Sports Nutrition Fact vs Fiction


Hi guys it’s India from India Jackson artistry your favorite photographer and I am here with an amazing health and fitness coach that I met at an OCB event actually, which is one of my favorite leagues to shoot for. They do everything from Women’s Bikini to Men’s Bodybuilding competitions, it’s drug tested and it’s natural.

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India – So tell me a little about yourself, who are you what do you do?

BH-      Okay, so I’m Barbarian Hak and I am a sports nutritionist, master trainer, strength and conditioning coach, youth fitness coach, metabolic coach I have a lot of certifications in (different) backgrounds and genres. I work with lifestyle clients, professional and semi- pro athletes anywhere from (leagues like) OCB, IFPA to MMA fighters, baseball players, football players etc.

India   Awesome, awesome! I remember when we first met, I saw your credentials and being like I’m seeing certifications that I’ve never seen before. What made you get into health and fitness?

BH       What got me into health and fitness? Technically I’ve always been into it. I’m a minister of health, I’m actually Native American so, it was more so being able to give back to people. I was working with people also doing other things – I was in the music industry for a little while- while I was doing that I was also getting people ready for fights and shows and body transformations and I got to the point where I was like you know there is a lot of myths out there about certain things. I felt like I had certain ques that I know, like… I can see someone’s body and I feed them, and I can see the body react to the food. I just decided I wanted to work with more people. And just helping them being able to be healthy all year round. Not just for the summer 6 pack and they’re fat for 9 months (laughter)

India   (laughter) I’ve seen that, that’s a thing in the fitness industry. You said that you are Native American, I know one of the things we bonded over is the fact that you offer nutrition plans for people who are vegan and vegetarian, and your also vegetarian yourself, correct?

BH       I am not vegetarian. I am what I call plant based but, the average person would call me vegan. I don’t consume any animal products, but I also don’t consume certain hybrid foods. I don’t consume hybrid vegetables or fruits. So, for me I eat electrical foods, things that were created by nature or the creator. Yes, I am Native American I’m Cherokee, Taino and Arawak.

India   Interesting! So, I know my audience may not be aware of what electrical foods are, I actually am but would you give me a brief synopsis of what that is?

BH       Electrical foods – Foods that were created by the creator, whatever it is that the individual wants to put a name on (name for creator). Things that were created by nature so things that are seen in nature – so you can actually go in the wild and see it there. Not because man put it there but because it is naturally there. Another thing is electrical foods are high in alkalinity value. Some of them may be… how can I put it? There are certain citrus fruits that you can consume that are very acidic, but they have an alkalizing property like lemons and key limes. Long story short it’s foods that has energy already in it. Therefore, when you consume it your body utilizes it as more energy and creates more electricity in the body.

India   Interesting, I know that I tend to go down the rabbit hole with education on certain things and one of the things I found so shocking that made me start researching an alkaline diet and hybrid foods was not even being aware that the modern day carrot, that we’ve all been told is so healthy for you, is actually a hybrid food. Doesn’t naturally occur in nature. I know that a lot of my audience listening do bodybuilding competitions, or they aspire to do one, or they’re power lifters or they’re fitness enthusiast and it’s very much about the aesthetic or about strength. Since you do coach people who are into that type of thing and you have several pro’s under your belt for someone who is just getting started or is looking to switch who they’re working with currently since it is a New Year and people are looking to switch it up, what are 3 things that you would suggest that they look for? Specifically in looking for a nutritionist?

BH       3 things. You want to make sure that the individual is a nutritionist and knows the difference of pairing foods up so that they can have a thermogenic effect. I may be giving out some secrets, but I have too many so this one ain’t going really to help any. Then the next thing you want to do (think about) is the relationship between you and that individual (nutritionist). Do you see yourself having a relationship, not a one on one (romantic) relationship - more so are they concerned? Like for me with my clients I check on them all the time I just want to know that they’re okay. I’m not asking did you eat my goal is how do you feel? And my last one is, is it a good fit for you? Do you like meal plans? Do you like macros? Do you like cups and measuring your food? Do you like using your fist – some people use their fist. A handful of this, a fist of this, two fists of that. So, if it fits with what you want that should be the person for you.

