Client Reviews

I'd heard about Tom through various social channels and I appreciated his no nonsense approach, cutting through a lot of the noise you get in the diet space. But I tried going it alone for quite a while, using what he puts out into the world for free. Though continuing to not really get anywhere. When we started working together Tom had an immediate impact. I was able to get answers to all my questions, get feedback when I needed it and truly understand how to train, perform and still enjoy all the things I wanted to. It was amazing to think I blindly struggled for so long. I ended up losing over 4kg in the time I worked with Tom, but I've continued to lose more since then. For anyone struggling with understanding their diet and actually see the results they want I can't recommend Tom enough.

Luke, Australia

I have never had too much trouble losing weight. But shedding a few kilos while maintaining performance gains from intense training is a whole different kettle of fish. And in this regard, Tom has worked miracles. His approach is at once systematic and empathetic, helping adapt the diet and nutrition to your habits rather than the other way around. Most important, it has proved incredibly successful. I have lost 3-4kg over three months without really feeling like I was depriving myself of food, while improving my performance in absolute terms (not just relative to weight). I cannot recommend Tom’s services enough.

Jan, UK

When I approached Tom it was sort out of a lost hope and desperation. I had lost some Kgs from keto diet. When Is stopped dieting I basically didn’t know what to eat or when to eat. After a couple of sessions with Tom, I noticed that I had more energy while working out and a faster recovery. One major milestone for me is that I dropped almost 5% off my body fat. Tom was always there to assist, provided great tips. Simply he showed me how to live healthier and better. I will always keep getting back to Tom until I reach my goal.

Will, UAE

I originally hired Tom to help me with crag day nutrition as I had fairly low energy and was unable to put in more than two good burns into my project. By the time the season hit, my capacity and energy had increased beyond my wildest expectations. I was also lighter and better recovered for all my sessions. I pestered Tom daily with a ton of nutrition questions as he's a wealth of knowledge and he would always take the time and care to answer everything! I would highly recommend anyone try Tom for a healthy down-to-earth approach that works with your lifestyle. If you're looking for a rigid diet plan with a plethora of cookie cutter recipes this is NOT FOR YOU! If you're looking for a real human that actually cares – look no further.

Craig, Canada

Working with Tom has been absolute joy! Tom taught me healthy strategies to lose fat while training, all the while keeping my energy and performance levels high. My personal approach to nutrition prior to working with Tom had me feeling drained, and my body was prone to injury. Now that the coaching is over, I can safely say that I have the knowledge required to pursue my goals in a healthier and safer manner. I would recommend Tom to anyone, as he is incredibly knowledgeable and indeed has a very useful approach. Thanks Tom! Also, I did end up sending the project!

Brandon, USA

I am a high-performing climber, but I deal with immune and digestive problems. Optimizing for performance always involves trial and error, but perhaps a bit more in my specific case. I consulted with Tom for confirmation that I was on the right path, for education about minutiae related to different foods, and new strategies for performance. I am zeroing in on trying V13 this fall (a new grade for me) and looking forward to putting these strategies to use. Tom is professional, pleasant, and a fantastic listener. He has a seemingly endless source of scientific knowledge, but never fails to keep things practical and grounded. This is essential, since climbing performance does not happen in a lab – it's messy, challenging, and unpredictable. Practical tools are crucial for improving and Tom gets this.

Jesse, USA

Working with Tom was a game changer. Not only did he help me achieve my weight loss and climbing performance goals, he gave me the tools and the essential knowledge needed to attain the same results on my own, in the years to come. As a vegetarian/ vegan climber I was struggling to fuel my days out at the crag, or indeed training at the wall, whilst keeping my weight in check. I enrolled in Tom’s three months program one year ago: his science-based approach was exactly the help I needed to understand nutrition principles as well as implement correct timing and tactics. One year on and I can affirm that I have been climbing stronger and feeling healthier ever since. I can only speak highly of Tom and honestly, the amount of teaching, tools and information he provides is immense. Last but not least, I found him fun to speak with and really enjoyed our video calls. I would highly recommend working with Tom to anyone serious about nutrition and climbing alike!

