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  1. #1
    Registered User LadyAmaris's Avatar
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    Competing for the first time without a coach: can I even do it?

    Hi all! I am writing in hopes of advice on competing in bikini or figure. I am currently a full time premed student who works part time for the college I attend. I am on a 6 day a week leg/push/pull split that has really helped me lose some weight and gain some serious strength. However, more and more I find myself really wanting to compete to push my own limits. However, being a full time student that means money is a huge factor and I just don't think I can afford a coach. I know for posing and tanning and purchasing your suit expenditures are unavoidable but can I skip out on a coach? I am looking for general advice on this, possible recommendations in book/forum/website forms to base my prep off of, and really a genuine asking if I am wasting my time here?

    Currently I am 135 lbs but I am eating in a deficit so I am continually dropping weight, I am just under 5'4 and I am 23 years old.
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  2. #2
    Registered User TrainBeastMode's Avatar
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    Can it be done? Yes and No. I think it depends on how seriously you want to compete. Do you want to become a bikini pro or do you just want to do it for fun? I think if you just want to do it for fun and push your limits, then there are plenty of resources available to you online without a coach. YouTube is great for posing videos. Everyone and their mom has a posing video on YouTube. If you want to track your calories, using an app like MyFitnessPal is a good one. If you need help with your macros, If It Fits Your Macros or IIFYM dot com is a good resource, although not foolproof. It would give you a good starting point and you can see how to tailor it to fit your needs. This website has a lot of good forums for advice as well if you need help with your workouts or anything like that.

    I've personally never used a coach and I do pretty good. I don't have any aspirations to be a professional natural bodybuilder or anything. I just do it for fun.

    If you want to get serious and try to become a pro, I think a coach would help to put you on the right path. For a novice and just for fun, I think a coach is a bit unnecessary. Just my two cents....
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  3. #3
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Here's the thing if you've never had a coach you will be doing a lot of trial and error with yourself and will probably make some mistakes along the way.
    That's how you learn in preparing for a show.
    I would educate yourself as much as possible for your prep and just go with what ever you decide to do.
    You can do it just use everything as a learning experience.
    This is what you pay a coach for them to give you things that work for most of their people/clients.
    They do a lot of the numbers for you and training to do basically guiding you right up to the show.
    You can do it but it will take a lot of work from yourself to be successful .
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    Registered User ucsumma's Avatar
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    If you want to do it on your own (or even if you do use a coach), consider this book:

    https://drscottstevenson.com/byobbcoach.html

    It's worth its weight in gold and will be a great investment in yourself.
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  5. #5
    Focus on yourself kimm4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    Here's the thing if you've never had a coach you will be doing a lot of trial and error with yourself and will probably make some mistakes along the way.
    That's how you learn in preparing for a show.
    I would educate yourself as much as possible for your prep and just go with what ever you decide to do.
    You can do it just use everything as a learning experience.
    This is what you pay a coach for them to give you things that work for most of their people/clients.
    They do a lot of the numbers for you and training to do basically guiding you right up to the show.
    You can do it but it will take a lot of work from yourself to be successful .
    Agreed.^^

    If you decide to do a show I would advise bikini. You'll need to spend time building more overall muscle to do figure. My only other question is why are you dieting now? This is the time that should be used for more building (even for bikini.) Once you pick a show that's when you figure out the right time frame to start dieting down.

    Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Want to be the BIGGEST! ProYeo's Avatar
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    I did my first season on my own. I actually didn't have a coach, gym, and didn't know anyone who'd competed. Just me, the internet, and a bowflex. I did perfectly well on my own, but it's very hard. Competing can be stressful at times, but it's also supposed to be fun and rewarding. You don't want the stress to steal that aspect from you.

    Since after my first season, I've always had a coach and always will. You can look at the biggest names in the game, and they all have coaches. They know what to do, I know what to do. But a good coach provides so much more than just the 'what to do.'

    I think one of the hardest things when you go it alone is to figure out fact from fiction. Actual science from bro-science, etc. For every piece of information you can find online, you can find someone else saying it's completely wrong. It's so hard to nail down what's right for you. In the end, you have to figure out yourself and what is right for you, something a coach can really help guide - especially with the right amount of time.

    I get the budget limitations though, that was why I started how I did as well. It can be done, just be ready for how much effort it adds to the process.

    Good luck!
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  7. #7
    Registered User JohnSmeton's Avatar
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    I did my first show on my own. There's so much information and videos on the internet that other decades did not have. That's the fun of learning it yourself, finding what works for you. If you need someone and have the budget, sure. If you'd rather take more time and learn it on your own, that's a good route to go.
    Disclaimer: The above post is my personal opinion and does not represent the official position of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.

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  8. #8
    OCB Pro smokinal's Avatar
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    As you can see, there are many different thoughts on this topic. I've always done everything on my own; training, diet, posing, shows etc... everything. Because I wanted to do and learn the whole experience on my own. I've won 3 Pro cards in 2 different categories so it can be done.

    It all depends on why you are competing. As said above; if you just want to do it because you always have wanted to, then hire a coach. If you want to compete and compete for years, learn the ropes and learn you body, I'd learn it yourself and do it all yourself. I've learned so much about the whole process!

    Some people just want to be told what to do and don't care about the knowledge of it all; and that's fine too. All depends on why you are competing.
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