India   That makes sense. I want to double back a little bit on one of the things that you said that is important to me to have some clarity for my audience. Making sure that they’re a nutritionist could you dive a little bit deeper into that because I’m finding that there are lot of people in the industry that are putting out nutrition plans, but they’re not certified in nutrition. What do you feel like is the big difference in that education and some things that you’ve learned along the way?

BH       Some of the things you learn in the book is making sure that you know the difference between your complex carbohydrates and then in the book they have something called your super complex carbohydrates and then your simple carbohydrates. Knowing when and where to put them, how to pair them some of these things the book says one thing but that’s a cookie cutter approach and I’m not cookie cutter. For me each individual gets individual attention. If someone came to me and said “Hey, I want you to be my nutritionist and create me a nutrition plan” I need 24 hours to review the persons file. I need to make sure that I know your medical history. There’s a lot to what I do personally and hence the reason why I get the results that we do get. I pay a lot of attention to detail. I’ve also found out over the years each individual has their own metabolic rate, their own way of processing. Some people like white rice and some people cannot digest it properly. Those are some of the things that I’ve learned over the years; really paying attention. The one thing that I have, and there’s other people have it too, that I notice that I did not get from the books and from studying is the fact that I have the eye. The eye of looking at the body and saying okay I fed them this and their body reacted like this, but I want their body to do this. So now you switch those out.

India   That makes sense.

BH       I hope I answered that right

India   Yes you did! And then from a more technical standpoint, specifically what would I be looking for if I were to interview a nutritionist to make sure they are actually certified? How could I check that?

BH       Well you can ask them for their certification, there are many different places an individual can get certified at. First you want to do one of the most simple things and check their IG account or their Facebook. If they’re not certified they won't post it. And if they did post it and you're interested in seeing it, then ask them. Another thing you can do is look at the results that the clients have gotten. Look at if it works because just because a person says “Hey I’m a nutritionist” – I know dieticians and nutritionist that don’t take the approaches that I take. I had a conversation with a dietician one time and their like “Yeah, if this individual doesn’t lose weight then I gotta subtract 500 calories” and I’m like yeah, hmmmm that sounds like add subtract that sounds like basic math. Where I’ll take a different approach and mine will be more like an algebra equation. I’m like okay well I’ll drop this macronutrient and bring this one up a little bit and kind of look at the different hormonal balances that come with that adjustment. Look at their background, look at their before and after pictures their results. Ask them one simple question; because just cause you may have gotten the results doesn’t mean that your really good just means that it happened. Ask the main question, the one that I like is what do you do after your done and your body looks the way that you want it?

India   So speaking of that, that brings me to looking at what I feel like is the where are they now? One of the things that I look for that I wanted your take on is do you think that it’s easier to get the results with someone that’s new to fitness or new to their weight loss journey versus being able to sustain that over time of you don’t necessarily know what you’re doing nutrition wise? I’ve seen people get results but then afterwards their clients blow up like a house and they are bigger than they’ve ever been.

BH       That’s because they don’t have a proper game plan. I’m not here to bad mouth people, to each their own, but in every state there is always going to be that one individual that can get someone in shape and then okay shows over and then oh yes you you’re the next one and then forgets about that individual (the first) client. That’s why for me personally I have a handful and I select who I want to work with. For me my only thing is I want the results, probably more than the client themselves. For me I really want to help you get there. So, game plan. That’s what it should be. Some people don’t have the proper game plan. There should be a game plan for getting to the show, while you’re at the show and then what is the game plan after the show. Just to touch on one thing and then we can move on to the next question but for me it’s like the easiest part – now I’m speaking to the competitors – the easiest part is getting to the show. The difficult part is after the show. What are you going to do after the show, so you don’t gain it all back and some? I’ve seen people they step on stage Saturday by Tuesday they’re 20 pounds heavier. Why? I know the answer but that’s for a different time.

India   Interesting. When you have someone and your getting them to the show and they look great and they get their pro card or they win the trophies, what do you feel like is a proper range to lead them into a bodybuilding competition prep state when their on a low calorie deficit? What do you feel like is the range for how long they can do that, and it still be healthy for them long term?

BH       Personally some people think that I’m crazy because when they come to me and say they want to compete it sounds like I‘m convincing them not to compete. It’s only because I want you to know every single downfall and negative side effect before we get to the show. If I tell you everything and you tell me “Hey, I don’t care I’m going to do it” then I know you’re going to do it. I don’t want you to say later “Hey, my hairs falling out” “My period went away” “My (points down) doesn’t work” or “I’m not really feeling (hand gestures) right now” These are things that happen.

