COACH columnist

Nutritionist Justin Harris and elitefts CEO Dave Tate met not long after Dave retired from powerlifting. During that time Dave was going through something he calls a “meathead identity crisis” and he needed something to do — a challenge.

Dave and Justin talked about a trend they saw in bodybuilding: after a bodybuilder turned pro, they would gain 15 to 20 pounds within a year. For any powerlifters out there, that’s pretty much the equivalent of getting an elite total and within the next year, putting 40 percent of that elite total.

Considering that these bodybuilders had just turned pro, Dave threw drugs off the list of possible causes of this weight gain. Rather than explain why that happened, Justin thought it’d be easier to show Dave how that occurred with a diet plan.

And so together, they came up with a diet plan, which Dave recalls as becoming a robot because everything was regulated and regimented.

“I can remember not going to Columbus because I didn’t want to pack a cooler, and it would take me too long to get there and back before my next meal. Under a certain body fat percentage — and I remember this because I dieted down four or five times — once I got under eight percent calipered, my brain quit working... well, it would work after I ate for a half-hour, then I would stare at a wall for an hour and a half.”

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