Albi, Italy

Before I met Tom, I thought I ate pretty well - I was limiting red meat, eating plenty of vegetables - however, working with Tom has massively improved my energy and my climbing has improved too. As background, I am 45, have a busy work and family life, and cruised at around the French 6b, UK E1 grades. My climbing is pretty consistent, training indoors about three times a week, and climbing outdoors (predominantly Trad and Mountaineering) once a month. I decided to work with Tom after putting on a fair bit of weight during lockdown, and feeling tired in most climbing sessions. At our first session, Tom explained to me that I had been limiting the food I ate too much, and this was restricting the amount of energy I could use for training - and it was also limiting the amount of energy I could use for living. Over the next few weeks, we increased the amount I was eating, with a focus on getting more protein in, and fueling my training sessions with more carbohydrates. I was amazed how much more I could eat, and still improve my body composition. As a result of the nutrition plan, I was able to work harder in training sessions, and this has led to me being confident leading 7a, and working higher grades. I was also able to lose around 4kg of body fat over the time working with Tom (reversing all of the lockdown work I had done drinking beer and eating cake), and have a strategy for managing my nutrition for the future.

Harry, UK

I wanted to work with Tom partly to improve my climbing performance, but more fundamentally to take control of my eating habits. I’ve always been something of a chaotic eater, but since I started seriously training for climbing a few years ago, I’ve oscillated between miserable deprivation diets ‘to get my weight down’, and collapsing into (over)eating without any sensible structure. Tom changed everything for me. On the one hand, he got me eating in a way that meant I both lost body fat and gained lean muscle mass, whilst also feeling more energised during exercise, leading to higher quality sessions, and noticeable improvement in my climbing. The Holy Grail of training! But more fundamentally, he taught me how to structure my eating, and how to take control of my diet. I feel like I finally understand what, and crucially when, I should be eating, in order to properly support athletic performance. Like any nutrition plan, Tom’s advice requires discipline and dedication - there are no magic bullets. But for the first time in my life I’m finally exerting informed control over the way I eat. I also feel physically better than I have in a very long time. Thanks to Tom, I now have the knowledge and tools to make permanent positive changes to my diet. I cannot recommend the Useful Coach highly enough!

Paul, UK

People talk of intuitive eating and that your body will tell you what it needs. However we live in a society where food is in abundance and food is for pleasure. And for a while I have been thinking more and more about my nutrition. I know I eat well, mostly eating whole foods but was I eating the right foods for training and recovery? This was my main goal when I contacted Tom, I realised I had no idea if I was eating too much or too little, or whether my nutrition was adequate for optimising my performance in climbing. My nutritional coaching with Tom has been a revelation! I can't thank him enough for his knowledge and experience. He has helped me understand what my body needs for my training and recovery. And for me this was not intuitive!!! My training sessions are consistently better, I feel more recovered and Ive even lost weight. I would highly recommend anyone who wants a better version of themselves to] get some nutritional coaching from Tom. It will change your life for the better!

Veronica, Northern Ireland

'Useful Coach' certainly lives up to his name. Tom Herbert had helped me dial in my nutrition, improve my training recovery and body composition. Thoroughly knowledgable, it was great having him to answer any questions that came up the last few months.

Svaraaj, UK

I think as we've discussed a couple of times on calls now, I feel like I'm finally coming to the realisation that - body composition wise - I'm at that tipping point where to go significantly further would involve quite a bit of effort (both mentally and physically) and given where my life is right now (i.e. young kids, work etc) I just don't think I have the capacity to do it without making sacrifices elsewhere. What I have learnt though is that I can still optimise what I'm eating and increasing protein intake and using carbohydrate strategically around training/climbing certainly seems to be allowing me to do more and I feel like I'm actually getting stronger without actually putting on huge amounts of weight, or at least my recent training benchmarks and redpoint grades on a rope would suggest!

Doug, UK

Working with Tom was fun and interesting experience. Video conversations were enlightening, and personalised. He is not dogmatic. This is so crucial while working with clients from diverse countries and dissimilar cultures. I suggest Tom to everybody, be a vegan, keto, kosher, or omnivorous. I realised that nutrition as a sport- and life-enhancing 'drug' is a low hanging fruit. Tom will lead you through the process of picking this fruit, but you need to trust him. I say this because I see that sometimes climbers are obsessive with rather masochistic nutrition practices.

