How to choose a physique preparation coach

Every single day, I get requests to train people for physique shows. I turn people down every time. Why?  I prefer to recommend someone who does it full time. Even though I often do consults for physique coaches, I rarely do them for physique contestants.  Sometimes, I do write programs to put on mass for clients, however, they need to have had completed over 100 hours of classes with me before so.  Why? I simply don’t want to repeat myself and go over the basics. *

So since we cannot answer every single email for someone looking for a coach, I am providing you with a list of questions you need answered before selecting a physique coach:

Question 1: Does the person have experience competing/training someone for in the pros.

For example, Larry Vinette and John Meadows meet this criteria fully.  They compete in the pros, and have helped countless individuals get their pro cards. Nothing replaces experience in the trenches. Paul Carter is another of has made IFBB pros, and has done plenty of experimenting on himself.






Therefore, the pros must have gotten their cards in federations where the quality of the physique is the reference standard, Hence, if they got their cards from the IFBB or NABBA, it is all good. Other federations tend to reward the style of the board shorts, the hair gel skills, the swagger of the rewarded stripper walk….

If you wanted to make the Olympics in wrestling, would you hire an Olympic gold medalist who has trained world championship and Olympic medalists, or a WWE star?

Having trained male/female fitness models does not have the same value as having developed IFBB/NABBA pros.


Question 2. Can the prospect coach show you visual transformation data?

I have seen this often…and more and more nowadays. Low-life trainers stealing one of my students results and appropriating it as their own work. For example, Glenn Parker physique transformation by Nick Mitchell has been copied all over the Net and misrepresented by a multitude of posers. That is why I always advise my students to watermark their results.


Question 3. Does the prospect coach give you in advance a list of services he/she will provide?

A few years ago, I was doing a photo shoot with an American physique star for Muscle Media. At lunch, he asked me if I could train him. I politely declined as I was working full time with Olympians, and simply did not have the time. I could see he was severely disappointed that I would not take him on as a client. I asked him what was the issue with his current coach.  He pulled a fax out of his gym bag. (I know a fax dates me, this was before emails…).  It was the first “consult” from his bodybuilding coach. Here what was hand written on the paper:

“ Salt everything”

“Eat as much pickles and ketchup as you can”

“Eat at McDonalds at least twice a day”

“I will send you a program/diet in 6 weeks”

That was it. He had paid the bodybuilding coach $3,500 USD for his 12 week contest prep. So since this was the first six weeks to do list, he paid $1,750.00 for this wonderful advice…and I am sparing you the 6 spelling mistakes in the written fax..

So when you ask for a price quote, find out right away what your investment entails.

Francine Savard out of Montreal, who has enormous levels of success developing physique athletes is extremely structured. She has:

  • multiple intake forms to fill out before your first consult.
  • Gives you detailed nutrition plans.
  • Gives well structured and precise workout routines,
  • a precise schedule of when she will do Skype/Facetime consults throughout your contest preparation.
  • Has a plan for eating and training AFTER the show.

A piece of advice: nothing beats seeing your coach in person. However, not everyone can afford to fly to see their coach. Hence, the top physique coaches often ask us who can do their athlete’s body fat in various regions of the world.

Recently someone sent us a seminar pamphlet for getting certified as a “physique coach”. To put it mildly, taking that class would be like getting a mall security guard to teach you how to become a member of  Seal Team 6 or the S.A.S. The guy has never produced a IFBB pro, nor does he have the knowledge base/experience  for it. Training local bikini contestants does not make you someone who can certify you as a physique coach.

Experience matters. That is why Hugh Jackman hired my student Dieter Roylance to get a action hero physique.

Dieter knows how to train and properly eat.  He trained many Olympic medalists in swimming before taking on his contract. You can be sure many people would give their left nut to train Hugh Jackman.

The sad thing is most prep coaches only answer your questions after the show is over.


Question 4: Is the coach a cookie cutter or a chef?

Individualization is key to physique preparation. Ask around, is everybody on the same protocol: egg whites, broccoli, 2 hours of cardio…regardless of level of bodyfat and training age.


Question 5.  Does the coach have a team of experts to help him out?

The top people have a team of experts that help support you from soft tissue workers to posing coaches. Also they always a physician that works with them so you can stay healthy through your physique prep.

Consumers beware.  Go through that list of questions before you hire your physique coach, you will be able to have confidence in the results you will get if you are willing to put in the work.

Be well informed and wiser for it,


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