A lonely journey so far.
Let me tell you that so far, this has been the most upsetting part of getting the show on the road so to speak.
With just about 20 weeks before the first show I chose OCTOBER 24TH IN Edmonton I really needed to find a good coach.
What I didn’t know is that you can be coached from a distance or in person. What’s more is that the pricing can be cheap, fair or out of control…..being in Alberta means that most of it was the latter.
I started googling for coaching which landed me in a bunch of various areas. Right away I knew I could eliminate anyone who had no experience with Vegans or Vegetarians.
I even attempted to purchase a meal plan beforehand from Morelli Fit – oh this fellow has a real racket going. I’ve tried on several occasions to let them know that Chicken, Beef and Bacon are not vegetarian…..they basically told me to go pound sand up my @**.
I started doing some heavy research. I received replies from a couple of online coaches who got about half way through speaking with me, getting intake forms and then just fell off the face of the planet. This actually happened 3 times. A bit crushing really when you’re so jazzed about something.
I managed to find what I thought were some reputable coaches in town and went to meet with them – this is how it went:
Fail #1: I showed up at a commercial fitness facility downtown. I used to be a member and quit for a lot of reasons but mostly that I have my own gym at home and theirs kind of sucked. This one REALLY sucked.
He had me take off my socks and shoes and get onto a body fat calculating machine, then change into my bikini to take some shots of my current state.
I changed back into my clothes and we sat down to talk. I had to lose 10 pounds and at least 10 percent body fat. I tried asking a few questions related to goal setting but was kind of shrugged off like “don’t worry about this now, we’ll talk about it later” probably because it was a FREE consult.
I was then ushered into a sales room where I was basically told that I would be training three days per week at that gym minimum and needed to buy a membership for the next 6 months. Long story short this would be $800 per month…without meal planning because they didn’t know how to service a vegan/vegetarian.
To add insult to injury I was told that ” the best way to get off your butt is to sign up today”. Wow. I had to lash out and state that I work out every day and getting off of my butt was not a concern. What a bunch of dicks.
Needless to say, I did not go with him!
The next fellow I met with seemed a bit more into it……
Fail #2: I went to this coaches private gym where he coached/coaches hockey players (NHL) and the like. He seemed excited and I thought that it was legit.
We had a great talk, then quickly went through some of his techniques with a few small weights. I felt relieved. Finally, someone on home soil with experience in getting girls to shows and placing AND he was comfortable with training vegans/vegetarians.
$80/hour and after a few sessions I could train wherever, whenever I wanted to and his style had girls placing top five in the last few weeks!
He was laid back as well, but I was assured all would come together and was shown who they use for photographers, bikinis, tans etc….I provided him with a sample of my regular diet for a week and he asked me to take my own pictures of myself….not even to send them to him.
Well, three weeks passed. In that time he forgot to contact me, did one workout with me, went out of town and told me to just “keep doing what I was doing”……what if I was just eating ice cream cakes and rolling on the floor??!!!
Crushed and 2 weeks out from any sort of reasonable 12 week training deadline, I started over.
As an added footnote, I received a text message from this guy who went AWOL that said:
“I’m back in town if U want to book any sessions”.
WTF?!?! Are YOU supposed to be bringing a coaching program to ME to achieve MY goal of getting to a show this fall??? I think that my jaw will forever remain on the floor.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
When I spoke to my HSE contractor Tahnee who told me about all of this stuff to begin with she gave me a few more contacts, I also just started looking for vegan bodybuilding athletes and came across one. Andrea Guzman.
Not only did she answer my email in a couple of hours, she referred me to her coach who trained her (vegan) to competition she was enthusiastic and welcomed questions. She’s a personal trainer herself and didn’t once try to up-sell me on her services.
Finally rolls in Jennifer Weintz.…a god send really. Did I mention, these two gals are in BC? Well, I probably don’t have to with the happy and quick responses I received, you could guess in an instant.
Jennifer offered for under $200 month to coach me. Plan my workouts, diet AND take regular updated/pictures for review and re-structure on my progress. She also has the ability to refer me to whomever I need: tanning, hair, bikini to get to competition prepared.
I am starting up at the end of this week and am excited to start learning and seeing results. I am also excited to tell you all more about how to navigate this maze! I asked my husband, Jeff, if he would mind helping me through the process and of course he said he would. Finally, support in all areas – I feel like a rocket ship ready to take off!
Looking at athletes on Instagram and Facebook and contacting them elicited the most progress. I recommend this approach to newbs. If you are already lifting, you will know most of the basics and they can help.
I am sitting in a bit of a no mans land right now in terms of waiting to start BUT I have a great feeling – this new coach even dropped me a line from her vacation!
My questions to date that still need answering: what will the 4 months look like, what is the process really all about, will I have a program that will be changed up, what do I need to report to you. How is my diet so far? Will I be eating more or less?