Strahil, Bulgaria

Before I started with Tom I was trying to fuel my sessions better, but wasn't seeing massive improvements just yet. I won a month with Tom and was initially unsure if I was ready to gain more weight after lockdown had already done some damage. I still told myself to trust the process, no matter how much I was mentally fighting the idea of eating ~700kcals more a day. Tom had me eating more and I started seeing improvements in my lifts! I barely had any aches and DOMs after a big session, and I was hitting PBs every other week. I also broke through a 3 year climbing plateau and felt that this was the strongest I'd ever been. I've learnt so much from Tom, mainly that food is friend not foe. I understand my nutrition needs a lot better now, and am really happy to have had this amount of support from Tom over the last two months. Really excited to use this newfound knowledge to push my climbing and training further. Usefulcoach is extremely useful!

Lauren, UK

"I don't think I have an unhealthy relationship to food. I think I have an unhealthy relationship to my body". This was my answer to one of Tom's questions when we started working together. He could adjust to this information and work with it. Honestly, I think he could adjust to any client no matter what their story is, non-judgmentally, compassionately, professionally. Of course I got told that I need to eat more, like most of the other people. Of course I kind of knew that already, probably like most of the other people. But having this information and actually allowing myself to truly believe it were two different things. As a feminist who strongly supports diversity, body positivity and radical acceptance, it was hard for me to open up and admit I might have double standards when it comes to my own body and well being. I never imagined I would find any professional in the world of nutrition who would understand where I come from and what am I talking about. But hey, this world has Tom now. It was a short but very resourceful time we had together. Even after we finished our coaching relationship he stayed open and helpful. I would say that sometimes words of praise are not enough to do justice. Thank you Tom, and keep on doing what you are doing! Keep on rocking!

Tijana, Netherlands

Working with Tom has been a great experience. He knows everything there is to know about nutrition and his scientific approach is something I especially appreciated. In our lives we are taught how we should eat in a fairly generic way, but I found that my awareness on this subject was low, especially in regards to climbing. Tom helped me understand what a good maintenance intake for my own climbing looks like, as well as an appropriate diet cycle. If before this I had no idea whether I was eating too much, too little, at the wrong time, or the wrong things, now I've learned a great deal more and this is useful, practical knowledge that will stay with me from here on out.

Riccardo, UK

Since working with Tom I have not only begun to understand my relationship with food but also with myself. Having gotten over a fear of under fuelling I've not only been able to climb better and lose weight I haven’t felt like I’m on a diet either. I've now managed to completely change the way I eat and have managed to keep the weight off long term whilst still making improvements. Thanks Tom, life saver!

Alex, UK

Working with Tom gave me insights into my diet and nutrition I had no idea about before. He really helped me to understand the role of macro-nutrient balance, which after a period of self-experimentation, led to being able to maintain stable weight, sleep better and give up on the idea that I needed cardio to maintain energy balance. I have become a stronger climber as a result and I attribute my work with Tom to better understand diet and nutrition as a key component of that improvement.

Ben, USA

I reached out to Tom because I didn’t have a good understanding of how I should be fuelling myself to compensate for my training/climbing. I had a feeling I should be eating more, but I didn’t know where to start, I found literature online is conflicting/confusing/faddy. I worked with Tom for 2 months and the difference in how I feel generally and during/after training/climbing is staggering. In terms of where I started, I was undereating for sure, and I suspect a lot of work I put in went to waste because I didn't give myself what I needed. After working with Tom, I feel better in myself, I recover quicker, my mood is better, I feel switched on, I feel stronger, and I have energy to do more of what I enjoy. Tom took all the mystery out of how to approach nutrition, challenged a lot of my misconceptions about food, and has equipped me with an understanding of how to fuel myself that I can take forward and build on. Tom's wealth of knowledge and understanding is undoubtedly due to an incredible amount of work and time on his part, but there is no ego about it, Tom happily and enthusiastically shares in easy to understand ways, building those around him up. I will genuinely miss our regular chats, I can’t thank Tom enough, or give a high enough recommendation.

Gavin, Ireland

I got everything that I wanted, this 3 months was super knowledgeable for me and definitely has helped me to improve my mentality about food and how to fuel my body. The most amazing part was that dieting with you felt super easy, generally diet always feels hard! I did surprise myself of how easy it was. I’m 100% coming back when my goals change in the future. Thanks a lot for helping me to reach my goals, it’s was a lovely time working together and having you as a knowledgeable tool to help me with my diet.

