Thursday, August 19, 2010

What To Look For In A Contest Prep Coach by Janelle Gallo


So you have trained hard and been a person that is totally clean with your diet. But now you have decided that you want to step up on stage. Yes, you say to yourself "I think I want to compete" But many things come to mind in a physique athlete's head. You are thinking about "Who will I hire for a coach" and "I need some motivation and support" or "I can't do this all alone". You start going through your head about posing, diet, training, etc. What is the best for your body. What type of person/personality will click with you to work with. I know this is going through my mind when I want to compete.
So, let me tell you a little bit about my experience. I have been competing since 2001. Since then, I have been through 5 coaches. Amazing, now I am on my 6th coach. You must be thinking "Wow! That's a lot of moving from one to the other!" But some I have had for a couple of years and some for only a short time. My first coach really taught me about bodybuilding since I knew nothing about posing, diet, & training for a show. So, he helped me in kick-starting my competition career. But later I started reading a lot about how it is to compete and then I realized that I had to move on and better my physique since my first coach wasn't really getting me there. So, my second coach really had me in great shape. I won 3 overalls that year and was just stunned by it all. My physique was never better. However, after working with him for a while, the relationship was breaking. My body wasn't responding and blame was starting to be put on me for "not following the diet". I was so upset! But later, I found out that I had a thyroid problem and no matter what diet I did, my body wasn't going to respond to it until my thyroid was normal. But the way I was treated was not right. So, I said bye, bye to him. But since then, I have been trying out a few coaches to see if they can get me in shape but also, if their personality fits with me. One thing, I do want to have in a coach is someone to learn from. However, since I have met my new coach (6th one now), I have realized that all of these years, I have been dieted wrong and not treated well. "Amazing!" you may say. But true. You see, in the past coaches just have given me plans but not really have delved into the science of your physique. You are probably saying "What does that mean?" Well, I am talking about asking questions about your medical history, asking to see bloodwork with a complete hormonal panel to see what is going on with you physically. This is the right way to coach people. Anyone can make a meal plan, but it is the coach with the knowledge of knowing what to do if a medical problem or physiological problem arises. I have never thought of this approach. And, you know what I like it! Since I have met my new coach, he has been concerned #1 with being healthy first (thus looking at blood work for cholesterol to hormones), to#2 having a positive approach and being motivational. Well, what is motivational? Maybe texting me with motivational sayings or reassuring me that you can be healthy to compete but think positively. Letting go of negative past experiences and moving forward to better yourself. It is really interesting and as I met with my new coach, I realized that through the whole 10 years that I have been competing, not once have I taken this approach.
In conclusion, I think the best way to find a coach to work with when competing would be this:
1) Does the coach respect you, listen to you, and make you feel comfortable?
2) When asking questions, does the coach not get frustrated with you and get defensive?
3)The coach is very positive and motivational. Makes you feel upbeat after talking to them.
4) Cares about your well-being and isn't into just taking your money.
5)Cares about your health.
These traits, I think are very important in finding a coach that works for you. Remember, there is a dime a dozen contest prep people out there but there are only a few that truly know how to coach in a positive, caring way. Until next time, have a great week.

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