Training

Interview with personal trainer Keith Diedrich

With almost 10 years experience as a personal trainer, Keith Diedrich is the expert you want to talk to if you’re looking to either lose weight or build muscle. Over the past years, Keith has worked for a number of large gym chains including Gold’s Gym and LA Fitness, where he has advised hundreds of people with all kinds of goals.

Get to know Keith’s views across different topics on training and nutrition.


1. When did you start training?

I started pumping iron with my dad in our basement at the age of 14.

2. Why did you decide to get into the fitness industry?

Fitness has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager & I thought that there would be nothing cooler than doing what you love for a living & positively impacting a person’s life at the same time!

3. How many times a week do you train on average?

6 days per week.

4. What would you recommend for the best way to diet/ cut?

I like the slow and steady approach of losing 0.5-1lb. of fat per week. This way I think you’re able to preserve more muscle, maintain a good metabolic rate, putting yourself in a position to keep the weight off when you complete the cutting phase.

5. What’s the best exercise to substitute in for squats?

Deadlifts.

6. What pre workout supplements do you take to boost performance?

I can’t consume caffeine, so I don’t take anything prior to a workout except for a solid food meal usually consisting of 45g protein, 100g carbs, & 5-10g of fat about 90-120 minutes prior to the workout.

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7. What do you find is the quickest way of recovering from muscle strain?

Active rest—staying mobile & keeping blood in the muscle while not doing anything that causes discomfort.

8. What supplements do you recommend for strength training?

Protein powder, BCAA’s, Multi-vitamin, Fish oil, Vitamin D3, Creatine, Glutamine.

9. What are your best tips for lower abs definition?

Squat, Deadlift, sprint, & get lean..ab definition is a product of having a low bodyfat percentage and the aforementioned exercises are the best way that I know of to drop fat & build muscle .

10. Do you advise carb cycling to build muscle and lose fat?

I find that carb intake should reflect your activity level for the day. You should consume more carbs on a heavy leg day than a low intensity cardio day.

11. With regards to diet, what approach have you found to be most effective?

There are many different approaches to dieting but once again, slow and steady wins the race..do not slash calories too quickly or add in too many calories at once.

12. Is it better to split train or whole body train for hypertrophy?

My opinion is a 4 day strength training split tends to work best for the natural trainee.

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13. How often should you train abs?

I think if a person is squatting, deadlifting, & overhead pressing on a regular basis then your abs are constantly being engaged, so a direct ab work would not be at the top of my priority list.

14. Any advice on limiting the effects of cardio on muscle gains?

Be mindful of the intensity at which you’re doing your steady state cardio & be sure to have some kind of interval training cardio component in your exercise program.

15. What is your favourite cheat meal?

Either a Cali burrito or pepperoni pizza!

16. What would be your top tip for a beginner who wanted to pursue a career in……..?

I would advise anyone, regardless of the career choice, to be sure that you fully believe in and are passionate about it .

17. What is your favourite leg exercise?

Front Squats.

18. Do you prefer to train in the morning or in the evening?

Usually mid-afternoon, like 2 or 3pm seems to work best for me.

19. What are your thoughts on fat burners?

I think they can be okay to turn to if the person is at a sticking point & has exhausted every other avenue to bust through it.

20. How much importance do you place on counting your macros?

Tremendously important.

21. If you could train with anyone past or present, who would it be?

Dorian Yates.

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22. Tell us about yourself and your training speciality.

Well, I arrived in San Diego 3 years ago, after spending 27 years in the frozen tundra of Chicago, IL. I graduated with a B.S. in exercise physiology in 2006 & since then have been personal training full-time. I work for myself & am a mobile trainer, meaning I travel to a person’s home to train them or transport my own equipment to a park or beach & train there.

Most of my clientele is intermediate to advanced in their fitness level & most have been working with me for a considerable amount of time (3+ years). Muscle building, or hypertrophy would be my specialty if I had to name just one thing.

22. The USA is renowned for its innovative training methods. Which do you rate? Are there any which you’re sceptical of, or regard as gimmicky.

There are new gimmicks that surface all the time in the fitness industry. I am a believer that you can’t reinvent the wheel & the stuff that delivered results 50 years ago is most likely still the same today. I will say that I like the direction that it is moving with regards to cross training.

Not to say that I love Crossfit but I like the concept of being well rounded in terms of your fitness capabilities for most people with the exception of people who have a specific goal such as a competitive powerlifter or bodybuilder.

23. Do you have any advice for a beginner looking to enter the training space, and improve their fitness or physique?

Read as much as you can, learn through trial & error. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions & have someone more experienced than you show you the ropes.

24. Do you advocate the use of supplements?

Absolutely. Nutritional supplements have been a component of my health & fitness regimen for 16 years. It is next to impossible to give your body all of what it needs through food alone.

I can honestly say that the Impact Whey by MyProtein is one of the best protein powders I’ve tried. It mixes great, digests well, tastes phenomenal (even with just water), & is cost-effective!



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Writer and expert

Qualified Nutritionist and Personal trainer.


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