Gabriel, UK

I came to Tom looking to improve my energy levels and to get the most out of my climbing training. I used to have a 'low gravity day' every now and then and my session quality was widely varying. After working with Tom, all of my climbing days are low gravity days. I have learned to optimize my recovery and energy availability for training. My only regret is that I didn't enroll with him several years ago as I would be on a completely different level in my climbing now. Oh, and I did shed 6kg and 12% body fat in the process as well!

Juha, Finland

Tom is nothing short of an absolute joy to work with. I came to him wanting a healthy way to reduce body fat % in a way that was also easy to stick to. I'd tried extreme diets that always seemed to burn me out after a few weeks. In just 3 months of working with Tom, I’ve managed to reach my body fat goal in a way that feels really easy to maintain. The tools that he's given me are SUPER useful along with all the information he’s provided me has given me a good foundation to take my nutrition into my own hands. I'm terrible at writing reviews and I don’t really know what else to say other than it’s been absolutely great and I would 1000% recommend to anyone looking to step up their nutrition game in an effective and healthy way.

Alex, UK

Regarding diet Tom's methods works great. I have had some background in dieting and also my own approach. However Tom showed me his strategies and also explained why they should work well. What is worth mentioning - these strategies are not only targeted to lose weight. They are ways of being healthy and in good shape with minimal effort. Now I think I am using everything Tom has showed me. Also I am under the impression of tools for tracking and calculating everything - Tom this sheet is gold! What I really like is that Tom offers only things which he tested himself. Thanks to that knowledge goes in pair with practical application. I was part of first learning group [November group coaching program] and I must say - I have not only developed my eating habits or climbing. I have also gained habits which make my life better. From my perspective Tom's coaching is complete bundle for better living. Thank you Tom!

Piotr, Poland

Working with Tom has been an absolute delight. I struggled with fueling my sessions properly and getting adequate recovery and with simple suggestions and minor tweaks from week to week, my energy levels have increased, my sessions are of higher quality and my recovery has improved greatly. Weight was lost as a by product as well and I have never felt better or stronger than I do now. Looking forward to working with Tom again in the spring.

Chris, USA

I reached out to Tom to learn how to fuel myself for better performance and learn how to cut for a project. Having formerly struggled with an eating disorder, I was worried that trying to be more intentional about my food and attempting a cut would be problematic, and I wanted to make sure I was working with someone to ensure I didn’t relapse. Tom delivered in every way. Regarding fueling for performance, he helped me overcome my suspicion of carbs and learn to fuel so that I wasn’t crashing on long days. But more than that, he helped teach me how to eat like a normal human, was super helpful when I was being weirdly panicky about my weight, and helped give me an outline of how to eat without always tracking/monitoring my food. I learned how to cut, but also that, at least right now, cutting really doesn’t work for me (on an emotional level, the plan was great, it just turns out that my body is pretty happy at my current weight and I’m actually not that interested in eating so little). I definitely feel better about my overall diet and ability to eat in a way that allows me to perform but also to have fun and live my life :) Tom has been a pleasure to work with, he is incredibly kind, responsive, easy and interesting to talk to, and he clearly knows his stuff. I appreciated how evidence-based he was and I also loved all the charts and ways of tracking that he used. 10/10 would recommend Tom to anyone, especially women who need some help getting beyond their undereating tendencies!

Erin, USA

Working with Tom is a great experience. What I like most is his science based foundation and personalized approach. I was once occupied with body image issues and struggled with eating normally. Over the years I made a lot of efforts to correct myself. By the time I started the coaching, I was not as concerned of body weight as I once was, but I still had the wish to know how to lose weight - something that I didn't have success with for years. Tom showed me how to diet appropriately and guided me through the process. But more than that, he showed me how to fuel myself for the best performance, and I found out that I could actually be strong to feel light, and be motivated to do more. This is a much better experience than limiting food choice and counting calories. I also obtained a deeper understanding of my own body, how it works and what doesn't work. He is very good and patient at answering questions and clearing up myths. I didn't go up several climbing grades or lose xxx kgs in these 3 months, but I can see clearly I'm improving. I made obvious strength gains, and my finger injury recovered well and fast. Tom actually shares the fundamental theories of his coaching publicly, on his Instagram or other platforms. I read them before I decided to reach out to Tom, I knew that I should probably try them out, but for whatever reason I was afraid of making the first step. I then realised that I need some push and help to start making the changes. If someone is in the same situation, or needs some advices on nutrition, I 120% recommend working with Tom!

