Lada Plihalova - Diet and Training

My name is Lada Plihalova, I am European athlete and my last successful contests were: 2009 World championship in figure 4th place, 2010 World champion in raw bench press, 2011 European cup winner, World championship in bodybuilding 5th place, Universe 2nd place and NPC Pacific USA champion.

In 2012 I tried a new class – women physique class – I placed 5th on NPC and 8th on San Diego championship and I would like to continue this way. My diet always reflected the main goal in sport, what mean it changed not only year to year how I gained experience but also according the class I was actually preparing for.

Lada Plihalova

First of all I was preparing on carb cycling. I have to say it is a main (if not the only one) contest diet standard in my country, so when I started as a teenager, carb cycling was what my coach learned me as a way. However this was not successful way for me, as I have thyroid gland problems and my body does not work well with carbs. Anyway I did not know that and for years coaches here told me I am not gifted for the sport, because I was not been able to prepare well on carbs. I was still soft and not ripped enough.

Classical carb cycling has to meet two requirements. First of all you have to start on high maximum from the offseason. If you are not able to be above 200g of carbs offseason you will probably get to zero carb days too soon. Second is in type of cycling used here there was just one or two low carb days in a row, followed by one or two high to moderate carb days. For people like me, who tend to keep glucoses level high for more days this is not very good scheme. Carb cycling may work well for those having good carb management and faster metabolism. Girls like that may damage their metabolism on low carb diets – anyway it was not my case. I had problems with carb cycling.

After years I found out low carb but moderate to high fat kinds of diets – keto diets etc. and I finally found out what is working for me. My main goal all the time was to keep quality during the offseason while increasing muscle mass… That was in times when I used to be a bodybuilder. Anyway for me to make both was very hard to do – as the thyroid issues always pushed me backward. I always had to have longer diet – 30-40 weeks – as the thyroid caused the body react way slower. So I always had to have at least 4-5 low carb days in a row (not more than 50g/day), with good amount of FAT (healthy fat off course) and than one day on high carbs and low fat. Not more.
This scheme worked good for me. The closer to the show – the longer was the time without carbs (0g/day) and the longer was the whole time. So I usually ended up on 3 zero carb days, 3 low carb days and one high carb day. As the diet was so long in fact I had only few weeks off all the “healthy” foods and I went back to this (just with shortened days). It made me not to gain a lot fat offseason…. Also this works for thyroid damaged people…. I would NOT suggest this to others as for others the best in offseason is to cut the cardio down and add some more carbs, while when having bad thyroid you have to stay on low carbs, and lowering down the cardio slowly, and than slowly, VERY SLOWLY add carbs on – to avoid the rebound, because with thyroid problems the adaptation of your body is slower… I did the mistake in 2010 when after great season I cut all the cardio and added carbs faster than needed what caused the metabolic set-back.

However the push toward the quality + mass made me to think what is healthy for me – so I decided to switch to new WPD (Women's Physique Division). In WPD I do not need to gain mass together with the quality so I may focus on the offseason more. I stayed on keto- the whole year round last year, I just add not-diet food to my weekend reefed and upped up carbs to 1000g/day. It worked better and I was able to prepare in less weeks than before. Again – all is valid for me, as I have combined thyroid – adrenal problems.

My diet always reflects my training schedule. In fact I work with small “supercompensations” as I am on low carbs in training days and high carbs in off-days (together with less proteins and no fat). That means when I started I usually went 4+1 and I had 4 low days, 1 moderate, 4 low, 1 high carb day. Than I upped up training to 5+1 and I had 5 low and 1high day and finally I ended up on 6+1… I always start to add cardio from 30minutes/day and raising it each couple of days 5-10 minutes more. Than – when I am already on 45 minutes I start to add second phase. Again 30 minutes. First cardio is in the morning before the breakfast, second in the evening after the last meal.

As I have problems with thyroid the most problematic is also to set all supplements and medicine right. I would say to people having such issues to discuss all with their doctor and be not afraid to ask about change of the medicine if they have a feeling it is not working well… I had to try three types of medicine to find the one working for me and than set the right dosage. I would not recommend taking supps until this all is done, as they may produce false results.

Anyway than – when I had all this set, I found out as very good supplement guggulsterones (gugul) – natural herbal blend (despite the name) which increase the T4 to T3 conversion very well. For me this is the basic one. I had also good result with yohimbine – mainly in last days when I needed to get rid of stubborn fat. I never over-used supplements either – and another basic one for me is BCAAs and glutamine after training I use instead protein (which always made me to feel full, except Isolyze protein from Species). Using this instead protein also lower down your caloric intake and make gains clearer, so to “hard-leaner’s” (LOL) I would suggest to switch to amino and glutamine the whole year around.

If you want to know more about me visit me on page: or on my online coaching sites I have also a blog about the sport I love, including many tips and diet / training secrets not only for competitors, but for all –

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