With the addition of new categories in the last few years, contest participation numbers are increasing in many places. Bikini, Physique, and the new Classic category have done more to increase the number of people competing in bodybuilding contests than any other single change in the last 20 years. This is good news for promoters. It is also good news for people who offer contest prep services. Contest prep services are usually provided by people who have extensive personal experience competing and who understands nutrition, supplementation and the training required to get into “competition shape”.
While this can be a good service, it can also be a funnel for pouring your hard earned money into if you are not careful. Hiring a contest prep coach can also lead to you doing some very stupid things with your time and money. Here are some examples of things that you typically should not do or agree to when paying for competition prep.
- Don’t pay a “coach” for contest prep who just completed his/her first competition themselves. A person who has done one or two contests has no business telling others how to get into contest shape. It’s common sense people. Don’t do it!
- Don’t pay the coach for clothing that advertises his/her contest prep business. This perhaps is the most stupid thing you can do. You are already paying for the coach’s knowledge of the sport…why on earth would you pay him more money to advertise his business? He should give you clothing to wear to advertise his business. You are already a paying customer, and usually paying a pretty good fee for services. To give someone more money so that you can advertise their business is borderline insane. If you believe paying someone money to advertise their business makes sense, I’ve got some clothing I’d like to sell you to help advertise my business.
- If you are paying a large fee for contest prep, do not settle for group meetings. Insist on one on one time. The majority of the time you spend with your contest coach should be one on one time…unless the fee you are paying is small. If you pay a contest prep coach a lot of money for your prep, you should be getting to see them one on one regularly to evaluate YOUR progress. Paying considerable money for contest prep and then having weekly evaluation and posing practice with 10 other people at the same time is a rip-off of your money.
- Compare your diets with others on the “team”. While it is entirely possible that two of you may have practically the same exact nutritional plan because your condition is so similar, it is virtually impossible for everyone to have practically the same diet… because everyone’s needs are different and everyone’s level of conditioning is different. If you find that your coach is basically giving everyone the same diet plan, then you know that your coach isn’t putting in much time and effort for YOUR prep. If you are paying big money for a diet plan, it should be tailor made for your weight, build, condition and other needs.
- Run away from contest prep coaches who tell you that you should compete, when you know in your heart that you are no where even close to having the kind of body necessary to do a bodybuilding competition. Many people who join gyms are quickly taken aside by contest prep “coaches” and told that they should consider competing…even though they look like humpty dumpty. It’s a ploy to get your money. They will talk you into purchasing their contest prep services so they can get your money…even though they know you have no business paying for contest prep…yet. You can easily spot one of these kinds of “coaches”. They pounce on nearly every new gym member trying to get them to give them money for contest prep services. Be weary, be very weary.
Having said all of that, be aware that there are very capable and fair competition prep coaches out there. Follow the tips given above and you should be fine and you should save a lot of your hard earned money. Contest prep is very detailed and specific for each individual. Don’t allow yourself to be lumped into a group of people after you paid for one on one contest prep service. Slick talking contest prep coaches are not unlike other slick talking salesmen, you’ve just got to apply some wisdom and make sure you pick one who has your best interest at heart and is not trying to retire off of your prep money. If you are paying $1000 for contest prep, all of your time should be one on one time. If you are paying $200, group time should be expected.
For more information on getting into shape, contest prep or fitness in general, email firstname.lastname@example.org.