India   I am so glad you’re saying that because nobody talks about it!

BH       Alright so I’ll be the one to talk about it! Yes, these things happen there are side effects when getting into prep. There are things, you can lose your period, your hair will fall out. For men you won’t get an erection, or you may not have an appetite for relationships but only an appetite for food. So, a naked lady, for the guys, will bring you food. You won’t look at her you will look at the food.

India (Laughing)

BH       Vice versa the same things happen. I may have gone off on a tangent repeat that question one more time…

India   But it’s necessary because nobody talks about the negative side effects but bringing it back to the question, how long do you think it was a normal range to have someone in a calorie deficit and under the strenuous activity of prepping for a show before it becomes unhealthy?

BH       Okay prepping for a show… now if your doing multiple shows a year that’s kind of iffy because that’s unhealthy. Let’s be real and let’s get to what India is talking about being unhealthy. Just because you’ve lost 30 pounds and you stepped on a stage, but you’re not ripped or lean enough to be that pro level conditioning – we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about these people who get LEAN and SHREDDED that is unhealthy. That is a body fat percentage that is unhealthy. That is just something we like to do, it is what it is. We like to get like that, that’s what we do, we compete. You should not be in a deficit for a very long time. It’s kind of difficult for me to really answer this question because each individual is different. Somebody may be lean already and I just have to get them shredded or peeled enough to get to the stage. If someone says I want to do a show in February one in July, one in August, one in December I’m going to say nah, that’s not going to work. Me personally because I care about your health. I’m going to tell you either your going to get that a little bit closer or we’re going to pick 1 or 2 shows and then go into off-season. Most clients don’t leave me when their done with the shows because I have the plan. I have the plan to go to the show, I have the plan while we’re there and I have the plan after. Depending on whatever weak point they want to bring up that’s going to be part of our after (after the show) plan. My main goal is to get your metabolic rate back to normal and get you feeling like a woman again and feeling like a man again. And then we can talk about another show.

India   Yeah, makes complete sense. What do you feel like some of the warning signs are to look out for my part of the audience that have already done shows or their currently in prep or they’ve been in prep for a while that say hey maybe I need to stop competing for a little bit?

BH       If the show is over and you’re still in poverty macros.

India   Ok! Wow that’s a big one, I think that’s going to be a game changer for people listening to this. That might be the norm for many coaches.

BH       Not for me. You shouldn’t be in poverty macros for the rest of your life. You get to the show and then after the show there’s things we need to do. And things we need to kind of fix and get back to normal. One of them is a psychological thing. What I like to do is have these conversations with my competitors. As we get away from the show we talk a lot more just because you were really really lean. Shredded and diced. You looked phenomenal on stage and everybody was rooting for you, they loved you. But guess what? You can’t look like that the rest of your life. So psychologically you have to understand that I need to put a little more body fat back on. Not a lot, but just enough to get your hormonal balance back. If you’ve been in poverty macros as if you were doing multiple show a year – naturally- I don’t deal with people who are taking drugs. The organizations that we both know they’re natural, they’re drug tested. A person who is not taking androgens - not taking drugs you want to safely reverse out and get back to normal.

India   So speaking of the unicorn that people talk about, that I have yet to personally see in my life, reverse diets! Apparently, the majority of the athletes that I’ve talked to don’t even know a reverse diet exist. Can you shed a little bit of light on what that is and what’s the importance of it?

BH       I don’t call it a reverse diet per se, but the average person will see it that way. For me once you get to the show and you done reversing out it should take us time. I’m not going to tell you how much time because then I’ll be helping some other coaches try to figure some things out and that’s not what I’m going to do (laughing) but, there’s specific time that you need to ease back away from it. You need to get your metabolism back revved up, it needs to get back to being where it is (normally). You want to get a new set point. Your body likes to adapt and it’s going to create new set points. Some people see it is a “plateau” I call it a sticking point. Your body may slow down, and you have to make adjustments along the way to get back on track. I can’t give you a certain timeframe because I may have someone who’s never completed before and their timeframe will be different from someone who’s been competing all year. In my opinion if you’ve been competing for a whole year, you need a break. One year of a break!

