With the influx of fitness and personal trainers in the past few years, choosing a coach is only getting harder. With ACE, ISSA, NASM, ABCDEFG...who knows anymore?
How to Pick the Perfect Coach
There are many organizations through which a personal trainer can be certified. There is ACE, ISSA, NASM, NSCA, ACSM just to name a few. So how can you weed through this to find out if your coach for your bikini competition is a good one? Use these tips when hiring your next coach.
Where did you get your training?Each organization serves a specific purpose. ACE is more for the general population and focuses on overall well-being. ISSA is geared more toward fitness and bodybuilding in non-athlete adults. NASM, NSCA, and ACSM are more for sports medicine on teams and medical fields. Regardless of their personal training certification, unless your coach has also specifically pursued nutrition certification, they have no basis or business writing you a meal plan. However, use your best judgement, some coaches have been around the game, evolved with the times and if you feel they have the knowledge to lead you through nutrition, then that is absolutely your call.
Do you have any special certifications?
Remember the term “nutritionist” can be held by anyone, with or without a certification and absolutely is not recognized by any state as being legally allowed to give nutrition advice. Scary right? The ONLY people allowed to be called “dietician” are those who went to 4+ years of school, did clinicals and specifically hold a degree. So, if you choose a nutritionist, ask for the certification.
Have you prepped competitors before?
You will also want to look at their previous clients closely. Where did they start, and what did their physiques look like at competition? It's a big difference to prep someone down from 32% body fat than from 15%. You don’t want to see all of these amazing results this coach has gotten, only by coaching women with an already low body fat percentage. How does your coach plan to get you to your stage body fat composition? Are you going to eat tilapia and asparagus throughout your prep? What's the plan for reverse dieting, if they even keep you as a client when you’re off season (that happens).
What's your plan for after prep?
Possibly even more important than prepping you safely through your competition, is what happens after your show day. Your reverse diet into your off season can have a major impact on your overall health, as well as your future competitions. Make sure your coach has solid plan for a reverse diet.
As long as you do your research and remember that your coach works for you, you'll be fine! Read more about dietary restrictions and how you should have options for meals during prep.
For a more detailed breakdown on each of the personal training sites mentioned here, visit http://www.exercise-science-guide.com/certifications/personal-training/