A lot of people find me online via social media, where it’s very obvious I do contest prep coaching for competitive bodybuilders – people often ask if I do coaching for non-competitors and the answer is absolutely – I call it body transformation coaching. The next most logical question people have is: “how is it different?”
How is Body Transformation Coaching Different From Contest Prep Coaching?
The real answers here are “not much” but also “potentially quite a bit” – let’s dig in.
First we need to understand what it’s like to train as and coach a competitive bodybuilder. We’re focused on building muscle in an aesthetically pleasing way to fit the standards of the category the competitor will be entering. Then we focus on reducing body fat while retaining muscle. In addition, we have to strategize to find the right show to enter, practice posing, handle peak week and day-of-show programming, post-show rebounding, and performing a detailed needs analysis to really dive in to the little minutiae of what’s lacking or overpowering in someone’s physique. A little too much here or not enough there can be the difference between 1st place and 4th.
With body transformation programming, we keep the first two elements – build muscle in an aesthetically pleasing way and reduce body fat stores – and forget about the rest because that’s all specific to the act of getting on stage and competing.
Beyond that, my approach is the same…again, mostly.
What are the Real Differences with Body Transformation Coaching?
With competitors, there’s a certain level of experience required to be competitive. Outside of that realm, with body transformation coaching I work with everyone across all levels of experience. So my approach to programming for both goals is very much the same, but in body transformation we might be starting in a very different spot if someone is less experienced.
These changes in programming might be small or significant. The diet might be much more simple in its approach – just focusing on getting a plan in place that isn’t difficult or particularly aggressive, but can be hit consistently day after day to build up a routine and start collecting wins, to build confidence. In the gym, we might start with a total body training split or an upper/lower split, before progressing to more finely tuned workouts that hit specific muscle groups with higher volume. The latter is a very standard approach, but it’s 100% total overkill for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience, and there’s a lot more to be gained by training a higher percentage of the body’s muscle with each session.
What’s Can I Expect with Body Transformation Coaching?
One thing you’ll find that some coaches do is that if someone’s goals aren’t ‘competitive’ in nature, they get treated very differently and with a level of programming that is decidedly less detailed and borderline amateurish. The way I present the details of a program is the same to everyone I work with.
I also don’t pull any punches – if you’re signing up to work with a body transformation coach, I’m assuming that you’re ready to work. This means we aren’t starting off small with little changes – we’re jumping into a totally new dietary approach from what you’ve been doing (likely). If you want to see big change (results), be ready to make big change (action). I ask all of my clients to bring an open mind to the table and be ready to change any and everything that they’re currently doing with regards to diet, training, and cardio. Not everything necessarily WILL change, but my goal for each client is to help deliver what they’re paying for – optimal results. This means if something is holding us back or slowing things down, I’m going to recommend leaving it behind.
Real world example: I had a client who loved long distance running and training for marathons, but wasn’t happy with her body composition – she wanted more muscle and to be lean in a way that showed it. This meant laying off the running (not abandoning it entirely but pulling WAY back), eating more, and focusing more on the quality of her training in the gym. She approached it with an open mind, we focused on building muscle for a bit and then she could incorporate a bit more running when it came time to focus on reducing body fat, as it’s always more effective to do those 2 things in sequence rather than attempting both at the same time. Throughout that process we got her comfortable with small and steady increases on the scale (building muscle), and then just had to keep her from going overboard on the running when it came time to shift gears and lean down. It’s about managing the body’s energy systems and also keeping fatigue at a reasonable level so that you still perform well in the gym throughout the process.
If you continue doing what you’ve been doing, you can expect the same results. To get to a different spot, be ready and open to changing anything.
Is Body Transformation Coaching Right For Me?
If you’ve made it this far…it probably is!
- Want to improve your body composition
- Do not want to compete in bodybuilding
- Are open minded about changing your routine and doing new things
- Have an experience level somewhere between “total beginner” and “advanced” (yes, that means everyone)