Hiring an Online Fitness or Prep Coach: Tips & Red Flags

Are you currently in the process of hiring an online fitness or prep coach? There are SOO many to choose from! The fitness industry has evolved so much that it is now possible to work with a coach who literally lives states (and entire countries) over from you.

But there’s a major difference between hiring an actual coach than a simple “online trainer”.

Who is This Discussion For?

This discussion is geared towards anyone who is looking to hire a coach to prep for an upcoming show. Or even for those who have NO intentions to compete but want to consult with someone online to help you to reach your goals.

  • Even if you’ve hired someone in the past and it was a nightmare experience.
  • I’m going to teach you how to avoid this.
  • Even if you’ve never worked with someone in the past, either online or in person.
  • I’m going to teach you WHAT to look for.
  • Even if you’re someone who feels they need a lot of hands on support and accountability – and you think your average gym trainer is enough.
  • I’m going to expose to you WHY this may NOT be the best option, and how a REAL COACH can actually take you a lot further.

 So What Exactly is a “Prep Coach” – And How Does That Differ From A Regular Personal Trainer?

  • The job of ANY coach, whether for Prep or not is to provide a SOLUTION and to guide you to a FULL transformation. This includes in your training, your diet, your habits and your MINDSET.
  • A Coach – whether prep or not – should focus on YOUR needs, be willing to listen to you, and help you to solve the problem you came to them for in the first place. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a partnership.
  • A REAL coach isn’t someone who just gives you a plan and says check in with numbers in a week, 2 weeks, etc.
    • But they are asking you questions, making sure you’re on track.
    • Making sure you are navigating pitfalls.
    • Making sure you have the tools for success.
    • Making sure you are overcoming obstacles. And then after that, using that information and BIOFEEDBACK to determine the next moves in your programming.
  • A prep coach is someone well versed in the area of contest prep, and can SAFELY and EFFECTIVELY get their client to their end result – RESPONSIBLY.
  • They differ from a regular trainer in that they SHOULD be well informed and “educated” in areas regarding training and nutrition program design specifically as it relates to contest prep.
  • A prep coach should also be teaching you the ins and outs of presentation, suit selection, tanning, and all the things you need to know to present your best on stage.
  • A prep coach should be able to tweak and individualize your program so that you can get results without stalls and plateaus.
  • A prep coach should know how to properly peak you, and prepare you for what happens AFTER you get off the stage.


So a lot of what makes a prep coach truly GOOD at what they do is rooted in hands on real world experience. Basic to advanced personal training and nutrition certifications or degrees are helpful. But they still don’t take the place of real world experience.

Where Most Prep Coaches Fall Short – And How That Hurts You

  • First let’s define the role of a TRUE coach.
  • A Coach’s number 1 responsibility is transforming you into something better than you ever were before.
  • A real coach focuses on
  • Problem solving when it comes to what’s not working for you – then creating a solution that does
  • Bringing out your best through outstanding support
  • Making sure to give you ALL the tools you need to be successful along your journey
  • Answering questions and sharing their experience and knowledge, because the more you understand, the better you can execute.
  • Being a support for you through the entire transformation process
  • Wanting to present your best, and being honest with you of you need more time to do so
  • Providing you with the tools you need to eventually take what you’ve learned, and work on your own so they can continue to help others.
  • And if you DO stay Long-term with them, you both keep reaching for new goals and more positive challenges to keep you focused and inspired.
Read This Next  5 Warning Signs You Need To Fire Your Contest Prep Coach

Unfortunately a lot of online “coaches” fall short of this.

The experience of working with an ACTUAL COACH should make you feel rest assured that you’ve made the right choice. And that this person has your best interest at heart when it comes to solving your problems with your goals.

