Hi Guys! Happy 4th of July.
I’m meeting with my coach again this weekend to talk about where I want to go from here. I really didn’t think I would place so well in my first competition, so since I did I feel encouraged to go after my ultimate goal of getting IFBB Pro. I hope that getting to the pro level will help me open doors that will lead me in the right direction for my other goals.
I wanted to talk a little bit about hiring a coach for my competition since it was something that made a huge difference from my last competition. I flip flopped on my decision to hire a coach mostly because as a certified personal trainer and avid fitness researcher (technical term 😉 for someone who spends way to much time on the internet looking at fitness blogs/articles/forums), I felt like everything I needed to know, I knew already or I could find online. Boy was I wrong.
My coach blew my mind after our first training session. I had been following a traditional bodybuilding plan- heavy compound lifts with small amounts of cardio and lots of ab work. My coach explained that for a bikini competition the judges are judging you on the sweep of your quad, your glutes and having a tiny waist. She showed me a ton of glute exercises I had never done before, had me incorporate plyometrics and she changed up my cardio, which I feel had the biggest impact on my physique. She explained to me that the cardio I had been doing (low resistance elliptical) is known for giving people a “long butt.” So my cardio changed to lunges and squats on the tredmill, high resistance biking and elliptical, sprints and stair master.
She also explained that all that ab work I was doing had to go. Turns out that the tons of oblique crunches and twists I was doing were actually making my waist BIGGER! Yikes!
After a week or two I started noticing huge changes in my glutes, waist and shoulders. My body was becoming the hourglass shape that I wanted. It also simplified things because each week she gave me a plan so all I had to do was what was written down for me. It took the guess work out of training and dieting.
Besides training, my coach also helped keep me accountable. I would thing twice about skipping a workout or overindulging because I knew I had to check in with her each week.
She also let me know exactly what to expect. One of her great but odd tips was to pee in a cup with the hole cut out of the bottom to avoid ruining the spray tan on competition day. Because of her experience, she also helped me choose the right suit, jewelry, hair and make-up. She even gave me a plan to follow for the week up to the competition to prepare my skin and come in looking my absolute best. If I ever had a moment of panic, she was there to calm me down and help find a solution. In addition, in my last competition I had barely practiced posing and I had no idea that it played such a big role in the competition results. This time the main thing we worked on together was posing, which I could not have done via the internet. She helped me streamline a routine that showed off my physique in the best possible way.
Finally, my coach helped me make connections. Because she was a past competitor, she knew the judges and introduced me to a ton of people so I didn’t feel awkward and alone back stage. Not only did it help me build new relationships, but it gave me confidence, which I think showed on stage.
If you are thinking about hiring a coach I highly recommend it, but make sure you don’t hire just anyone. Do your research and find out who the coach is, who they have trained before and if they have competed in the past. DON’T just hire a trainer at your gym without doing your due diligence. If cost is an issue, talk with the coach and see if you can work out a deal or try an online trainer. That said, hiring a coach was one of the best decisions I made for my competition so if you are thinking about competing, I think a great place to start is with someone who knows what they are doing :).