Today I write this post with more emotion than any other post thus far and perhaps the most overwhelming of all is disappointment. First, I should give you a little bit of my background as a personal trainer and competition coach. I’ve been competing since 2006 and have done 14 shows, I’ve been a coach since 2009, and successfully ran a boot camp for 6 years, so it is safe to say I have some experience. Not only do I have experience and a wealth of knowledge in the competition industry, I spend a lot of time keeping up with different training methods and researching information online to make me a better trainer. I love this business as well as competing and want to continually grow. When I decided to become a coach in 2009 it was because I had been steadily competing for a little over 4 years and I felt like I had enough knowledge to really help some future competitors.
Every client of mine genuinely gets the best program I can create for their body, provided they follow the program exactly they should see results. Some clients listen, others do not and the ones that refuse to listen present greater challenges. When you hire a coach that person needs to be able to honestly evaluate your physique based on the program they give you. If you follow the program this process is rather easy, fun, and worth the money you are paying them. If you do not listen and decide to eat things that are not on the diet the coach cannot help you and you are wasting your money!
Given this information, lets say you have decided to hire a coach and you know nothing about competing. This is a job for the coach, this person should be able to provide you with the knowledge you need to get through a prep and step on stage 100% confident (now remember you have to listen and follow 100% as well). Now you may know very little but whoever you hire should be able to answer all of your questions honestly and informatively. In this business that is going to come from experience and a trainer that keeps themselves informed.
Over the years I have seen the number of coaches out there increase quite a bit and some know what they are doing and others do not. When making the decision to hire a coach feel free to ask questions about their background and definitely ask for references. That person should be able to give you a couple of people they have coached who would recommend their services. What saddens me a great deal is that I see lots of coaches online but there is no real information out there as to who they are and what their background is. Now don’t get me wrong there are trainers online who are great and you will easily be able to find someone who would recommend them. Same thing goes for any trainers working in your gym who are offering their services as a competition coach. You don’t have to have a degree to be a coach but they should be able to answer any question you have.
Now there is the area of pricing, how much is this coach charging you for a customized diet program, customized workout program, answers on tanning, last week diet prep, reverse dieting, carb cycling, the different organization and divisions, expertise on posing, etc..? For my business I have researched what other trainers are charging online for the same services I offer and that is how I developed my program. I wanted to offer a great experience while including everything you need to compete and also keep it affordable. Some coaches out there are IFBB professional athletes and they can charge an arm and a leg for their services. It is kind of like hiring Sandra Bullock for acting lessons, you are going to pay for the name and hopefully some great information (they are after all pros).
Find out what the coach is charging and everything you get for that price. Then go out there and find some other coaches to do some comparisons. I can happily say that I just took on a client who did her research, emailed other trainers, and ended up hiring me as her coach! She later told me that some of the emails she sent out were just getting back to her when I had already responded several times, answer in a timely matter, it matters! When you start looking for a coach look out for things like this, if they take too long to respond it is not okay.
My reason for being disappointed is that there are trainers out there who are highly unethical and take advantage of beginners. They offer coaching services with little knowledge and what they do have is based off of another trainer’s hard work. What is even worse is they are over charging and under delivering with programs that do not fit their clients needs.
So here it is folks, my recommendation for hiring a competition coach is three things. Do your research, ask questions about their background, and ask for references. When you do these things you should find a trainer that suits you and gives you what you need to be successful. One of the most important things to remember after hiring a coach is that you be the best client you can be! Follow there advice, follow their program and your success is almost guaranteed. Cheat and you only have to blame yourself.