has bulkier legs she might do a combination of jogging mixed in with plyometric type cardio with varying times and intensities to attain a more athletic look. On the other hand, if I have a bodybuilder or women’s physique competitor who has a difficult time keeping their muscles round and full, I’ll have them do low intensity.
Q: How do you diet your clients? Using the carb cycling approach, keto, other?
A: As I’m bringing my client’s physique down to a point, my goal is to keep as much lean muscle mass as possible while slowly decreasing their body fat. To do this I try to keep their metabolism as efficient as possible by continuing to feed it carbohydrates. I’ve found carbohydrates to be more muscle-sparing than fats. For the most part, meal one and the post workout meal are the biggest carb meals of the day.
A moderate amount of insulin release at these times will promote glycogen and amino acid uptake into the muscle without the risk of storing any body fat. Sometimes the best way to keep the metabolism up while still ensuring that we’re dropping the necessary amount of body fat is to cycle the carbs. Some people work best with a weekly refeed after going low/medium carbs throughout the week.
It really just comes down to watching their physique change then making the proper adjustments. After each contest season I reverse diet my clients though a progressive eating meal plan where they’re eating as much clean food as possible while still keeping their body fat between 8-13%.
Research has shown me the body is the most anabolic when in this range. This allows us to begin the next contest prep phase with the calories as high as possible and to gradually increase the cardio throughout the prep. With this being said, I have some clients that know at some point during their prep, a ketogenic diet is inevitable. At what point during the prep this happens always varies from person to person and show to show.
Q: What is your protocol for filling-out days prior to stepping onstage?
A: This is one of my favorite aspects of the sport because everyone responds differently to loading protocols. Some clients’ bodies will immediately start forming an aldosterone film as soon as a high GI carb source is introduced. So, you know you’re either going to hit them hard with fats closer to the show or gradually introduce more fibrous carbs over a two or three-day period of time.
Sometimes it just comes down to how much time you have. If a competitor needs to pull hard to make weight on a Friday night before a Saturday show, you just don’t have time to fill them out slowly with fibrous carbs. At this point you need to know if this person will form an aldosterone film from high GI carbs or not. If so, then fats are the way to go. Again, it all just comes down to the client’s body type.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of dieting clients?
A: The most challenging part of dieting clients is also the most important, and that’s preventing metabolic damage. Once assuring that, I want to work to maintain as much of the client’s hard-earned lean muscle as possible. This is body building not body destroying.
Q: What supplements do you recommend the most to your clients?
A: I am a big fan of the entire Purus Labs supplement line with special regard to their Pre-Intra-Post work out products, Condense, Dpol, Noxogen and insulin mimicking, SlinShot.
I also like Gaspari Glycofuse glycogen replenishing post and intra workout supplement.
For whey proteins, I like Syntrax nectar, Dymatize ISO100, and Vital Whey
Q: Do you also provide training programs to clients? If so, how do you determine the best program for each individual?
A: Absolutely. In my opinion, you can’t provide a diet program without providing the training program. It all goes hand in hand and there is no single element more important than the other. I hear people all the time saying, “It’s 70% diet and 30% training,” or whatever.
I tell everyone the same thing, “If you want to get on stage and look your absolute best, it’s 100% diet and 100% training.”
This is a sport that judges flaws. Per the scorecard, the person with the least number of flaws wins. It’s my job to provide my clients with as many resources as possible to ensure the balance, symmetry and the overall fluidity of their physique is always spot on. After those things are addressed, it all comes down to conditioning.
As a rule, I never take on a client going right into a contest prep phase. I feel one of the most important things an offseason program provides is the opportunity to become very familiar with the client’s body, thus eliminating much of the guesswork that would come into play during the contest phase.
Q: What formula do you use to determine how many macronutrients to give each client?
A: One of my biggest harps on most nutritionists is that they tend to focus too much on the numbers. Let’s face it, the body is designed to maintain homeostasis; the body is not a machine. Essentially, the contest prep phase just turns into a sort of chess match with the body as we bring it down to a point. The key here is how effective your offseason program was. If you did it right, you have far more calories and far less cardio at the beginning of your prep phase.
Oftentimes, I won’t even reduce the calories as we enter the prep phase. All we need to do is clean up the carb sources and slightly increase the cardio and the body will immediately respond. Again, if your body fat is where it should be (8-13%), you shouldn’t need to begin a ketogenic diet and risk losing any more of your hard earned muscle than necessary. This isn’t to say that they won’t ever get low throughout the course of the prep, but low for four weeks and low for 12 are two totally different animals.
Another crucial factor is communication with the client. In a sense, their ability to articulate to me how they’re feeling throughout the day will dictate my ability to make the proper adjustments to their program. Every Monday and Thursday my clients send me a detailed update telling me how well they’re sleeping, how their energy is throughout the day, how their appetite is, how their strength is during the workout, what kind of pump they got, how long did the pump last, etc.
All these things tell you a lot about what’s really going on with their body and it’s important that we pay attention to them. Now, that’s not to say that if someone tells me they’re having horrible sugar cravings at night that I’m going to just give them extra carbs at night. It is understood in this sport that there’s a certain level of discomfort that goes hand in hand with stepping on stage looking your best. In this case they might get a text back from me saying, “Suck it up!”
Q: Do you have clients manipulate water prior to getting onstage? If so, how?
A: If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a person look absolutely amazing three days before their show, only to completely F-up their physique because they failed to properly manipulate their water, I’d be a rich man.
The muscles are around 70% water, so it only stands to reason that your ability to achieve that crisp, dry look will be dictated by your ability to keep as much water in the muscle while eliminating as much sub-q water as possible. It really all comes down to my ability to see what’s happening, understand why and then make the necessary adjustments to water, minerals, carbohydrates and fats. Not only is it different for each person, it’s different for each person from show to show.
The level of water manipulation is all across the board. This also goes hand in hand with sodium manipulation. I like to keep sodium fairly high throughout the prep then cut it somewhere around three days out. This helps keep the strength up and allows for a better pump during workouts. Few things are as frustrating as being in prep phase and unable to get a pump while training. For some people, water in is water out and if they’re not holding any the day before the show and are already peeled and shredded, there’s no way I’m cutting their water.
Dave Candy at Nationals in 2007 was a perfect example of that. He weighed in at 143 (bantamweight) on Thursday night and stepped on stage Saturday at 156 and looked amazing. He drank two gallons a day on both Friday and Saturday. He probably asked me half a dozen times if I wanted him to back off his fluid intake. When he stepped on stage for the overall he was bigger than the lightweight. If I had cut his water I would have totally messed it all up. On the other hand, I have some clients that need to gradually begin reducing their fluid intake on a Tuesday before a Saturday show.
Q: What is the best way for potential clients to reach you?
A: Our website, sizeandshapefitness.com, or find us on Facebook.
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