Do I Need to Hire a Contest Prep Coach?

15027615_1072758956174822_1231113419248564194_n1So you’ve decided to enter a fitness competition and now your wondering, do I need a coach? Well, while I cannot tell you personally yes or no, I can offer some things to think about which can help you decide.

As a personal trainer and nutrition coach I figured I could do most of my first prep on my own while enlisting the help of friends who had competed before. Well, at about 3 weeks out I started to panic when I realized I really had no idea how to ‘cut’, when to water load, when to deplete, if I was anywhere close to stage ready and so on. Searching online, through my text books and magazines really only left me confused and overwhelmed as the information and advice is extreme and different from source to source. Plus, as you get closer to the actual competition day, things can get a little more stressful and you start to doubt yourself and your progress, making the entire process less enjoyable. So, I did some research and found a prep coach who was willing to help me at only 3 weeks out and I made top 5, qualifying myself for Provincials. Had I been able to do this without him? Most likely not.

So, with that said, unless you have the experience of preparing for a competition or just want to be on stage for the sake of being on stage without caring how you place, I highly recommend you hire a coach. Not only can they help guide you in the process, they can hold you accountable and help prepare you in what to expect on show day.

Some other important things to consider –

You are being judged in a physique competition so having another set of eyes, more so a set that knows what the judges want, is definitely going to be beneficial.

You need to consider your mental well being when prepping for a show. There is a physiological response to being in a caloric deficit for an extended period of time and the lethargy that sets in can cause a lack of mental focus and an emotional drain that can be very difficult. A coach understands this and a great coach will be there for you on those days where you feel like you just cant do it or want to give up.

Diet and supplementation are huge in prepping for a show and because everyone is different, copying a diet you found online or that a friend followed is risky. Proper nutrition before and after a show is crucial. You may believe once the competition is over you can just eat as you wish but this can have negative effects on your body, mental health, metabolism and hormones.

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So, while the decision is ultimately yours to make, if you are serious about competing and bringing your best package to that stage, it’s pretty obvious, that until you gain the necessary experience, hiring a prep coach is in your best interest. I personally will never compete in a show without a coach, even with my experience and my education in fitness and nutrition as the benefits are far to vast.

Competition Prep B.C. – Let’s go Shopping!

You’ve decided to compete so now where to find your suit, shorts, jewelry, shoes?? Relax, I’ve got you covered! Here is a list of Canadian retailers that have everything you need for your competition.

suitCompetition Suits

The following shops provide both custom and ready to wear competition bikinis and shorts/trunks. Many of these retailers also carry competition shoes, jewelry and other accessories.

 

Competition Shoes

shoesIf you cannot find what you need from the retailers above, you have the option of shopping for competition shoes in the US. These retailers ship to Canada.

 

Competition Jewelry

glamComplete your look and have some fun shopping for your show bling at these retailers. These shops are in the US so I recommend checking out the stores under Competition Suits first. Sites like Etsy and eBay and stores like Ardene’s and Aldo Accessories are always great options as well.

 

Fitness Competition Prep B.C.- Backstage Etiquette

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When preparing for a fitness competition there are many things to consider such as choosing a show, a suit, planning out your tan, hair and makeup and so on. One thing that may not cross your mind but is just as equally important is backstage etiquette. A lot of work, money and time goes into preparing a show for us athletes so it’s really only fair that we do our part as well to keep things running smoothly and stress free for everyone!

BE KIND!

If I could stress one thing, this would be it. Everyone backstage, from the other athletes to the volunteers are all a little stressed out and anxious to do their best. The volunteers work their butts off for us so be sure to treat them with the respect they deserve, without them we would be a lot more stressed out as we attempted to oil our own backs and glue our suits to our behinds! It’s a long day for all of us but even more so for these volunteers who stay behind to clean up after us while we’re out celebrating with our friends and family.

Every athlete has a story and a background you may know nothing about so don’t be quick to judge or assume. You can only control your own words and actions so keep them kind and avoid gossip or judging other competitors. If someone treats you disrespectfully or is unkind to you just remember that this is most likely their own insecurities talking. Be the bigger person and don’t indulge in such childish behavior.

Clean Up After Yourself

I really shouldn’t have to say this but you’d be surprised at how messy things can get backstage. Garbage and pee cups probably being the two main things people seem to have a difficult time tossing into the trash :/  I have never seen a shortage of garbage cans at a venue so why this happens is beyond me.

Backstage can get pretty chaotic and you can expect to share small quarters with a lot of other competitors so keeping your personal items neat and organized can not only help keep the space uncluttered but can help you avoid losing or misplacing items.

Sportsmanship

Perhaps you don’t place how you expected, this is no excuse to be rude to anyone or throw a fit. How you act both on stage and backstage matters, be an adult and keep yourself together. It’s ok to be upset, its natural, but taking others down to make yourself feel better is just not ok and will speak volumes of your character. Being happy for others is a great feeling and I highly recommend congratulating those who deserve it!

This can go for those who place well too. Being pompous or arrogant because you placed better than others won’t make you any friends and can be hurtful.


Backstage can be a lot of fun and you can create some amazing memories, meet some truly inspiring people and make a lot of new friends. Not everyone is going to be friendly or helpful but I can tell you from my personal experience, many will be and if you go in with a positive attitude and a kind demeanor you’re going to have a much better time 😉