Xiao, USA

Working with Tom wasn't what I expected - I didn't get the TRANSFORMATION I thought I was paying for...but what I did get was a beacon of honesty in a market that is full of toxic information and damaging mindsets. Tom helped me indirectly to realise that the journey I'd set out on 5 years ago (fitness journey) had through no fault of my own created a dis-ease with my body, a confused and desperate relationship between how I looked and performed with myself worth. Don’t get me wrong, I'm still struggling with that but now when I see promising ads or others doing better I can stop myself getting sucked into 'I hate myself mode'. Right now I'm not tracking - I'm just eating. The scales are at the back of the wardrobe and I still binge....but I don’t beat myself up and I know once I quite the noise in my head I can fuel my body - and empower myself. Tom helped me realise that first I need to build a caring relationship with myself to enable myself to make lasting changes - that it's a slow progress and for me a lot of back and forth. Some may say I wasted my money because I didn’t get a physical transformation - what I'd say is Tom set the spark to enable me to transform my whole being and to stop ignoring the healing within. I couldn’t thank him enough he taught me that I am worth taking myself seriously. Thanks Tom - in short you've got me to start learning how to like myself - the hardest and most worthwhile thing a person can do. X

Louise, UK

The logistics of living in a van full time, living around the American West, working construction, climbing, training and trying to shed fat was a lot for a nutritionist to accomodate. Tom nailed it. After assessing my situation, goal Tom crafted an approach which let me lose the fat in a controlled, sustainable manner, adjust my food habits and thinking about food, whilst I increased my finger strength and managed both a heavy training load, and an adventurous climbing load. His personalized, thoughtful approach showed me how to take control of my eating and have it complment my life, training and climbing. I have the skills for continuous fine tuning and experimentation as my situation changes. Great three months having Tom help me out. Deffo worth the investment in yourself. Thanks Tom!

Craig, USA

Signing up for the 3 months nutrition coaching program was one of the best things I did for myself in 2020. As many female climbers and runners I had not been eating enough protein and was constantly underfueling without being fully aware of it. Tom really helped me in dialling in my nutrition and better understanding my nutritional needs to fuel performance and be healthier. I really liked his scientific-based approach, in-depth knowledge and attention to my needs. It supported me in staying on a healthier path also after the program ended. I can only recommend working with Tom, in particular for female climbers and runners.

Kathrin, USA

Working together with Tom has been a great experience and I am truly happy I reached out to him. For whatever reason you are thinking about nutrition coaching if it is to optimise performance, body composition or get a healthier relationship with food it is worth it. Tom's commitment exceeded all my expectations. I have learned a lot during our time, one of the biggest lessons I take with me is realising how much I was underfueling my training. Tom helped me set new targets and showed me how energetic, strong and happy I can feel. During our work he was always there to support and make sure I was ok. It was a massive help to have someone with Tom's knowledge step in and encourage me to keep going when I otherwise would have fallen back to old habits. For me it was easy to open up and trust Tom to help me, I think that's because Tom's genuine wish to help really shines through.

Nanna, Sweden

I sat down and put some thought into what my nutrition goals are, initially just in the next couple of weeks, and am going to implement a lot of the stuff you taught me to strike that balance. I'm telling you this so you know that all that stuff has stuck and I think will stay with me long-term! Times are pretty mentally tough eh, and my very normal response to weighing a high-point tells me that our work literally drew a line under an eating disorder followed by years of disordered behaviour that followed me around for nearly 15 years - half my life. I don't think I can possibly explain the value of ending that much pain. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Female, UK

I continue to use what I learned from working with you and I really value the knowledge and the adjustments to how I eat. Thank you again for all the time and care over the months we worked together. I appreciate it!

Samuel, Canada

Thank you Tom. I have had a solid experience with you and your nutritional guidance. Not only did I achieve my desired nutritional and weight loss goals, I also learned how to effectively fuel workouts, recover faster, and utilize supplements. I am climbing stronger (and lighter) than I did when I was much younger.

Jas, USA

When I started working with Tom it was sort of out of desperation. I had inconsistent eating habits, didn't know how to fuel for my training and was miserable about the relationship between what I ate and how I felt about myself. I couldn't have hoped to have gained as much as I did from the coaching. I know how to consistently fuel myself for training so that I can do myself justice and I enjoy doing so. I would unreservedly recommend Tom. He takes an evidence based approach and combines it with empathy and a desire to help. Tom is not just a quick fix or diet plan - although he did help me to achieve results quickly. He helped me to lead in making my own changes and taking control of my own nutrition so that I no longer need the coaching and feel empowered to fuel my body for climbing going forwards.

Lisa, UK

As both an athlete and a coach I found it really useful to learn about my own eating habits and how I can also help others. I also think the unlimited support was really good and I am trying to implement more support becasue of this in my own coaching. I found that it was a lot easier to focus on my nutrition and learn because of the fact I had paid for professional help too, as it reduced any decision fatigue surrounding diet as I could trust Toms opinion rather than second guessing my own. I probably could have spent hours and hours researching everything I asked Tom, and worked out my own diet schedule out etc eventually but as an athlete I know it's best to put my trust in someone who knows a lot more, so that I can focus my energy into training. I learnt a lot from him for my own coaching too so that I feel I can help others with smaller issues and eating habits, but would certainly recommend Tom to any of my clients who are interested in taking the next steps in learning about and optimising thier own nutriton.

Seth, UK

I started working with Tom as I’d set myself a goal of breaking into a new sport grade on an upcoming trip to Margalef and Rodellar. I was already working with Lattice for my training, and things were going well, but I was curious to see what else I could improve or optimise. At the beginning of the process, I thought I was in good shape. I weighed around 57.5kg (I’m 163cm), very lean and low body fat but felt strong. My diet was filled with whole foods and I tended to avoid anything I considered to be ‘crap’. I was quite militant! When we started working together and I kept a food diary, it became apparent right away that despite the quality of the food I was eating, I was under-fuelling my training, and also my recovery. Tom set me some goals - broadly, increasing my overall energy intake, reducing my protein (which I was massively over-shooting) and upping my carbs and fat. It felt like a big jump - but I trusted the process. The impact on my training and recovery was immediately noticeable. I had more power in my sessions, and was able to recover faster in between. Initially, I gained about 0.5kg, yet felt stronger (and my training output increased in both quality and metrics). I did a very short but hard deficit before my trip to polish things off. By the time I left, I weight around 1.5kg more than I would normally be for a sport trip. Again, I trusted the process and tried not to worry about it. The results spoke for themselves. On the trip, I was able to put in far more quality redpoint attempts on hard (for me) projects, and my recovery between days was hugely improved - something I’d always struggled with. The biggest improvement has been my relationship with food - I’d always considered it healthy, but in hindsight I can recognise restrictive behaviour, how guilty I felt even having an occasional treat, and how it impacted my mental health, being so concerned with staying as lean as possible. I’ve since realised it’s just not necessary, and actually it’s quite annoying that I limited my potential during months (even years) of training! Tom was so supportive and compassionate throughout the whole process. He was always there to answer my questions, doubts, concerns, or just check in with me to see how things were going. I can’t recommend Tom enough - if you have a goal, he’ll go out of his way to help you achieve it.

Dan, UK

The 1 month consultation I’ve found to be really useful at increasing my knowledge of how I should be fuelling for my goals. The support you’ve given and the setting of macro targets based on my training schedule allows me to create my own meal plans by adjusting what I already eat rather than starting from scratch. Combined with the tools you’ve shared this feels like a long term and achievable change in my nutrition that has already begun to show changes in lowering my body fat and increasing muscle tone over the short term. Looking forward to seeing how these new nutritional skills translate to my climbing performance!

Ed, UK

My pre-competition diet has changed drastically, essentially I used to undereat the day before the competition and after increasing the amount of carbohydrates with reduced fibre I ended up lighter, stronger and more energised! We also did a bunch of work on muscle activation which I use in all of my competitions now, something I would definitely recommend.

Aidan, UK