India   (Laughing, points at self)

BH       You may not like it, but your body will thank you later!

India   Yeah!

BH       Or you’ll be very lonely

India   You’ll have like no life, can’t eat out with friends and things…

BH       Or your husband or wife may not like you anymore because (shakes head up and down)

India   Yeah, you’re not very nice and the hormones…

BH       Or things are not working!

India   Speaking of that, not to scare people, but what are some of the other side effects if you don’t properly go through easing out of your competition diet? Not to scare people but they need to be aware of what they’re getting themselves into.

BH       Alright look, lets do it like this, everything that we’re speaking about right now it’s not to scare you. But it may sound scary because you may be in this predicament yourself. Or you may be wanting to do a show and you think “Aww man I gotta have a game plan” basically what it is if you have a game plan to do something have a game plan after. Ask me that question in a different way so I can answer it directly.

India   (Laughing) What is going to happen to my body if I’ve been in prep for a year and I didn’t reverse diet? What are the things to be concerned about? What’s the negative side effects I can go through, why is this important to me?

BH       Okay so for you as an individual, your period will start going away. So now your hormones are out of wack now your body is prone. Your body thinks its in a famine state, it thinks it’s starving. So now if you were to go off track by accident or eat a little bit of something (off the plan) your body will now start hoarding fat. Hence the reason why some people will step on stage and they look phenomenal and a week later their fat.

India   Makes sense.

BH       You didn’t tell the body I’m feeding you on purpose like this. The body cares nothing about esthetics. It wants to live. It wants your brain to function, your liver to function, your organs to function. Although we have 3 macronutrients, most people don’t understand the 3 macronutrients affect the body differently. One is a hormonal imbalance, one is for the brain, one is for blood sugar, certain things that you need to know.

India   Interesting! Well I would love to dive deeper on another call with you in the future with my audience so, if you guys have any other questions for him please message or leave a comment. That way we can use that as material for our next chat. I personally want to talk to you a little bit more about alkaline diet and for my audience that listening to me know that I’m plant based as well – and that I try to stay more towards a vegetarian diet and figuring out the differences with that. Being someone who’s putting people into shows that don’t eat meat is kind of an anomaly these days.

BH       Yeah, some people think that you can’t do it based on eating a plant-based diet. You can, you just really need to know what your doing. The average nutritionist doesn’t specialize in that field. They don’t live it themselves. Although I have clients that are meat eaters and non-meat eaters, pescatarians and vegetarians what makes me versatile is I eat plants I know the reaction and what they do – I’ve been dealing with people who eat meat for years, so I know how to feed them too. When you eat acidic foods, it builds up mucus in the body. And the mucus it builds up in the body tends to like disease. This is when your body is not at ease. Let’s take the word dis-ease = not at ease. If your body’s at ease, then you’ll be eating those alkaline foods. I’m not going to say it’s going to cure your sickness, but it will prevent you from getting sicker because your immune system and antioxidants will be high.

India   Very, very informative. Anything else you want to say, or you would want our audience to know?

BH       Well, don’t be afraid to try plant-based foods. I have people that come in and say “Hey, I want transitioning plans” so I’ll do that. Don’t be afraid to try in some plant-based foods, don’t be afraid to add in more veggies. For my competitors out there get with somebody that cares about you. Cares about your long term and not just today and the show.

India   I agree with you 100% on those statements. Alright well, let our viewers know where they can find you online, that way if they want to check you out see some of your work, see some of you clients they can do that.

BH       Sure, I’m new to IG but I’m on there! My IG account is @barbarianhak. You can also email me at Umm yeah, like my stuff, subscribe. I am not a person who cares about me, so on our page its not about me it’s about the athletes – whichever athletes say you can post my photos. For me when I work with somebody confidentiality is key so what you tell me no one else knows. I post a lot of foods so if you want to check out my IG you can see different plant-based foods sometimes I add the macros to it, sometimes I don’t. There are a lot more pros I haven’t posted because they told me to keep it confidential so, I do that.

India   Well guys I’ll warn you if you look at his page on Instagram you might get hungry so definitely do it while you’re eating!

BH       Please do!

India   That you so much for your time, and I look forward to getting to chat with you again

BH       No problem!


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