Now On Stage: Kevin Myles
Diet Guru of The Week!
Name: Kevin Myles
Date of birth: 5/10/59
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Career: Personal Trainer, Training and Nutritional Consultant, Teaches fitness and weight management classes (Bodysport University), Author of The Diet That Works, Editor/Owner-Bodysport.com, former manager Gold’s Gym. Over 30 years working in the fitness industry.
Sports background: Baseball, basketball, football, martial arts, bodybuilding
What do you like best about being a diet coach? Getting to work with extremely talented and driven athletes. I love the team work involved, taking what I know and combining it with what my client knows and what talents they have to bring about their best. I’ve been blessed to have been around quite a few knowledgeable people and have seen/learned firsthand a lot of things having spent 6 years working in a high level supplement store and 8 years managing a Gold’s Gym that housed over 40 competitors including a number of pro’s.
4th place Natural Northern Ca., 3rd Place Natural Western USA (lost to Skip LaCour! J) I actually was a contest judge before I competed which gave me a good perspective when it was time to get onstage. Haven’t officially retired yet. :)
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.)? It really depends on the person but the short answer is both. There is something to be gained from each. The metabolic effect of HIIT is great but if the training is already intense sometimes it’s a good balance to have a fair amount of steady state in the program as well. It’s really based on what a particular person needs.
How do you diet your clients? Using the carb cycling approach, keto? Again, it really depends on the client. There is no one set formula. Basically you assess where they are then implement the right training and nutrition program to keep them progressing at an ideal rate. Some people respond better to one method than another. I don’t believe in excessively low calories or high amounts of cardio. I believe that the body will only change so fast and only lose body fat so fast and to try and push beyond this may only be a short term solution that can create long term problems. I believe in starting them off gradually with the right amount of training and nutrition to get them moving at an ideal pace. Then it’s about adjusting the right variables as their body changes to keep them progressing.
What is your protocol for filling out days prior to stepping onstage? The most important thing is not flattening them out so much that they can’t recover. Not everyone needs to be depleted and loaded. Since I work mostly with figure and bikini girls, simply allowing them a few days rest and adequate nutrition will often do the job. For my bodybuilder clients, we will be trying to maximize their look so a controlled carb reduction and reimplementation may be in order. But you don’t have to eliminate all carbs then go crazy on trying to force feed them the last few days to get the desired result. Again the body will only change so fast and since I don’t believe in chemicals there needs to be a reasonable approach. If you deplete for 3 days then you load for 3 days, etc. But often people can destroy what they worked so hard for. I’ve seen people lose two years worth of gains in the last 2 weeks simply because they didn’t know what they were doing and/or understand how their body worked. Dorian said it best, Bodybuilders get to that last days before a show and they can do something that will make them look 2 percent better or 20 percent worse. 9 times out of 10 they wind up looking 20 percent worse. When I was at Gold’s Gym I got to learn from other’s mistakes as I saw what they went through and heard their assessment after the fact. Mistakes are great teachers, the key is not repeating the same ones over and over, whether they were your mistakes or someone else’s.
What is the most challenging aspect of dieting clients? I’d have to say working with a first time competitor. You’re searching for their best weight, best look, and best body comp. It’s an unknown that first time and it’s going to be a learning process even if they wind up winning which I’ve had happen. It’s gets easier each time you work with the same person as you know their body better as well as their mentality and together you can make adjustments and keep them improving.
What supplements do you recommend the most to your clients? A good vitamin and mineral for nutritional insurance, a quality protein powder or MRP, L-glutamine when dieting down, pre, post, and during workout products if they are open to them and some healthy fat sources high in omega 3’s. Fat burners I’m not opposed to if they want to use them but I’d prefer they save them until the last say 6 weeks and focus on getting the diet, training and metabolic activation right first.
What is the oddest question you have ever been asked by a client? I was asked once by a competitor if it was OK for her to still have sex those last few days before the show. That’s definitely more power than I want have over someone’s life. :)
Do you also provide training programs to clients? If so, how do you determine the best program for each individual? It would be completely ridiculous to me to do a diet, especially a contest prep program without an accompanying appropriate workout program. The two go hand in hand. Being ready for the stage isn’t just about being as lean as possible, but is about having the best physique you can. The training methodology is a huge part of this. In addition, the way someone trains will also greatly affect their metabolic rate and therefore their fat loss results plus their overall balance and shape and ability to build/keep muscle. Rest periods, rep ranges, exercise selection, repetition speed, cardio amounts and intensity, etc. are all a part of the program to be combined with nutritional changes in order to maximize results.
What formula do you use to determine how many macro nutrients to give each client? The only formula to use is how they are progressing. To pre-determine a protocol assumes that everyone will respond the same way. The body will tell you what it needs and doesn’t need if you are willing to listen. Based on how someone is or isn’t progressing you make the necessary adjustments. It’s that simple. The difficult part is that it takes very good ongoing communication. If you are not in constant contact with your client and are not able to get regular feedback and then properly interpret it, then you simply will not be able to help them.
Do you have clients manipulate water prior to getting onstage? If so how? There are a lot of things people do simply because someone else did it before them and apparently had success. Many things that people do in this sport are done for reasons that are not disclosed to those who try to follow in their footsteps. A number of those things are quite dangerous. Water manipulation is one of them. There have been more than a few deaths in physique sports and countless near deaths and trips to the emergency room because someone did not know what they were doing or did something either completely unnecessary or to the extreme. As such I don’t reduce to any large degree anyone’s water intake and use simple nutrition and rest methods to help them look their best. If we discover that they have problems in that area then we can be a bit more proactive in their nutrition to try to prevent or solve the issue. But to do something like that as a matter of course simply as a standard practice would be irresponsible. I would much rather be fired as someone’s coach because they held a little subcutaneous water than have to explain to their family why they are on the way to the hospital.