Contest Prep Coaching

From early planning to peak week and beyond. Men and women, all categories.

Online Contest Prep Coaching is Different

Five Starr Physique Darin Starr - Online Contest Prep Coaching

Right out of the gate, I’m going to tell you the 3 things that give people the most trouble when it comes to getting stage lean and doing well in their show.  

The first is easy:  not following the plan.  That’s kind of a “duh” item so let’s move on.

The second is not really being “ready” for a prep in terms of having enough muscle.  If this is you, you need to question the value in doing a show now vs. spending some time growing so you’ve got more muscle on your frame after the end of a prep.  Sometimes you don’t really know until you’re on stage and realize “oops – I’m small” – having a coach to help in the earliest stages can prevent that.

The third is the real magic:  you’re not giving yourself enough time to prep.

Not everyone needs a 24 week or longer prep.

But many people do need longer than 12 or 16 weeks, which is the most common amount of time people give themselves to get ready for a show.

If you’ve done a show already and received feedback from the judges like “get more conditioned”, this is judge-speak for “prep for longer”.  It does NOT mean “prep more aggressively”.  The latter is only going to make it more likely you lose muscle, and you’ll be leaner but yet still look worse.  Kinda unfair, right?

Point being, there are right and wrong ways to prep for a show.  There are smarter and less smart tactics and strategies to employ. There are more modern strategies we can use that are not wildly inventive, but they are different from how bodybuilders of the 60’s and 70’s prepped, which is how most people are still doing it today.  Think of how much the world has changed since then, and then ask “why are people still handling peak week like it’s 1968?” and see if that makes any sense.

Take a more modern and evidence-based approach to your contest prep.

Contest Prep For All Experience Levels

Which one are you?

Preparing for your first show in bikini or men’s physique?

Trying to get a top 2 placing at nationals in wellness or classic physique?

Trying to break through in the pro ranks in figure or bodybuilding?

Or maybe you just want to compete but aren’t even sure if it’s something you can do or what category you should be in.

In the 15 years I’ve been doing this full-time I’ve helped competitors (and aspiring competitors) in all of these situations and more.  Whether you’re trying to build a routine and set of habits to do something you’ve never done before, or you need to bring up your rear delts and your lower body conditioning so you don’t miss out on a pro card by one place again, I can help.

Bikini client Angelica at the Johnnie Jackson Classic in Texas
Men's Physique client Vinny on stage for the first time in the UK

How It Works

I have a scheduled check-in date with every client I’m working with on a weekly basis.  You will be interacting with me and me alone – I don’t have a team (unless you count Taz and Derby – the official Five Starr Physique mascots), it’s just me.

To start, I craft an initial plan based on our conversations as well as a thorough assessment form – we know what our long and short-term goals are and every element of the plan is designed to achieve the short term goals while keeping the long term goals in sight as well.

The plan consists of a dietary component (macros or meal plan, your preference), training program (with video demonstrations for everything), cardio and supplementation protocols, tracking tools, and a load of additional guidelines and materials to help you dig deeper and take things to the next level.

At check-in each week we go over the qualitative and quantitative sides of the plan, see how things are feeling, answer questions, offer feedback, and make adjustments for the week ahead.  As prep gets deeper we may check-in more frequently also, as needed.

I’ve been doing this for a long time and I consider myself to be an expert at reading between the lines – a lot of people say things in their check-in without directly saying it.  A good coach is going to pick up on that and answer the questions that you didn’t know you needed to ask.

It’s not just about following the plan, but also managing the things that most people neglect or think of as “less important” somehow – but they’re critical to a good prep.  Sleep and recovery, fatigue management, stress management, consistency of routine, volume modulation, programmed deloads (both for training and diet) – paying attention to all of these details and managing them well can take someone with average genetics and make them look elite.  This is the secret sauce that most people fail to properly pay attention to.

Expectations Run Both Ways

I strive to provide everything I can for all of my clients.  But that’s a little vague – specifically, here’s what to expect:

  • A proper needs analysis with action plan to inform training program design
  • Full programming for all basic elements of contest prep (diet, training, cardio, supplementation)
  • Weekly check-ins with 100% guaranteed same day response (assuming I receive materials on time)
  • Available via text/email 7 days a week, excepting rare vacation days (exceptions also made for those deep in prep)
  • Daily check-ins for peak week and continuous support on show day
  • PED/cycle design and support (where appropriate/requested)
  • Bloodwork/lab analysis and interpretation

I tend to have a no-nonsense, data-driven approach to prep, but I’m not a robot and I don’t expect you to be either.  I do a lot of work with my clients on the mental side of bodybuilding, some more than others.  This is all needs based and varies depending on the person and situation.

Bikini client Kim (OCB Pro) on stage at the OCB Arizona Scorcher

Now conversely, I will have expectations of you as well.  Being perfect is not one of them, but I do expect clear and timely communication and responses.  Be on time with your check-in, and do it every week without exception.  Respect and trust the process, but that does NOT mean “don’t ask questions” – a good prep coach should be able to explain their rationale behind any decision and explain it in a way that makes sense.

I will probably ask for training footage from the gym at some point – be mindful that if you don’t provide this, then I will never see how you train and we are then making some MASSIVE assumptions about what is really the most important part of bodybuilding.  You might think your form is great, but often I can still find things to improve upon and it’s worth hunting those things down.

Prep is hard and it certainly isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.  But I do expect a generally positive attitude and remember that this is a voluntary thing you’re doing to push yourself to achieve a physique beyond what you’ve been able to achieve before.  The opportunity to do that is pretty awesome – never lose sight of that.  It’s hard, but being able to compete is a heck of a privilege.

So how much are we talking?

My rate is extremely basic. $199/month – no contracts, no additional cost due at signup, no price differential for contest prep vs. off-season vs. non-competitor coaching. This includes everything I can possibly offer to make you successful, as described above.

I also have high expectation of my clients. Foremost among these is a positive attitude – if you want your body to go to a better place, your mind has to lead the charge. You also need to be able to communicate effectively, ask questions, follow directions that will be clearly provided, check your ego at the door, be willing to learn, and be willing to bust your ass.

Similarly I want you to have high expectations for me – it’s only fair. I talk a big game here but I also plan to back it up.

Five Starr Physique Darin Starr - Bodybuilding Online Contest Prep Coach
Classic physique client Brian on stage at the NPC North American Championships

What’s Next?

For more information or to get details on current availability for new clients, hit the contact form below.  If you have details on a show you’re already looking at (or possibly even already signed up for), be sure to include that as well as details on what category you’re looking to compete in (if you know) and be ready to provide some current photos for evaluation purposes as well.

I look forward to hearing from you!


The Next Steps

Whether you’re interested in jumping right in or have additional questions, you can reach out to me via my contact page and let me know what’s on your mind, I’ll be happy to answer questions or clear up anything that’s unclear!

If you’re ready to get started on your journey, contact me and I’ll provide a password to my member’s page where you can complete the online assessment form and view detailed instructions on what I need to see in your initial progress photos and how to ensure they are of the highest quality possible.