The Problem with Free Online “Cutting Programs”

September 1, 2015

I came across an article on bodybuilding.com focusing on a competitor’s cutting program, going over her nutrition, workouts, etc. Let me be clear that I am not bashing bodybuilding.com or this competitor AT ALL, I love the website and it has amazing information. This is simply an example to get my point across.

There is nothing wrong with sharing this information, of course, however it gave the exact things she ate, as well as the exact calories and macros. I then scrolled down and saw someone comment “how long do I follow this eating plan??” That is when a red flag popped up.

People see fitness models, competitors, or anyone on social media that has their “ideal physique” and tries to look up how to achieve that body. The thing is, trying to achieve someones body will not happen. YOU have your OWN body. If your goal is to look like “x, y, or z,” then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your goals and get realistic. A smarter goal would be to get YOUR BEST physique. Now, looking up to these competitors is a wonderful source of motivation. Trust me, I follow like 29340829034192391239 of them on social media. Ok, that may be excessive, but you get the point 😉

The problem with highlighting these competitors and models and showing the exact calories and macros is exactly what I stated before – people think they can follow the same exact plan and make progress and get the same body. IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE THAT.

This specific “meal plan” called for: Total Calories: 1776   |  Fat: 36g  |  Carbs: 153g  |  Protein: 215g .

First thing is first, she is cutting for a fitness competition. Competing is no joke. You should not be following someone else calories and macros, even when they are not trying to compete, but especially if they are. They are cutting to get to a level of leanness that is not easily maintained, and should not be maintained forever. Not only that, but I’m sure she will not stay at this calorie/macro range her entire competition prep. The body is very adaptive, and you constantly have to make changes once you are not seeing results anymore.

Second of all, what works for her will not work for you. You do not have the same exact amount of muscle, body fat percentage, energy expenditure, metabolism, weight, height, genetics, etc. It doesn’t matter if you were “similar”, you are not her. I always see people saying “you have a similar body type as I do, what do you do, etc.” Similar body types are still not the same exact thing. Unless you are a clone of someone, you will not react the same way as the other person.

Another example is her macronutrient ratio. I won’t even give out scale weights as an example, but 215 g of protein is pretty high for the average person. I weigh a similar amount as she does, and I would never eat that much protein, in competition prep or not. But again, that is HER body, and HER macros. Obviously she looks incredible, so that is what is working for her, but what works for her does not work for someone else. Do I sound like a broken record? 😉

To sum it all up, take these articles with a grain of salt. Yes, it’s very interesting to see what other people are doing to achieve their goals. I love reading them because heck, I’m human and I’m nosy. However, it’s not meant to showcase for everyone else to follow the same exact program. As for the workouts, I believe that most people can use a general workout plan to achieve results. You typically don’t need anything super extravagant, and following their workouts are fine. But the nutrition is another story, and that should always, always be completely customized and tailored to you, your body, and your fitness goals.

 

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What works for me, will not work for Sarah and vice versa.

 

No specific questions, just thoughts! 🙂

6 Comments
    1. I think that is a big problem with any cookie cutter program. What works for one person, won’t for another…we are all different with different goals and lifestyles. It’s important to get something that is specialized for you (whether it’s a diet program, training program or just life program).

    1. This is wonderful! I love being nosey too, and seeing what others are eating/doing. I love when people post macro numbers alongside food because it’s gives me ideas for future eats. But following someone’s nutrition to the T?! That’s not going to work. 🙂

    1. I enjoy your blogs and your media account. You’re a pretty and intelligent girl. However I politely disagree. I think it is helpful when competitors post macronutrients alongside their workouts. Too many girls/guys believe that in order to compete you MUST hire a trainer. More often than not (like 99%) the trainer does not have a nutrition degree nor are they a dietician and should not be advising individuals on how many calories and macros to eat. The beauty of websites like bodybuilding.com is that they are accessible to the average person and free. Personally I thought those macros were pretty generous for a cutting program. Following it wouldn’t really harm someone…they’d quickly realize that too much protein makes you constipated. LOL! I think it’s assummed when a person read an article on fitness or nutrition that it isn’t for everyone and following someone’s free program is no worse than having some random “instatrainer” on social media sell you a cookie cutter macro plan that was given to them by a previous trainer and tell you it is “customized”. Anyway, I’m sorry for the long comment but I admire social media accounts that share their entire prep plans, macros, workouts, height/weight. Jamie Eason fit trainer is basically doing the same thing. I find it far more refreshing than the instagrammers who have competed in 1 bodybuilding event and then begin to “sell” their prep plan to hundreds of naive young girls who look up to them on social media and think that person has the silver bullet and is the guru of dieting.

      1. Oh trust me, I completely agree with you! I think you got the wrong impression. I wasn’t saying it’s bad to share those things, as I share my macros, workouts, etc. and give a ton of free information and I do not think you HAVE to hire a coach at all! I was just saying that following someone else’s exact macros will not work since everyone is different. A lot of people think that if they follow someone else’s plan exactly that they will get the same results, that’s all I was referring to.

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