Written By: Caraline Maher of https://caralinemaher.com (IG: @carafit3)
If you’re utilizing a coach for your prep (or lifestyle), and are trusting them with your nutrition (and/or workouts), you GOTTA DO THE WORK!
Too many times, I see girls and guys hire a coach, not listen to a word they say, and then later blame the coach for their shortcomings on the goals they didn’t reach. *MEGA EYE ROLL* Do you honestly think it was your coach’s fault??? It’s a no from me.
Take responsibility for your own life, nutrition, discipline, and health, and stop blaming others when YOU didn’t put in the work. Be honest and real with yourself when you decide that you want to prep.
Make sure you know that if you are choosing to spend your money on, and utilize the skills, mind, and time of a coach, that you:
- Mesh well together
- Are on the same page
- Agree on diet style (IIFYM, Bro Diet, etc.)
- Trust each other
- Invest in each other (that means time, honesty, check-ins & consistency)
NOW THAT YOU’VE MADE THE STEP TO INVEST IN A COACH, AND BEGIN YOUR PREP, CONGRATULATIONS! YOU ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!
This is a great step, because having a knowledgeable coach can make allll the difference when prepping. Prepping for a show is 100% different than your average lifestyle dieting, and is an actual science. A science that your Coach should be an expert at. A good coach is there to help you get to the stage with your best physique possible. They are there so that you can think as little as possible. They are there to make sure YOU are all set and ready, and reaching your potential as a competitor. UTILIZE THESE COACHES! THEY ARE HERE FOR YOU!
When I say utilize your coach, I mean you need to be up close, in their face, bestie best friends, TMI with your coach. Ok, maybe not to that extreme, but your coach needs to know every thing that is going on with your body, and it doesn’t matter if you’re embarrassed, they won’t be. Tell them what the fuck is going on.
SOME PEOPLE MAY NOT ENTIRELY UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M GETTING AT, SO I’VE PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF THINGS
YOU SHOULD BE TELLING YOUR COACH!
- You’re on your period: Big deal; tell them. Let them know how your period normally affects your body (i.e. bloat, cramps, weight gain, cravings, how heavy, how long, etc). All of these details can help your coach understand any fluctuations, bloating, or change in energy levels that week.
- You’re NOT getting your period: DEFINITELY tell them if you’ve missed a period, espeially if it’s been multiple. If we’ve ruled out pregnancy, then you could be experiencing Amenorrhea, which is the loss of menstrual cycle. This can sometimes happen when a woman is at a low body fat percentage, and will need to be monitored with diet and medical professionals. Amenorrhea can also cause weight gain/loss, as well as hormonal imbalances, so letting your coach and doctor know is very important.
- If you’re on Birth Control, switch Birth Controls, or are going to go off of Birth Control: Certain birth controls can cause weight gain, and fluctuations in hormones for the first couple months. These are important things for your coach to know ahead of time. Similarly, going off of birth control, depending on how long you were on it for, will also take a few months to get your hormones back to normal.
- PLAN B: This is one that Adam actually brought to my attention. Fortunately, I have zero experience with having to take Plan B, but other clients of his have, and he says there is normally an immediate 8lb gain due to the edema of the uterus! Just be open and honest if you have to take Plan B at any time during prep.
- Bowel Movements: Don’t be shy, we all poop (or maybe you can’t). Letting your coach know what’s going on with any kind of stomach issues you’re having is major. Maybe you’re having constant diarrhea, or on the opposite side of the spectrum, and are constipated. Either way, maybe your coach can alter your fiber intake, and take a look at what you’re eating in case you are sensitive to something. You don’t want to keep these things to yourself just because it may be embarrassing. Trust me, stepping on stage bloated AF because you haven’t pooped in 6 weeks is moreembarrassing, so get comfortable with talking about poop with your coach.
- Sleep: your sleep schedule is definitely something you should keep your coach in the loop about. Rest is crucial. Regardless if you are trying to gain muscle, or lose body fat, your body needs to recuperate in order to flourish. I personally, have randomly gained 2lbs after a night where I only got 4 hours of sleep, instead of my normal 8-10 hours. It’s just good to not only getenough sleep, but also let your coach know if you aren’t.
- Water intake: You don’t always need to be drinking a gallon a day, it’s all relative. But you do need to be drinking enough water to not only keep you hydrated, but to lubricate and hydrate your muscles to prevent you from looking flat. I am currently drinking 1.25-1.5 gallons a day. Peeing constantly, but I’m hydrated AF! Sometimes when you aren’t drinking enough water, you actually tend to hold on to a lot more water weight, than if you were getting enough, and flushing it all out.
- Alcohol/Drug usage: Self explanatory, but it’s a good idea to let your coach know if you’re going to be filling your macros with alcohol. Your coach can make sure you’re tracking it correctly, and give you some suggestions. In Adam’s words “The harder the liquor, the better.” (Clear alcohols are normally less calories). As far as drug usage, whether recreational or medical, letting your coach know what kind of medications you’re on is always in your best interest. Some medications have certain side effects that may cause fluctuations or hinder progress. Some antibiotics can make people feel fatigued, or drained, so all these little things are just good to know so we can prepare together. As for drugs of the “steroid” variety, always speak to your coach before deciding that you want to step outside the realm of a natural athlete. As with any drug, there are risks, side effects, and precautions you need to be aware of. Your coach can fill you in if that’s the route you want to take, just always keep your health in mind.
- Stress: Prep in itself is a stressor, but we all know life can hit you hard. Letting your coach know when a stressful situation comes into play is not only a good idea, but an avenue for you to talk about it out loud. Any personal trainer/coach will tell you that when we take on clients, we take on their troubles as well. We become a type of therapist to them, and while it can be draining to take all that on, it is pertinent information in terms of the clients’ body and their progress. Stress can hinder even the strongest of us all. Regardless of the cause, it happens. Depending on you as a person, you could be a stress eater, a stress non-eater, stress could cause you to fall ill, or maybe it’s affecting your sleep and weight as well. Any or all of these could be going on, but managing the stress and letting your coach know what’s going on is always best to get back to a good place.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST!
10. Going off plan: Circling all the way back to what I began this blog with, if you don’t do the work, wyd? If you have a day where you went over/under your macros, no big deal, just let your coach know and get back on it. Same with a missed lift or cardio session here and there (normally you should have at least 1 rest day but everyone’s different), just get back on track. But if you are constantly “going off plan,” and not telling your coach, be honest with yourself on if you really even want this, or further more, even have what it takes. Simply put, if you aren’t doing the workouts your coach gave you, that’s on you. If you aren’t hitting the macros your coach gave you, that’s on you. If you aren’t getting the cardio in that was prescribed for you, that’s on you. In prep: coasting, skipping lifts, missing cardio, and fucking around on your diet is a good way to hurt your own feelings. All of that is on you. You CHOSE to prep for a show, so PREP FOR THE MUTHA FUCKIN SHOW! Your coach isn’t wasting their time, meticulously calculating your macros, workout and cardio regimens, just for you to be an ungrateful child and not listen. Yes, you heard me; a child. If you’re not going to take this seriously, don’t prep. Simple as that. Because at the end of the day, when you step on stage, the work you did, or didn’t put in, will show.