Red Flags to Avoid When Hiring an Online Fitness or Prep Coach

  • Is this person available? Will they give you the level of support YOU truly need to be successful.
  • It is OK to want and expect MORE from your coach.
  • It is OK to want high level service and fully hands on support! Just be ready to pay a premium for it.
  • The cheapest option is almost never the best option.
    • You will ALWAYS get what you pay for.
    • Don’t expect Neiman Marcus service when you’re shopping at Ross or Dress Barn.
  • How does this person prefer you to reach out?
    • Phone, email, both?
    • Do you actually get to talk to this person face to face?
    • How often are you required to check in?
    • More importantly how long does it take for them to return a response.
  • What expectations do they REQUIRE of you?
    • Are they willing to take on everybody and anybody for the sake of a dollar?
  • Do they listen to you? REALLY listen…
    • When you bring up a concern are you yelled at like a child?
    • Or do they address you with respect?
    • Do they give one word answers, or simply say because they said so?
  • Is your diet set up in a way that makes sense?
    • If it seems super low in calories or excludes entire food groups and macros – without a CLEAR AND SANE explanation… RUN.
  • Are you being cardio’d to death?
    • Anyone can give a client super low calories and tons of cardio… But a REAL COACH will always do things logically.
  • Do they provide other services to help you to prep for your show?
    • Posing lessons, tanning recommendations, hair and makeup recommendations, presentation advice?
    • If so, they are full service and IMO the best type to work with.
  • Are they helping you to fully plan out your season in a sane way?
    • Are your shows chosen strategically to align with your ultimate goals in the industry?
    • And most importantly do they offer post show support?
  • Are they there to not only peak you, but to guide you with the proper reverse diet plan after the show is done?
    • Do they go over with you how things went, and help you to plan your next moves from there?

For Non-Competitors – Things to Consider When Hiring an Online Fitness Coach

  • For you, choosing a coach comes down to finding someone who not only that you click with, but one who has your best interest at heart.
  • It’s not just about getting a diet and training program – THAT IS ONLY THE BAND-AID SOLUTION
  • Your program also HAS TO AND MUST BE about looking at the habits and mindset that has been holding you back from seeing progress again and again.
  • REAL coaching is going to take a look at overcoming your biggest pitfalls, and then giving you the tools to eventually succeed on your own.
  • REAL coaching is about your TOTAL transformation.
  • REAL coaching is about getting to the root cause of your plateaus and reasons why you have seen such little progress
  • REAL coaching should allow you to stop thinking so much, and put your trust in the hands of someone else who has proven themselves to be a true expert at what they do.
  • You must realize that not everyone offers this level of support. So if you KNOW you need this, then you need to do your research.
    • High level coaches who are invested in you will be willing to talk to you over the phone
    • They will be honest about being selective about who they work with
    • They will sit with you and bring you into the process of designing the perfect game plan
    • They will put in JUST AS MUCH EFFORT as you do. It’s a 50/50 balance of you BOTH bringing your best.
Read This Next  Cheat Meals During Contest Prep: When to Include Them and When to Drop Them

The sad part is that 90% of coaches out there do NOT offer that level of support nor deep work.

Be cautious of who you hire and be ready to INVEST.

Anything that is a high level program that is worth your time, and gets results will not be at basement bottom prices. Always remember that you get what you pay for.


Ready to Experience What REAL HANDS ON HIGH LEVEL COACHING Can Do For You?

Look, I don’t work with everyone, but I definitely always have room for those who are SUPER SERIOUS about their goals, and ready to put in the time, work and full commitment to investing in getting further than they are today.

If what I talked about spoke to you on a deeper level, let’s simply have a conversation.

You DESERVE to have someone by your side who takes your goals just as seriously as you do… And if dealing with disappointing, mediocre so-called coaches has left you burned in the past – you owe it to yourself to step up and invest in a coaching program that is set up for you to WIN.

Stay Connected! Join My Email List.

If you're enjoying the content I'm sharing with you here, then why don't you get yourself signed up on email list. Each week, I'll share with you my best tips and advice on how you can transform you body - and your entire life - through a SMARTER approach to your training and nutrition. All Science/NO BS.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply